Brenda Richardson Captures Coveted 2022 CRN Channel Chief Recognition

We’re pleased to announce that CRN, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Extreme’s Brenda Richardson to its 2022 Channel Chiefs list. The list identifies top IT channel vendor executives who continually demonstrate expertise, influence, and innovation in channel leadership. Brenda is Extreme’s Head of Channel - Americas and her experience, passion for the channel, and commitment to execution has played a significant role our success.

The 2022 Channel Chiefs are influential leaders who continue to shape the IT channel with innovative strategies, programs, and partnerships. A panel of CRN editors select the honorees for their channel dedication, industry stature, and accomplishments as channel advocates.

Brenda has spent the majority of her career in the IT industry, working across various disciplines including channel leadership, channel sales, direct sales, strategy, business development, acquisition, integration, and alignment. She has held strategic positions with both manufacturers and resellers.

At Extreme, Brenda leads a dynamic team of talented channel sales professionals that drive and enable our partners to become an extension of our team. Brenda formed Extreme’s Partner Transformation team, focusing on how to improve our partner experience and address the moments that matter most in the partner journey. Brenda also helped to launch our channel sales self-service tool, Extreme Empower, which provides an easy way for our partners to order equipment and receive discounts while cutting down request wait time from a day to an hour.

“CRN’s 2022 Channel Chiefs recognition is given exclusively to the foremost channel executives who consistently design, promote, and execute effective partner programs and strategies,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “We’re thrilled to recognize the tireless work and unwavering commitment these honorees put into fostering outstanding business innovation and building strong partner programs to drive channel engagement and success.”

Meet Brenda – One of the Game-Changers on Team Extreme!

Congrats on your CRN recognition, Brenda! What would you say is the key to success for your channel partners in 2022?

In 2022, Extreme’s focus is on cloud networking solutions. The key to success for partners is investing the time to truly understand our new products and solutions. As a result, they’ll help us grow cloud opportunities and benefit from the recurring revenue opportunities that come with cloud subscriptions. We encourage partners who have worked with us for many years to retrain on our portfolio and take advantage of the trainings we offer to ensure they’re aware of opportunities within.

What do you think will be the biggest challenges facing your partners in 2022?

Nearly everyone is facing virtual fatigue, including our partner community which is tasked with engaging with their customer base without face-to-face meetings. The talent shortage has exacerbated this fatigue. Considering the number of unprecedented challenges we’ve faced over the past two years, my advice to partners is to continue to be adaptable and prepare to adjust to challenges as they arise.

What is your advice to solution providers on how best to capitalize on the everything-as-a-service trend?

The most important thing is to focus on increasing your overall industry knowledge. The shift to everything-as-a-service is a big change and knowing where the industry is headed is key to shifting your business to new sales strategies. Partners should also utilize every resource as much as they can, including Extreme. We’re here to support our partners through this transition phase and are committed to ensuring they are as successful as possible.

Congratulations to Brenda on this well-deserved recognition! Your dedication, commitment, and leadership are appreciated by everyone at Extreme and throughout our channel community. Thank you for all your efforts to help Extreme advance!

Want to hear more about Extreme’s Partner Program? Visit our Partner Page.

The 2022 Channel Chiefs list will be featured in the February issue of CRN Magazine and can be found online at CRN Channel Chiefs.

About the Author
Lisa Yeaton
Manager, Social Media

Lisa Yeaton is a Social Media Manager at Extreme Networks. In her role, Lisa oversees all of Extreme's corporate social media accounts and creates corporate communications content.

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