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Lori Cornmesser | Vice President | Worldwide Channel & Alliance Sales, Infobl ox

Lori Cornmesser: A Strategic Thinker and Tactical Executor

A good leader need not only be an expert in their industry, but must see the bigger picture, and understand their roles in the wider world. They need to believe that change is possible and worthwhile and be able to convey that message to others in a way that has meaning. This quality is best summed up in one word — vision. A leader with vision is a leader who can see the path ahead and inspires others to help them turn a dream into a reality. Lori Cornmesser is one such visionary businesswoman who has a proven track record in all aspects of building and driving field/channel sales with a strong focus on strategic marketing and business planning combined with skilled sales and contract negotiation abilities.
Since joining Infoblox in May 2018, Lori has advocated for channel culture, prioritized the importance of building channel relationships and hosted Infoblox’s inaugural Americas Partners Summit. In her role as Vice President of Worldwide Channel and Alliance Sales at Infoblox, Lori is responsible for advancing the agenda of partners and ensuring they are seen as a revenue engine that can help the company scale and be successful. She has built out a highly skilled team across the Americas, EMEA and APJ partner teams. She has set the foundation and strategy to become the vendor of choice with partners and continues to work with her team to deliver program assets and tools in the way partners go to market.

“Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. No one got to where they are today without help along the way.”

Embracing Diversity 
Lori is of German and African American descent. She relates to issues of diversity and understands the importance of not only celebrating diversity, but also in spreading an understanding of diverse backgrounds and cultivating diverse work environments. Lori was born into this world biracial. Diversity chose her. Her mother refers to this as her honor and obligation. She was chosen to see the world through a different glass. Growing up in Silicon Valley – she stood alone in many conference rooms being the solo female and minority. As a result, today she served as the President of the Silicon Valley branch of the California Diversity Council and she is active in the community on these topics.
In-depth Experience 
Lori is an accomplished Global Channel and Commercial Management Executive with 25+ years of in- depth experience in managed services, computer networking, network management/security, and the hardware industry. She has spent a career, developing deep relationships with field team leadership, supplying revenue, and protecting long-term marketplace viability and growth. Lori believes that organizations should be customer centric and her own leadership style incorporate that philosophy of maintaining strong rapport with existing and prospective clients. Lori is known for her ability to balance strategic thinking, tactical execution and developing C-suite partnerships while amplifying company loyalty and promoting innovation in the marketplace.
Among her many accolades, she has been named to the CRN Channel Chiefs list for 2016-2020 and recognized by CRN as one of the Top Women of the Channel in 2009- 2020. She also made the coveted Power 100 list in 2014- 2020. Lori was also named by the Diversity Journal as the Woman to Watch of 2011 and recently received Most Powerful Women in Technology Award in August 2019. While she is dedicated to her career and works extremely hard in order to contribute greatly to the growth and success of her company, as well as the growth and success of herself within her field, Lori has also served as the President of the Silicon Valley branch of the larger umbrella organization, the California Diversity Council.
Endless Flexibility 
Infoblox solutions offer endless flexibility to meet the requirements of its customers across a broad range of verticals including but not limited to financial services, healthcare, government, retail, higher education and service providers. The solutions can be deployed on-premises, fully in the cloud (SaaS), as cloud managed and/or as a hybrid solution, offering choice and seamless integration into their existing architectures.
Balance is the Key 
Lori considers it is important that businesswoman put their heart into the business by being kind to people. She asks to work hard, smart, and with a sense of urgency. She advises businesswomen to work with a sense of purpose, meaning, mission, urgency, and grabbing what one want. She says that hustle means working harder, smarter, and faster than other people. She considers it is vital to our survival to have balance in our lives and taking care of ourselves.
According to Lori, to have balance in work and life, these are the steps every businesswoman must take:

  • Me’ Time Lori says, ‘Me’ time is the most important of all the tips out there. Nothing can beat ‘Me’ time. Having even an hour during the day can help unwind and feel energized. It will recharge one to go out in the world and get stuff done like a boss.
  • Learn to prioritize & stay organized When it comes to work-life balance, there is no standard template. The idea is to set priorities right as per her needs and situation and allocate enough time to each of the important activities. However, accept that there is no perfect equilibrium. Stay organized when it comes to the daily routine activities and allocate a certain amount of time to each task.
  • Healthy Eating Habits + Workout + Meditation For Lori, healthy food, workout and meditation also play crucial part in achieving balance between life and work. She asserts “Our eating habits suffer the most when we have a hectic schedule. It is very important to eat healthy food. Most of us spend all day sitting and working on our machines. When you work 10 hours a day, working out may seem impossible. On days when you do not have time, take small steps with mini-workout routine. Ditch the elevators and take stairs instead. Take 5 minutes of stretching in between meetings.” Further she says use meditation apps like calm to take a 5 mins break from the stressful packed day.
  • Learn to say ‘No’ Say ‘No’ to things that do not align with personal goals. She thinks “Often, we spend too much engaging in activities or taking up tasks that do not contribute to our goals. It is okay to say no sometimes. And it certainly does not mean that you are lazy or running away from responsibilities. It simply means that your time is valuable and should not be spent on non-value adding activities.”

Huge Contribution
Infoblox is a very exciting company at a pivotal point for many organizations as they embark on their digital transformation journey. The innovation and next level approach to business allows Infoblox to remain a leader in the market. Lori serves as the global leader of Infoblox’s Worldwide Partner Sales organization and is responsible for indirect sales, partner performance, channel reach, revenue attainment and partner profitability. She helps lead the Partner program, and oversees strategy, operations, marketing and enablement. All of this allows scale and reach resulting in increased revenue and fast time to market.
Technology and Business 
Although aligning the IT and business strategy takes time and cooperation, it is an exercise worth completing. When IT is working to support business goals it leads to happier, more productive teams, smarter investments and greater return. It’s important to remember that alignment is not a one-off, box ticking activity. Alignment is something which requires regular reviews, assessments and adjustments.
From Lori’s point of view, IT and technology are helping to solve problems where human power alone is not enough. But technology alone cannot create a company culture, where human interactions are valued. Because it is people who are assigned to work on this technology and to encourage them the entrepreneurs keeps their spirit alive.
Infoblox has mastered a way of creating an interesting work environment, interactive dialogues among employees, support and motivation to the employees, reward system, etc. reflects the culture of the company. Hence, entrepreneurial spirit and technology should go hand in hand. Therefore, we need evolving technology as well as intelligent humans.
A Mother Behind A Leader 
Sharing on life changing incident, Lori says, “Being a mother is not another role I embody; it is THE role of my life. Motherhood did not change me, it made me. It has fueled my career choices, my determination and my passion for life. My children have become an extension of my welllived life. They become a new perspective, a different motivator, and a joyous way to see life from another angle.”
Being a Seeker and Learner 
Lori considers that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. No one got to where they are today without help along the way. She encourages businesswomen to ask for help and then remember to return the favor. Lori’s father always said to her, “if you think you are the smartest person in the room you are in the wrong room.” Lori gives advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs to never stop learning.