Lori Cornmesser: Driving Change By Empowering Growth-Cultivating Pathways

Deepwatch | Lori Cornmesser - Driving Change By Empowering Growth | CIO Women Magazine

Businesses today rely heavily on online services to store and protect sensitive data. As their reliance on the internet and technology has increased, so have the cyber risks. Cybercriminals are finding new ways to exploit businesses and individuals. For a smooth running of business operations and to not be vulnerable to threats, it is crucial to choose security services that stay one step ahead of criminals.

Enter Deepwatch. Deepwatch’s array of solutions ensures the 24/7 security of your organization and its data. Additionally, Deepwatch works with expert individuals who are passionate about cybersecurity. One of Deepwatch’s leadership pillars is Lori Cornmesser, SVP of WW Channel & Alliance Sales, who helps Deepwatch achieve the company’s mission and growth goals through her leadership.

Factors leading to this field

In hindsight, Lori feels the IT industry chose her. She started her career with a focus on law and civil rights. Along the way, she met some talented IT sales workers who gave her an opportunity to work as an inside salesperson. Quickly making progress, Lori moved to outside sales and then to management.

From that point onwards, Lori has built and fostered a 28-year sales career in the IT industry. Her preference for sales comes from the quick and constant growth of the field. With a global responsibility in the last 25 years, she underlines the countless opportunities in sales that build the base for ultimate success.

Emerging through Challenges

Lori strives to provide value through her contributions without gender or racial biases. However, during her industry progression, she noticed women were underrepresented in the field because of various industry biases. As a result, she feels women have a long way to advance to higher positions.

It is worth noting that Lori is biracial, specifically of African-American descent. And the fact that Black Americans only represent 7% of the tech companies was not in her favor. Instead of seeing it as unfavorable, she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to prove herself.

Looking back at her career trajectory today, she notices that her success largely came because she stepped forward and grabbed every opportunity. Moreover, she sought out people who later became mentors in various fields and possessed the skills she associated with her ideal mentors.

Known for her work ethic and results-driven credibility, Lori is always the first to arrive at the office and last to leave while efficiently delivering results. The other companies in the market noticed these qualities and approached her to work for them, enhancing her credibility and reputation further. Lori’s pioneering approach and commitment have led to achieving many industry firsts such as being the first channel chief at several organizations and being the proud recipient of the Diversity First Leadership Award.

Lori has been named a CRN Channel Chief for the past 9 years and holds the coveted spot on the Power 100 list. Lori was recently awarded the Top 100 Executives by CRN.  She has received recognition from CRN Magazine as a Top Woman in the Channel each year for 14 years. In 2011 Lori was awarded the title of 2011 Women Worth Watching. Lori most recently was honored with the Top 50 Women in Technology Award in 2022.

Despite limiting factors, Lori garnered vast experience in various fields, playing almost every channel role possible. From distribution, VARs, system integrators, service providers, GSIs, and more these roles helped her relate to partners on a deeper level, understand all facets of their business model, earn their trust, and see the industry through the lens of other people on her team as she led them toward success.

Optimistic Outlook Paying Dividends 

According to Lori, when opportunities arrive, sometimes we self-assess, raise our hand, and determine that because we only have seven necessary things out of the ten that are required, it is not worth pursuing them because we feel we are not fully qualified. 

However, Lori had an optimistic outlook and was grateful she had those seven things. With a knack for learning complex technologies quickly, well-versed at building a winning team, and support from industry experts, she fearlessly pursued opportunities even when she did not feel fully equipped for them.

Lori also has an impressive ability to deliver on her promises without compromising the quality of the work. Staying true to her word has earned Lori industry credibility as a trusted and reliable figure that achieved seemingly difficult targets when needed.

A vital part of Lori’s reputation revolves around helping companies scale. From scaling fast-growth companies from $0 to $50M as well as growing from $100 million to $500 million and more. For example, Lori spent over 10 years at Juniper Networks where she was instrumental in supporting the company’s growth from $500M to $5B. Moreover, her passion for hands-on work of building, developing, and paving new paths that were not there before helped her thrive in the industry.

Ingredient to Leadership Success

Lori is fortunate to be surrounded by numerous visionary leaders. Early on, these esteemed executives recognized Lori’s potential that has helped shape her career and various areas of her life. She credits her success to their support and belief in her, which enabled her to build a decorated career in the industry.

However, another career (and life) advice that stuck with her came from her father, a great military man. He said, “If you think you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” It fostered her ability to stay curious, learn, and be open to new thoughts and ideas. Seeing the positive results of this approach, Lori encourages people to do the same as it allows people to remain humble and embrace business evolution and personal change.

Key Responsibilities

Deepwatch is a one hundred percent channel organization, a leader in MDR services. As the senior vice president of Global Channels and Alliance Sales, Lori’s responsibilities include developing effective partnerships within Deepwatch.

In this rapidly growing space, it is crucial for Lori to find the best channel partners in the ecosystem that align with Deepwatch and its values. It enables Deepwatch to reach and win new customers, enter new markets, and leverage its partnerships to scale the business and accelerate growth.

Accolades through the Journey

Lori has gotten to a point where her work gets recognized by her colleagues and others in the industry. As the most influential channel chief leader, Lori has made progress in Diversity and Inclusion, a part that is closely related to her work.

In recognition of her impressive work in Diversity and Inclusion, Lori has received numerous leadership awards from the Inclusive Lab and the Racial Injustice Champion. In addition, she was awarded the leadership excellence award from the National Diversity Council.

A few years back, diversity and inclusion were not topics of significant discussion, and most people were unaware of them. The current scenario is the opposite, where we are encouraged to talk and spread awareness about it. For Lori, advancing women and minorities in business is a major driving force behind her endeavors in diversity and inclusion today. Ultimately, corporations must incorporate DEI as a core facet to the company’s culture because just checking boxes for compliance and HR reasons doesn’t cut it in today’s workplace climate. 

Extracting the Maximum Potential

Lori considers it a privilege to lead numerous talented people during her career so far. Lori elaborates that as a leader, her job is to extract the maximum potential of her team, be their cheerleader, and celebrate victories that come your way together. Sometimes, that requires her to challenge and push them out of their comfort zone.

One thing Lori always encourages her team to do is be a good listener. She believes a good listener understands the specific needs and wants of customers and partners. However, the work is not always straightforward, as building sustainable partnerships takes time and requires consistency and focus.

One often needs reassurance of doing a good job. In business, partnerships are a two-way street that paves the way for a great exchange of synergies.  Lori advises asking the partners the right questions in order to inform your business with them. Those include: How are we making it easier to do business with? How are we staying ahead of innovation? How are we helping them sell more? And are we doing that in the right ways? Once we get the answers, it becomes easier to take the necessary action. 

During that process, you will encounter some things that are within your control and others that are time-consuming. However, the mere courage to define and try to achieve those things, even when it seems out of your reach, takes you far in the business world.

Expanding into a Better Future

Deepwatch is growing at a tremendous pace. One of the main reasons for Lori joining them is because they were a leader in their space. However, despite the growth, it had to depend on its partners deliberately.

It created a need for a leader capable of taking them to the next level and beyond. The idea of being this leader intrigued Lori, adding to that her passion for building and paving new paths made it a win-win situation for both.

Currently, Deepwatch aims to increase its market share under Lori’s leadership. In addition, it also wants to continuously leverage its partnerships and expand its reach and depth in the market. While winning in these spaces is not easy, Lori is confident they have the right partners in the right places, doing the right things, and the people to help Deepwatch reach the next level.

Leading with her Heart

Two words greatly influenced Lori’s life: The Hustle and Heart. According to her, both are vital to do well and win in this business. She learned that at a very young age, at her very first job, a time when she used to sell red cherries at a cherry stand near the freeway because she wanted to purchase a Red Nissan Sentra.

When she says hustle, she means it in the best way possible. She defines it as the hustle where you start your day only focusing on essentials, the things you impact, and the value you create. This is a tried and true system that Lori has used this approach for years. Seeing as this is an attribute of a high-performing partner account manager, she has shared this advice with her team and expects them to follow it.

According to her, the balance between hustle and heart sets you apart and makes you human. To succeed, just focusing on people and customers or numbers will not be enough. You also need to be a good person that people trust and are willing to follow.

For around two decades, Lori has had the privilege of leading the team of individuals who worked for her at various companies she has been a part of. Impressively, her approach of leading with the heart has helped them become successful at all those places.

Work-Life Balance Phenomenon

 However, in the early days of her professional career, she was adamant about trying to achieve a work-life balance. She even sought people and books to help her understand the topic better. However, currently, she says there is no work-life balance.

At this point in her life, she has taken an alternate approach. She categorizes things as a top priority and calls them her Non-Negotiables. These are things that she cannot miss. That includes the championship baseball game or even the opening night at the ballet when her kids were growing up.

As a working parent, she knew it was not feasible to make it to all of them, and it was sometimes hard to accept. However, she had a very supportive tribe of people who had her back. 

When she could not attend the games, her parents would attend on her behalf. When she was away from home, Lori’s parents would capture pictures and moments of the kids and send them to her. 

Building a Lasting Legacy 

Lori wants her legacy to be known as someone who always does the right things. She also wants to be remembered as someone who made space for people who previously did not have a seat at the table.

As someone with biracial parents,  there were many blockades along the way. However, Lori’s parents always wanted her to “make it better than you found it” and this applied to everything that she did from work to family and making a difference to the world. 

To everyone entering the field trying to build their legacy, here is what Lori had to say, “If you want to leave a lasting impact, it is paramount to be clear about the work that matters most. Everything else is moderately interesting, but if you set three goals that align to the company objectives is a great foundational start. In addition, one also needs to have a strong work ethic that delivers results because results is the key driver in establishing and building trust with your partner relationship, internal stakeholders, and your team.”

She highlights that giving people validation and making them feel heard and seen is crucial. Not only does this apply in business, but it also applies to life in general. She says the more consciousness one can bring to their partner negotiations and customer engagement, the better it is for their company. From simple touch points such as a quick Slack to a colleague or picking up the phone to call a customer reinforces that you are grateful and thankful to the people that you continue to surround your life and success with.

The Company

Deepwatch provides early detection and response to cyber threats with tailored guidance from its experts to help you mitigate risk and improve your security posture. The company can support your security operations center (SOC) independently, or co-manage it. Additionally, it can stand up a new cloud-native SOC or help manage your EDR or VM solutions.

Deepwatch delivers the industry’s most advanced managed detection and response security to protect businesses from cyber threats. It offers its customers a true partnership as it delivers an unparalleled experience for managed security.

All-Around Cyber Protection

Here are the cyber security solutions from Deepwatch:

  1. Enterprise Grade MDR Service 

Full service managed detection and response with 24/7/365 threat monitoring, alerting, validation, and proactive threat hunting.

  1. Deepwatch MDR Essentials

Shield your organization with 24/7/365 SOC coverage that meets your needs and fits your budget.

  1. Active Response

Active Response is an advanced service that brings detection sources together across your entire security tech stack. 

  1. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

Integrate your endpoint security solution for your security operations from endpoints to SIEM. Gain the power of unified visibility, detection, and remediation of threats with best-in-class Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) technologies seamlessly integrated into the Deepwatch Platform.

  1. Vulnerability Management

Identify vulnerabilities and misconfigurations across the enterprise and protect critical assets with risk-based prioritization and remediation guidance. 

Deepwatch provides clear visibility of your threat landscape, helping you focus on the vulnerabilities most likely to be targeted and assisting with patching and remediation.

  1. Firewall Management Solution

Firewall management services can secure network infrastructure and enhance perimeter security by leveraging expert guidance across multiple firewall technologies. 

Deepwatch provides a proven and comprehensive solution that reduces the hassle of day-to-day operation and ensures maximum return on your investment.

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