Note from Katherine Turner-Lawrence: It’s an exciting day at Western Computer when you are chosen by one of the most respected and experienced professionals in the Microsoft community to join our family. We are excited to welcome Tonya Anderson to our amazing team of Customer Success Managers! Tonya wanted to introduce herself to you all and share why she feels her career has been the perfect foundation for her new role of engaging, educating and empowering our customers.
Hello and thank you to everyone at Western Computer for the warm welcome! After 28 years in the Microsoft channel, there’s a good chance I have met or crossed paths with many of you reading this. I feel blessed to have this opportunity to continue my passion for helping people and businesses thrive in the community that is so dear to me.
I’ve witnessed the evolution of Microsoft technologies for decades and I can say I’ve never been more excited about the solutions we have to support our customers right now. After attending a 2-week Power Platform world tour event in Australia, the future is here and I’m so energized to help companies transform with revolutionary cloud tools like this and Dynamics 365.
Hopefully, you’ll learn to know me a little better in the next few minutes and, if I’m lucky enough to become your Customer Success Manager, I’ll be learning all about you and your business very soon.
Why Western Computer?
I’ve built wonderful relationships and friendships with many, many Microsoft partners over the years while at Dynamic Communities, Microsoft, and Great Plains Software. So, when I was ready to pursue a change, let’s just say I was fortunate to have lots of avenues to explore. And I can tell you I didn’t hesitate to make Western Computer my first call.
This story starts way back in the early 90s when I was at Great Plains Software and I managed Western Computer’s account, working closely with Tom Bardos. I remember even then thinking wow, this is a company with integrity. Our customers rarely had to escalate anything with them—their employees and customers were so happy. They’re doing it right.
Then, while at Microsoft and Dynamic Communities I worked with Kelly Holwagner, Tony Castellano, and several other members of the Western team. I saw firsthand how this company made sure employees were challenged and engaged—and stayed. Nobody was put into a box; they had flexibility to grow. They invested deeply in their customers and focused on adding value, not volume.
That’s why Western Computer was my first call to see if there was an opportunity for me, and why I was so thrilled the answer was an immediate YES!
My Journey to CSM
I started college with a dream of curing cancer and initially went into biochemistry. Then I realized I’m too much of a people-person to spend my days in a lab and ended up with a BS in Business Management. It was a good choice for sure.
Right after college, I joined Great Plains Software and during my 8-year tenure was Inside Sales Manager, Partner Manager, Channel Manager, and Business Development Manager. I worked closely with customers and partners to manage sales, training, escalations, conflict resolution, and more. Fun fact, I share the same birthday as Doug Burgum (who was my CEO at Great Plains and is now my governor!) and 25 years later, we still try to wish each other a Happy Birthday every year.
In 2001, Microsoft acquired Great Plains and shortly after Axapta and Navision. I continued my role driving recruitment and marketing strategies and managing partner and customer relationships (quite a challenge during complex acquisitions). I was able to generate over $53M in revenue through direct to customer and partner sales but am most proud of my ability to bring all parties to the table—Microsoft, partners and customers—so we could work together as a team.
In 2004, as Client Engagement Manager, I became a trusted advocate and advisor for both customers and partners. Working with our high-profile, major accounts was a little intimidating at first but I took a different approach. My strategy was to go beyond a contact or two and get everyone engaged and communicating—from the IT team to the executive team—so even during turnover, we didn’t miss a beat. I focused on building long-term business plans and partnerships, not just one-off software sales. This is what builds loyal relationships and Western Computer not only understands that, they excel at it!
Joining Dynamic Communities in 2012 allowed me to work with Dynamics users and partners in a new way. I started an initiative to expand events and programs for partners giving them more opportunities to connect and engage with each other and the user groups on a deeper, global level.
The Future Looks Brighter Than Ever
At the end of the day, I truly believe everything I’ve learned and accomplished the past few decades has led me here to help our customers grow and flourish. Success means different things to different people and my goal is to ensure you are reaching yours whether it’s more sales, better customer engagement, morphing to the cloud, or just making it home for dinner with your family more often. We will work together to make it happen.
As much as I love my work, I also enjoy my downtime with my husband of 25 years, my son, my 3 dogs, and my Harley! I am an outdoorsy person and grew up with a family dairy, beef, and grain farm in northern Minnesota, moving to North Dakota about 20 years ago. I dry land mush my huskies for fun and give back as much as possible by volunteering at my church and the local VA. I come from a military family and my son is stationed in the Army, so my time at the VA is very special to me. I spend most of my time with folks who have no family; to sit and play whist or pinnacle with or just listen to their stories.
That’s enough about me! Now it’s time to get to know all of you.
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