What a difference a year makes…

My first time seeing the lake with no ice!

My first time seeing the lake with no ice!

As I was listening to music whilst on the treadmill, I started to reflect on just how beautiful the view across the lake was and with the sun shining down, I realized this week marked my one year anniversary of coming to Canada. Wow, how fast has that gone by!?!

Over the past 12-months, Cisco has seen its executive leadership change with Chuck Robbins becoming CEO. Under his guidance, the executive leadership team (ELT) is structured to move “faster” and I’m proud to say I work for a company that has equal representation of women and men on our ELT.

Here in Canada, honestly, there’s more than I can list here. So, I’ll speak to a few of my highlights:

    1. I’ve had the opportunity to visit cities from Vancouver to Halifax and many in-between. The geographic diversity is as inspiring as the cultural diversity.
    2. Our Canadian leadership team is working better than ever, with our customers and partners across Canada and driving growth across all business segments. Our strategic relations with our customers enable Cisco to deliver real business value to all of our customers, be that at Government level, large or small companies.
    3. I see on a daily basis, Cisco employees accelerating our customer market opportunities in the market. I have the privilege of working with and in the service of the best talent in the technology sector.
    4. The leadership team is now more diverse, with nearly an equal balance of gender and this better reflects the great diversity that thrives in Canada.
A few of my lovely ladies working hard for Habitat for Humanity

A few of my lovely ladies working hard for Habitat for Humanity

    1. I’ve gotten involved with not-for-profits, including Raise the Roof, Habitat for Humanity and the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank.
    2. For the first time, the Cisco Habitat Build Grant was given to a Canadian affiliate and I had a wonderful day with my senior leadership team building a house for a very deserving local family.
    3. Our Toronto office moved to a new home in the smartest building in North America. It is built on a single converged IP network, enabling the use of current and future technology tools like TelePresence, WiFi, Internet Connectivity, and personal occupant control.
    4. This connection allows employees to interface and control their surrounding environment. Our team now have the most comfortable and practical working environment possible. How cool is that?
    5. We hosted the Cisco 2015 Partner Summit in beautiful Montreal, the first time in 10 years that the summit was held outside of the USA. More than 2,200 partners from around the world joined us, this is important to Cisco, the success of our customers is at the heart of what we do.
    6. I attended my first Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and it was truly thrilling to see our sponsorship come to life over the summer and the legacy it will leave – $13-million of technology infrastructure donated by Cisco to not-for-profits across Ontario. This will help drive capacity and promote economic development for the region.
    7. Amongst the many external presentations and speeches, I was honoured to be the keynote speaker at the first Women of Influence event of the season. I shared my thoughts on the courage to take action on the blog previously.
    8. We’ve celebrated countless birthdays, personal milestones and Cisco anniversaries as a team.
    9. Our office walls are now decorated with our children’s art and we’ve hosted them to admire their beautiful contributions.
interns clock

Three of our fabulous interns taking a selfie with the Cisco TORONTO 2015 Countdown Clock

  1. We had 30 interns join us over the summer and our early in-career network is now more than 160 members in Canada, some of them former interns themselves!
  2. We celebrated year end together at GSX in style, wearing our Cisco Canada toques with pride.
  3. We brought Canada back to sustainable growth and drove superior business performance across all of our regions.
  4. We executed on our plans, together, faster and with more clarity – we truly know what success looks like.
  5. Through our “Are You Ready” program, we added 26 new sellers to our organization and enabled our people to develop and grow.
  6. We received several awards including Aon Hewitt’s #1 Best Employer in Canada, Corporate Knights Top 100 Most Sustainable Corporations, individual recognition for several members of my leadership team and a few exciting employer awards…to be announced in the coming weeks!

As I look to the rest of FY16 and in particular, the opening of the Toronto Innovation Hub in January, I look forward to many more learnings and experiences.

I often say I felt like I won the lottery coming here. A year later, it’s just as true.

The future is very bright indeed. I am proud and humbled to lead this fabulous Canadian team! I know the best is yet to come as we prepare for the new realities and enormous possibilities of tomorrow.

Thank you Cisco Canada

My thanks to our partners, customers and team!

My thanks to our partners, customers and team!

About Bernadette Wightman

Bernadette Wightman is President of Cisco Canada, responsible for overseeing all aspects of local operations, including sales, marketing, finance, distribution, and services. As a 15-year Cisco veteran, Bernadette has worked in the IT industry for more than 25 years. Her demonstrated sales leadership successes include managing organizations in developed and emerging markets. Ms. Wightman was named Business Leader of the Year by Women into Science, Engineering & Construction (WISE); honoured as one of the UK’s most influential women in IT in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and named among the 500 most influential people in the UK in 2014 by specialist publishers Debretts. Bernadette Wightman, présidente de Cisco Canada, assure la direction de tous les aspects des activités nationales, dont celles liées à la vente, à la commercialisation, aux finances, à la distribution et aux services. Possédant plus de 25 ans d’expérience dans le secteur, Mme Wightman est entrée au service de Cisco il y a 15 ans. Elle présente une feuille de route exemplaire en matière de direction d’équipes de vente tant dans des marchés émergents qu’établis. Mme Wightman a été nommée personnalité montante de l’année dans le monde des affaires par Women into Science, Engineering & Construction (WISE) en 2011, 2012 et 2013, prix décerné aux femmes les plus influentes du secteur des TI au Royaume-Uni. Elle a aussi été nommée l’une des 500 personnes les plus influentes au Royaume-Uni en 2014 par Debretts.
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