Skip to main content CDW
Home / Blog / Celebrating Our 2021–2022 Emerging Leaders Program Winners

Celebrating Our 2021–2022 Emerging Leaders Program Winners

August 24, 2022  |   Career

At CDW, we’re proud to support coworker development with our Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). Our innovative 10-month program prepares coworkers with meaningful project management experience, leadership competency training, team-building exercises and more.  

Each team is led by a Director/Sr. Manager sponsor who guides the team throughout the program and provides one-on-one coaching on future career development opportunities. All teams attended development sessions with key stakeholders as they solved key business challenges. At the end of the program, teams presented their final recommendations to CDW senior leaders and the ELP Steering Committee in Chicago. 

The program carves the path forward with opportunities for future leaders to drive tangible solutions for real CDW issues. At the end of our 2021–2022 Emerging Leaders Program, 45% of participants were promoted or transitioned into new roles.  

This year, we talked to some of our winners, Jai Burke Smith, Jeff Condie, Lainey Fox, Lilly Williams, Meagan Hayes, Milton Saltos and Stuart McKirdy with Project Sponsor,Tim Gainor. This team identified industry-leading strategies to streamline the non-preferred distributor process. Here’s what they had to say. 

Q: How would you describe your Emerging Leaders Program experience? 

Stuart McKirdy (he/him) | Expand and Renew Specialist:
ELP provided the blueprint of how seven strong-minded strangers can form a highly effective team to work through a problem. It reinforced how we can maximize our results if we approach the issue together as a team and allow each member to utilize their strengths for the benefit of the team. 

Lainey Fox (she/her) | Manager, Corporate Communications:
It was eye-opening, challenging and fun. I learned so much, both from my teammates and from being exposed to new areas of our business I didn’t have prior experience working within. That newness paired with the demands of the program certainly made it challenging at times, but the people we were able to work with along the way made it incredibly fun too. Getting together as a team to deliver our final presentation in Chicago was definitely a highlight of my CDW career thus far. 

Q: What kind of impact did your project have on CDW? 

Jeff Condie (he/him) | Senior Sales Analyst:
We will have a real dollar success impact, as the extra work cycles for sales can affect company revenue. Some of the non-concrete impacts are the development of leaders who will take these lessons into our roles/careers and beyond. The skills developed in networking and leadership transcend this one project. My hope is to continue seeing growth in myself and the people around me. 

Jai Burke-Smith (she/her) | Software Solutions Executive:
Our project reduces order friction for Sellers and Purchasers, as well as supplemental PPM departments, such as Bid Desk and ICAN. It also recognizes order revenue faster, and delivers products to CDW customers sooner by reducing wait time, order touches and rework time. It's exciting! The new process has been welcomed with positive feedback, engagement and continued collaboration. 

Q: How has your experience in Emerging Leaders supported your career development? 

Milton Saltos (he/him) | Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group Supervisor:
The entire program is full of opportunities for you to develop your career. Whether it’s the BOLD interviews, the group project or the coaching project, the program provides a lot of exposure and opens a lot of doors for you as a coworker. You definitely have to put the work in and make the best of each opportunity you get. I am comfortable reaching out to any leader in any department in the organization to have a career conversation and I am confident they will always be welcoming, especially after being an Emerging Leader. Being part of the winning team has been one of the highlights of my 6-year career here at CDW. Getting recognized directly by our CEO, having our names and pictures be communicated company-wide via email, having our own intranet page and being part of our CDW Life coworker magazine is something very special and something we should be extremely proud of. Go Streamliners! 

Congratulations to our amazing leaders for their focus, dedication and innovation! 

– CDW Team

At CDW, we’re proud to support coworker development with our Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). Our innovative 10-month program prepares coworkers with meaningful project management experience, leadership competency training, team-building exercises and more.  

Each team is led by a Director/Sr. Manager sponsor who guides the team throughout the program and provides one-on-one coaching on future career development opportunities. All teams attended development sessions with key stakeholders as they solved key business challenges. At the end of the program, teams presented their final recommendations to CDW senior leaders and the ELP Steering Committee in Chicago. 

The program carves the path forward with opportunities for future leaders to drive tangible solutions for real CDW issues. At the end of our 2021–2022 Emerging Leaders Program, 45% of participants were promoted or transitioned into new roles.  

This year, we talked to some of our winners, Jai Burke Smith, Jeff Condie, Lainey Fox, Lilly Williams, Meagan Hayes, Milton Saltos and Stuart McKirdy with Project Sponsor,Tim Gainor. This team identified industry-leading strategies to streamline the non-preferred distributor process. Here’s what they had to say. 

Q: How would you describe your Emerging Leaders Program experience? 

Stuart McKirdy (he/him) | Expand and Renew Specialist:
ELP provided the blueprint of how seven strong-minded strangers can form a highly effective team to work through a problem. It reinforced how we can maximize our results if we approach the issue together as a team and allow each member to utilize their strengths for the benefit of the team. 

Lainey Fox (she/her) | Manager, Corporate Communications:
It was eye-opening, challenging and fun. I learned so much, both from my teammates and from being exposed to new areas of our business I didn’t have prior experience working within. That newness paired with the demands of the program certainly made it challenging at times, but the people we were able to work with along the way made it incredibly fun too. Getting together as a team to deliver our final presentation in Chicago was definitely a highlight of my CDW career thus far. 

Q: What kind of impact did your project have on CDW? 

Jeff Condie (he/him) | Senior Sales Analyst:
We will have a real dollar success impact, as the extra work cycles for sales can affect company revenue. Some of the non-concrete impacts are the development of leaders who will take these lessons into our roles/careers and beyond. The skills developed in networking and leadership transcend this one project. My hope is to continue seeing growth in myself and the people around me. 

Jai Burke-Smith (she/her) | Software Solutions Executive:
Our project reduces order friction for Sellers and Purchasers, as well as supplemental PPM departments, such as Bid Desk and ICAN. It also recognizes order revenue faster, and delivers products to CDW customers sooner by reducing wait time, order touches and rework time. It's exciting! The new process has been welcomed with positive feedback, engagement and continued collaboration. 

Q: How has your experience in Emerging Leaders supported your career development? 

Milton Saltos (he/him) | Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group Supervisor:
The entire program is full of opportunities for you to develop your career. Whether it’s the BOLD interviews, the group project or the coaching project, the program provides a lot of exposure and opens a lot of doors for you as a coworker. You definitely have to put the work in and make the best of each opportunity you get. I am comfortable reaching out to any leader in any department in the organization to have a career conversation and I am confident they will always be welcoming, especially after being an Emerging Leader. Being part of the winning team has been one of the highlights of my 6-year career here at CDW. Getting recognized directly by our CEO, having our names and pictures be communicated company-wide via email, having our own intranet page and being part of our CDW Life coworker magazine is something very special and something we should be extremely proud of. Go Streamliners! 

Congratulations to our amazing leaders for their focus, dedication and innovation! 

– CDW Team

Ready to join an Employees’ Choice Best Places to Work team?

Learn more about our culture.