Meet Christina (Chris) Corley. Outside of work, you may find her skiing, playing pickleball, or traveling to new and unique locales with her family. But at CDW, she is Chief Commercial & Operating Officer, where she is accountable for all customer-facing functions and our international businesses in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Chris grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and a strong work ethic was important to her from a very young age. Her father instilled an intrinsic drive for success in her and her siblings, which still motivates her today. “Our dad would say, ‘just don’t disappoint me,’ and that was motivation enough to get good grades, come home on time, and be generally good kids,” she said.
Her first job was working at Dairy Queen, where she learned lessons in customer service and what’s involved in owning a small business. From there, she pursued a major in finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Initially, she thought she would pursue a career in investment banking, but it turns out she was destined for a career in sales. Her childhood experience as a Girl Scout planted this seed at a young age. “I was always determined to set the record for the most cookies sold. I convinced my mom to drive me to areas that were ‘under-served’ by Girl Scouts instead of competing with the other girls in my neighborhood and bundled cookies together for a ‘special deal.’”
Chris has been working in the IT industry for 32 years. With experience at various companies, including IBM, Corporate PC Source, and Zones, her career at CDW began in 2011, when she joined the company to lead Corporate Sales and Sales Operations. Her predecessor, Chris Rother, turned the reigns of the commercial business side over to Chris while she continued to lead the public side of the business. As a new coworker at the time, Chris shared her gratitude for Chris Rother’s warm welcome and amazing partnership as well as the wonderful leadership team she inherited.
CDW delivered a record third quarter in 2021 with Net sales of $5.3B and crossed the $20B mark for the trailing twelve-month period for the first time. “Technology has never been more critical, and it is so rewarding to see how CDW helps our customers to achieve their missions through technology,” she said. CDW’s value in relation to customers and partnerships is at an all-time high as we continue to expand organically, as well as through acquisitions.
Chris credits this success to the CDW team. The global pandemic presented challenges everywhere, but she is inspired by the resilience and agility shown during these challenging times. By focusing on each other and our customers, the team delivered year over year growth and $18.5B in Net sales in 2020, something Chris says is “simply incredible.”
To top it all off, Chris was named to Forbes' first-ever “CEO Next 2021” list, something she feels humbled by. “I am proud that CDW was included on the list of impressive companies and believe that when companies are celebrated as ‘the best’ for something or when individual leaders are recognized, it is really recognition for the whole team.”
Technology has never been more critical, and it is so rewarding to see how CDW helps our customers to achieve their missions through technology
Looking toward the future, Chris is excited to see CDW’s increasing relevance with customers, how the company evolves, and, yes, the eventual return to the office. “I definitely miss seeing CDW coworkers.”
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– CDW Team