VP Technical Sales & Software Group Enablement, IBM, Somers, N.Y.
Lauren States’ parents were more than her first teachers about the main ingredients for success in life: education, academic excel-lence, and confidence in oneself. They also were her professional role models. “My mother had a very successful nursing career and my father was among the first Black executives at [then] Aetna Life and Casualty,” she says. Today, as the vice president of technical sales and customer deployment in the Software Group of IBM Corp., she acknowledges that the lessons of parents, as well as the achievements of her colleagues, make her a success. “I am passionate about developing talent and I enjoy seeing people who work with and for me grow and excel in their careers. In my mind, if the team is successful, then I will be successful,” States says.
A member of IBM’s software enablement group integration and values team, States is responsible for technical sales support and customer deployment in the company’s $13 billion software business. She also provides direction and leadership to the 4,200-member field sales and technical sales support teams worldwide. She developed a management system that enables customers to successfully deploy IBM “middleware” in large and small enterprises around the globe. Her global experience is enriching, she says. “Meeting with international business executives and government leaders has given me the insight I need to make good business decisions,” she says.
States joined IBM as a systems engineer in New York upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She led the client/server emerging business and the Midwest sales territory teams and served as executive assistant to the senior vice president for technology and manufacturing, Nicholas Donofrio, before being named global technical sales and customer deployment executive. Last May, her role expanded to include leadership of global software enablement.
States, who one day would like to work with her husband on international relief efforts, is co-chair of IBM’s U.S. Women’s Council and chair of the Multicultural Women in Technology. In 2003, she received a “National Woman of Technology” award from Career Communication Group.