Top Female Executives of Critical Start Featured on CRN’s 2021 Women of the Channel List and Recognized as a Power 60 Solution Provider

Plano, TX (May 11, 2021) — Critical Start, a leading provider of Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services, today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Heidi Hills, director of national channels; Katy Lietzau, director of channel – central; and Meredith Dishman, director of distribution channels, to the highly respected Women of the Channel list for 2021. Additionally, Tera Davis, co-founder/co-owner/managing director, has been named to its 2021 Power 60 Solution Providers list, an elite subgroup of honorees chosen from the highly regarded Women of the Channel list.

The 2021 Women of the Channel list acknowledges women from all over the IT channel, including vendors, distributors and solution providers. This annual list recognizes the unique strengths, vision and achievements of female leaders in the IT channel.

The women honored on this year’s list pushed forward with comprehensive business plans, marketing initiatives and other innovative ideas to support their partners and customers, helping them through the uncertainty brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic. CRN celebrates these exceptional women for their leadership, dedication and channel advocacy.

The Power 60 Solution Providers are chosen by the CRN editorial team based on their contributions, expertise and dedication to building strong solution provider businesses. The award recognizes an exclusive subgroup of elite industry role models who continue to drive professional success through leadership and dedication to their own organizations and the entire IT channel.

Hills is a high-performing channel sales executive developing the current national channel strategy for Critical Start. At every stop in her career, she has increased revenue through her dynamic partner engagement and her love of people. A strident supporter of brand identity, Hills consistently strives to exceed her quota on a regular basis and increase revenue through partner engagement.

Lietzau is a skilled channel executive who has experience managing national and regional channel partners. She plays a major role in guiding sales reps to conduct account planning with channel partners to build, sustain and grow. Lietzau wields the experience and relationships she’s curated to leverage and onboard partners into channels she’s also helped optimize.

Dishman is a seasoned channel executive, with 14 years of experience extending across sales, marketing, and management. She has led the execution of Critical Start’s on-demand-gen with distribution partners, developed training resources to better serve the distribution channel and likewise amplified the distribution channel’s purchasing of MDR and nonfunctional requirements (NFR) services.

Davis is a seasoned, dynamic leader who has helped shape the cybersecurity industry and the channel by utilizing her sales and technical experience to cultivate, manage, and solidify mutually beneficial, value-first relationships with many strategic business partners. In the past year, Davis has cultivated mutually beneficial relationships with strategic business partners, helping the company increase year-over-year revenue and its MDR business, which grew 58% in FY2021.

“CRN’s 2021 Women of the Channel list acknowledges accomplished, influential women whose dedication, hard work, and leadership accelerate channel growth,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “We are proud to honor them for their many accomplishments and look forward to their continued contributions to the IT channel.”

“Today’s threat landscape is more dynamic than ever, and we are fortunate to have Heidi, Katy, Meredith and Tera delivering Critical Start’s solutions to customers,” said Rob Davis, CEO. “Since the launch of our MDR services, the channel program has seen major development as we have built profitable MDR and IR practices with our partners and continue to outperform competitors in revenue and customer satisfaction. That is largely attributed to the work of these incredible professionals.”

The 2021 Women of the Channel and Power 60 Solution Provider award will be featured in CRN Magazine on May 10th and online at

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