Jeanette Lee and Kristen (Shumate) McDowell Honored as CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel

Stephen Kowal May 20, 2020

CRN WomenCRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Jeanette Lee and Kristen (Shumate) McDowell to its esteemed 2020 Women of the Channel list.

Recognizing the unique strengths, vision, and achievements of a select group of women, this prestigious, annual list acknowledges channel leaders who are blazing a trail for future generations. These women are from all areas of the IT ecosystem, including technology vendors, distributors, solution providers, and other IT organizations.

The CRN editorial team selects the honorees to celebrate a list of exceptional women acclaimed for their contributions to channel advocacy, growth, thought leadership, and dedication to the IT channel.

CLICK TO TWEET:  CommScope’s Jeanette Lee and Kristen McDowell were honored as CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel. Stephen Kowal explains their accolade in this blog.

“We are proud to announce that Jeanette and Kristen were honored on CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel list,” said Stephen Kowal, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Sales at CommScope. “Jeanette and Kristen reflect CommScope’s strong passion for channel and have each made meaningful impacts on channel strategy and partner relationships.”

Jeanette Lee

Jeanette Lee is a senior leader at CommScope, with hands-on expertise in high tech and computer networking in particular. As a former systems engineer, she understands selling technology requires technical proof and a deep understanding of its benefits. She leads a team dedicated to arming the channel with compelling technical differentiation, competitive analysis, and deployment best practices. These include:

  • Competitive analysis – real-world Wi-Fi testing is performed in the lab to ensure CommScope RUCKUS products meet the highest standards and offer benefits over competing products
  • Technical differentiation – use case-driven solution development that solves real and meaningful problems
  • Best practices – Jeanette’s team is responsible for all validated reference designs, best practices, and cookbooks used to ensure every CommScope RUCKUS deployment is successful

It should be noted that Jeanette recently completed the creation of a $1M+ innovation center in Silicon Valley that features a live, immersive experience with CommScope technology for visitors to the Sunnyvale campus. As well, Jeanette is an honoree for the 2020 YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award.

Kristen (Shumate) McDowell

Kristen (Shumate) McDowell is a senior marketing manager who leads Channel Communications for the global enterprise channel team at CommScope. She has demonstrated success in developing and executing channel marketing plans that drive partner engagement and enhances enablement efforts. She is skilled at working with cross-functional teams to influence go-to-market strategy with measurable impact on channel revenue. Kristen continues to streamline communications efforts to drive cross-selling opportunities across the entire networking and infrastructure enterprise portfolio.
“CRN’s 2020 Women of the Channel list recognizes an accomplished group of influential women leaders whose strategic vision and unique achievements accelerate channel growth through cultivated partnerships, innovative thought leadership, and unwavering dedication to the IT channel,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “We are proud to honor them for their accomplishments and contributions to driving channel success.”

The 2020 Women of the Channel list will be featured in CRN Magazine on June 8 and is now available online at

About the Author

Stephen Kowal

Stephen Kowal is the senior vice president of global enterprise sales at CommScope. He leads a team that is responsible for the promotion and sale of CommScope solutions to enterprise customers around the world, Mr. Kowal was named to this role in July of 2017. The team he leads has direct representation in 54 countries and indirect representation via channel partners in 159 countries. The enterprise team at CommScope focuses on complete network infrastructure solutions, wired and wireless, for intelligent buildings, large public venues, and data centers.  

Mr. Kowal previously served as senior vice president of CommScope’s global partner organization where he was responsible for growing CommScope revenue by recruiting, developing and managing traditional Channel Partners (Distributors, Installers, and Consultants) and by expanding CommScope’s Partner Network by engaging with new types of Partners, Influencers and Alliances. 

Mr. Kowal began his career with CommScope in 1998 when he joined Lucent Technologies as a Territory Sales Manager. Since then he has held strategic roles in Sales and Sales Management. Under Avaya he was the National Account Manager for Avaya’s largest Business Partners in the North America Region (NAR). Additionally, under Avaya and then CommScope he has held the positions of Global Account Manager and Global Customer Solutions Director of Sales North America.  In 2007 he was relocated to Europe where he lived in the Netherlands then the United Kingdom as the Global Client Director of Global Customer Solutions.  In this role, he was responsible for developing, driving and implementing the CommScope Global Customer Solutions strategy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  

Mr. Kowal holds a Masters of Business Administration focused on Global Leadership and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a minor in International Business.  He has almost 30 years of industry experience.  Prior to joining CommScope he held Network Engineering roles at Intel and American Express.