By Cheryl Strege, The Partner Marketing Group
The impending 10th anniversary of my RIF (Reduction in Force is nice acronym for saying you’re laid off) from Microsoft gives me cause to reflect on how much life has changed in those ten years and while I’m at it, to explain “Querencia”.
Ten years ago I was excited about something new – a new occupation, new opportunity, and new people as I left Microsoft. But afraid as well. I’d been working for “corporate” – Great Plains and Microsoft – for 16 years. What would I do next? I live in a small town with few job opportunities – where would my next paycheck come from?
I didn’t have to wonder for very long. At a friend’s urging I started a “Virtual Marketing Director” service under The Partner Channel (TPC) in Fargo and it didn’t take long to sign up my first client. And 2nd (Sherwood Systems) and 3rd (Maximum Data) and so on.
As a contractor, it was time to name my fledgling company even though I continued to contract and bill through The Partner Channel. Hmmm….that required some thought but I figured it only had to mean something to ME. Partners would continue to see The Partner Channel on their invoices so what did it matter to them?
While cleaning up some receipts, maps, and paperwork from a visit to New Mexico, I scanned a brochure on New Mexico vineyards and discovered La Querencia Winery (since gone out of business, I believe). Even ten years later I clearly remember the tagline said querencia meant “the place of your heart’s desire”. BINGO! It was exactly how I felt about my new endeavor as a virtual marketing director!
Three years later, in 2008, Michelle Glennie (my client from Maximum Data) and I branched out from TPC and started The Partner Marketing Group as a dba of Querencia. After all, the Querencia name worked when it was just me in the company but it was impossible to say and spell – not the best name for a new firm serving the Microsoft VARs and ISVs I’d known for almost two decades.
This spring we’ll celebrate the 7th anniversary of that company, The Partner Marketing Group, and it still is the place of my heart’s desire. The team here – Michelle, Cheryl (another Cheryl), Barb, another Barb, Beverly, and Rachel – are the best I’ve ever seen, many of the clients are like family (such as Sherwood Systems who has been with us for 10 years), and the work inspires all of us by its ever-changing nature! I am always thankful for the virtual team that makes up the heart and soul of The Partner Marketing Group. The downside to this virtual team is that I miss seeing them all in one place at one time!
By the way, in case you’re wondering the Querencia name is pronounced “caw-ren-see-ah”.