Heather is the Senior Sales Executive at LayerZero Power Systems. She has over 27 years of experience in the data center Industry.
Heather graduated from Chico State University with a BS in Business Management and a dream to go to Law School to become a trial attorney. While pursuing her dream, she took a “temp” job with Basic Measuring Instruments and fell into the data center Industry by chance. She began her career as a manufacturer’s sales representative in Northern California. In this role, Heather was responsible for selling UPSs, STSs, PDUs, Power Monitors, and SPDs from multiple manufacturers. She was fortunate enough to enter the industry at the perfect time – right before the DOT COM boom. After riding the wave of the BOOM (and surviving the crash), she took some time off to have a baby. After the market started to recover, she once again joined the critical systems sales force working with a different rep firm in N.CA. As a result of her success in the Sales Representative arena, she was offered a Western Regional Manager position by Cyberex, one of the manufacturers she had represented. As a Regional Manager responsible for the growth of business in the Western US, she was able to produce over 200% growth in the territory. This success prompted Cyberex to move her to NYC to manage the NE Region, where she was able to work with the local reps and sell to an entirely new group of companies on the other side of the country. Over time, she eventually became bi-coastal for Cyberex, managing both the Northeast and Northern California territories. When Cyberex (aka Thomas & Betts) was acquired by ABB, she changed roles and moved into an International position as the Director of Mission Critical Applications selling across all segments of ABB, thereby expanding her product knowledge and networking connections to an even broader level. Further opportunities found Heather entering the Medium Voltage world of S&C Electric as a Director of Mission Critical Applications. However, when S&C discontinued the sales of their Medium Voltage UPS, she went back to the LV world taking the Senior Sales Executive position for LayerZero Power Systems, a manufacturer of STSs, PDUs, and RPPs, located in Aurora, OH. In a world of company buyouts and mergers, LayerZero is still privately held. Even though it is rapidly growing at an exponential rate, it still has a wonderful family feeling to it.
The 7×24 Exchange has been an integral part of Heather’s life. She has been involved with it for over 18 years, attending the Conferences every Spring and Fall. As a single mom, it was a constant juggle of work life vs. “mom” life, and often she would have to bring her son to the conferences. This history worked to her son’s benefit… for the 7×24 actually helped form the path of his future. He attended so many conferences and met so many people from the industry that he decided he also wanted to work in the data center market. Dominic is currently studying Electrical Engineering at University of Nevada Reno, and he’ll be working as an Intern at Syska Hennessey in NY this summer.
It should also be noted that Heather met her husband, Les Dunkley, at a 7×24 Conference in FL.
In addition to the International 7×24 group, Heather has been heavily involved in the Metro NY Chapter, attending their events since 2007. In 2018, she was asked to join as a Committee Member. In 2020, she was appointed as the first woman to sit on the Board of Directors of the NY Metro Chapter. Heather has also been instrumental in bringing WiMCO to the Metro NY Chapter. Back when she started in 1994, she literally was one of a few women in the data center Industry and was well known and respected as a Woman in Mission Critical Operations.
“I remember my first day of work. I flew to TX for a National rep conference, where I knew no one. I walked into a buzzing room full of 50-60 people, and you could almost hear the pin drop. There was complete silence. I looked up and we all realized that I was the only woman in the room. I made my way to a seat in between two men, introduced myself, and that was the beginning of my new career. My dream of becoming a lawyer had been instantly replaced with this new dream of becoming a part of this wonderful forward-thinking, high-tech, family of what we call the mission critical data center Industry. I feel lucky to have fallen into this world.”