A simple word that can make a world of difference. The education vertical has always lived among the top echelons of the IT world, but it takes a special person to weave its intricacies and nuances into a new home.
That is what Kati Thompson did when she joined Starin in September 2021. Combining her knowledge of education as a former substitute teacher and her work within the edtech industry at the manufacturer level, she has elevated Starin’s presence in the education sector.
Starin, based out of Chesterton, Indiana, was acquired by Midwich back in 2020. Considering itself to be a small-but-mighty distributor, it’s the people at Starin that make it unique. As their motto says, “Care More, Be Better.” Although it’s not always about the sale; it’s about the moments and people leading up to it that can genuinely have an impact. Knowing that the products that ship out daily will be used for the betterment of not only boardrooms but classrooms makes all the difference in the end.
Starin had never dabbled in the education vertical until Kati was hired. In her, they saw someone who could navigate the pressures of the distribution world and a powerhouse willing to teach those around her how best to handle a whole new outlook on the industry. Starin’s knowledgeable internal design team and top-class brand managers provided a solid foundation for easily integrating the education vertical and allowing it to blossom.
For Kati, education and the needs of students inside the classroom take priority over technology. Attending trade shows, speaking to manufacturers, and meeting with resellers and end users alike, there isn’t anything that will stand in her way of learning everything she can to assist not only her team, but those she talks to on a daily basis. She knew coming to Starin and being at the forefront of a brand-new vertical would be a challenge, but it was one she was proud to pursue. From onboarding education-facing brands, training Starin’s dealers, setting up learning opportunities for the team around her, and persistently pushing to grow the vertical, one may wonder where she finds the time.
Starin is taking their award-winning consultative approach to unified communications and applying it to a whole new world of possibilities — honing in on what makes education so special and the people who cultivate its growth. Without passion, it would never have succeeded, but both Kati and Starin have proved time and time again that the education vertical is a strong one and that it’s here to stay.