When Long View Systems Chief Marketing Officer Daniel Sottile entered the solution provider's offices, it was a lift to everyone at the company.
"Dan was the man who, you always knew when he was in the office. There was just something about Dan's aura that would let you know he was there before you even saw him," said Kent MacDonald, vice president, Converged Infrastructure at Long View, speaking of the loss of his colleague. "He elevated everybody's focus and passion and drive. It wasn't something he did intentionally. It was the way he was. It was the way he led a room."
MacDonald and the 1,100 other Long View Systems employees are mourning the loss of Sottile, who passed away suddenly on Nov. 6 while on a business trip to Houston. He was 50 years old.
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Sottile, a 13-year Long View veteran, was based in Phoenix, but frequented Long View's Calgary, Canada, headquarters. He leaves behind a wife, Denise, and three sons -- Sante, York and Brock.
MacDonald spoke to CRN from Phoenix Tuesday where a service for Sottile was being held. He said he had just met Sottile's sons for the first time. "I certainly saw a lot of Dan in all of them," he said.
Sottile was hailed by colleagues as a passionate leader and a "pillar of Long View's dreams," playing a critical role in the solution provider's rise to prominence within the North American IT channel.
MacDonald said Sottile contributed greatly to Long View's growth since joining the company in 2000. Long View, in fact, had seen at least a 45 percent annual growth rate in each of the 13 years Sottile was on board.
"When [Sottile] started, there were 10 people and single-digit dollars in revenue. Now there are 1,100 people and [more than] $300 million in revenue. Dan will be credited with a lot of that growth," MacDonald said. "A lot of the reason we have 1,100 people today is because of Dan's vision, drive and take-on-the-world kind of attitude."
Other Long View employees and members of the IT industry at large have flooded Twitter with memories of Sottile and condolences to his family.
"Very sad to hear the news of Dan Sottile's passing, he was a friend and mentor and I wouldn't be where I am without him," wrote Travis Rutschka, technical partner manager at NetApp, a major Long View partner.
"I only knew Dan for a short while. But his impact on my time here @LongViewSystems was profound," tweeted Andrew Janz, national business development manager at Long View. "My heart and prayers go out to his family."
David De Abreu, vice president, Partner and Solutions Organization, Cisco Canada, said Cisco, another Long View partner, is "deeply saddened" by Sottile's passing.
"He was a tremendous person and a strong advocate for the technology channel in Canada," De Abreu said in an emailed statement to CRN. "I wish Dan's family all the best through this difficult time, and our thoughts and prayers are with them and the Long View team as they deal with this tragedy."
Long View Founder and Chairman Don Bialik posted a notice of Sottile's passing on Long View's website.
"Dan's reach extended far beyond the walls of Long View; he was a hugely energetic and charismatic force, and he made a tremendous impact on the lives of countless people within the IT community," Bialik wrote.
MacDonald said Long View will pay tribute to Sottile at the company's upcoming holiday celebration in Calgary this weekend.
"We are having our Calgary Christmas celebration this weekend. I think when we had the very first one there was one table of eight or 10 people. Dan had said, 'One day we are going to fill this place,'" MacDonald said. "Well, let me tell you, this Sunday we are going to break the hotel record for the most people served brunch -- and not in the life of Long View but in the life of the hotel -- with over 900 people coming."
Long View Systems has been recognized multiple times by CRN for excellence in the IT channel. In 2012, Long View was named one of CRN's Tech Elite 250, and, in 2011, the company nabbed a Solution Provider 500 award for Top Technology Practice in the managed services market.
PUBLISHED NOV. 13, 2013