Frank Vitagliano, a beloved channel stalwart whose honesty, reliability and relationship-building skills fueled more than four decades of tremendous IT sales achievement, acknowledged his IT Hall of Fame induction with gratitude and humility during an acceptance speech given late Tuesday night.
With throngs of channel titans in attendance for the ceremony, which took at place at The Channel Company's XChange 2017 conference in Orlando, Fla., Vitagliano thanked his wife, his daughter and a handful of industry mentors whom he felt were instrumental to his long and successful career.
"If I tried to pick one word [to describe my feelings], it wouldn't be proud, although I'm certainly that. It wouldn't be satisfied, because I honestly believe you can never be satisfied. There's always more you can do," Vitagliano said. "It would be thankful. I have a lot to be thankful for."
A 33-year veteran of IBM who went on to hold leadership roles with Juniper, Dell and most recently Computex Technology Solutions, where he is president and CEO, Vitagliano peppered his speech with jokes – many of them self-deprecating – and reminisced.
Vitagliano's voice wavered when remembering his late father, also named Frank, a lifelong truck driver who in 1972 helped his son land a job working in the IBM mail room.
"He wanted me to do well, whatever profession I chose, I'm pretty sure he didn't think there'd ever be a chance that his son would get into the IT Hall of Fame," he said.
Vitagliano recounted how his father would help him make his tie every day before work. A few years later, he recalled the elder Frank preventing him from leaving IBM to run his uncle's tuxedo rental shop.
"He made it clear in no uncertain terms that it wasn't going to happen," Vitagliano said. "For some strange reason, I listened to him. He was right. That was my second break."
Vitagliano acknowledged Jane Vitagliano, his wife of 40 years, for her unwavering support throughout his IT career.
"Whatever success I've had, she's been right there along with me and was a major part of it," he said. "I could not have done it without her."