Channel Veteran Scott Dunsire Named CEO Of ACP CreativIT
Scott Dunsire, a 30 year channel veteran who was instrumental in the blockbuster merger last October between Arlington Computer Products (ACP) and Camera Corner Connecting Point (CCCP), has been promoted from president of ACP to CEO of the $180 million combined company- ACP CreativIT.
Dunsire, who took the president's job at ACP just 15 months ago after a 29 year career heading up channel organizations for HP Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Lexmark, is leading the charge to at least double the ACP CreativIT business over the next three years with an eye on acquisitions and continued double digit organic sales growth.
Dunsire replaces ACP CEO Arly Guenthner, a solution provider superstar who founded ACP 35 years ago, and who will remain vice chairman of the board and a significant shareholder of the company.
"It's pretty humbling to be following Arly ," said Dunsire, reflecting on the entrepreneurial drive of Guenther, who navigated multiple technology transitions as CEO. "Arly has been a fantastic industry leader for 35 years. I am honored to step in and continue all the good work he has done."
Dunsire credited Guenther with giving him a broad and deep understanding of the financial metrics that drive success and failure in the channel. "Arly has a brilliant financial mind," said Dunsire. "I learned a tremendous amount from him on how to run the business from the financial side. Working with Arly gave me good visibility and insight into the inner workings of running a solution provider business with things like bank covenants and working with banks and credit teams, and vendors on warehousing."
Dunsire said working side by side with Guenther was the best "education" he could have gotten on how to understand the "risks" of running the business and how to "monetize" those risks. "That was a key differentiator for me being ready to take the helm," said Dunsire. "I feel like I'm more than ready to continue the trajectory we are on."
As the CEO of ACP CreativIT (which references the creative drive behind building out best in class technology solutions) the vision is to build out a community of strong family run companies – the first being CCCP of Green Bay Wisc., that will fall under the ACP CreativIT banner.
"We are going to continue to upgrade the talent and leadership with an eye toward doubling and tripling the size of the company," said Dunsire. "That means embracing and acquiring entrepreneurial family owned companies to partner with to drive EBITDA performance. You are buying a culture and the most important thing is not to screw up that culture."
Dunsire said CCCP CEO Rick Chernick –- who remains CEO of CCCP and is a board member of ACP CreativIT - is a great example of the strong entrepreneurial leaders that ACP CreativIT wants to attract to the company.
"I call Rick the Mayor of Green Bay," said Dunsire. "He is engaged at every level of customer and with employees. His leadership skills and his understanding of how to take care of customers and employees is second to none. His passion for customers and the business is infectious. If I could for the next 20 years do what Rick does I would be thrilled. He is the best."
Chernick- a Green Bay business icon who is also on the board of the Green Bay Packers- will report to Dunsire.
As part of the ACP CreativIT changing of the guard, the company has also hired Darin Aprati- who spent 15 years in finance roles including director of capital markets for burger chain McDonald's Corp.- was named Chief Financial Officer. Aprati, who will be charged with taking a "strategic and integrative approach" for finance and operations across ACP CreativIT.
Aprati- who most recently was CFO of The Coates Group- maker of a digital merchandising platform for restaurants and retailers - will report to Dunsire.
ACP CreativIT has also recently hired Jim Grass- a former head of government sales for both Zones and CDW – as vice president and general manager of public sector.
Dunsire said both ACP and CCCP have had strong years and the company is continuing to grow in key areas including software defined data center, hyperconverged systems, and audio visual solutions.
ACP CreativIT – whose top vendors include HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell EMC, Fortinet and Palo Alto Neworks- plans to increase its technical and sales talent team by 15-20 percent over the next several months, said Dunsire.
Key to success for ACP CreativIT is acting as trusted advisor on what technology solutions companies should be investing, said Dunsire. "The advisory consulting piece is critical," he said. "You need to be able to provide value versus transactions. So many different technologies are being thrown at customers that it is hard for them to understand what direction they need to go in. Our job is to help customers by leveraging our top vendor solutions. It's our job to pull the best solution together for the customer by understanding what those technologies are and how we can deploy them."
Another key to success, Dunsire said, is staying ahead of the fast changing technology market. "The key for us is to be able to pivot as quick as possible," he said. "Technologies come and go so you have to have the capability to pivot to areas where you can continue to make money."
Dunsire said running a solution provider business as CEO was always part of his plan. "It was always a goal of mine," he said."I feel like all the experience I have had up to this point has prepared me well for this job. You can't do this without the vendors. They need partners like us that they can count on and trust to get their solutions out into the marketplace."
As he takes the CEO job with an eye toward growing ACP CreativIT to a $600 million company, Dunsire credited his family for standing by him throughout his career. "They are very excited for me," he said. "They know these kind of jobs don't come along everyday. If you don't have the support of your family it is difficult to focus on work. They provide me with the stability I need to be successful."
Dunsire married his college sweetheart, Julie, 32 years ago and is happily married with four boys: David, 28, who attended Berklee College of Music and is a sales engineer for music store Sweetwater; Kevin, 26, a University of Iowa economics graduate; Scott Jr., 21, who attends Michigan State with a management major, and Thomas, 18, a student at Northern Illinois University School of Business Management.
With the support of his family and the strong leadership team at ACP CreativIT, Dunsire said he feels like he is in a good position to be successful as CEO. "With the people around me, I feel like I'm in a good position to make a difference," he said. "That is key to the success of any CEO. You have to have the right team around you and be at the right place at the right time. I feel like I have that and will continue to build on that."