A Valentine's Day IT Love Story: MSPs, Vendors, Disties Talk About What They Adore About The Channel

Fifty-one percent of people like their jobs, according to a 2023 Pew Research survey. These folks love their jobs and they explain why they’re so attracted to the IT channel.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be for lovers. You can love your work, too.

In fact, 51 percent of people like their jobs, according to a 2023 Pew Research survey. Of those that like their jobs, 67 percent said they like their relationships with coworkers the most and 62 percent said they enjoy their relationship with their manager or supervisor.

What’s more, 78 percent said they’re treated with respect and 72 percent said they can be themselves at work. A large majority, 65 percent, said they have at least one close friend at work.

And the IT channel is no different. Between conferences, peer groups, roadshows and everything in between, vendors, distributors and MSPs seem to have the same feelings. What do they love most? The people.

“I've developed so many good friends over the years in the channel despite our diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences,” said Robert Cioffi, CTO and founder of Yonkers, New York-based MSP Progressive Computing. “Thank you, channel, I will love you forever and ever!”

"The channel has a heart for family and friends,” said Tiffany Ricks, CEO of Brooklyn, New York-based vendor HacWare. “I have had the pleasure of meeting so many organizations that were started by couples, siblings and cousins. It is cool to go to events and see families growing professionally and personally. "

But it’s not all about the people, relationships and camaraderie. Some in the channel, like Kyle Hanslovan, love other aspects.

“The thing I love most about the channel are the salty, opinionated cynics that keep things real,” Hanslovan, CEO of Ellicott City, Maryland-based threat researching firm Huntress. “These are the real champs that see past the marketing fluff and lead with ‘show me, don’t tell me.’ Without these defenders of truth, ethics and obscure knowledge, there would be little to keep the snake oil at bay, and a lot fewer Lols. Thank you for making my Valentine’s Day, channel.”

CRN asked more than 25 MSPs and dozens of vendors and distributors what they love about the channel just in time for Valentine’s Day. Check out what they had to say.


Keith Nelson


Vistem Solutions

"In the IT Channel, the joy of connecting with individuals who share a passion for giving back to our community is unparalleled. It's a realm where the blessings of profits are not just numbers on a balance sheet but opportunities for sharing, empowering and enacting change. Together, we strive to support those less fortunate or marginalized by society, making the IT Channel not just a network of professionals but a community of change-makers."

Brent Morris

Vice president of business development

Success Computer Consulting

“The willingness that partners have to share openly about successes and challenges. This is a community that thrives on contributing to others and seeing them win.”

Robert Cioffi

CTO and founder

Progressive Computing

“I've developed so many good friends over the years in the channel despite our diverse backgrounds, cultures and experiences. Thank you, channel, I will love you forever and ever!”

Joshua Zukerman


Snow Pond Technology Group

“The comradery with my peers. Knowing that I can reach out to a peer if I have a question and get a solid answer or help in a time of need.”

Jill Simpson

Social media and public relations manager


“I love that the channel is constantly innovating! The channel’s ever-rising tide of innovation motivates us all to take risks, challenging the status quo, and ready ourselves to provide stellar services to our clients.”

Sunny Kaila


IT By Design

“I love the community vibe in the channel.”

Todd Billiar

Director of strategic partnerships

IT By Design

“With 25 years of experience, it never ceases to amaze me how open and giving the people in the MSP channel are to sharing information. I love it!”

Travis Woods


Fort Point IT

“The channel is love! It’s hard to articulate the relationships I’ve created with peers, competitors and vendors over the years. They’ve come to be some of my best friends who I rely on for laughs, support and guidance.”

Gary Pica



“After over two decades in the channel as a partner and a vendor, what I love most is the great people in our community. I have worked with so many amazing people. I have seen their capacity to help others and their community. It’s awesome.”

Allison Frances

Content specialist

New Charter Technologies

“What I love about the MSP channel is the people. Within the channel, it truly is the people and meaningful connections I’ve built that truly set it apart for me. I have come to so respect and admire the diverse mix of personalities and talents that fuels the industry's innovation and dynamism. From the risk-takers who push boundaries to the problem-solvers who thrive in complexity (I’ve seen it many times), it's those individuals who bring depth and character to the tech landscape. What keeps me hooked isn't just the work itself, but the rich tapestry of human connections and collaborations that make every day in this field a unique adventure.”

Michael Goldstein

President and CEO

LAN Infotech

“In good times and bad, the channel sticks together. We are better together than we are separated.”

Brent Yax


Awecomm Technologies

“I like the people the most. It’s an entire group that has built careers around helping other people and companies. You can tell when we all get together at conferences that everyone is welcoming and eager to share and help anyone who asks. It’s inspiring and overall a great energy to be a part of.”

Melvin Williams


M&N Communications

“The people and their willingness to mentor others within the industry.”

Wayne Roye



“I love the friendship, collaboration and the diverse relationships that you are part of within the channel.”

Dan Tomaszewski


Green Light Business Technology

Everything MSP

“There is so much to love about the IT channel, but if I were to narrow it down to just one thing I would say the willingness to help others succeed. The people in the channel will go out of their way to help others, no questions asked and nothing expected in return. You have to love that!”

Craig Fulton

Advisor: M&A, brand and community

Evergreen Services Group

“I love the channel because of the people. It’s full of great souls with big hearts and a passion to make the world better with technology. It’s a family to me and I’m grateful to be in it.”

Jason Slagle



“I love the community and people I’ve met along the way.”

Mark Essayian


KME Systems

“The channel has enabled me to success in business, and more importantly, create lifelong friendships I value greatly.”

Phil Walker


Network Solutions Provider

“The people, the tech, the community and the water bottle giveaways.”

Marc Menzies

President and CTO

Overview Technology Solutions

“What I love most about the channel is that the partners who fully embrace channel culture see each other as teammates to collaborate with rather than simply the competition.”

Jason Wright


Avatar Managed Services

“It’s the collaboration. I can’t do my job without the partners and they need me to do theirs. It’s the truest form of synergy there is!”

Dustin Bolander

Founder and CIO

Clear Guidance Partners

“How willing everyone is to share. You talk to 10 different people, you get an in-depth explanation on how to do something and why they do it that way.”

Brian Ruschman



“I love the relationships and trust level you can achieve with like-minded business people from all over the world.”

David DeCamillis



“The community. I’ve made life-long friendships in the channel, people that I both love and respect.”

Michael Cervino


Circle Square Consulting

“I love the community aspect and how everyone is so willing to help one another.”

Paco Lebron



“What I love most about the channel is the memories, relationships and willingness to give from this amazing community.”

Degly Mendez


Avanzar IT Systems

“What I love about the channel is the working and personal relationships I, and many others, have built over the years. I love the community and how in a time of need we always come together, whether it’s to help a colleague with their business or to raise money for a good cause.”


Kyle Hanslovan



“The thing I love most about the channel are the salty, opinionated cynics that keep things real. These are the real champs that see past the marketing fluff and lead with ‘show me, don’t tell me.’ Without these defenders of truth, ethics and obscure knowledge, there would be little to keep the snake oil at bay, and a lot fewer Lols. Thank you for making my Valentine’s Day, channel.”

Brad Powell

Co-founder, captain of revenue


"I love the channel because it offers more than just hitting sales targets together. It's about the thrill of expanding market reach and igniting revenue growth together through innovative strategies that truly make an impact for organizations and their customers."

Tiffany Ricks



"The channel has a heart for family and friends. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many organizations that were started by couples, siblings and cousins. It is cool to go to events and see families growing professionally and personally."

Joe Alapat

Founder and CTO


“I love the 10x ecosystem we are building together to drive value with the level of collaboration between partners, vendors, resellers, distributors, experts and media.

Michelle Accardi



“Overall, the channel ecosystem and the people within it create a dynamic and vibrant community that fosters growth, learning, collaboration and support. It is a space where you can thrive both personally and professionally.”

Terez Leach

Manager of MSP marketing

Trend Micro

“I love the channel’s collaborative spirit where vendors and partners come together, not as competitors but allies driving mutual success. More than just deals, the channel values genuine relationships and supportive communities where we celebrate each other’s wins, share knowledge and tackle challenges together. It's a space where collaboration fuels excellence, relationships build trust and community makes our individual contributions resonate far beyond their intrinsic value.”

Michelle Ragusa-McBain

VP of global channels


“As a road warrior I love what I do as VP of global channels for SonicWall and our partners around the world. I also love my family, so if I have to be away from them for work sometimes, I love that the channel partners are my second family. We truly care about our partners- professionally and personally. We want them to succeed, to grow, and to be happy. Together, we are a channel family!”

Dan Wensley



“The channel is comprised of innovative, driven, collaborative and passionate people. What I love about the channel is the people. What makes our industry special is our alignment on common goals and the willingness to work together to achieve them.”

Eric Torres

VP of channel


“The amount of sharing that happens in this industry is unlike any other. The channel is constantly willing to share with others how they’ve found success as well as some of the mistakes they’ve made, all in an effort to help. People genuinely want to see others succeed in our space and it’s an awesome thing to witness. When two MSPs are connecting, helping each other and recommending solutions, services and strategies, it’s makes for a better community overall.”

Luis Giraldo

Chief experience officer


“The channel is the best thing to happen to the channel. An incredible community of vendors and MSPs working together to deliver incredible value to businesses worldwide.”

Sean Lardo



“I love the channel because I’ve been able to be a perpetual student while helping others and making some of my best friends. It is a pretty dope place to be.”

Hannah Greenwood

Channel development representative


“I love the community inside the channel! The friendships I've made are second to none, and with each year that passes they've started to feel more like family. I've grown a lot professionally and personally since joining the channel and it's neat to be surrounded by people with common goals. No day inside the channel is boring!”

Tara Salvatelli

Director of global events


“What I love most about the channel is the profound sense of camaraderie among its members. Here, I'm privileged to belong to a remarkable community of individuals who aren't just collaborators, but friends, whose creativity and unwavering support serve as a constant source of inspiration in my daily endeavors.”

Alec Stanners

Vice president of business development


“The thing I love most about the channel is the community and the people. There is simply no industry out there that has a stronger community helping each other to rise up and succeed.”

George Bardissi

Founder and CEO


“I love the people who make up the entire community. It’s a resilient bunch who when pushed are some of the most creative people I know.”

Jen Morrison

Marketing and events manager


“The things I love most about the channel is the friendships I’ve made and the people I’ve met. I love getting to hang out with everyone all over the world and create awesome memories.”

Danielle Kostadinovich

Director of community and events


“What I absolutely adore about the channel community is the contagious high-energy vibe we all bring, coupled with our genuine willingness to lend a hand to one another. It's heartwarming to witness vendors supporting each other and MSPs freely sharing what's worked for them. Together, we create this incredible atmosphere where learning, collaboration, and fun seamlessly intertwine.”

Juan Fernandez

Channel chief


“I love how we can all come together to help each other and work on meaningful ways to improve the community as a group. Truly caring for each other is why I love the channel. It feels more like a family than anywhere else I have been in tech.”


Roddy Bergeron

Cybersecurity fellow


“What I love most about the channel is the level of comradery and endearment we have. It’s not hard to find outstanding people who look past the business and the bottom lines to make sure that the wonderful humans in our space are taken care of, appreciated and supported.”

Michael Slater

Head of sales, Microsoft and cybersecurity


“I love the rising tides attitude between the vendors and partners. We’re all in this together and helping customers work safer and work smarter.”

Bill Brandel

Senior vice president of US go to market

Ingram Micro

“Our industry thrives on relationship building. The time we get to spend face-to-face will always be one of the best parts about this world we call the channel.”

Jennifer Anaya

SVP of global marketing

Ingram Micro

“The generations of relationships in our workforce! I’m thinking Donna Grothjan and Katie Grothjan, Ken Bast and his son Ian Bast who works for us and more!”

Matt Lee

Senior director of security and compliance


“There is no other business or community where I would share everything that made me successful, and every rock I have tripped on along the journey. This channel is magical in that respect. Sharing, caring and rising together.”

John Trent

Senior director of external communications


“What I love most about the channel is the strong sense of community, the amazing people I’ve met and everyone’s willingness to support and elevate each other.”

Jennifer Bodell

Corporate vice president of channel


“What I love most about the channel are the people, building decades of meaningful relationships with our valued Pax8 partners and vendors.”

Savanna Hosler

Senior field engagement manager


“What I love about being in the channel is it fosters a sense of community where like-minded individuals come together. The camaraderie and friendships formed are genuine and supportive. Through shared experiences and mutual encouragement, the channel celebrates the power of friendship and personal development.”

Rob Rae

Corporate vice president and community and ecosystems


“The collaboration and the fact that vendors can work together even though we compete. The word partnership resonates very true throughout our industry. I personally have also made lifelong friendships throughout the industry.