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Choose Your Chief: 2017 CRN Channel Madness Voting Opens Thursday

CRN's third annual Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs begins with 32 of the industry's most influential channel executives, and ends with one. Prepare to choose your chief.

It starts with 32 of the industry's most influential channel chiefs. It ends with one.

Thursday, March 16, kicks off the 2017 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs, pitting some of the channel's best-known executives against each other in head-to-head battles where CRN readers vote to determine the victors.

The winners of our third annual tournament will make their way, round by round, through the bracket, moving closer and closer to the championship match, where bragging rights are at stake. The losers? Better luck next year.

[Related: 2017 Channel Madness Tournament Of Chiefs: Round 1 Matchup Breakdowns]

Our 2016 champion, Sandra Glaser Cheek of Ruckus, is back to defend her title, as is finalist Brooks McCorcle of AT&T and several other fan favorites from last year's contest. We also have a number of channel veterans who are new the Channel Madness tournament, such as NetApp's Bill Lipsin, Sophos's Kendra Krause, Donna Grothjan of Aruba, and Eric Martorano of Intermedia.

Is it a popularity contest? A beauty contest? A vote for the executive that's advocated on your behalf or a vote against one who didn't step up when you needed help? It's up to you. The power of the vote is entirely in your hands.

One thing's for sure: It will be a lot of fun.

Picked from CRN's 2017 Most Influential Channel Chiefs list, CRN editors selected the 32 participants, representing a variety of vendors across the technology industry, from startups to stalwarts. Each represents one of four technology "regions:" Cloud, Hardware, Infrastructure and Software.

Voting for Round 1 opens on Thurs., March 16 at 10 a.m. ET with 16 executive face-offs and will remain open until Wed., March 22 at noon ET. You can follow all the action at and on social media with the hashtag #CRNChannelMadness

Here's a look at the executives we've selected for the 2017 CRN Channel Madness tournament and the opening round match-ups.

So, ladies and gentlemen, prepare to choose your chief.


Shannon Sbar, APC by Schneider Electric


David Helfer, F5 Networks

Wendy Bahr, Cisco Systems


Ralph Nimergood, Commvault

Bob Gault, Extreme Networks


Terry Richardson, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Curtiz Gangi, Eaton


Scott Dunsire, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Sandra Glaser Cheek, Ruckus (2016 Channel Madness Champion)


Bill Lipsin, NetApp

John Byrne, Dell EMC


Nick Tidd, Polycom

Sammy Kinlaw, Lenovo


Donna Grothjan, Aruba

Greg Taylor, Samsung


Stephanie Dismore, HP Inc.


Brooks McCorcle, AT&T (2016 Channel Madness Finalist)


Jon Whitlock, Carbonite

Rob Rae, Datto


Eric Martorano, Intermedia

David Powell, LogicMonitor


Janet Schijns, Verizon

Frank Rauch, VMware


Bertrand Yansouni, Google


Joe Sykora, Fortinet


Bill Swales, Oracle

Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft


Mark Enzweiler, Red Hat

Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh, Salesforce


Steve Pataky, SonicWall

Kendra Krause, Sophos


Brooke Cunningham, Splunk

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