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CDI Builds Out Management Team In Wake Of Rapid Growth
‘We are a growing, thriving business that has a lot of value we bring to our customers,’ says Rich Falcone, CEO and president of CDI LLC. ‘If you‘re going to bring value to your customers, you need great people to execute against that value.’
Computer Design & Integration (CDI) has promoted multiple people in its leadership team after seeing monumental growth in 2021 both organically and through acquisitions.
“I do very much still believe in a change or die mentality,” Rich Falcone, CEO and president of CDI, told CRN. “What that enables is focus and scale. All of these leaders are going to focus on their towers so they can scale them. A business needs to optimize things in order to scale, and to do that you have to focus on your tower and focus on your job at hand. Elevating everybody up is going to enable a lot of focus for each individual business unit and tower.”
The New York-based solution provider, No. 61 on CRN’s 2021 Solution Provider 500, acquired several companies in the last year or so, most recently Candoris and Clearpath Solutions. Falcone said CDI buys companies for either geographical expansion or technical capabilities.
“From a capabilities perspective, if you would have told me in 2015 CDI would be an elite ServiceNow and an elite Salesforce partner, I probably would have doubted you heavily,” he said. “But here we are in 2022 and both statements are true. We have a big bet on both of those technologies going forward as well as Splunk, our acquisition of Kintyre and I think we‘re very happy with our digital footprint. But there’s always new areas we’d love to expand.”
More importantly though, the acquired company must be a good cultural fit.
“I’d rather partner with a good company in a geography we’re already in than partner with a company that maybe isn‘t a cultural fit in a new geography,” he said. “Although we’d love to keep expanding into new geographies, and that is a goal of ours, we’ll continue to double down in existing geographies where we feel those companies are a better cultural fit.
“We did have an acquisition strategy that we planned on using to generate growth and we did do that successfully,” he added. “It’s all about the execution and we were able to execute it successfully. However, and I still can‘t believe this is the real number, we’ve had 60 percent organic growth. I wasn’t expecting 60 percent organic growth, but I’m more than happy to have it. We have a great team that enabled that.”
CDI also saw organic growth of more than 35 percent in bookings across all enterprises totaling new bookings to grow more than $800 million.
“We are a growing, thriving business that has a lot of value we bring to our customers,” he said. “If you‘re going to bring value to your customers, you need great people to execute against that value.”
To continue to build toward the future, CDI elevated multiple positions as Falcone said growth drives change.
Vince Collado, who has been with CDI since 2010, was appointed chief operating officer and will focus on unifying the overall strategy, vision and execution for CDI.
“He’s run anything from sales to sales operations and professional services delivery,” Falcone said “Having that sort of knowledge of all three of those business units at CDI made him an absolute perfect fit.”
Jason Kalvesmaki, who has been with CDI since 2012, was appointed chief revenue officerand will take full control of the CDI managed services, digital and security sales teams.
“Jason has been a revenue machine,” Falcone said. “He did a great job managing our core sales force.”
Sam Shrefler was appointed as the new executive vice president of digital services and will assume responsibility for the digital services tower. Shrefler was most recently the chief technology officer for Candoris where he managed professional services, managed services and software engineering.
Brian Jones was appointed chief strategy officer and chief administrative officer. Joining the CDI team in 2020, he most recently served as the chief operating officer.
“Brian Jones has been at the center of our M&A activities since he worked at KPMG [Corporate Finance LLC],” Falcone said. “Brian was actually the investment banker we used when we partnered with One Equity Partners. Brian has done a great job focusing on our M&A activity and all the growth and optimization we have with HR, legal and compliance.”
Alyssa Hall was appointed chief marketing officer, the first position in CDI’s history. In her six years leading the marketing department at CDI, Hall built a team of two into a team of 14 and has gone from managing five vendor partnerships to more than 200.
“Alyssa has been a home run,” Falcone said. “As we’ve grown, her group is much larger than it used to be so we wanted to elevate her even further.”
“Luckily for me, these are not new faces in my life,” he said, adding that he’s known the team for five to 10 years.
“When you‘re promoting people you know, love and trust it just feels natural and you’re very confident in that decision,” he said.
At the start of 2020, CDI had about 330 employees. Today the solution provider has more than 600 employees with plans to bring on an additional 100. Since January, CDI has brought on 40 to 50 new hires, Falcone said.