Channel Madness: Round 1 Ends With Come-From-Behind Win For Rae; Dismore Fends Off Kritzer


After a week of voting, the polls are now closed and the winners in Round 1 of the 2019 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs are set and ready to move on to the Solutions 16.

While some channel chiefs jumped out to early leads and maintained them throughout the round, others took it right down to the wire. Here's a look at how they fared.

The Infrastructure region saw a come-from-behind victory at the buzzer from Datto's Rob Rae, who overcame Cisco's Oliver Tuszik in the final hours of voting. Rae shut it down with 54 percent of the vote to Tuszik's 46 percent.

There were also a few tight races in the Hardware region. HP Inc.'s Stephanie Dismore and Ruckus Networks' Raelyn Kritzer faced off in a matchup marked by multiple lead changes throughout the week, but Dismore pulled ahead within the last 24 hours of voting and nailed it with 57 percent of the vote to Kritzer's 43 percent.

Sponsored post

Elsewhere in the region, Nick Tidd of Plantronics/Polycom – as of this week known as Poly – put in a valiant effort in his battle against Dell EMC's Joyce Mullen. But in the end Mullen hung on to win it 53 percent to 47 percent.

Our two finalists from last year also advanced into Round 2. Jeff McCullough of NetApp held off Eaton's Curtiz Gangi 79 percent to 21 percent, while 2018 Channel Madness Champion Ken McCray of McAfee bested Kaspersky Lab's Jason Stein 66 percent to 34 percent.

Here's a look at all of the final scores.


Curtiz Gangi, Eaton 21 vs. Jeff McCullough, NetApp 79

Shannon Sbar, APC by Schneider Electric 63 vs. Brian Rosenberg, Juniper Networks 37

Gordon Mackintosh, Extreme Networks 63 vs. Paul Hunter, Hewlett Packard Enterprise 37

Oliver Tuszik, Cisco Systems 46 vs. Rob Rae, Datto 54


Joyce Mullen, Dell EMC 53 vs. Nick Tidd, Plantronics/Polycom 47

Stephanie Dismore, HP Inc. 57 vs. Raelyn Kritzer, Ruckus Networks, an ARRIS Company 43

Donna Grothjan, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company 34 vs. Rob Cato, Lenovo 66

Jason Kimrey, Intel 32 vs. Sammy Kinlaw, Lexmark 68


Iain Urquhart, Oracle 30 vs. Jenni Flinders, VMware 70

Carolee Gearhart, Google 58 vs. Jonathan McCormick, Intermedia 42

Terry Wise, Amazon Web Services 25 vs. Kevin Rooney, Veeam 75

John Teltsch, IBM 44 vs. Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft 56


Jason Stein, Kaspersky Lab 34 vs. Ken McCray, McAfee 66

Chris Carter, FireEye 60 vs. HoJin Kim, SonicWall 40

Frank Rauch, Check Point Software Technologies 62 vs. Jon Bove, Fortinet 38

Kendra Krause, Sophos 63 vs. Torjus Gylstorff, Symantec 37

Looking ahead to the Solutions 16, here are the face-offs in Round 2.

In Infrastructure, NetApp's Jeff McCullough will take on APC's Shannon Sbar, while Extreme Networks' Gordon Mackintosh will face Datto's Rob Rae.

In Hardware, Dell EMC's Joyce Mullen will square off against HP's Stephanie Dismore, while Lenovo's Rob Cato will test his mettle against Lexmark's Sammy Kinlaw.

In Cloud, VMware's Jenni Flinders will go toe-to-toe with Google's Carolee Gearhart, while Veeam's Kevin Rooney goes up against Microsoft's Gavriella Schuster.

The Security region will see McAfee's Ken McCray face FireEye's Chris Carter, while Check Point's Frank Rauch challenges Kendra Krause of Sophos.

Voting in Round 2 opens at 10:00 AM ET on Thursday, March 21 and will remain open until Tuesday, March 26 at noon ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chief!