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Channel Madness Security Matchups Heat Up As Rauch Takes The Lead

Jennifer Follett

Weekend voting in the CRN Channel Madness Tournament led to a lead change in the Security region.


We’re nearing the end of Round 2 of the 2021 CRN Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs, and battles are brewing in the Security region.

Heading into weekend voting, Check Point’s Frank Rauch was trailing in his matchup against Karl Soderlund of Palo Alto Networks, but Rauch flipped the script and now leads with 62 percent of the vote to Soderlund’s 38 percent.

The Security region’s other matchup also tightened up a bit in weekend voting. WatchGuard’s Michelle Welch still leads with 59 percent of the vote, but the gap narrowed as Zscaler’s Todd Meister made up 6 points in an effort to finish strong.

The rest of Friday’s leaders stayed strong to maintain their edge. We’ll see if they can hang on until voting closes tomorrow.

Here’s a look at the results so far:


Shannon Sbar, Schneider Electric, 15 vs. Christian Alvarez, Nutanix, 85

Rob Rae, Datto, 13 vs. Curtiz Gangi, Eaton, 87



Rob Cato, Lenovo, 42 vs. Donna Grothjan, Aruba, an HPE company, 58

Jason Kimrey, Intel, 15 vs. Scott Mann, Scale Computing 85



Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft, 36 vs. Eric Martorano, Nextiva, 64

Carolee Gearhart, Google Cloud, 20 vs. Kevin Rooney, Veeam Software, 80



Todd Meister, Zscaler, 41 vs. Michelle Welch, WatchGuard Technologies, 59

Frank Rauch, Check Point Software Technologies, 62 vs. Karl Soderlund, Palo Alto Networks, 38


Voting in Round 2 will remain open until Tuesday, March 30 at noon ET. Visit to cast your votes and choose your chief!

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Jennifer Follett

Jennifer Follett is the Executive Editor for CRN where she has been covering the IT solution provider channel for 20 years. She currently oversees CRN magazine and, the website for the industry’s leading channel publication. She can be reached at

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