"Because we don't have to focus on that [venture capital], we're investing in the research and development and making bets that will be great for our customers," Bellini said. "And we never have any sort of gate that we have to go through to be able to do that."
Raymund and Stan Levy – a former senior leader at audit, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton – will be the first non-employee directors to ever sit on ConnectWise's board. Since ConnectWise is employee-held, Raymund said he serves at the pleasure of the CEO in a primarily advisory capacity rather than selecting the CEO himself like he would as the director of a publicly-traded company.
"Arnie is completely unconflicted," Raymund said. "Everything that's good for the company is good for Arnie. Sometimes when you have a public CEO, it's different."
Raymund joined Clearwater, Fla.-based Tech Data back in 1981 when it was primarily a reseller of data processing supplies and grew it into a $21 billion global distribution powerhouse by the time his 20-year tenure as CEO concluded in 2006. Bellini credited Raymund for putting Tampa Bay on the map as a destination for companies and employees looking to work in technology.
"When Steve started Tech Data here, this was just a little bit more than a cowtown," Bellini said. "I call Steve the godfather of technology in Tampa Bay. He doesn't necessarily like it when I call him that, but it is the truth."