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TD Synnex Shifts Two Exec Roles, Reshapes Its Partner Communities

TD Synnex has brought the Varnex, TechSelect, and Stellr communities into a single new umbrella organization called CommunitySolv under the leadership of long-time channel icon Sammy Kinlaw, while former Varnex lead Stegner takes on a wider marketing role for the distributor.

TD Synnex has made a couple of key changes to some of its executive roles in the wake of the company‘s formation from this summer’s merger of Tech Data and Synnex, and has brought its three solution provider communities— TechSelect, Varnex, and Stellr—under a new organization known as CommunitySolv.

The Fremont, Calif.-based distributor this week named Sammy Kinlaw as its new senior vice president of sales communities for North America, where it now oversees the three solution provider communities that have been long mainstays at Tech Data and Synnex.

They include Varnex, which was started by Synnex to serve small and midsize business solution providers; TechSelect, which was formed by Tech Data as a community for advanced solutions; and Stellr, which was formed by Synnex in 2019 as a community focused on the cloud and mobile business.

[Related: Done Deal: 5 Things To Know About The New TD Synnex]

The role of Bob Stegner has also been changed as of this week. Stegner, who as the senior vice president of marketing North America for Synnex has led the Varnex community for years, is now stepping up to focus on marketing for all of TD Synnex North America as the distributor’s new senior vice president of marketing.

Tech Data and Synnex in September officially merged to create TD Synnex, now the IT industry‘s largest distributor.

For Kinlaw, his new role of senior vice president of sales communities for North America is his third role since he joined Tech Data in September of 2020 after over two years focusing on channel and OEM sales at Lexmark and 10 years in the channel at Lenovo.

Kinlaw started working with Tech Data’s endpoint solutions, but in May took over as senior vice president of the distributor’s Americas sales after Marty Bauerlein left the company.

Kinlaw told CRN that in a big merger like the one that created TD Synnex, there are new rules and players, and one needs to be ready to contribute where they can, even if it means three roles in 14 months.

Kinlaw was asked to step in after Bauerlein’s departure, he said.

“And then post-merger, [TD Synnex President Americas] Michael Urban and [TD Synnex President, North America] Peter Larocque asked me to run communities,” he said. ”And then Steve Jow took on [a new role as executive vice president of sales]. So yeah, quick hits. But personally for me, I took a lot from those roles. I gave a lot to those roles and frankly I left both of them had better shape. ... You’ve got to pivot.”

Going forward, TD Synnex has no plans to make major changes in the three communities despite initially looking at the possibility of combining them, Kinlaw said.

Instead, TechSelect, Varnex, and Stellr will continue under Kinlaw’s new umbrella organization now called CommunitySolv.

“Each of the communities in the supporting arms of the umbrella will remain as TechSelect, Varnex, and Stellr,” he said. ”Stellr is a cloud community [with a focus] on MSPs. And so they are different from the rest of the genetic makeup with TechSelect and Varnex. And believe you me, every major vendor is interested in growing the MSP. So all three have an audience. All three have different benefits for their members. All three have different benefits for the investing vendors. That‘s why I’m going to leave them separate.”

Moving into 2022, Kinlaw said he plans to look at new ways to grow CommunitySolv‘s membership from the current approximately 850 channel partners to 1,500 member within two years.

Kinlaw is also planning to bring CommunitySolv members more of the kind of industry insights from top analyst organizations that solution providers normally cannot afford to purchase on their own. He is also looking at how to make it easier for members to better network with each other and cooperate on projects, he said.

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