2022 Next-Gen Solution Provider Leaders
For the third year we present CRN’s Next-Gen Solution Provider Leaders project, recognizing today’s up-and-coming solution provider executives, directors and managers who are poised to be tomorrow’s channel leaders.
The New Generation
Just as the IT channel needs a steady stream of new, innovative technologies to be successful, it also needs a continuous infusion of people with new skills and new ideas—and the drive and the passion—to champion new ways of doing business and develop and deliver next-generation IT solutions for their customers.
For the third year we present CRN’s Next-Gen Solution Provider Leaders project, spotlighting the up-and-coming solution provider executives, directors and managers who are poised to be tomorrow’s channel leaders.
The list recognizes solution provider employees 40 years of age or younger who have made significant contributions in driving growth and strategic direction in the channel over the past year. It includes people who have started their own solution provider companies and people who began where they work today as interns and have risen to positions of influence.
These are people who have brought their passions, their new ideas and their unique talents to the table and are shaking up how the companies they work for operate, whether it be streamlining internal business processes, stepping up new product and service innovation, reimagining go-to-market strategies, and taking the way they work with customers and IT vendors to new levels.
These new ideas and new ways of doing business are all the more important at a time when rapid technology change and economic uncertainty are altering the way many businesses operate—including solution providers themselves and their customers. With their new problem-solving ways, the people on this year’s list have helped their companies not just survive but thrive.
Here’s a look at 62 rising stars in the channel, including a brief overview of what they consider some of their key accomplishments and most innovative ideas during the past year.
Director, Inside Sales
When the going gets tough, Abrams steps up. When a growth spurt left Davenport Group’s sales team short-handed, she stepped into a management role, helped hire new team members and redesigned the on-boarding process in a way that paved the way for new hires to make an immediate impact.
VP, Engineering Services
One of Bradley’s key focus areas has been developing and launching Davenport Group’s managed services practices, working with its engineers to create a three-tier model for customers. He also boosted the solution provider’s PowerStore technical capabilities as it strives to be a leader in Dell storage solutions.
Professional Services Program Manager
Atlantic Data Security
Brown zeroed in on the need for a project management office and built one from scratch over the past year, resulting in more organization and delivery success for the company. She also developed a program to grow a new line of business around security assessments that is paying big dividends.
Brown has played a key role in improving the customer experience at DynTek by working to improve communication to ensure a higher level of professionalism and responsiveness. He also helped expand the company’s Las Vegas data center, which provides national testing, solution integration and staging capabilities.
In addition to leading special projects aimed at helping Insight sellers be more effective, Church has worked with key leaders to provide feedback on the company’s sales strategy and execution. He also established Veteran Connection, a resource group that supports teammates who are military veterans.
Under Cole’s leadership, Davenport Group’s sales team hit all of its goals and achieved its biggest year to date. That effort was helped by work he did with his directors to form tight-knit personal relationships with technology partners, creating more visibility and trust that puts the company top of mind when opportunities arise.
VP, Education Services
Cook spearheads the education services department at Bluum, launched in 2021 to focus on presales advisory offerings and post-sales professional development offerings for schools. In that role she rolled out many new services to help K-12 customers make the right technology decisions and get access to much-needed funding.
Advanced Network Management
Cooke rearchitected ANM’s sales support structure, giving more air cover to account managers so they have time to go wider in each account and also secure new logos. That, plus his efforts to streamline go-to-market efforts by consolidating two sales teams into one, led to year-over-year growth of more than 40 percent.
Sr. Manager, Revenue Operations, Asset Life-Cycle Management
ZAG Technical Services
Cruz created a vendor management program, implementing new processes for certifications and partner program tracking. Other changes she introduced have led to improvements in response time in her department, bringing the quoting process down from as much as two weeks to under 48 hours.
Director, Channel, Field Marketing
Curreya helped on-board new vendors and was the driving force behind a number of marketing campaigns that contributed directly to DigitalEra’s annual growth. She also developed a hybrid format to phase into live events while still ensuring traction with customers not yet ready to meet in person.
VP, Sales Administration
After a merger and the resulting rebranding of Bluum in January, Curtis has played a key role in restructuring the company’s sales operations department, eliminating duplicate efforts and creating unity. The support structure she developed for the company’s North American account executives has had a substantial impact on the customer experience.
As Clutch Solutions expands into the telecommunications space, Dickerson is cultivating new relationships that are bringing 5G and other essential technologies into the fold. He has also built up a new technical presales model that is measurable and aligned with the company’s technology vision, bringing in more wins in key market areas.
Dulmage led the charge over the past year to boost DynTek’s recurring revenue model through growth, development and expansion of its cloud-based managed services offerings. At the same time, he and his team implemented a closed-loop sales and delivery model aimed at driving customer satisfaction and economic value.
Director, Infrastructure Services
Under Edwards’ watch, Davenport Group’s engineering team amped up its technical knowledge around Dell Technologies’ PowerStore storage portfolio. Edwards also played a critical role in designing the company’s new managed services portfolio and launched a new internal workflow that ensures the right engineers are working with the right customers.
VP, Cloud, Insight Solutions
Erhart led Insight’s acquisition of Hanu Software Solutions, a cloud MSP with a presence in India and North America. At the same time, he kept his hand on the tiller leading the daily fight to keep Insight top of mind with its vendor partners and executing on strategy that resulted in triple-digit growth for the company’s Microsoft Azure cloud consumption business.
Director, Presales Engineering
Fagen’s efforts to define technical areas of expertise, promote from within, gain advanced vendor certifications and build a new workflow with Sterling’s sales organization transformed the company’s engineering teams, resulting in a higher level of solutions delivery that is keeping customers on the cutting edge.
Fisch incorporated advice gleaned through extensive peer networking to develop a sales and operations overhaul that led to rapid growth. That included integrating new KPIs and operational processes with SaaS and hardware platforms with the specific aim of meeting the needs of the public safety market Fisch Solutions serves.
National Service Manager, Unified Communications
All Covered, IT Services Division of Konica Minolta
When Foster identified the need for a more consistent, repeatable process for bringing new customers into unified communications services, he didn’t hesitate to roll up his sleeves and work across multiple stakeholders to find a better way. The end result builds a consistent customer experience, identifies
project risks and creates clear accountability for project tasks.
Manager, Security Services
Described as having a discerning eye for security and business enablement, Fusaro brings a bevy of skills to bear—systems programmer, OS forensics expert and log aggregation evangelist, to name a few—as he helps Vancord develop new security services. He is a linchpin in the company’s relationships with key technology partners, and he also is an integral player on Vancord’s incident response team.
Director, Solutions Engineering
Advanced Network Management
Garcia wins kudos for developing the ANM Certified Expert internal certification program, which combines industry certifications, internal and external training, and technical sales motions to put the company’s solutions engineers on the right career development path. The program led to stronger vendor partnerships and accelerated sales growth.
Director, Information Security, vCISO
Hearne worked to build an information security program for one of Edafio’s largest customers. She has also keyed in on ways to incorporate offerings that provide more than one facet of cybersecurity and enable data-driven decision- making. As a way of educating companies about cybersecurity, she developed an “escape room” concept that tasks teams with overcoming a cyberattack using Edafio’s core cyber methodology.
As pandemic-related supply constraints delayed deployments, Heraty jumped into action by leading initiatives that expanded Insight’s distribution footprint, increasing square footage by over 50 percent in under eight months to meet the company’s growing customer inventory needs. He also led a customer engagement that deployed more than 1 million devices across North America.
Heartland Business Systems
Hilley is doing is part to help Heartland fulfill its goal of becoming a premier partner for every product it sells and services. With that aim in mind, he has spearheaded the drive to bulk up on master specializations, focus on hiring and increase employee engagement, all while developing steadfast personal relationships with technology vendors to support future growth.
GTS Technology Solutions
With GTS’ goal of diversifying its partner ecosystem in mind, Honar negotiated a large, multiyear investment from a new OEM partner. At the same time, she drove the company’s digital marketing strategy and developed programs with technology partners to drive awareness both internally and with customers.
Playing a key role in CDI’s growth, Huber leads an expanded Office of the CTO that includes divisional roles responsible for strategy, go-to-market and evangelism, bringing together executives who previously were founders or CTOs of companies CDI acquired. The company, which acquired six companies in 24 months as of the end of 2021, expects to outperform its 2022 goals.
VP, Sales, Marketing
Advanced Network Management
With ANM’s focus on growing its position in security and data center, Huegin helped build out the go-to-market strategy among practice leads, sellers and the company’s marketing team. He also played an active role in customer engagements while sharpening messaging and driving targeted technical campaigns that spotlight ANM’s engineering strength.
Director, SAP Solutions
Johnson joined American Digital three-plus years ago laser-focused on building up its SAP MSP practice from scratch. Since then he has built a team of more than 20 people to support more than a dozen customers across multiple industries. He’s also a thought leader and sits on multiple industry councils, publishes regularly and has a podcast, helping to increase American Digital’s mindshare.
Director, Partner Management, Alliances
Kerr and her team hit record-high revenue generation and profitability for key strategic partners, seeing double-digit—and even in some cases triple-digit—year-over-year growth in support of key partners like Acer, AMD, Google, Logitech, Poly and Samsung. She also takes care to foster morale, inclusion and collaboration within her team.
Keshian had a busy year, leading Coretelligent through two acquisitions, making significant customer support improvements and expanding the company’s technical capabilities. He also spearheaded an effort to upgrade its call center telephony platform and move IT service management operations to ServiceNow and integrate the two.
IT By Design
Khan expanded IT By Design’s partner roster by adding new security and remote monitoring and management providers while also helping the company expand its geographic reach to the Philippines. He has helped the company reduce operating expenses, improve efficiency and stave off the impacts of the “Great Resignation” with cultural enhancement initiatives.
Iron Bow Technologies
Kim was on a mission to bring a data-driven focus to Iron Bow’s marketing efforts. She worked to refresh the company‘s marketing communication strategy, restructure the marketing organization by key functional areas and develop a new lead generation strategy designed to demonstrate the marketing department’s contribution to revenue.
Director, Sales Operations, Marketing
Lambert is responsible for Davenport Group’s marketing strategy including overseeing marketing events and campaigns, executing corporate communications, upholding the corporate brand, managing partner programs and creating digital marketing activities. Lambert is particularly focused on leading and coaching the marketing team and fostering collaboration across departments within Davenport Group.
More Power Technology Group
With a computer science degree, Leiker spent his early career in technical areas such as software development and database design and administration. He has since broadened his experience to include sales, marketing, engineering, integration of systems, product development and succession planning. He helped oversee MPTG’s first strategic acquisition and the subsequent merging of cultures, standards and practices.
Business Strategist, Microsoft Azure
Loeffelholz helped develop Zones’ 2022 marketing vision and strategy around Microsoft, and she is responsible for driving Zones’ go-to-market strategy for Azure. She is leading Zones’ efforts to achieve an Azure Advanced Specialization for Azure Virtual Desktop and the Cloud Security Advanced Specialization from Microsoft and developing the overall skills aligned to those technical solutions.
NXT Gen Technologies
Mansur started in the IT space as an accounts payable and receivables clerk and worked his up through various operations management posts before launching his own company in 2017. Mansur‘s passion for starting NXT Gen Technologies stems from a strong entrepreneurial spirit he inherited at a young age from his father and the desire to help companies build business solutions.
McCoy joined CCB’s sales team in 2007 and served as vice president of sales and vice president of services before becoming the solution provider’s president. He has strengthened CCB‘s IT service offerings in both managed and project services, significantly grown service revenue and tripled the service department’s size. This year he further expanded CCB’s service capabilities with the successful launch of vCIO.
Director, Strategic Programs, Partner Alliances
Since joining Sterling’s marketing department in 2013, Moore’s resume includes managing the solution provider’s strategic partnerships with Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aruba, an HPE company, and Lenovo, and helping Sterling develop and launch a cloud practice around partners Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, VMware and Oracle. Her role includes leading the Emerging Technologies Group to assess marketplace technology adoption life cycles and develop strategies around those trends.
VP, Solutions Architecture
Mullin began his professional IT career at CDI in 2009 and was promoted to his current position in March. He manages CDI‘s data center presales engineering team that spans multiple disciplines, including hybrid cloud infrastructure, software-defined networking, business continuity and data protection. He assists the CTO in defining CDI’s go-to-market strategy and vision for CDI‘s customer portfolio and helps evaluate prospective vendor partners for strategic partnerships.
Director, Marketing, Alliances
People Driven Technology
Muysenberg has played a significant role in building People Driven Technology’s culture, brand recognition and customer interactions. She has overseen a number of major projects at the startup solution provider, including website design, internal programs and processes, and recruiting and on-boarding more than 50 new employees. She has also established more than 100 strategic partnerships.
Nikravesh co-founded Solarus after realizing the opportunity to provide technology services to small and midsize businesses with an emphasis on customer service. He has 20-plus years of experience with MSPs and cloud service providers, including building managed service infrastructure to help service providers evolve from a time and materials model to an MSP model.
Director, Network and Security Practice, Portfolio
Parsons plays a key role in defining Insight’s integrated solution offerings and in creating custom solutions for large-scale and high-profile customers. His focus is on automation, flexibility and scalability while ensuring architectural security in an executable fashion. He began his career as a technical consultant and achieved a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert certification in wireless.
Director, Partner Alliances
Pfeifer’s current focus is on driving cross-functional workstreams to create programs that enable co-workers to provide value to customers by managing their endpoints. He also ensures that Insight‘s OEM partner products deliver a consistent end-to-end support experience for customers. Pfeifer leverages his background in finance and partner programs to achieve the best possible outcomes for customers and partners.
Director, Technical Operations
Santacaterina manages many of Huntington Technology’s day-to-day operations and business processes, including working with the MSP’s help desk and network teams, and has been responsible for growing the company’s Northeast division for more than five years. In the past year he has brought in new customers and migrated many existing ones to new cloud-based infrastructure.
As finance director, Savatski’s responsibilities include managing product revenue stream accounting, leading strategic initiatives like system implementations and acquisition integration, and coordinating with sales and operations on deal structure to best meet customer needs and drive profitable business. This year Savatski has driven efficiencies in Insight’s daily sales reporting process that reduced reporting time by 25 percent.
EVP, Digital Services
Shrefler joined CDI in 2021 through CDI’s acquisition of Candoris, where his most recent position was CTO. In his current role he is responsible for all digital service delivery. This year he has integrated the Salesforce department into CDI’s digital business unit and assumed leadership of existing departments focused on ServiceNow.
Shuster began his IT career in high school when he sold hardware for a local VAR through eBay. As Ferroque Systems CEO since 2007, he has built and expanded the company’s business, which has consistently recorded double-digit growth—even reaching 50 percent several years. He has focused the company’s brand on going deep in key technology areas including digital workspaces and secure remote access.
Project Management Office Manager
ZAG Technical Services
Silva-Nuñez manages the Project Management Office for ZAG Technical Services, overseeing daily project management activities and the effective delivery of all internal and customer-facing projects across the organization. She also provides direction for PMO processes and procedures. This year she designed a presales process to review and publish customer-facing project proposals within 24 hours, expediting response time to customers.
With a technical background in IT operations and a focus on business continuity, Smith’s career includes serving in technical advisory roles for major companies across a range of industries before joining Tego in 2011. His biggest accomplishment in the past year was closing a solution-plus-services deal valued at nearly eight figures—the company’s largest with a first-time customer.
VP, Vendor Relations Management
Thornberry leads GuidePoint Security’s collaboration with vendors and efforts to accelerate go-to-market partnerships. A key part of his job is educating employees about vendor partners and their product offerings. Prior to joining GuidePoint, Thornberry worked on the vendor side at such companies as Cisco Systems and WatchGuard Technologies and at solution provider giant CDW. He currently sits on several vendor partner advisory boards.
Chief Solutions Officer
Tierney joined the education technology space in 2010 at solution provider Tierney and was named chief solutions officer in 2017. He is passionate about creating a service-oriented company with a great culture. Tierney played a key role in the merger and integration of Tierney and Trox in 2021 to form Bluum, a leading provider of IT solutions for the education space.
Sr. Director, North Sales
Vigne has been in the solution provider space for 15 years with an emphasis on selling cloud communications and contact center solutions and services that optimize the customer experience and deliver operational efficiencies. His adoption of a value-based selling approach that’s focused on customer business outcomes was a factor in his promotion to senior sales director this year.
Director, IBM Practice
CleanSlate Technology Group
Voegerl has 16 years of experience as an IT sales professional and cites as strengths his ability to build relationships and sales pipelines, implement cost-savings programs and improve communications to boost customer loyalty. He recently took over CleanSlate’s IBM software resale division, where he has increased revenue by 6 percent.
Tego had no marketing strategy in place when Vosburgh joined in May 2021. She built relationships with vendor partners, including utilizing market development funds, to boost joint marketing efforts and enable Tego’s sales teams. A key focus has been developing joint events with vendor partners, including “Tego Talks,” to illustrate the value of Tego solutions.
Purchasing Solutions Manager
Waschbusch was Tierney’s first intern (prior to the 2021 merger with Trox that created Bluum) and joined the company full-time in 2017. She was promoted to her current position in September and in the past year has trained a new purchasing team of five. She also created a best-practices purchasing system.
Wilke started with Davenport Group in 2015 as an account executive serving the Midwest. As sales director she now manages a growing sales team serving customers across the country, including hiring and mentoring new employees who provide the sales and technical foundations to deliver successful solutions. In the past year she developed a strategy to create a one-to-one ratio for field sales to inside sales.
Digital Marketing Manager
Williams started out at The 20 as an intern and now serves as digital marketing manager, where she is responsible for boosting the digital presence of The 20 and its MSP members through content creation and coordination, social media campaigns and strategic marketing initiatives. Those efforts have paid off with increased brand awareness and accelerated revenue growth for The 20.
VP, Strategy, Programs
Wilson cites her ability to create process out of chaos as a key skill. She has led initiatives to automate business processes, including taking a commissioning process that once took 40 hours to now be done with more accuracy in four hours. She also created an internship program in collaboration with a local high school to boost the next generation in technology and business.
VP, Engineering, MITS N.A.
All Covered, IT Services Division of Konica Minolta
Wisdom leads All Covered’s service desk, network operations center and advanced engineering teams. He began his career at a small Cisco Systems VAR/MSP that was acquired by Insight Enterprises, where he led their managed services and NOC teams. This year Wisdom oversaw a number of key initiatives, including deploying asset management, change management and project management capabilities within All Covered’s multitenant ServiceNow instance.
Wright is the founder and CEO of Disruptive Innovations, a digital business and tech consulting firm. While he has worked in IT for more than 12 years, his passion for technology goes back to his early teens when he was building computers and setting up LANs. This year his company expanded into the health-care vertical and counts some of the largest health-care providers in the tri-state area as customers.
Wright describes himself as a “serial Indiana tech entrepreneur” with a passion for solving complex business problems. He founded Accent Consulting to provide managed services and IT consulting, cloud, cybersecurity and software development services for businesses. In 2022 Wright established partnerships with additional IT vendors, security providers and distributors.
Sr. Director, Managed Services
Zadrima has more than 15 years of experience architecting and leading successful managed service businesses. He oversees all aspects of Align‘s global managed services practice including customer support, cloud architecture and strategy, project management, the network operations center and IT service desk. Before joining Align, Zadrima was part of the leadership team at solution provider Infoaxis, where he built a managed service business supporting over 6,000 endpoints.
Sr. Director, Solution Architects
Zeng immigrated to the U.S. at a young age and grew up in Texas. He helped pay for his college tuition by acquiring virtual goods in early cyberspace and selling them on eBay. In the past year at Redapt, Zeng was a primary contributor to the design and implementation of hyperscale data centers for two strategic customers and led a rebuild of Redapt’s networking practice.