CRN's 30th Anniversary: 30 Peers With 30 Years

Blazing The Channel Trail

CRN is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and with that, we're recognizing 30 IT executives who have been in the business for at least 30 years. These 30 peers with 30 years in the tech industry are the trailblazers that have seen it all and have helped build what we call today’s channel. And they're not done yet.

Ed Anderson

Chief Strategy Officer

Anderson celebrated his 30th anniversary in the IT industry -- eight years ago. The longtime leader at CompuCom, Anderson helped move the solution provider to a services model. Now as chief strategy officer, he develops the VAR's strategic plan and supporting initiatives.

Ken Archer

Americas VP, Channels, Alliances
HP, Technology Services
Palo Alto, Calif.

Archer has been driving breakthrough, highly profitable partner initiatives for 32 years. Now he's heading up what could turn out to be his biggest partner play yet driving HP's partner services transformation.

Jerry Baldwin

Condusiv Technologies

Baldwin has been directing software sales battle plans for 33 years. His new post as the CEO of Condusiv Technologies is proving to be his crowning channel achievement.

Arnie Bellini

Tampa, Fla.

Bellini ran ConnectWise, a successful IT services firm for many years, before transitioning the company to the professional services automation powerhouse used by thousands of VARs today.

Randy Cochran

VP, NA Channel Sales
Cupertino, Calif.

Cochran recently resigned his post, effective April 1, but his steady, straight-ahead channel leadership has made Symantec one of the industry's great channel stories. One secret to his success: a stint at recruiting power/relationship builder Heidrick & Struggles.

Steve Dallman

Santa Ana, Calif.

Dallman has helped partners tap into the channel for an amazing 34 years. He has taken partners from the white-box PC revolution to build-your-own super servers. He's now paving the way for partners to make hay with emerging technology such as tablets and smartphones.

Stephen DiFranco

SVP, GM, Americas Region
HP, Personal Systems Group
Palo Alto, Calif.

DiFranco is a master at building both business and consumer channels. He made big gains measuring and maximizing HP's partner offerings. Now he's making sure the company's Personal Systems Group products and programs are channel-strong.

Dean Douglas

Westcon Group
Tarrytown, N.Y.

Before becoming CEO of Westcon Group in 2008, Douglas was CEO of wireless engineering services firm LCC International. He also held global executive roles at IBM and Motorola.

Bruce Geier

Technology Integration Group
San Diego

After more than 30 years in the channel, Geier is speeding up, not slowing down. Technology Integration Group just closed its largest acquisition yet (Commercial Data Systems) and should surpass last year's $344 million in sales.

Mike Gerentine

VP, Global Business Partners, Midmarket Marketing
Armonk, N.Y.

Gerentine has been tops at driving midmarket sales efforts with partners. He led a channel revolution at IBM's Tivoli business unit. Now he's leading the charge to provide marketing air cover for IBM partners worldwide.

Kevin Gilroy

SVP, Global Indirect Channels
Newtown Square, Pa.

Gilroy got HP's channel house in order and now he has taken his talents to ERP powerhouse SAP. His channel leadership in short order is transforming the enterprise software giant into a channel force to be reckoned with.

Rick Hamada


Hamada took the reins as CEO of Avnet in July 2011, culminating a long career at the distributor that began in 1983. Previously COO, Avnet has built strong services and vertical market practices under his leadership.

Steve Harper

President, CEO
Network Management Group
Hutchinson, Kan.

Harper opened his first reseller franchise in 1981 and once owned five Computerland and three Entre Computer Centers stores. The current CEO of NMGI, Harper is a co-founder of the peer-to-peer organization that became VentureTech Network.

Mark Hennessy

GM, Global Business Partners
Armonk, N.Y.

A 32-year IBM veteran who recently moved from a vice president of global strategy and sales transformation role to the top channel job, Hennessy is already putting his stamp on the partnering effort with new incentives to get IBM partners to target cloud computing, security and business analytics.

Mike Humke

Sr. Director, Public Sector, Vertical Markets
Ingram Micro
Santa Ana, Calif.

Humke's long career began a new chapter in 2010 when he joined Ingram Micro to head up public sector business. He previously spent 12 years serving public sector VARs at HP and also spent nine years with Apple and 10 years at IBM.

Shaun Jones

VP, Marketing, WW Channels, Gen. Bus. Marketing
IBM, Software Group
Armonk, N.Y.

Jones, a 34-year IBM veteran, has an incredible knack for leading partners to the biggest and most profitable market segments. He's one of those IBM executives who makes you realize instantly everything that is great about the company culture.

Peter Larocque

President, U.S. Distribution
Fremont, Calif.

Larocque joined Synnex in 1983 and has held numerous executive management roles at the distributor, including vice president of sales and marketing, before being promoted to president of U.S. distribution in 2006.

Richard Lawson

Group Mobile
Chandler, Ariz.

Lawson started out managing one of the hottest computer stores in the country 30 years ago and then made stops at channel pioneers MicroAge and Avnet. Now he's going back to the future as the owner of Group Mobile, selling rugged mobile computers.

Mike Long

Chairman, President, CEO
Arrow Electronics
Englewood, Colo.

Long joined Arrow in 1991 after his company merged with the distributor. Since then, he's held numerous executive positions before being named CEO in May 2009.

Bill McCracken

CA Technologies
Islandia, N.Y.

McCracken has navigated a slew of channel changes, spending 36 years at IBM making sure the computer giant maintained its channel advantage. Now he's making sure that CA is a channel cloud leader.

Jeff McKeever

Founder, MicroAge;
Chairman, Frontier Technology
Tempe, Ariz.

McKeever founded MicroAge 36 years ago at the dawn of the PC revolution, and he has made sure the company has stayed relevant through every technology twist and turn from LANs to client/server to the Internet and now smartphones. Now he's referred to simply as chief mentor.

Joe Mertens

President, CEO
Sirius Computer Solutions
San Antonio

Mertens first joined Sirius, then known as Star Data Systems, in 1986 and ran its distribution business until that was sold to Savoir Technology Group, which was later sold to Avnet. He returned to Sirius in 2002 and was named CEO in August 2011.

Edison Peres

SVP, Worldwide Channels
Cisco Systems
San Jose, Calif.

No one at Cisco has done a better job building channel relationships partner by partner and brick by brick than Edison. He has built Cisco's channel house from the ground up to weather any storm.

Jim Perrier

Universal Data
New Orleans

Perrier founded Universal Data in 1983 with a philosophy of strength through excellence, a challenge met head on as he led the company through the largest natural disaster in the country's history, Hurricane Katrina.

Izzy Schwab

D&H Distributing
Harrisburg, Pa.

To Schwab, most of the folks on this list are Johnny-come-latelys. Schwab's been in the family business for more than 50 years, evolving D&H from an RCA supplier to a full IT distributor.

Jamie Shepard

EVP, Technology Solutions
Marlborough, Mass.

A brilliant technology strategist and marketer, Shepard has done a top-notch job of delivering cutting-edge, breakthrough solutions for customers. His leadership has made ICI, powered by its own innovative nCubed metholdogy, one of the most respected solution providers in the business.

Bob Stegner

SVP, North America Marketing
Fremont, Calif.

Stegner has made his mark as one of the premier VAR community builders in the channel. He helped grow Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network before joining Synnex to start that distributor's Varnex community from scratch.

Frank Vitagliano

SVP, Partners, Americas
Juniper Networks
Sunnyvale, Calif.

One of the channel's most well-known executives, Vitagliano joined Juniper Networks in 2006 to head the networking vendor's growing channels business after a 33-year stint at IBM, where he left as vice president of worldwide channels.

Ted Warner

Connecting Point of Greeley
Greeley, Colo.

Warner's IT career began in 1976 as a territory manager for Burroughs before establishing Connecting Point in 1985. He's one of the pioneering VARs that helped create the forerunner of today's VentureTech Network.

Maury Weinstein

System Source

Weinstein opened Computerland of Baltimore, now known as System Source, 31 years ago and has continually reinvented the business to remain a solution provider power. Today, System Source is the largest locally owned integrator in the Baltimore area.