100 People You Don't Know But Should 2015 (Part 1)

Unsung Heroes

The technology industry is filled with rock stars, high-profile executives who stand in the spotlight at partner conferences and technology events to present the world with the industry's latest achievements. But delivering these breakthroughs to the world is hardly a one-man show and behind these executives stand the unsung heroes, the shining stars on vendors' channel management teams.

Each year, CRN recognizes the success of these individuals in the 100 People You Don't Know But Should list. While you might not recognize the names, you can rest assured that each has been instrumental in the success of his or her partners.

Here we present Part 1 of our annual honoring of the channel management executives who may have slipped under the radar despite building booming channel programs, designing innovative partner incentives, evangelizing hot technology and much more.

Be sure to also look at the behind-the-scenes channel players worthy of attention in Part 2.

Andy Grieg, Aeris Communications

VP, Sales, North America

Grieg is driving the channel charge at Aeris, which offers its cellular network services on a recurring revenue basis through channel partners since launching its Neo Affiliate Program in January. The company's cellular services target the Internet of Things market, saying they are "built exclusively for machines."

John Tippett, Aisle8


Aisle8 manufactures and distributes over 1,800 products, including networking, cloud controlled power management, surveillance and conferencing equipment, exclusively serving solution providers and integrators. Tippett's background as an MSP gives him a unique passion for the channel and perspective on what makes partners tick, making him a true believer in the company's primary pledge: "IT Solution Providers are the focus of everything we do at Aisle8."

Robert Hemmerich, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise

Business Development, North America

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise has been investing in the North American market, which it sees as underserved, Hemmerich told CRN earlier this year. He's working to drum up more channel awareness of the networking stalwart and a new distribution partnership with Global Convergence focused on mobility could help.

Eric Docktor, Amazon

Director, Kindle and Ecommerce Platform Teams

Docktor, a 16-year Amazon veteran, is currently technical assistant to Andy Jassy, where he's getting a bird's-eye view of how the visionary leader of AWS works his magic. History tells us that people tapped for technical assistant roles at Amazon go on to great things: Jassy himself once served as technical assistant to Jeff Bezos before moving on to grow AWS into a cloud behemoth.

Matt Wood, Amazon

GM, Product Strategy, AWS

Wood has helped drive the release of AWS' Machine Learning and desktop-as-a-service products, as well as other developer-focused offerings. He started out at Amazon as a technology evangelist and spent three years as general manager of data science at AWS. As an expert in large-scale computing -- including cloud, big data, relational databases and high-performance computing -- Wood brings the kind of skill set that's in high demand across the technology industry.

Andrea Michel, APC by Schneider Electric

Channel Marketing Specialist

Michel is a powerhouse, working diligently to improve the financial standing of APC's partners through a recently launched Partner Opportunity Program that passes leads to the channel directly from the vendor's call center and a new integrated marketing site that aids partners with co-marketing material and MDF utilization.

Jim Airdo, AppSense

AVP, Channel, Professional Services

Airdo says "channel-first, partner-led" is his mission at AppSense and his commitment to partners. He's backing that up with dramatic improvements to the company's channel strategy, including the addition of deal protection, a new top-tier partner level and MDF for top partners. The company's new channel-favorable compensation for its direct sales team is also working wonders in the field.

Jed Ayres, AppSense

SVP, Marketing

AppSense has been heavily investing to beef up its channel program this year, and it brought former solution provider Ayres on board in April to get the word out. He's moving fast to do just that, building an aggressive digital demand generation program for top partners and blanketing the market with 55 partner-driven events to help the company close out 2015 with a bang.

Stephen Lucas, Arrow Electronics

Director, Global Cloud Strategy, Go To Market

Lucas joined Arrow Electronics in June to spearhead its hybrid and public cloud strategies and define product requirements, pricing and market positioning. He is responsible for developing Arrow's global cloud messaging, value proposition and channel enablement models.

Tracy Staniland, Asigra

VP, Corporate Marketing

Staniland has been instrumental in advancing Asigra's channel business since she took on her role five years ago. Staniland and her team are responsible for developing strategic marketing programs to increase sales opportunities and enhance relationships between Asigra and its global partners.

Lori Jolley, AT&T

Director, Strategic Reach, Partner Solutions

If you're the kind of partner AT&T is looking for, chances are you've heard from Jolley. She's laser-focused on uncovering new solution providers to build out the carrier's channel efforts and is part of the team that has recruited more than 300 solution providers to AT&T's Partner Exchange program. Her goal now is to scale those efforts while maintaining AT&T's high channel standards.

Amanda O'Neill, AT&T

Director, Sales Operations, Partner Solutions

O'Neill leads the Inside Sales Enablement team and the Sales Operations team for AT&T Partner Solutions, responsible for on-boarding new partners and assisting the channel account managers that support solution providers in the field. She's always looking for new ways to help new partners get a jump start on selling.

Bruno Aziza, AtScale


Former Microsoft executive and business intelligence industry veteran Aziza joined AtScale earlier this year, and he's laying the groundwork for the big data startup's channel strategy. AtScale's software links widely used business analytics tools with Hadoop.

Cheryl Neal, Avnet

Vice President, Data, Networking, Security Solutions

Neal has worked with Avnet's vendor partners to better align their channel programs and help them develop new proficiencies. She's also focused on providing partners with sales and enablement tools to grow their security business and support their transition to the cloud.

Tania Darzi, Axcient

Partner and Field Marketing Manager

Darzi may have been with Axcient only four months, but her years of channel-focused experience at Proofpoint will help partners evangelize her company's data protection and disaster recovery solutions.

Jeff Sandler, Brother

Director, SMB Marketing

Sandler brings to the table that rare mix of technical product knowledge, strategic market understanding and dynamic leadership. A 17-year veteran at Brother, today Sandler is tasked with working not just with frontline sales teams but also is involved with engineering, market research and bringing new products to market.

Steve Santucci, Brother

Sr. Director, Sales

When it comes to document management and workflow efficiency, Santucci is no carbon copy. He's been focused like a laser on managed print services throughout his career. Better yet, he knows the channel and has been a vocal advocate for MPS and partners for more than 10 years.

Rolf Heimes, CA Technologies

VP, Indirect Sales

CA is working to transform itself into a more channel-focused company and Heimes, in his current post for just more than a year, is playing a key role in that effort by helping develop the company's indirect route to market strategy and managing channel program design.

Derrick Havis, Call One

EVP, Sales, Marketing

Havis has been in the telecommunications space for 16 years and is using that experience to head up Call One's marketing and sales efforts. Call One is a provider of voice and data services, providing clients with cloud, data security, networking and VoIP solutions, as well as a variety of managed services.

Alison Aldrich, Carbonite

Director, Channel Marketing

When Carbonite shifted to a more channel-focused model last year, Aldrich was there to stock the company's channel marketing arm with people who understand the indirect sales model. The result? A company better able to support a growing partner network, making decisions that put the channel first.

Bridget Bisnette, Cisco Systems

Sr. Director, Partner Marketing

Bisnette is a channel pro with three decades of experience in the IT industry. Cisco recruited her back in the late 1990s for her channel expertise, and she's helped steer channel partners through a number of market transitions as Cisco has expanded its portfolio into an increasing number of markets.

Scott Herron, Cisco Systems

Sr. Director, Global Customer Success

When Cisco bought MaintenanceNet in August, the networking giant got as part of the package its highly respected CEO with two decades of tech experience, including a 10-year stint as the head of a solution provider. His focus now is to help Cisco partners ramp up their services revenue.

Peder Ulander, Cisco Systems

VP, Cloud and Managed Services Partner Organization

Ulander joined Cisco a year ago and is now tasked with working alongside Cisco's cloud and channel leaders to make sure partners are up to speed on Cisco's Intercloud offerings and primed for the cloud opportunity.

John McDonald, CloudOne


Five years into his tenure at CloudOne, McDonald continues push the company to drive innovation in Internet of Things technologies, culminating in CloudOne earning a 2015 IBM Beacon Award. He should know what makes IBM tick; he previously spent two decades as a sales exec at Big Blue.

Cary Tengler, Comcast

Executive Director, National Partner Programs, Comcast Business

Tengler and his team handle Comcast's master agent, distributor and e-tailer relationships, encompassing some of the company's largest partners. He also drives partnerships with some of Comcast's key alliance partners, including Amazon Web Services, Ciena, Juniper and Microsoft.

Pieter Knight, Corvisa

VP, Channel Sales

Corvisa tapped Knight earlier this year to begin building a channel program. Since then he's worked tirelessly to craft a strategy that creates an entree into the cloud-based contact center market for solution providers but avoids channel conflict with the company's direct reps.

Jody Len, Crowdstrike

Sr. Director, Worldwide Chanel Sales

As interest in Crowdstrike's endpoint security offerings began to skyrocket after the company snagged a $100 million funding round led by Google Capital in July, the company brought on Len to take the reins of its channel program. She's now looking to expand Crowdstrike's partner base from a few large players to a broader range of regional solution providers.

Peter DiMarco, D&H Distributing

VP, VAR Sales, Computer Products Division

DiMarco joined D&H in April to oversee the company's new Computer Products Division. In this role, DiMarco will help roughly 250 fast-growing SMB resellers push into the midmarket by bolstering their program management, solutions capabilities and marketing prowess.

Bryan Hauptman, Datto

VP, Sales

In an industry full of providers of backup, recovery and business continuity services, Hauptman is charged with securing Datto's unique share of the spotlight. And he has done so, helping thousands of service providers take advantage of Datto's own storage cloud.

Andrew Preda, Dell

Global Director, Channel Strategy, Transformation

Preda is responsible for the design, implementation and execution of Dell's channel go-to-market activity. The Dell veteran has worked in its small business and large enterprise divisions and now leads channel business development across OEMs, systems integrators, VARs, service providers and distributors.

Kiran Bashyam, Dell

Channel Business Transformation Director

Focused on the government, education and health-care sectors, Bashyam's efforts have helped focus Dell's sales growth initiatives through the development of productivity analysis, resource optimization models and account development while enabling both inside and field sales teams.

Stacie Rodriguez, EMC

Principal Marketing Specialist

Rodriguez develops specialized communications management, website management, brand development and market launch initiatives. She's worked at EMC for nearly three years and has several years of experience leading teams with a mission to grow business and differentiate themselves from the competition.

Ted Plumis, Exabeam

VP, Channels, Business, Corporate Development

Plumis finds himself with a lot more working capital after behavior analytics firm Exabeam recently brought in $25 million in Series B funding, money company executives said will help bolster its 100 percent channel focus with more channel account managers and marketing personnel.

Tonya Kaufman, ForeScout

Sr. Manager, Channel Marketing

In charge of driving channel marketing at up-and-coming security startup ForeScout since the beginning of the year, Kaufman is praised by her peers for her strong understanding of the channel and ability to drive enablement through marketing, calling her a "great asset" to any team.

Krissy Kelley, Fortinet

Sr. Director, Partner Programs

A year into her stint at Fortinet, Kelley has distinguished herself with a laser focus on improving the partner experience at the security vendor. To do that, she has driven partner engagement opportunities and worked to make sure partners are taking advantage of the vendor's full portfolio.

Chris Rimer, Google

Head of Americas, Cloud Ecosystem, Partnerships, Google Cloud Platform

This onetime VMware exec came to Google in 2013 to run the partner business for Google Cloud Platform. He's dedicated to building alliances to establish Google as an enterprise player while driving revenue for partners and helping them develop their business.

Greg VanDeWalker, GreatAmerica Financial Services

SVP, GM, Communications & Data Group

If you aren't including financing for equipment rental into your managed services deals, you might want to listen to VanDeWalker's pitch. He's driving GreatAmerica's crusade to make sure solution providers aren't leaving money on the table by ignoring, well, the money.

Alessandra Brambilla, Hewlett-Packard

VP Worldwide, Indirect GTM and SMB, Enterprise Group

Now working on the global stage, this channel-savvy exec was the driving force behind double-digit channel growth in EMEA for the past three years. Partners credit her with driving increased collaboration with HP direct sales in the fast-growing hybrid cloud market.

Vincent Brissot, Hewlett-Packard

VP, Worldwide Channel Marketing

A demand generation marketing machine, Brissot has significantly increased leads, helping partners close more than $1 billion in PC/printer sales in last year. He also led the charge to get marketing manager support in place for more partners.

David Lary, Hewlett-Packard

VP, PPS Partner Development & Programs, PPS Americas Commercial Channel Organization

A rising star in what will soon be HP Inc., Lary is the brains and brawn behind the new PartnerOne charge to sell a set of as-a-service offerings. Look for the 23-year HP veteran to take partner margins to new heights.

John Reilly, Hewlett-Packard

Sr. Director, U.S. National Solution Provider Channel

Reilly helps drive sales growth at some of HP's top partners including CDW, Insight, SHI and PC Connection. A 10-year PC Connection veteran, he has contributed to a big increase in partner satisfaction with ease of doing business improvements.

Darren McBride, Highly Reliable Systems


The CEO of Highly Reliable Systems is a highly reliable guy when it comes to thought leadership in storage and cloud backup technology. He's pushing the company to upgrade its portfolio with an unrelenting series of product launches this past year.

Brian Dalgetty, IBM

CMO, Internet of Things

Dalgetty is a founding member of IBM Analytics' Internet of Things division, and now is driving overall marketing and portfolio management for IoT. He's bringing to bear his 15 years of experience in new business development for Big Blue developing new products and starting several business units.

Carrie Palin, IBM

VP, Marketing, Cloud Data Services

IBM turned to Palin when it came time to differentiate the data scientist- and developer-oriented Cloud Data Services brand (developed from IBM's Cloudant acquisition) within the larger enterprise-focused IBM brand. She's done that by building strategic partnerships with companies such as Looker, Aginity Workbench and Chart.io.

David Hebert, Infinidat

Director, U.S. Channels

Multi-petabyte enterprise storage startup Infinidat decided to take a channel-focused approach to the market, and found it in Hebert who, as the former owner and president of a solution provider, has seen it all from partners' side of the aisle.

Tom Villani, Information Builders

VP, Business Development, Strategic Alliances

Previously with MicroStrategy, Villani joined Information Builders in January, charged with expanding the business intelligence software developer's position in the channel. His buildup of the company’s channel efforts come as it targets the midmarket with its WebFocus Express software.

Dennis Crupi, Ingram Micro

Creative Services Director, Agency Ingram Micro

Under Crupi's leadership, Ingram Micro's in-house design shop has done 40 complete brand refreshes for vendors and partners in 2015. He says partners have boosted their investment in brand strategies over the past three years as IT becomes more digital and cloud-centric.

Terry Thorn, Intel

North America Data Center Marketing Director

Thorn is one of Intel's data center experts, now using that knowledge to sculpt the vendor's North American marketing strategy. He has contributed to the success of Intel's data center segment while building on a multiyear vision for interoperable cloud solutions.

Carol Beering, Intelisys

VP, Sales Operations

Beering supports Intelisys' sales partners and supplier partners, and is responsible for the company's order management and Audex teams. She played a primary role in reorganizing Intelisys' nationwide support structure to better meets the needs of its partners.

Erin Shaw Crowley, Intronis

Event Manager

Intronis channel partners looking for a little help bringing the vendor's solutions to customers can count on Crowley, who drove more than 90 channel partner events last year. She's known as an advocate for the business value of face-to-face networking and partner engagement.