It was around this time last year when our industry, and indeed the world, began to wrap its arms around the notion that the pandemic was not only real, but poised to be a long-term fixture in our lives. To date, nearly 31 million Americans have contracted COVID-19, and more than 550,000 people have lost their lives.
One year later, optimism is palpable. Millions of Americans have received at least one vaccination, while businesses, schools and other entities continue the slow plod back to some level of normalcy. The fight against the pandemic is far from over, and as we take stock in what we lost during these past 12-plus months, the successes and setbacks must be viewed against the backdrop of the sacrifices countless individuals have made. Doctors, nurses, first responders, researchers, volunteers—some even making the ultimate sacrifice—are helping us fully recapture our lives.
They are the true difference makers.
But one need not be a life saver to qualify for this designation. These people surround us daily, guiding us through the anger, frustration and challenges, taking on added responsibilities to make life and work continue as unimpeded as possible. Job descriptions, particularly under these circumstances, have been tossed aside.
This is what makes the 2021 ENX Magazine Difference Maker program so special. With everything that’s transpired, readers heeded the call to celebrate the most valuable players in our professional lives. This year’s group of honorees is the largest ever at 84, roughly 50% bigger than its predecessor. And in a year when everyone has been asked to do a little more to keep the industry moving forward, you answered the call to acknowledge their contributions. For this, we are eternally grateful.
While we hope that next year’s edition comes under much more pleasant and ordinary circumstances, we would be remiss in forgetting how the industry’s Difference Makers shone their brightest when times were at their darkest. We sincerely thank all of those industry professionals who took the time to nominate the best that the imaging technology space has to offer. Congratulations to our winners—please take some time to read their stories:
Why Tobin Bartholomew is a difference maker:
The mark of a true difference maker is the ability to excel in less-than-optimal conditions, and 2020 provided a huge dosage of challenges. That didn’t stop Bartholomew from generating more than $2 million in personal revenue growth during the year—increasing overall company revenues by more than 25%. The vice president of business development for Allied Business Solutions is well traveled, having enjoyed success with a variety of companies including Valley Office Systems, BOE (a Xerox Company) and IKON Office Solutions during the course of 30 years in the sales game. He arrived at Allied in 2015, and has demonstrated an unsurpassed commitment to helping customers achieve their business goals. A Weber State College alum and tenacious deal-closer, Bartholomew is working tirelessly to grow the Allied sales team and continue consistent year-over-year growth. He is active in the community, working with the young men’s group at church, Boy Scouts of America and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Tobin for the past two years, and his hard work and dedication have been an integral part of Allied’s success. His focus on the customer and their satisfaction is unyielding. He takes the time to make himself available for the team, always lending a hand when needed. But above all, Tobin is a great colleague who cares about people and his customers, and has helped us earn our reputation for friendly service.”—Lisa Mesenko, Executive General Manager, Allied Business Solutions
Why Jay Bartlett is a difference maker:
Focus and discipline are two of many traits exhibited by members of the armed forces, and Bartlett is one of several service members on this year’s Difference Maker roster who fit that bill. He joined the Air Force in 1995 and began his military career as a law enforcement officer prior to cross-training into the Combat Emergency Services division, saving lives in the U.S. and abroad. Today, as the IT solutions manager for Advanced Office, Bartlett is now a business life saver as he helps Advanced Office in its quest to become an industry leader in document management systems. Under his guidance, Bartlett’s teams have garnered 100% technician certification across multiple solution offerings—exceeding provider expectations and industry standards. Hard-wired to provide security in any form, Bartlett has led multiple projects to secure Advanced Office’s systems and networks, including the rollout of two-factor authentication for the entire organization. Previously, Bartlett spent 15 years serving as COO with Callandra North America.
“One of the things we all experienced when COVID first reared its head was the move from traditional workplaces to remote environments. What many of us didn’t consider was the efforts of IT personnel such as Jay, who had to bend over backwards not only to roll these setups out, but to make sure they continued to function properly every day. While COVID has been frustrating for many, because of the incredible efforts of Jay and his team, Advanced Office experienced a relatively minor lag in employee efficiency and connection. We’ve still got work to do, and the only reason we’re able to do that has been Jay.”—Kyle Kopp, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience, Advanced Office
Why Sonny Beeskow is a difference maker:
It takes more than a little courage to make a substantial change in one’s career, but that’s exactly what Beeskow did. After spending a lion’s share of his 34-year career on the hardware side, he decided to challenge himself by focusing exclusively on software and now serves as a solutions analyst for Advanced Imaging Solutions. In the process, he went from providing break-fix to helping salespeople and clients design and implement workflow strategies using software to help improve efficiencies and productivity throughout their infrastructure. Beeskow’s work ethic and commitment to the dealer and its client base are evidenced by his range of communication, support and ability to see projects through to successful outcomes, which makes him an indispensable cog. A Brown Institute graduate with a degree in electronics technology, he’s provided deft guidance for other dealers such as Marco and Imaging Path.
“Sonny has the ability to take a complicated solution and make it easily understandable to all parties involved. His patience and unassuming approach make Sonny quite special in a job that can have extremely challenging days with end-users and technology. A client of ours recently changed a security certificate on its network, which led to the print management software not working correctly, which led to some of their hardware not working correctly. Mind you, this is a school district and stress is already high considering the circumstances. But Sonny’s ability to troubleshoot with a smile and a sense of calm helps de-escalate situations such as this in a matter of minutes. Our client sent me an email after a few days of working on this specific issue, stating that he could not sing Sonny’s praises highly enough. His patience, expertise and grace have kept us afloat in a lot of ways. He deserves a raise or some serious time off after this. I am extremely proud to have the ability to work with someone such as Sonny every day.”—Stephanie Keating-Phillips, Director of Solutions, Advanced Imaging Solutions
Why Nicole Behn is a difference maker:
An aspirational, goal-oriented leader, Behn encourages and nurtures independent thinking among her team members, prodding them to be creative and consultative in their approach. The Millersville University graduate held several different sales leadership roles prior to becoming vice president of sales and marketing in January of 2020. She has oversight for all Pennsylvania sales offices, guiding a team of 20-plus representatives. During her 15 years with Edwards Business Systems, Behn spearheaded numerous initiatives, including a business plan to develop the educational market, which has yielded substantial growth in subsequent years. A proponent of the team-selling concept, Behn relishes the opportunity to be a critical resource for the task at hand, which requires a commitment to understanding the subject matter. Before landing at Edwards, Behn spent nearly 10 years with GE Richards as an account manager.
“The first word that comes to mind in describing Nicole is driven. She constantly challenges herself and her team to be the very best that they can be. She coaches, mentors and leads by example. Nicole has a unique passion for this business and her enthusiasm is evident to every member of the company. As the consummate professional, one who is always willing to go that extra mile to get the job done, she is truly a difference maker.”—Nick Phillips, Executive Vice President of Sales, Service and Logistics, Edwards Business Systems
“Nicole inspires the best in the sales professionals of EBS. Last year, she was honored and profiled in a Reading, Pennsylvania, publication focused on women leaders. We were all very proud of her accomplishment. She’s a dynamic leader. I wish we all had Nicole’s energy!”—Jim Edwards, Chairman, Edwards Business Systems and Virginia Business Systems
Stone’s Office Equipment
Why Mike Berry is a difference maker:
One of the first factory instructional sessions Berry ever attended involved training on the IBM Selectric typewriter. Suffice to say, office equipment technology has evolved more than a little bit since 1980, but Berry has been equal to the task throughout. The vice president of service for Stone’s Office Equipment has worked his magic on word processors, faxes and typewriters. Now, in today’s world of copiers and MFPs, he collaborates with the dealer’s service team to furnish training and guidance that ensure the best technical service possible. It’s through Berry’s tireless dedication to service that Stone’s has earned service awards from Lexmark, and the company has the distinction of being the only Sharp Platinum Service Dealer in Virginia to boast three Master Techs. An avid cyclist, Berry is also active in his community, serving on several committees.
“Mike can fix anything placed in front of him. I’ve witnessed him working with our technicians, as well as manufacturer technicians, and he knows as much as them or more. He has an aptitude to not only make sure the equipment is working, but to make the customer happy. Stone’s Office Equipment started as a service-only business, and Mike takes service seriously. His commitment to working with the technicians and manufacturers to ensure our customers are happy is a tireless job.”—Sam Stone, President, Stone’s Office Equipment
Why Ralph Blanco is a difference maker:
After spending the first seven years of his career working in information systems for what is now Mercy Health Systems, Blanco provided IT network consulting services to Executive Computer Solutions (ECS). Seeing that local businesses required a proactive approach to IT, Blanco acquired ECS in late 1999 and rechristened the firm as Executive Computer Management Solutions Inc. (ECMSI). The Youngstown State University graduate transformed the company from a traditional break-fix operation to a true managed service provider, focusing on managing and maintaining his client networks while protecting them with layered security. He helps clients address lack of productivity, data loss and breaches while promoting a “Making IT Easy” philosophy. ECMSI prides itself on an average 19-minute response time that has helped the company earn a spot on CRN’s 2021 MSP 500 list.
“Working for a CEO such as Ralph makes coming to work easy and enjoyable. As a cultured person, he’s relatable to everyone in every part of our office team. A family man with a strong affinity for travel and seeing the world, he’s one of the most grounded individuals I’ve ever met. Working for Ralph over the past two years, it’s easy to see why his employees stay for the duration of their careers. At ECMSI, Ralph doesn’t make you feel like an employee; he makes you feel like family.”—Lauren Butka, Marketing and Communications Specialist, ECMSI
Why Barbara Bragger is a difference maker:
For 20-plus years, Bragger has been furnishing ERP consulting services to dealers, helping them navigate through OMD and now e-automate while providing best practices. Her services are tailored specifically to clients’ needs—be it a one-time call, translating e-automate to the user’s CPA, ongoing audits, training or day-to-day assistance. Bragger’s understanding of the industry and dealer processes, along with a hands-on approach and willingness to do whatever it takes to solve system issues, make her a valued asset to clients. Customer satisfaction, in large part due to Bragger, has enabled B&B Professional Consultants to cultivate many long-time relationships. Earlier in her career, she spent 11 years as a controller for Imperial Copy Products and more than seven years with Merit Distribution Centers as an accountant. The Kean University product is an avid golfer.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Barbara for more than 25 years. We’ve referred to her often and have never been disappointed. Barbara’s work ethic and focus make her a great resource for folks having issues with e-automate. She rolls up her sleeves and get problems solved. In a world filled with finger pointing, it’s refreshing to work with someone such as Barbara who simply focuses on getting the job done.”—Jim Kahrs, President, Prosperity Plus Management Consulting
Why Rich Brandenburg is a difference maker:
During his three-year career with Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises, Brandenburg’s impact has been keenly felt. As senior vice president of sales, he’s grown the division with the addition of a director of IT and a vCIO. Brandenburg emphasized building the dealer’s IT division, and in that short span it has enjoyed a 40% boost. Prior to joining Donnellon McCarthy, he spent 12 years with Prosource and a year with Columbus Office Solutions. A graduate of Thomas More University who also played for the school’s football team, Brandenburg is active in the community, and spent five years as a head coach for a local high school varsity football team. Buoyed by a passion for helping people, Brandenburg is on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati and also serves as a mentor in the group.
“Rich is a true leader on and off the field. He enjoys growing teams while taking a humanistic approach. Rich is never too big to roll up his sleeves and help. His love, not only for his own three children but for every child, is something to be proud of. Rich is a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati, where he regularly meets with his little and provides guidance to underprivileged children. Rich has also been a driving force in growing DME’s geographical platform to multiple states.”—Jim George, President, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises
Why Scott Buckallew is a difference maker:
Buckallew abides by the work hard, play hard mentality, and as business development manager for Supplies Network, he’s done whatever it takes to foster success for clients and team members. He’s logged more than 20 years with Supplies Network, having served in virtually every sales capacity, and has demonstrated a relentless passion for supporting the dealer community. Buckallew counts negotiating, strategic planning, business development and sales management among his competencies and offers meaningful support to dealers looking to enhance their managed print services competencies and best practices. He graduated with a BS from Truman State University with a focus in law and was also a member of the school’s wrestling team. Prior to joining Supplies Network, Buckallew spent a year with American Express as a broker and financial planner.
“Year after year, Supplies Network has been recognized as a leader in MPS. Scott has been at the foreground of that charge as the face of SN to many of our MPS dealers. Scott’s unique ability to sit down and help our partners map out the best MPS strategy is the key to his success. His extensive industry knowledge and partnerships with manufacturers bring a unique package to our resellers. Scott is also passionate about his family, youth soccer and his beloved Kansas City Chiefs.”—Ted Gruener, Vice President of Sales, Supplies Network
Why Clark Bugg is a difference maker:
During every presidential election cycle, one of the measuring sticks bandied about is the rhetorical question, “Is this someone you’d like to have a beer with?”—even though it has nothing to do with the ability to perform the job. While he’s not angling for a White House bid anytime soon, Bugg has the likeability part down cold. As director of North America channel sales for Lexmark International, he’s willing to sit down over a cold Mountain Dew and discuss how the manufacturer can help dealers focus on selling solutions and managed print services to their customers. Easygoing and engaging, Bugg has spent nearly 22 years driving sales execution for Lexmark’s BSD channel. The University of the Cumberlands product is a thought leader in working with the sales team to build a winning A4 strategy and garner net-new business for Lexmark and its dealers. He’s a champion of fomenting long-term relationships, aided by his knowledge, enthusiasm and unbridled passion for winning.
“Clark was one of the original architects of Lexmark’s copier channel division. He’s been an instrumental leader in positioning Lexmark as the prominent A4 technology and cloud services provider in the industry. His authentic leadership has inspired his team to drive consistent growth through collaboration to win!”—Greg Chavers, Vice President, North America Channel Sales, Lexmark
Why Emily Carapella is a difference maker:
A passion for creating positive outcomes for the dealer channel is the key to success for any business development manager. Carapella has that passion in spades, and her open-minded approach and penchant for seeing initiatives across the finish line have served her well. A 13-year veteran of Supplies Network, her career has been marked by consistent promotions that enabled the company to leverage her talents. Carapella has developed and maintained relationships with existing customers and cultivated a cadre of strategic net-new clients, territory manufacturer reps and industry partners in the Western region. She attained a BS in marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia and previously spent two years as a sales representative for Aramark Uniform Services.
“I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Emily for several years, and I can tell you she is a true advocate for our resellers. We were all knocked a little sideways last year with COVID and all that went with it, but Emily kept a positive attitude and continued to find ways to support her customers through the challenges. Her persistence and tenacity do not go unnoticed by her peers or her customers. Thank you, Emily, for always putting in the work, no matter how many hours or miles it takes!”—David Concors, Senior Vice President of Sales, Distribution Management/Supplies Network
Why Shane Coffey is a difference maker:
During his 25-year odyssey with Sharp, particularly in his current role as vice president of product management, Coffey has consistently led successful efforts to launch and market products and solutions that fit the “new normal” for conducting business. This includes home technology bundles, nearly 20 new letter/legal size printers and MFPs for home/office use, temperature-scanning solutions, laptops and displays for hybrid educational and corporate environments. Educated at St. Augustine’s College in Dungarvan, Ireland, Coffey boasts a progressive and diverse background encompassing product planning, marketing, technical expertise, launch management and team development. His responsibilities include the development of products and strategies for multiple lines of IoT-enabled hardware and software products.
“Shane is the consummate professional. He understands technology as well as anyone I’ve met and works very hard to deliver best-in-class products and solutions to Sharp dealers. Shane is a great listener and makes sure everyone has a voice in the process. He’s always going above and beyond what is expected.”—Troy Olson, CEO, Les Olson Company
Why Rob Collins is a difference maker:
Collins brought a bevy of corporate financial and operational experience to the fold when he arrived at ARLINGTON in 2012, and he leverages his acumen to navigate the complicated relationship between sales and operations. In recent years, he played a pivotal role in the integration of three companies into one, which was critical to the health of the organization. In fact, he’s been instrumental in guiding the company through several acquisitions during the past five years. Collins’ work with OEMs, including Lexmark and Xerox, helps to forge solid relationships with ARLINGTON and widen its product offering to dealers. The holder of a BS in accounting and finance from Northern Illinois University, he spent 17 years as the director of global business for Ace Hardware, in addition to stints with Metropolitan Fiber Systems, Gould Electronics and SB Consulting.
“Rob has a keen mind and excellent understanding of what it takes to succeed. Having been in executive leadership with a large hardware firm in the past, Rob uses that experience to successfully guide the ARLINGTON business. I’ve had the pleasure of serving with Rob on the executive board, and I’m constantly amazed at his grasp on all aspects of the business, extending far beyond his primary umbrella of responsibility, accounting and operations. I’ve witnessed firsthand Rob’s ability to successful steer the company through the testy waters COVID-19 offered. Through all the challenges of 2020, ARLINGTON remains a very successful company, largely due to Rob’s strong efforts.”—Scott Lewis, Vice President of Sales, ARLINGTON
Why Melissa Confalone is a difference maker:
Confalone’s career has spanned more than 30 years, 25 of which have been spent with Fraser Advanced Information Systems. She’s held a number of critical sales positions, including regional sales manager and general sales manager. Under her guidance, the company enjoyed several of its largest annual revenue performances. That led to her promotion as vice president of sales in 2016, and she now has oversight of six regional sales managers, the director of technology sales and services, and the marketing manager. Confalone also provides guidance and direction as part of the company’s leadership team, and has mentored many of Fraser’s account executives and sales managers, helping to build on individual success and continued corporate growth. She was recently named to Lehigh Valley Business’ Power 100 as one of 100 influential business people in the Lehigh Valley. The holder of a marketing degree from Susquehanna University, Confalone’s previous roles include sales positions with Keystone Business Products and IKON Office Solutions.
“Melissa’s dedication to the business technology industry is unsurpassed. She lives Fraser’s core values of doing the right thing, working tirelessly for clients to ensure they have an outstanding customer experience each and every time. She’s looked to as a leader in the business technology community and often provides knowledge to other sales leaders in the industry. Her leadership has been an integral part of Fraser’s transformation from a copier company to a full-service business technology firm. She also serves as a mentor to other sales executives within and outside of Fraser, providing valuable knowledge and support that helps build future leaders in our industry.”—Heather Trone, Marketing Manager, Fraser Advanced Information Systems
Why Paul Cooper is a difference maker:
A lifelong Southern California resident, Cooper has spent the better part of 22 years with GoodSuite. He’s credited with developing the company’s imaging reseller channel back in 1999, including contract financing, and also helped launch the service team. Cooper, who earned an MBA from Edinburgh Business School, helped guide the then-new dealership to a growth rate in excess of 500%. That earned GoodSuite a platinum designation among the top 1% nationally for new businesses. Cooper is tireless in his quest to help the company gain efficiencies and maximize its performance, and GoodSuite’s 90%-plus client retention rate can be attributed to his constant focus on customer satisfaction. He’s also paved the way toward diversifying into additional service-related contracts with existing clients.
“When you are stuck, you can go to Paul and get a fresh perspective on the right thing to do. Paul will patiently listen and thoroughly research all options. It’s uncanny how Paul sees things that nobody else does to help an employee or customer get something resolved. He’s found ways for salespeople, finance admin staff and technicians to get their jobs done more successfully. There’s no topic too complicated and no task beneath him. His willingness to go the extra mile is true leadership.”—Dan Strull, CEO, GoodSuite
Why Holly Dale is a difference maker:
Dale has found herself in the spotlight, both figuratively and literally, during her young career. A 2010 graduate of the University of Montevallo majoring in acting and directing, she spent more than a year on stages nationwide before transitioning to a career in sales and marketing. That experience proved to be beneficial in taking on the roles of a B2B sales rep and now director of marketing for the Central region of Visual Edge Technology (VET). Dale is definitely a rising star for XMC Inc. under the VET umbrella. After her sales stint, she took over as director of marketing and branding in 2019, transforming the inbound and outbound lead generation strategy by leveraging technology tools, SEO and website structure to generate annual revenue equal to that of three reps. Promoted to her current role at the start of 2021, Dale supports multiple organizations in their strategic marketing efforts. She achieved President’s Club honors in 2019 and 2020, and captured the XMC Hamilton Hustle Award, named for XMC founder Bob Hamilton.
“Holly is a big thinker and always looking for ways to increase our marketing automation, external experience and new customer reach process. During COVID, Holly was instrumental in helping launch regional and national managed IT webinars for customers. These events were timely in assisting those that quickly found themselves with security and technology challenges in a virtual world. Her ability to listen to challenges and convert to actionable strategic initiatives in real time make Holly an incredible asset to the organization.”—Sean Seward, President-Central Region Visual Edge Technology, XMC Inc.
Why Glenda David is a difference maker:
David is proof positive that the path to the top of the executive chain can begin at any point. She joined Coast to Coast Computer Products in 1998 as a receptionist and later sold the company’s founder and CEO on the idea of becoming his personal assistant. In this role, David became fluent in all aspects of how an imaging product entity should be run. Thus, when the CEO decided to step down, company leadership felt that David was the most qualified candidate to assume the position. She now oversees day-to-day operations for the company. When the pandemic hit, David mobilized the IT department so that all 100-plus employees could work remotely. And as its traditional menu of image products stalled with client offices closed, she pivoted to offering PPE. Through creativity and resources, the company was able to create jobs during 2020, and its HP business doubled.
“I’ve known Glenda since her first day on the job. She has always worked as if this is her company and we are her family! Glenda is very supportive of reps such as me being creative and innovative. Together, we’ve created several great programs with manufacturers such as HP that bring them more business and benefit our clients at the same time. Her understanding of the image supply business, as well as her giant heart, surely make her a difference maker in our world.”—Giuseppe Alleva, Vice President of MPS, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why John Dembia is a difference maker:
Dembia has fashioned a lengthy and successful career with Konica Minolta Business Solutions. In fact, he predates the 2003 merger between Konica and Minolta, having joined the Minolta Photo Imaging Group in 1998. When the company exited the photo and camera business, Dembia became a product marketing manager for multifunction products. Six years ago, he took on production print and industrial print products. Along the way, he’s focused on digital embellishment, which enables print service providers to bolster the value of output pieces through gloss, three-dimensional printing and embossed foil. Dembia has spent much time educating Konica Minolta’s sales teams on those processes and their potential as a value-added differentiator. He also oversees the OEM’s more recent foray into high-speed inkjet products and manages the company’s Clean Planet program. During the height of the pandemic, Dembia spent much of his time in the company’s Customer Engagement Center, conducting virtual demonstrations and producing embellished print samples to send out to prospects, ensuring the sales engine continued to hum under difficult circumstances.
“John has had a remarkable journey at Konica Minolta, from photo imaging to office equipment, production and industrial print, and now digital embellishment. Through the contributions he’s made in each area, John has more than demonstrated his amazing ability to transition and take on whatever is needed for the company to succeed. He’s truly a master at his trade, delivering excellence in each endeavor. John has clearly made a difference at Konica Minolta over the years, and continues to rise to meet each new challenge. His extraordinary work in keeping our sales teams selling during 2020 has made an incredible impact on our business. We’re truly lucky to have John on our team.”—Dino Pagliarello, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Planning, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Why William DeMuth is a difference maker:
DeMuth got his first taste of the industry in 1999 when he joined Depot America as a product marketing manager, which proved to be an optimal fit. Behind his essential marketing communications and product development leadership, Depot America’s sales billowed from $14 million to $40 million. That taste of success spurred him to co-found Metrofuser, a leading marketer and manufacturer of service parts, equipment, diagnostics and repair information. In his role as chief operating officer, DeMuth crafted an inbound digital marketing strategy, generating organic traffic that grew 1,200% in 16 months. This entailed launching Metrofuser’s ecommerce storefront and bridging it to the website, for which DeMuth developed customer-driven text and video content. Behind his drive and dedication to IT, Metrofuser has earned more than 20 leadership and industry awards, including a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies five years in a row.
“Will is an ideas guy. As his partner, it’s been my job to take all of his oftentimes crazy ideas, pick the best ones and run with them. Metrofuser was one of the first companies recognizing the need for next-day ground fulfillment to open up bicoastal distribution. We were a pioneer in offering week-long printer repair training courses for our customers and were one of the first parts companies to start doing whole unit printer rebuilds. These may not seem like a big deal now, but they were risky when we conceived them.”—Eric Katz, Co-President/CFO, Metrofuser, LLC
Why Stephanie DeSanto is a difference maker:
In her current role as senior partner program development manager, DeSanto focuses on designing, implementing and launching channel programs for Brother Authorized Gold Partners. She recently led the implementation of a new partner portal called PATH (Partner Authorized Total Hub), which connects all partner programs and components to make it simple and easy for authorized partners to leverage Brother’s support programs. DeSanto joined the manufacturer in 2012 following stints with WebApps Inc. in a business development role and Boise Office Solutions as sales supervisor. The New Jersey native graduated from Kean University in 2007 and received her master’s degree in business administration from Strayer University in 2013. Outside of work, she continues to embody the Brother ‘at your side’ spirit as a volunteer for New Jersey Boxer Rescue.
“I’ve been consistently impressed by Stephanie’s commitment to improving the customer experience for our Brother Authorized Partners, from her stewardship of Brother’s numerous channel programs to the recent launch of the companywide Partner Relationship Management platform. No matter the challenge, Stephanie is a beacon of positivity and leads with a can-do approach.”—Michelle Hartman, Senior Director of Sales, Brother International Corporation USA
Why Francine Do is a difference maker:
In a span of 18 months, Do has made a significant impact as CFO and COO of Advanced Imaging Solutions by improving results through process improvements, efficiencies and collaboration. In a career that stretches across more than 20 years, she’s worn a multitude of hats, including controller, human resources director and business operations director. She currently has oversight of AIS’ finance, HR, logistics and internal IT teams. Passionate and enthusiastic, Do has made great strides executing innovative methods for how the company spends and allocates its budgets, revenue and profits. She’s helping to champion the company’s quest to become a $100 million company. Previously, Do spent 17 years with Canon in various business roles as well as a stint with Inland Business Systems as CFO. She has accounting, finance and business management degrees from Cal State-Hayward and the University of Phoenix. Do’s education continues today: she received invitations to join The Golden Key International Honor Society and The National Society of Leadership and Success.
“Francine is tenacious in her daily approach to exploring consistent improvements with her team at AIS as well as their vendor partners. Francine looks to put processes in place to improve their customers’ experience through improved communication and technology efficiencies, which in turn improves the financial results of her company. Her impact in the industry is not just felt at AIS; it has helped us become a better partner to the industry!”—Steve Gottlieb, Regional Director of Sales, GreatAmerica Financial Services
“Never has AIS had such a dynamic, passionate, dedicated, talented person leading our financial and operational strategy. Francine is a powerhouse and force to be reckoned with. Her dedication has helped AIS improve processes while helping us navigate through the pandemic. She challenges the status quo, thinks outside the box, is an innovator, passionate about her work and is a deeply caring member of the AIS family. And she does it all with a smile.”—Gary Harouff, President, Advanced Imaging Solutions
Why Dan Doyle Jr. is a difference maker:
The growth and visibility Doyle has enjoyed in building DEX Imaging to the precipice of $300 million is quite amazing. The dealership had established itself as a known quality on a national scale, and it’s tough to watch a sporting event without seeing the company’s logo on walls, backdrops, dasher boards or even race cars. Doyle and his father, Dan Sr., have grown the firm from one location with 15 employees to a network of 38 locations supported by 1,800 team members. A philanthropist, golf aficionado and real estate magnate in the St. Petersburg, Florida, region, Doyle created the dealer’s Community Outreach Program, which donates one-third of company profits to charities. In 2013, he was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the technologies industries category. Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization, Doyle also serves on the board of directors for National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the Community Foundation of Tampa, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, St. Paul’s School and The Doyle Foundation.
“After having been in this industry for 30 years, it’s my honor to work for DEX Imaging and Dan Doyle Jr. I’m so proud to be part of an organization that treats its employees like family. Despite the ups and downs of 2020 and a significant hit to revenue in May and June 2020, DEX did not reduce headcount. DEX paid its non-commissioned employees their percentage of profit sharing it promised at the end of 2020, which I believe most would agree is a sign of the greatness in DEX’s leader.”—Susan Primm, Sales Director, DEX Imaging
Why Glenn Elbin is a difference maker:
Elbin has seen his share of technological advances during a career that’s spanned more than 36 years at Doing Better Business. He first turned a screwdriver in July 1984, working on Savin liquid copiers, and before long he became a certified Savin trainer and service supervisor. An audiophile and electronics buff, Elbin carved out a reputation as an astute troubleshooter. He was named vice president of service in 1999, responsible for the entire service team and warehouse operations for Doing Better Business’ three locations. As the dealership grew, Elbin was instrumental in integrating acquired service teams. Elbin and his supervisor team garnered Pros Elite certification in 18 months, and he continues to focus on improving metrics. The dealer also secured Top Ten honors from CEO Juice for customer survey responses—a testament to Elbin’s commitment to continuous improvement. He’s also willing to share his knowledge and experience with the industry at large. Elbin serves on the Ricoh National Dealer Service Council and speaks at Select Dealer Group service meetings.
“Glenn is the ultimate team player. He collaborates easily with sales and the administrative teams to help Doing Better Business achieve its goal of helping our customers do better business. He drives his team to continue to outperform, but not in a demanding way. He wants everyone to have fun and enjoy what they’re doing. Glenn is definitely a difference maker for DBB.”—Debra Dellaposta, President, Doing Better Business
Why Yoko Endo is a difference maker:
Behind every successful business is at least one individual who doesn’t garner much of the spotlight, but without whom the company wouldn’t flourish. Endo fits that description, working tirelessly behind the scenes for Sharp while positively impacting the dealer community in ways both large and small. As business process manager for the business planning team, she provides a critical link between the dealer community and Sharp’s corporate office in Japan. Endo’s responsibilities include calculating proper targets and modifications, creating and negotiating special programs, setting dealer rebate levels and tracking attainment with Sharp’s sales teams, in addition to other internal reporting responsibilities. Her work is inevitably leveraged by every Sharp dealer in one way or another through her close relationships with the Sharp sales team. By taking into account the needs of dealers, Sharp’s sales reps and the corporate factory team, Endo can quickly and efficiently provide a path forward to ensure profitable growth for all parties. Her tireless efforts were critical in ensuring Sharp could be responsive to dealers’ changing needs during the pandemic.
“Yoko is absolutely a difference maker, despite her operating behind the scenes and her totally unassuming ‘I just do the numbers’ approach. Her diligent work ethic, knowledge of our dealers and strong financial understanding make her a trusted resource within the corporate team, speeding our decision-making on new initiatives. Our dealers may or may not know Yoko personally, but with every quick introduction or response to programs and promotions, they feel her impact every day.”—Bob Madaio, Vice President, Marketing, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America
Why Michael Fair is a difference maker:
In a relatively short time frame, Fair has enjoyed a tour of some of the leading office equipment dealers in the Chicago market—Gordon Flesch Company, Impact Networking and now Pulse Technology. He joined Pulse in 2020 as director of business development and plays a critical role in defining the company’s business model. Almost immediately, Fair provided tools and resources to the sales team to increase visibility, better support customers, cultivate healthy competition among the team and identify qualified target prospects. As director of business development, Fair is helping guide the company’s burgeoning growth in production print, workflow automation and expanded IT services. He hired a corporate trainer to bolster the reps’ knowledge base and employs weekly training programs to sustain learning. A product of Northern Michigan and Dominican University, he’s an active participant in the Opportunity Knocks non-profit, an advocacy group that helps young adults with developmental disabilities pursue educational, occupational and social interests.
“Michael brings vision and experience to his work. He looks at opportunities for growth both internally and externally and has the ability to recognize how to put all the pieces together into a strong and cohesive plan.”—Jim Farrell, Founder, PRfirst
Why Pamela Feld is a difference maker:
The founder and CEO of Triumph Technology Group, Feld is a technology industry veteran who has extensive experience in sales, marketing, operations and management. She’s also an award-winning national speaker on cybersecurity, business and digital transformation, relishing the opportunity to partner with hardware and IT dealers to complement their security programs. A staunch diversity advocate, Feld was recently nominated for WBE Advocate of the Year. She also serves as the regional chair for WBEC-West, as part of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Feld’s educational background includes UCLA, the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College and Stanford University.
“Pam has the unique talent of a having a vision for seeing industry trends and rapidly innovating, transforming and reinventing her company. She loves helping clients and keeping their systems running smoothly while providing all the extra value she can. Pam is a genuine, charismatic leader with integrity who cares deeply about her employees and clients. She’s always looking to make a difference not only in her company, but in the community.”—Mark Ruggiero, Operations Manager, Triumph Technology Group
Why Juan Fernandez is a difference maker:
Fernandez has reached the upper pantheon of IT MSP developers during his 27-year career, which has been dedicated to enhancing and elevating service delivery by embracing effective and efficient use of technology. He’s on the short list of individuals who have written CompTIA A+, Network + and Security + tests and sits on the CompTIA SME Technical Advisory board. The vice president of managed IT services at ImageNet Consulting, Fernandez has created effective business models for delivering IT-based services such as DaaS, SaaS, DRaaS and XaaS. He also promotes online development opportunities to increase individual self-service capabilities and leads initiatives to effectively transform technology to be simple, flexible, adaptable and responsive to customers’ needs. Fernandez was the winner of Continuum’s MSP Shark Tank competition for best security and services presentation, which paved the path for an all-inclusive security- and device-as-a-service model—creating a framework for channel and MSP models. His Making “IT” Simple approach has led to a number of recognitions, including the HP DaaS Innovator of the Year and Continuum Growth Partner of the Year.
“I’ve had the pleasure to know Juan for almost five years, and he has a passion for customer experience excellence that is to be envied. While he spends countless hours perfecting the service delivery model at ImageNet, he still finds time to offer his guidance, resources and experience with others within our channel to ensure their future success as well. He’s a true asset to the channel.”—Michael Amiri, Senior Director, Dealer Services, ConnectWise
Why Thomas Fimian is a difference maker:
Fimian is the embodiment of the American Dream. An émigré from Switzerland, he long dreamed of owning a business, and upon arriving in 1996, he learned the office technology business as a Xerox consultant for one of the top sales agencies in the Southeast. In 2002, he fulfilled his dream by acquiring a Xerox agency in Charleston, South Carolina. Now a full-fledged dealership, Docugraphics has eight locations providing a portfolio of workplace and production print technology, backed by the firm’s white glove service and support. Fimian ushered in 2021 by obtaining a successful Xerox dealer based in Hickory, North Carolina. The Troy University graduate always endeavors to produce win-win relationships by helping businesses increase employee productivity and profitability through eliminating inefficient document workflow. Fimian serves on Xerox’s Agent Advisory Council and contributes to several peer groups.
“Thomas’ unending determination to always make strategic investments in people and processes has been a key success factor. The result is an outstanding customer experience and an organization that top industry professionals want to work for. When COVID hit Docugraphics, Thomas didn’t hesitate or pause. He focused on having our service team earn more certifications and capabilities, and invested in adding to our portfolio of solutions to best serve our clients. The company didn’t stop moving forward—we call it ‘Docugraphics in Motion.’”—Steven Spector, General Manager, Docugraphics
Why Charles Fruth is a difference maker:
At a time of great uncertainty, Fruth is a prime example of the caring spirit that drives the industry. After spending nearly seven years as senior vice president, Western Division for Danka Office Imaging, he founded Fruth Group, a dealership serving the needs of clients throughout the Southwest. When the pandemic struck, he made personal sacrifices to protect the members of the “Fruth family” of 98 employees—none of whom were furloughed during this period. The family showed its gratitude by maintaining hardware revenue at the same level as the previous year. In the process, Fruth Group saw double-digit growth in its managed services division, which was the topping on a sundae in a year that saw the dealer build a new corporate technology center in Phoenix. Fruth also continues to demonstrate a caring nature through the company’s partnership with Paz de Cristo, a community outreach center that provides food and clothing to the disadvantaged in East Valley. Each quarter, employees and their families serve 250 evening meals at the Paz de Cristo facility.
“I’ve worked with Chuck since November 2011 and he’s proven to be a great leader and mentor to those around him. Chuck has allowed the Fruth Group to be an open, faith-based company that follows these guiding principles in this order: faith, family, work family, customers and community. The best testament to the company culture and environment that has been built over the past 20 years is the noticeable fact that employees do not leave. The company tenure is excellent for this industry.”—Brad Osborn, Vice President of Sales, Fruth Group
Why Leonard Gambino is a difference maker:
As a partner in the law firm of Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC, Gambino has been instrumental in closing hundreds of transactions of all sizes throughout the country during his 21 years with the firm. Gambino’s straightforward process and general demeanor have made him an indispensable asset to the clients he’s assisted. A longtime M&A facilitator from his days with Sidney & Austin, Gambino maintains an extensive corporate practice, working on some of Schoenberg Finkel’s most complex transactions. His transactional practice focuses on the formation and governance of business entities; state and federal securities law; mergers and acquisitions; debt and equity financing; tax matters; and general contract drafting and negotiation. A member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Gambino graduated magna cum laude from Case Western Reserve University and obtained his J.D. from UIC John Marshall Law School.
“I’ve worked with Len on hundreds of M&A transactions as well as partnership and other legal agreements. His focus is always on getting the deal done, rather than getting hung up on legal wording and problems. Len’s work is excellent, and he turns documents faster than anyone I’ve worked with. He’s always focused on creating well balanced win-win scenarios for the parties of a transaction. We need more attorneys like Len in this world.”—Jim Kahrs, President, Prosperity Plus Management Consulting
Why David Garcia is a difference maker:
Garcia’s current title may be inventory and logistics manager for Advanced Office, but defining a job description for him is another matter entirely. In general, he’s responsible for overseeing all the physical items responsible for the company’s revenue stream. But as a floor manager with 30 years of experience, there are really no boundaries as to what Garcia can or will handle. Whether it’s shipping or delivering product, driving a forklift, shopping for office supplies or stocking creamer in the kitchen, he’s always willing to roll up his sleeves and address any matter than needs handling. As a do-it-all floor leader, Garcia is afforded the opportunity to gauge the strengths of those he manages, and he relishes being able to nurture their talents and maximize their potential. His journey includes stints in the paint and roof manufacturing sectors.
“Since the pandemic began, most of our admin and sales staff were moved to remote working setups. For David and his team, that wasn’t an option. Rather than complain or object, David took it as his personal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of everyone still working in or visiting our building. David took on managing our temperature screening and tracking, our building sanitation throughout the day and even PPE regulation and distribution. If that weren’t enough, he even took on the challenge of controlling the rodent element that moved into our building when people vacated—setting traps, removing left-behind food and checking every possible access point. I know for a fact that was not something he ever expected to do in his assigned role.”—Kyle Kopp, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience, Advanced Office
Why Rose Grande is a difference maker:
Flex Technology Group (FTG) added a human resources director of the first order when it welcomed Grande to the organization in 2018. She brought with her a wealth of people-handling skills, having served for a number of major corporations, including General Electric, American Traffic Solutions, Landmark Aviation and StandardAero. Grande has been crucial to developing FTG’s corporate culture, aligning it with business outcomes and implementing the necessary initiatives to help improve the company’s overall efficiency. Her leadership has also helped drive FTG’s talent management strategy. Grande is founder and executive sponsor of the employee-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, which endeavors to foster an environment in which people can be their authentic selves while feeling engaged, included and valued. She has a BA in psychology from Queens College and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Brooklyn College.
“Rose is a truly exceptional leader and someone I have great respect for. Her ability to lead and promote change within an organization is unrivaled. She’s pragmatic, commercial and solutions-focused, and her ability to calmly navigate complex problems constantly amazes me. I’ve never seen her settle for anything, and she continuously strives to improve herself, her team and the company. The difference prior to her joining the company is night and day. We’re beyond fortunate to have Rose on the FTG team.”—Debbie Lucero, Vice President of Operations, Flex Technology Group
Why Adam Gregory II is a difference maker:
Baseball was a lifelong passion for Gregory, who began playing at the age of four and excelled in pitching and playing center field at the high school and travel showcase levels—capturing the attention of several Division II collegiate programs. When injuries curtailed his playing career, Gregory turned to the office equipment space, and he’s been pounding the strike zone ever since. He quickly discovered a passion for sales, and in order to become well-versed with the equipment and how it works, he trained to become a service technician. Following a year in the field with clients and decision makers, Gregory began his sales career. As a ballplayer, Gregory could appreciate the value of versatility, so he also doubles as a tech when the need arises. Sales seems to agree with him; since he began, he’s exceeded quota and increased sales revenue for the company by more than 20%. Gregory is involved in the community, serving on a local chamber of commerce and the Small Business Resource Network, in addition to coaching youth football.
“I’ve been in the industry for over 25 years and I’ve never seen someone who desired to be so diverse in the industry from sales to service and then to IT knowledge. As a 21-year-old, I would put his knowledge up against many veterans in our business. His work ethic of working late hours and having the ability to flip from sales to service on a dime is quite amazing and, in my opinion, a gift. I’ve never met one client, vendor or peer group that truly does not enjoy his company or his fellowship. It’s my hope that he’s the future of our industry. If he is, then our industry is in good hands!”—Jarrod McCarthy, Regional Sales Manager, Epson America
Why Jason Habbal is a difference maker:
Easygoing and unassuming, Habbal has worked alongside his father, Fred, for the past 15 years in helping to guide Vision Office Systems. He picked up his degree from Western Carolina University and immediately immersed himself in the world of office equipment technology. He’s had a tour of virtually every aspect of the business, serving in sales and management roles prior to joining the executive ranks. Today, Habbal dedicates much of his time to speaking with clients, assisting the sales effort and setting strategy with his father. One of his passions is advocating for the buy-locally movement, believing that neighborhood businesses should support one another. To that point, Habbal dedicates much of his free time and resources to supporting local charitable organizations and serves on several boards as a director. A model alumnus, he’s a member of the Western Carolina University alumni board and directs all functions in the Charlotte region.
“I’ve known Jason for the better part of 10 years. He has that unique ability to listen to the clients’ needs and then provide solutions to real-world business issues. I’ve watched him and his business grow into a solid technology performer in the Charlotte marketplace over the years. In addition, Jason’s appetite to continue learning and grow his business is a joy to watch. After doing all of this, Jason still finds the time to be an awesome husband and father.”—Arthur Post, Founder, Print4Pay Hotel
Why Bill Hall is a difference maker:
A product manager for Brother International during a nine-year stretch, Hall joined Konica Minolta in 1998, initially working on the service side of technical support. Nine years ago, he transitioned to product management with a focus on office products. Hall collaborates with global teams, including those at the OEM’s Japanese factory to plan new product launches. In the last two years alone, he’s had a hand in a number of projects—the refresh of Konica Minolta’s entire MFP lineup and the bizhub i-Series, both color and monochrome devices. Coordinating with Japan, Hall helps hammer out the many details needed to put together useful information for the field. Once product launch details are ironed out, Hall collaborates with Konica’s marcom team to develop marketing materials and press releases. He also makes presentations to dealers and direct sales teams to train them on the specifics of new products. The Lehigh University graduate (with an MBA in marketing, from Lehigh University) has been an on-air personality for Beasley Media Group for more than 40 years.
“Bill’s enthusiasm and dedication, along with his attention to detail, are what allow him to excel in his role and make a difference with every new project he takes on. Office products are an extremely important area for Konica Minolta, contributing a great deal to the bottom line, and with Bill involved, we know our launches will be successfully carried out and all stakeholders will have what they need to go to market. Bill has been particularly instrumental in the last year working with Keypoint Intelligence, shepherding our products through their Buyer’s Lab test procedures, which resulted in the BLI 2021 A3 Line of The Year Award and BLI 2021-2023 Most Color Consistent A3 Brand Award, two honors of which Konica Minolta is extremely proud.”—Dino Pagliarello, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Planning, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Why Paul Hanna is a difference maker:
Tough as nails, Hanna spent two years playing football in the USFL with the Memphis Showboats, San Antonio Gunslingers and Arizona Outlaws, registering eight quarterback sacks as a defensive lineman. A nose guard who received a full scholarship to play for the Purdue Boilermakers, Hanna graduated with a BA in English. Following his football career (which included a stint on the Cleveland Browns practice squad), he transitioned to the office dealer sector and served nine years as vice president of sales for Ohio Business Machines. In 1995, he founded Blue Technologies with partners Keith Stump, Bill Nelson and David Morrill. During the course of its 25-year journey, the dealer has grown to 200 employees and $50 million in revenue. A team builder, Hanna has championed the company’s “Commitment to Excellence – Every Day” in developing a disciplined, well-trained and highly motivated workforce. He was named Ernst & Young’s 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year in the business services category. Hanna also guides the company’s philanthropic endeavors, particularly organizations that focus on supporting children.
“I’m proud to work for Blue Technologies and appreciate the dedication of our president, Paul Hanna, and the executive team to ensure stability during the pandemic. Not only were our jobs secure, but the company announced an expansion into new markets so that more companies can benefit from our Commitment to Excellence – Every Day mantra. I’m blessed to have had job security during a time when many were laid off or let go from their companies. Paul sees us like family and wanted to ensure that his Blue family was taken care of.”—Cyndi Konold, Marketing Administrator, Blue Technologies
Why Carter Hertzberg is a difference maker:
Having played on several nationally ranked Duke University men’s lacrosse teams, Hertzberg already had a tenacious appetite for competition and success when he landed at Nauticon Office Solutions in 2003. In the ensuing years, the dealership has quadrupled top-line revenues and flourished in numerous other key metrics. While he has a finance background (a BA from Duke as well as an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin), it’s Hertzberg’s operational and team building expertise that have solidified Nauticon. As COO/CFO, his responsibilities have centered on finance, operations, corporate development and company culture. Increasingly, he’s helped spark the dealer’s managed services and outside sales endeavors for traditional MFP business. Hertzberg has also cultivated relationships within the BTA and Select Dealer Group. Prior to Nauticon, he had a stint with Nantucket Nectars as well as startups in the telecom and energy sectors.
“Our experience with Nauticon and Carter has been very strategic, with a focus on building a strong, mutually beneficial partnership.”—Jennie Fisher, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Office Equipment Division, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Kenny Hiteman is a difference maker:
A 38-year industry veteran with a background in sales, technical support and management, Hiteman has certainly made his mark as vice president of services and technical support for Toshiba. It was his leadership that garnered Toshiba The Cannata Report’s 2020 Frank Award for Best Technical Service. Hiteman guides the company’s service group across the United States and South America and has oversight for the teams responsible for servicing the company’s MFPs, managed print solutions, digital signage, and label and receipt printers. He also guides Toshiba’s GOLD inbound call center and technical service help desk teams while providing fiscal oversight, strategic planning and innovation for the OEM’s service group. During the pandemic, Hiteman mobilized to ensure Toshiba could deliver on its SLAs, and as a result, more than 30% of all calls were satisfied remotely. All the while, Toshiba was able to record high customer satisfaction scores, due in no small part to Hiteman’s leadership.
“Kenny leads our technical service organization with one mindset: treat every customer as if they’re family. This client-centric approach permeates across his entire team and is a primary reason why Toshiba is consistently recognized for delivering such stellar customer service. Kenny is an unsung hero within our industry, but his work is respected and admired throughout our organization.”—R. Steven Tungate, Vice President and General Manager, Supply Chain Management, Service and Innovation, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Jim Kahrs is a difference maker:
When a business needs the help of a consultant to help put it on a more profitable path, it helps to have an industry sensei who has experienced the ups and downs from its side of the table. That’s the case with Kahrs, who parlayed a 14-year career in OEM sales (Mita Copystar) and dealership operations (Carr Business Systems) into one of the leading advisory firms—Prosperity Plus Management Consulting—to the office equipment theater. During the past 20 years, Kahrs has huddled with dealers and resellers to bolster sales, cash flow and bottom-line profitability. A frequent speaker on the meeting circuit, he was selected by the Association of Independent Mailing Equipment Dealers (AIMED) and the International Systems Dealers Association (ISDA) to create a series of financial benchmarks for members. His views on M&A activity and general business conditions have graced various industry publications, including this one.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic struck and the Business Technology Association set up the BTA COVID-19 Member Resources page on its website, one of the first people we heard from was Jim, who essentially asked, ‘How can I help?’ Soon after, he was presenting a BTA webinar, ‘Forgiveness, Reopening, Customer Support — The Next Steps for Dealers,’ alongside BTA General Counsel Bob Goldberg and GreatAmerica Financial Services Senior Vice President Jennie Fisher. As expected, Jim did a great job as one of the presenters.
I say ‘as expected,’ because BTA’s members have benefitted from the insight, guidance and expertise of Jim many times through the years. In fact, to date, he’s presented eight webinars for BTA, written 40 articles for the association’s Office Technology magazine and presented 10 educational sessions at BTA district events. Does that sound like someone who welcomes the opportunity to give back to the industry? Absolutely! Jim is a true friend to BTA and the dealer channel.”—Brent Hoskins, Executive Director, Business Technology Association
“I look forward to working with Jim on a transaction. His knowledge and abilities are a great asset to whomever he’s assisting. Jim comes in and recasts the financials, maximizes value and ensures a transaction is properly structured for his client. Prosperity Plus, the name of his business, is highly descriptive of the value to dealers.”—Bob Goldberg, General Counsel, Business Technology Association
Why Matt Kochanowski is a difference maker:
An industry veteran of 15 years, Kochanowski has a wide range of experience, including wide-format and business printing. He’s already made quite an impression with Epson during his six-year stint. Kochanowski joined the OEM’s Business Imaging team as a product manager a year ago and helped launch Epson’s seminal WorkForce Enterprise MFP portfolio. His work hasn’t gone unnoticed—he was recognized as a 2020 Young Influencer by The Cannata Report. Kochanowski shared in the numerous accolades bestowed upon the WorkForce Enterprise line, including ‘Outstanding Achievement in Innovation for Departmental Finishing Capabilities’ by Keypoint Intelligence and a Silver Award for ‘Product Line of the Year – Enterprise and SMB’ by Best in Biz Awards. The Dominican University graduate obtained a master’s degree from USC’s Marshall School of Business. Prior to joining Epson, he worked for wide-format reseller IT Supplies.
“Matt brings positive energy to every situation. While he clearly works for Epson, he always keeps the customer in mind and ensures his presentations and demonstrations are relevant, to the point and compelling. Customers always remember their interactions with Matt, and he’s frequently requested to join meetings and events. Matt has a broad skill set and his can-do attitude has been very helpful as we’ve navigated COVID-19 and the new reality of when and how we interact with our customers.”—Elliot Williams, Group Product Manager, Business Printing, Epson America
Why Tim Linsenmeyer is a difference maker:
Leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to help transform Clover Imaging’s business has been the crux of Linsenmeyer’s role as chief technology officer. A 13-year veteran of Clover, he’s commandeered the firm’s IT team in building several machine learning applications that provide meaningful efficiencies in its inventory, customer service, transportation and distribution operations. This has resulted in lower costs as well as improved customer product availability and delivery times. Linsenmeyer is also passionate about utilizing technology to help individuals with disabilities obtain meaningful employment. To that end, Clover developed several tools to enable those with disabilities to work in distribution warehouses. The holder of a BS in management and computer science from Eastern University and an MBA from Olivet Nazarene University, his previous experience includes senior IT project manager for Vein Clinics of America and CIO of Neumann Homes.
“Tim is absolutely brilliant from an IT perspective. I’ve come to know and appreciate him as an innovator, mentor, teacher—just an absolutely brilliant strategist. When it comes to being efficient and bringing IT solutions into the industry, logistics, shipping and client experience, I would say Tim is arguably the best and certainly in the top five of IT professionals in the industry. He anticipates needs and business requirements better than most. I think he really shined when it came to the impact of the pandemic. He put things in place that made it easier for Clover to move quickly, adapt and continue to execute on deliverables for clients. He’s also got a great sense of humor.”—Michael Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Jim Loffler is a difference maker:
Never one to rest on his laurels, Loffler has enjoyed consistent growth and optimum performance from his organization ever since it began from his and wife Darcy’s garage in 1986. He’s long held the belief that Loffler Companies’ success is based on “exceeding the expectations of our clients, employees, partners and community.” There’s no arguing with the results: this Microsoft Gold Partner has been named to the CRN Elite 150 MSP list five years running as well as a Minnesota Top Workplace for 10 years. Besides being one of the nation’s top Canon, Konica Minolta and Xerox dealers, Loffler’s desire to be a good corporate citizen is evidenced by the Loffler Helping Hands Team, which develops and expands projects to strengthen the communities the dealer serves. A solid corporate culture speaks to his desire to foment solid, lasting relationships internally and externally.
“Jim knows that a great company is one that’s about the people. His passion for helping employees, clients, and partners succeed is what drives him every day. Jim’s strong leadership skills shined during the pandemic as he was quick to move the entire workforce to a remote working environment. Employee and client safety was his first priority. Jim has an uncanny ability to spot industry trends early and keep his company at the foreground of innovation, which proved to be invaluable as his company navigated the uncertainty of the pandemic.”—Alex Rezansoff, Digital Marketing Specialist, Loffler Companies
Why John Lowery is a difference maker:
Even in the face of a pandemic, Lowery has maintained a laser-beam focus on the growth of Applied Imaging. In fact, during the past year alone, his company acquired four dealerships—Kopy Sales, Upstream Office Solutions, ACR and Lasers Resource—as it continues to ascend beyond the $100 million plateau. And whether it’s through products such as telephony or temperature-scanning kiosks, Lowery is constantly looking for ways to add more value in the eyes of his end-user clients. He spared no expense helping the company celebrate eclipsing the $100 million mark by hosting a memorable getaway at a Traverse City, Michigan, resort. The weekend of fun and entertainment included importing professional musicians from popular 1980s bands. Lowery and his wife, Sandy, are highly active in the communities they serve, illustrating their commitment to taking care of employees, clients and all those who have made Applied Imaging a rousing success.
“Having been associated with the copier/office technology industry for almost 40 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with most of the industry’s legends. However, the ones who really stand out to me are the ones who helped create success for others and not just themselves. John Lowery fits into this category. His business success is dwarfed by his personal success in helping many achieve both their business and personal goals. The culture that has been established at Applied Imaging, referred to as Applied Chemistry, is admired by customers, vendors and even competitors. It mirrors John’s philosophy, which includes not only providing customers with a high level of accountability, but places an emphasis on family, community service, gender equality and much more. It’s been the driving force as the company has grown to over 450 employees, yet has maintained a local, family-oriented feel for customers and employees.”Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
Why Debbie Lucero is a difference maker:
When a company is on a robust growth path, which is the case for Flex Technology Group (FTG) and its network of 16 dealerships, it takes a firm hand to pull everything together. That’s where Lucero’s value as the vice president of operations takes on even greater significance. It’s Lucero who helps quarterback the day-to-day operations and supports the long-term success of the firm. Lucero and her team are tasked with helping acquired firms transition and assimilate into the FTG collective, namely its systems and processes. Her strong leadership and management skills create a collaborative work environment that ensures business objectives are met on time and within budget. Supportive and caring, Lucero positively reflects FTG’s core values and aspirations.
“Debbie is an extraordinary leader who shows a true concern for her team and always goes above and beyond to make sure each employee is supported. Debbie always takes time to recognize the efforts of her team, supports effective communication and encourages everyone to do and be their very best, and does it with genuine sincerity.”Karen Roscher, CFO, Flex Technology Group
Why Mark Mathews is a difference maker:
Mathews is one of the more recognizable executives in the industry, having spent 30 years predominantly with Toshiba America Business Solutions and now Epson America. In his current position, Mathews leverages his vast B2B technology acumen to bolster the OEM’s commercial sales/marketing and strengthen its strategic direction for the business inkjet printer and microdevices divisions. A former officer in the U.S. Air Force with master’s degrees from UCLA and Columbia University, Mathews played a critical role in the introduction of Epson’s first partner conference, Ink Boldly, in March of 2020 and a subsequent virtual event version last November. He closely monitored the evolved business needs of clients during the pandemic, and by setting up a digital infrastructure, Epson was able to work with partners from multiple perspectives. Formerly, Mathews served as president of Airwolf 3D and was a co-founder/partner with StageRight Research.
“When presented the opportunity to work with Mark again, I immediately jumped at it. His leadership style of high integrity, open communication and a ‘we versus me’ team approach focuses on principles that have set the standard for our team at Epson. Mark’s professionalism, vast knowledge of the business and unwavering passion to deliver a unique and differentiated experience to our dealers have been the motivating forces in driving our growth and positioning Epson as a formidable competitor in the office printing industry.”—Joseph Contreras, Commercial Marketing Executive, Office Solutions, Epson America
Why Baron McCloud is a difference maker:
A graduate of Florida A&M University in business economics and the holder of a master’s degree in computer resources and information management from Webster University, McCloud has logged more than 20 years in the financial services industry. As a leader on CIT Business Capital’s product management and integration team, McCloud is responsible for finding new ways to leverage the speed, accuracy and efficiency of today’s technology and networks to better support clients. He’s made significant contributions to CIT’s FlexAbility platform (a data integration, invoicing and variable billing solution), its seamless integration with ECi’s e-automate software, and CIT’s advanced point-of-sale platform for B2B transactions. He’s well positioned to help lead CIT’s relentless enhancement and implementation of vendor and customer-facing applications.
“Baron is constantly imagining new ways that technology can help our customers increase efficiency, cut costs and grow their business. And when you understand technology as well as Baron does, that means you can expect a steady stream of ideas with the expertise and follow-up needed to actually make them happen. Our biggest question is always, what will he think of next?”—Michael D’Errico, Director, Office Imaging, CIT
Why Nicole Miceli is a difference maker:
When your title is solutions specialist, you’re expected to demonstrate to clients how they can overcome challenges in order to meet their objectives. And when Miceli was confronted with her own challenge—designing custom workflow solutions for business partners during the pandemic—she needed to take engagement to the next level without the benefit of meeting face to face. That entailed crafting “live” virtual demonstrations that were compelling and interactive while avoiding the pitfalls of traditional Zoom-type conference meetings. But demonstrations fall into Miceli’s wheelhouse, regardless—in 2018, she designed a presentation to compete in Sharp’s national demo contest and placed third in the country against every vendor. Miceli also helped develop and expand Pulse Technology’s social media presence. A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, she works with clients across a wide range of industries, with specializations in the legal and non-profit fields.
“Nicole is Pulse Technology’s superstar when it comes to developing impactful and memorable presentations. During a time when many business deals are done virtually rather than in person, having the creativity and innovation to create standout presentations is extremely valuable.”—Jim Farrell, Founder, PRfirst
Why Jason Moore is a difference maker:
During his 15 years with Supplies Network, Moore, who has a degree in business management from Southern Illinois University, has amassed an impressive body of work. His dogged determination and willingness to push through can be attributed in part to his passion for cycling; there are no uphill climbs beyond Moore’s reach. The never-give-up mentality is critical in the office, where his determination and forward-thinking attitude have been pivotal in generating new MPS engagements and solutions. Moore has participated in Bike for Hope, a 500-mile California trek that begins in Palo Alto and ends at City of Hope, a cancer research organization that benefits from the funds raised by the event.
“Jason is a key contributor to the success of our mpsSELECT offering. With a strong understanding of the inner workings of the products and programs we offer and how they interact with the systems of our partners and their end customers’ environments, he’s a trusted advisor to many. Jason has built numerous lasting relationships and is known as someone who solves problems and delivers solutions.”—Sarah Custer, Vice President, Services and Solutions, Supplies Network
Why Kelly Moran is a difference maker:
Moran is another fine example of how athletic prowess and the qualities needed to become a high-level athlete can provide many of the tools required to excel in business. An endurance sport enthusiast, this senior vice president of sales and marketing for Gordon Flesch Company helped create the TriathElite sales program, which has enabled sales reps to attain new levels of success and expand on personal growth. He’s been instrumental in assembling an expert sales and sales leadership team, with many of the 106-member unit having spent significant time with the organization—pivotal in an industry with high turnover. In quarterbacking the company’s marketing endeavors, GFC’s inbound strategy has generated more than 4,000 sales qualified leads, with hundreds of new clients and revenue in excess of $12 million. The epitome of GFC’s reputation for honest, friendly service, the Marquette University product serves on the Lexmark Dealer Advisory Council.
“The ultimate sales professional, Kelly sets the bar high and expects nothing but the best from his team. His leadership has created an elite team of sales professionals in an ever-changing industry. Always looking for ways to make GFC better, Kelly has continuously improved the sales and marketing departments over the past 36 years. His drive and commitment to GFC is unprecedented.”—Connie Dettman, Director of Marketing, Gordon Flesch Company
Why Scott Murr is a difference maker:
After 14 years in the equipment leasing side of the business, Murr felt he was sufficiently armed with the knowledge to provide a new set of solutions for the office equipment universe. Ten years later, he’s fashioned a network of entities under the ZBA Solutions umbrella, all designed to help dealers and manufacturers reap more net-new business. Murr formed Offsite Office Equipment Storage in 2011, a firm that has grown into an Inc. 5000 national transportation and logistics company. Three years later, he founded RenewAlert, which automates the tracking of letters of intent, along with all key action items for a business. And just this year, he launched Titan-8—technology asset management software designed to help customers manage large fleets of office equipment. Through innovation and creative thinking, the University of Oregon graduate seeks to deliver a superior customer experience.
“Scott has been an innovation leader for years, providing his unique blend of experience in finance, client experience and software development with his commitment to improving the industry. He’s a man of high integrity, passion and a commitment to excellence that inspires confidence and loyalty from his partners and clients.”—Michael Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Sharon Mutrie is a difference maker:
Mutrie has a taste for adventure. Sure, like many executives, she has a passion for golf. But when you tack on skiing, sky diving and power lifting (Mutrie is a past champion), that’s where her robust passions shine through. Her Bay Copy cohorts would certainly agree. Mutrie has logged nearly 35 years at the New England dealership in a variety of sales roles, culminating with her current position as vice president of sales. She’s credited with aggressively promoting the company’s managed print services (MPS) offering, and 2020 represents one of the high-water marks in her career. Mutrie played a pivotal role in Bay Copy’s five-year agreement with a major integrated health care organization to upgrade its document management and MPS programs. She presided over the replacement and upgrading of 500 machines within the organization’s hospital and ambulatory sites during a tight three-day window. This included the implementation of COVID-19 protocols, dispatching techs to work during lower traffic times at the hospital. A psychology major from the University of Maine, Mutrie is highly active in her community.
“Sharon treats each Bay Copy customer as though it’s her only one. She always does her homework; no detail is left unattended to. She’s a perfectionist and her drive to provide each customer with the best possible customer experience is well-known throughout the region.”—Ray Belanger, President, Bay Copy
Why Mark Myers is a difference maker:
Long-range thinking is a forte of Myers, who always considers the ramifications of business decisions beyond the immediate impact. A veteran of 17 years at Sharp, Myers debuted with the company as a supply sales specialist and today serves as senior director of sales for the Eastern Region. Having a diverse assortment of disciplines under his belt, Myers brings a unique perspective and is able to assess situations from a number of viewpoints. His style takes into account both the needs of the dealer and the manufacturer, and he isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes is the right thing to do. Prior to joining Sharp, he spent 18-plus years with Ricoh in roles that included regional service manager. Myers attained a degree in electronics engineering from Columbus Technical Institute.
“What makes Mark different is he’s an exceptional leader who cares about his customers and staff to a degree that’s rarely seen in our industry. Mark embraces innovation, new ideas and better ways of collaborating to win business for the Sharp dealer community, which in my opinion makes him a game changer for our business and other Sharp dealers.”—Sean Mummert, CEO, The Office People
Why Kevin Oberman is a difference maker:
A Navy veteran who served as a communications watch specialist aboard the USS Ashland (LSD-48), Oberman’s career has spanned two decades in the office equipment sector with companies including McKendree Imaging Systems, Electronic Systems and Cobb Technologies. He joined Copiers Plus in 2016 and has enabled its sales team to grow exponentially. Supportive and loyal, Oberman’s blend of experience, charisma and ability to drive solutions selling has provided a model for consistent growth. During the height of the pandemic, Oberman led the sales team to its best month on record. Tenacious and driven to see his team continue down the road of best practices and constant improvement, Oberman relishes the opportunity to bring value to customers through innovative and strategic solutions. The University of Phoenix graduate is also a licensed foster parent who seeks to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
“Kevin is a boss you want to work for because he will challenge you to reach new levels of production while making you feel like you’re the best person for the job. He approaches each day on a mission and gets others on board because they want to be a part of the journey he’s leading, not because they have to. I can’t speak highly enough of how much Kevin means to our organization and to me personally.”—Drew Smith, Director of Communications, Copiers Plus
Why Gregg Petrie is a difference maker:
To better serve the pandemic-induced needs of clients and prospects working remotely throughout the northwest, Petrie pivoted to marketing smaller printers and other necessary products and supplies. A 35-year veteran of the industry and a graduate of Western Washington University, he saw excellent opportunities for the proliferation of production print equipment, and successfully marketed and launched two lines of temperature-screening kiosks. Under his guidance, Copiers Northwest was able to make a profit and continue with contributing matching funds to the employee 401(k) program. Petrie’s understanding of the marketplace, including the measures to counter the impact of COVID-19, have kept the organization on a consistent growth trajectory.
“Gregg has always spearheaded the sales and marketing side of Copiers Northwest. With 12 locations serving Washington, Oregon and parts of Idaho, that’s no small feat, especially this past year when travel and face-to-face communication were discouraged. Looking to the future, Gregg made Copiers Northwest a Gold Sponsor of the University of Washington’s sales intern program and stays personally involved with the students. I’ve admired Gregg for not just building a successful business in very competitive markets, but also taking time to be involved in the lives of his three children, participating in activities such as coaching their Little League teams.”—Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
Why Mark Petrie is a difference maker:
Part of the one-two leadership punch (along with brother Gregg) behind Copiers Northwest, Petrie has been instrumental in the firm becoming one of the largest independent dealers in the country. Petrie has cultivated strong manufacturer relationships and nurtured long-term employee tenure, particularly on the service and administrative side of the organization. As CEO, he was crucial in guiding Copiers Northwest during the pandemic, especially with the home state of Washington being among the earliest and hardest hit. The Western Washington University graduate was able to keep the company on a growth path without the need to lay off any employees. His guidance has enabled Copiers Northwest to maintain its reputation for offering quality technical and customer service.
“Even though Mark has exhibited strong leadership skills since he and Gregg founded the company in 1986, he’s always taken advantage of various resources to improve his abilities. Mark, along with Gregg, has been a highly active CDA participant and is a long-time member of Vistage, the world’s largest CEO coaching organization. He’s used those skills learned to forge strong relationships with the manufacturers they represent, which has translated into consistent award-winning performance with the industry’s premier vendors.”—Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
Why Art Post is a difference maker:
Post has logged many road miles during his 40-plus years as an SMB copier rep, and is arguably the most well-known salesman on the circuit. His foray into office equipment began in 1980, when he answered a classified advertisement seeking individuals to train as copier technicians. Though he made the list, it was clear he wasn’t cut out to be a tech. Still, Post dazzled the dealership’s owner with his gift for gab, and he was offered a job in the sales department. The technician world’s loss was certainly the industry’s gain. Post’s exploits on the road and dealing with clients, OEMs and other industry figures has been shared through his offbeat, insightful and always-entertaining musings as a blogger and writer for industry publications. Post’s P4P Hotel website is a rest stop for salespeople to catch up on the highs, lows and developments in office technology, and his blogs number in the thousands. The site also allows industry pros to touch base with peers and have an open dialog about the state of the sales game and the industry at large.
“I’ve known Art for about 12 years and he’s extremely knowledgeable about our industry and is always willing to help. I constantly call on him for help and he always takes the time to work through anything I may have. He’s created a fantastic community in the P4P Hotel that gives us all a fantastic place for resources. He’s a true asset to our industry.”—Jason Habbal, Vice President, Vision Office Systems
Why Laura Real is a difference maker:
While she joined Advanced Office in 2000 as an assistant controller, Real evolved her duties, which became emblematic of her willingness to flex to the needs of her organization. She became more directly involved with many of the duties and responsibilities of the human resources department, and following a 2011 merger, she slotted into her HR leadership role. She’s been instrumental in guiding and championing the culture by heading the Ambassador Committee among department representatives. When the pandemic struck, Real demonstrated her passion for helping and protecting the Advanced Office family by overseeing the implementation of safety protocols and monitoring systems. Backed by her efforts, the company experienced no exposures and was able to sustain unfettered operations. Real logged long hours tirelessly ensuring the health and safety of Advanced’s team, enabling it to focus exclusively on providing quality sales and support to clients.
“From the time I interviewed at Advanced Office, Laura made a deep impression on me as someone who genuinely cares—a great attribute for an HR director. Since the start of this pandemic, she’s taken on the emotional burden of truly caring about every one of us—working well in to the night, only to be up and ready first thing each morning. She’s sacrificed weekends and lunches and every moment necessary to take care of the employees at Advanced Office. She’s truly been a hero for us all.”—Kyle Kopp, Director of Marketing and Customer Experience, Advanced Office
Why Tim Renegar is a difference maker:
Never satisfied with the status quo, Renegar embraces the shifting tides of technology to ensure Kelly Office Solutions prospers while meeting the evolved needs of clients. He brings more than 35 years of industry experience to the table; in addition to serving as president of the Winston-Salem based dealership, Renegar’s background includes dealer and manufacturer experience, working for companies including IKON Office Solutions, Sharp, Copy Data and Triad Business Systems. He’s fostered a family atmosphere at Kelly Office Systems, where sons Blake and Brice manage the company’s MNS and Pure Water Technology divisions, respectively. Renegar has served on various manufacturing and leasing company advisory councils, and currently serves as the 86th national president of the Business Technology Association.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed working with Tim since he saw the opportunity to give back to the association, stepping forward in 2014 to serve as a volunteer for BTA Southeast. Tim’s industry insight, business acumen, leadership skills and interest in continually advancing the office technology dealer channel have collectively made him an ideal president for our association. In addition, and perhaps most important, Tim is very likeable. Those who know him are keenly aware that he’s positive, encouraging, engaging and kindhearted. These are traits that ensure that a person is a difference maker in others’ lives, and that’s certainly true of Tim.”—Brent Hoskins, Executive Director, Business Technology Association
Why Mary Lou Rodriquez is a difference maker:
Approaching her 28th anniversary with Peak-Ryzex, Rodriquez has been delivering world-class, on-site technical support for a wide range of products, serving clients across a wide geographic territory, including Fortune 500 organizations. Rodriquez’s ability to manage demanding volumes, along with her engagement in all aspects of the dealer’s business, has been a lynchpin for Peak-Ryzex’s overall success. Her customer support, technical acumen and demand for excellence are driving forces in not only service satisfaction, but in solidifying lasting relationships with clients. Rodriquez’s track record of excellence and an unending cache of positive testimonials continues to provide a “raving fan” experience for Peak-Ryzex clients.
“Mary Lou has been a superb representative for our company and embodies all of our culture traits. Her attitude, demeanor and customer relationship skills are a perfect match when dealing with clients. Her ability to handle both the technical aspect of each situation along with the customer skills required is outstanding…she always receives praise for her tremendous work. She’s a valuable member of our team and it’s been a pleasure to work beside her all these years.”—Mark Kupczyk, Vice President of Field Service Delivery, Peak-Ryzex
Why Karen Roscher is a difference maker:
Flex Technology Group (FTG) continues to augment its leadership infrastructure with a number of key hires that have bolstered the organization, and Roscher is among that group. She arrived at FTG in February 2020 as chief financial officer, and the timing was impeccable. Roscher mobilized to secure the continued financial success of FTG at the onset of the pandemic and immediately paid dividends. Buoyed by Roscher and the entire management team, FTG maintained a solid footing based on her extensive financial, operational and strategic experience as a CFO. This, combined with her proven track record of scaling high-growth companies (including Motorola, Intel Corp. and Welch Allyn), will be a considerable asset to FTG as it continues along the path of organic and acquisition-based growth.
“Karen is an incredible leader, and I’m grateful to have her on our team. Equally dedicated to her employer and employees, Karen goes far beyond her role as CFO to make a difference for every employee here. No matter how much she has on her plate, she always has the patience and time to help others, regardless of level or position. Karen sees strengths in others that they may not see in themselves and she encourages everyone to be the best that they can be.”—Frank Gaspari, CEO, Flex Technology Group
Why Lisa Salerno is a difference maker:
Creativity is the calling card for Salerno, who currently serves as product manager for Konica Minolta. She joined the company in 2006 as a production print solutions analyst, then moved into cutsheet toner print products in 2015. Her 20-year background in graphic design, including time with commercial printers, bridges the gap between what customers want and what printers can do. Salerno is a certified G7 expert, demonstrating her proficiency in the field of color management, process and quality control for proofing and printing. Pivoting to product manager nearly six years ago, Salerno has been responsible for numerous cutsheet production print product launches, including the company’s celebrated C14000/C12000 high-volume production press as well as the AccurioPress C4080. She was also instrumental in developing Konica Minolta’s Product Configurator, an online sales enablement tool that allows reps to properly configure any Konica Minolta office and production print devices. The SUNY Buffalo graphic design graduate has also provided her talents for Foley Graphics, Inside Chappaqua & Millwood magazine and freelance accounts.
“Lisa is a difference maker because she does what it takes to get results. Last year when we opened our Customer Engagement Center, we were unable to have in-person visits with prospects, customers and dealers. Lisa led the charge and created our very first virtual product demo with just her cell phone and laptop. Since then, she’s been involved in hundreds of virtual product demos, which have helped sales close on new units and equipment sight unseen! Whether it’s recording a product video or participating in live events, she has stepped up and risen to the challenge, exhibiting the same enthusiasm every time.”—Dino Pagliarello, Senior Vice President, Product Management and Planning, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Why Lisa Schultz is a difference maker:
Tenacious and driven, Schultz isn’t afraid to dive into projects head-first or get her hands dirty. That’s emblematic of her approach throughout her nearly 21-year career with Supplies Network. Currently the firm’s business development manager, Schultz has worn numerous hats in engaging and managing some of Supplies Network’s largest clients. She’s played a considerable role in developing many of its programs and offerings, backed by a keen understanding of the reseller’s needs. Schultz is also a regular on the industry’s trade show and conference circuit. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with degrees in international business, she also obtained her MBA in international business from Maryville University of St. Louis. For the past 11 years, she’s served as head coach for Girls on the Run St. Louis, a program that empowers girls in third through fifth grade through role play and value discussions while emphasizing physical fitness.
“Lisa, a recent college grad at the time, came into our office for an interview 21 years ago. Shortly after the interview, I called and offered her a job. She accepted then asked, ‘What exactly will my job be?’ I told her ‘I don’t know yet, but be here Monday and we will figure something out!’ I had learned over the years that when you hire really good people, they find things to do, and if you allow them some room to move, they always contribute. We didn’t have an opening at the time, but conducted regular interviews looking for quality candidates. Lisa certainly fit that description!”—Barney Kister, Senior Vice President of Strategic Relationships, Supplies Network
Why Alan Schwartz is a difference maker:
A staunch lover of art, Schwartz views every aspect of his life through an artist’s lens. Thus, it’s not surprising that he treats his account management career as an art form. This month marks his 10-year anniversary with Coast to Coast Computer Products, where he focuses on providing A+-rated customer service to all of his clients. Schwartz also supports the firm’s marketing and training teams, creating effective and unique marketing materials, managing the company’s LinkedIn page and coaching other account managers to sell IT solutions. He also takes part in manufacturer training events to help Coast to Coast strengthen its relationships. Schwartz still practices drawing, painting, writing, photography, drumming and public speaking. He’s the founder of an accountability group called Goal Getters Network and a member of Professionally Speaking Club—Toastmasters International.
“Alan is an incredible rapport builder. I’ve known him now for over 20 years, and he’s not only a stand-up guy, but also a great father, salesperson and co-worker. He’s efficient, great fun to work with and can always put a smile on anyone’s face. His clients love him and are very loyal. He continues to be a positive difference maker within our organization!”—Melissa Servatdjoo, Technology Sales Manager, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why Terry Sellman is a difference maker:
It’s been said that Sellman’s charm, sense of humor and engaging manner have created many fans among her Allied Business Solutions teammates and clients. But this focused and results-driven leader has also proven more than capable from a business standpoint. In fact, she catapulted to vice president of service in less than a year. Her commitment to providing top-flight customer service earned Sellman a reputation for forging strong relationships. She uses a collaborative approach to lead a service and technology team of field engineers and IT help desk technicians, mentoring team members to achieve improvement through operational efficiency or by increasing service value to customers. Prior to Allied Business Solutions, she spent the better part of 14 years with Fisher’s Technology as client services manager, and a 10-year stint as supervisor with SEH America.
“Terry is an invaluable member of our team. She’s a person of true character, work ethic, follow-through, motivation, loyalty, family focus and fun. A steadfast supporter of team members, Terry is known to highlight the accomplishments of others and share best practices to elevate the entire organization. She encourages all those she works alongside to attain their best. This natural ability, coupled with her tremendous compassion, makes her a compelling leader.”—Lisa Mesenko, Executive General Manager, Allied Business Solutions
Why Melissa Servatdjoo is a difference maker:
Servatdjoo (pronounced serve-atch-you) made her debut at Coast to Coast Computer Products at the age of 20 and has been unstoppable ever since. She graduated with a degree in business management from the University of Phoenix while juggling a myriad of positions within Coast to Coast, including vice president of sales, sales team leader, marketing department and training manager. In the process, Servatdjoo has developed course syllabuses and training classes, aided in the creation of a company intranet, created onsite vendor/manufacturer fairs and recruited and trained new salespeople. Showing her creative side, Servatdjoo fashioned her own sales learning tool, “Toner Jeopardy.” Externally, she provides best-in-class service and cost-effective solutions for hundreds of educational, commercial, non-profit and government clients.
“I’ve worked with Melissa for over six years. She’s a team player and always willing to help others with coaching, training and product knowledge. She’s extremely efficient, highly motivated and her passion is infectious. I’ve worked with her on numerous business development initiatives, training, marketing and sales programs. She’s an invaluable asset to Coast to Coast and the clients she serves.”—Scott Roussin, General Manager, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why John-Austin Shepard is a difference maker:
As a 6-foot-4 right-handed reliever pitching for Tusculum University in 2013, Shepard struck out 58 batters in only 46 innings. Though a career in professional baseball didn’t materialize, little did he know that toeing the mound in clutch situations was the perfect training ground for a career in office equipment sales. Shepard was a closer then and remains one now in his role as vice president of sales for Nauticon Office Solutions. Getting his teams to the finish line seems to come natural for Shepard, who blossomed as a sales trainee and quickly moved into the managerial ranks on the strengths of his charismatic leadership and magnetic personality. He’s proven adept at building effective and loyal sales teams while sharpening his own closing skills. His gregarious nature and advanced management skills beyond his years have Shepard on the road to long-term success.
“John joined Nauticon a mere six months ago. In that short time, he’s regularly demonstrated why he’s a difference maker in the imaging industry. Whether he’s recruiting, training, closing or building a winning culture, John approaches every challenge and interaction with intention and a smile.”—Carter Hertzberg, CFO/COO, Nauticon Office Solutions
Why Andy Smalley is a difference maker:
As the director of marketing for Flex Technology Group (FTG), Smalley has a hand in many aspects of the company’s billowing success during its ascension as one of the most prolific, high-growth dealership chains in the office equipment realm. He abides by the motto, “Yes is the answer, what is the question,” and dons many different hats for the organization, blending extensive industry knowledge with unrivaled skills as a marketer. During his 15-year journey with FTG, the University of Arizona graduate has made a positive impact in every department, meeting or project in which he’s involved. Whether it’s assisting admin with process improvement, rollout programs for human resources or helping the sales team capitalize on opportunities, Smalley isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves to elevate the organization’s overall endeavors.
“You can always count on Andy to go above and beyond. Regardless of the task at hand, he has the uncanny ability to take an idea, run with it, and exceed any expectations you may have initially had. He’s an amazing problem solver and possesses the ability to encourage others to be their best as well.”—Rose Grande, Chief Human Resources Officer, Flex Technology Group
Why Aaron Smith is a difference maker:
Smith flashed his entrepreneurial side not long after graduating from the University of Iowa. He was the founder and president of Digital Insights, a Florida-based IT VAR that specialized in Xerox solutions. In just five years, Smith grew the business to $5 million before transitioning to Xerox as an account manager out of Georgia. Subsequently, he moved out west, serving the Pacific region out of Los Angeles and then the Mountain region in Greater Denver. Today, he’s a big reason behind Xerox’s success in the Western region as vice president, enabling multi-brand dealer partners to negotiate onboarding processes and leverage Xerox resources to maximize their growth. Smith has developed a team of experienced channel reps to offer their partners the support and knowledge needed to assist the dealership in implementing and driving a net-new growth strategy with Xerox products and technology.
“Aaron is a strong leader with a keen focus on driving and attaining consistent revenue growth. He sets a fast pace for his team, keeping them focused on the vital few activities that deliver consistent value to their dealer partners. His constant drive for excellence and strong dealer relationships provide the foundation for Western region’s consistent growth performance.”—Mike Pietrunti, Senior Vice President, U.S. Multi-Brand Dealer Channel, Xerox Corporation
Why Teresa Sternhagen is a difference maker:
A 25-year manufacturing professional, Sternhagen develops and executes strategic and tactical initiatives to assure optimal operational efficiency at the Toshiba Mitchell, South Dakota, manufacturing facility. As vice president, general manager of the toner products division, she applied industry best practices to maximize toner quality, ensuring compliance with local, state and national regulatory mandates. Sternhagen plays a primary role in the manufacturer’s ongoing commitment to sustainability through green manufacturing processes, toner and product recycling efforts, and re-pollination initiatives for the South Dakota environment. She has a firm grounding in supply chain optimization, Six Sigma, strategic sourcing, purchasing and manufacturing. Sternhagen holds credentials in CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) while completing coursework for CSCP and CLTD (Certified Supply Chain Professional and Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution, respectively). A graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University, her past experiences include roles as a materials supervisor for MtronPTI and a buyer for Gehl Company.
“Teresa embodies personal characteristics of leadership and inclusion within Toshiba and across her community. She has a strong commitment to all stakeholders and is non-wavering in her attitude toward professionalism, positiveness and compassion. Teresa balances the demanding roles of business executive, community leader as a 15-year board member of the Bon Homme School District, mother, wife and compassionate human. In all aspects of her endeavors, Teresa has made not only a difference but has truly been a difference maker to so many.”—Scott Maccabe, President and CEO, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Marta Stylianou is a difference maker:
When the pandemic struck, Stylianou quickly underscored her value to Canon U.S.A. as the director of training and service marketing for its Business Information Communications Group (BICG). The 25-year company veteran tapped into her expertise, creativity and exceptional customer service skills to advance the OEM’s support and customer experience for its channel partners. Stylianou elevated Canon U.S.A.’s Customer Solution Center’s virtual presence and remote operations capabilities to support client needs, and expanded service training to provide businesses with user-friendly courses focused on maintaining efficiency in a hybrid work environment. She’s helped her team deliver more than 700 seminars for Canon U.S.A. authorized dealers since March 2020 and was instrumental in the company attaining an industry-leading customer satisfaction rate of 93% and a first-call fix rate in excess of 94%. Stylianou obtained a BS in computer science from St. John’s University.
“Marta has showcased her tremendous customer service and leadership skills through her dedication to training and support. In challenging times, Marta continued to stay focused and determined, always putting the customer first to help ensure our channel partners are equipped with the service and support their businesses needed during the pandemic. We are lucky to have Marta on our team; she’s a pleasure to work with, and I look forward to continue helping to advance Canon U.S.A’s customer service and support alongside her for years to come.”—Leroy Farrell, Vice President and General Manager, Engineering Service and Solutions, Canon U.S.A.
Why Edmund Scott Sumner is a difference maker:
Energetic and enthusiastic, Sumner is the managing director for SumnerOne and an 18-year veteran of the office equipment industry. He quickly earned his wings soon after graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in economics, garnering President’s Club honors with Konica Minolta and Kyocera for the Los Angeles market. Sumner has led the St. Louis marketplace in building sales and innovative solutions, including production print opportunities and the pandemic-related needs of clients. He’s viewed as a visionary, entrepreneur and indomitable spirit who builds professional affiliations and trust across the markets that SumnerOne serves. Sumner is also involved in the St. Louis chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
“Edmund has a passion for the office technology business. Since he was six years old, he knew that he would thrive in making a commitment to this business. Edmund has worked to drive sales by winning trust through partnerships with business leaders across all of SumnerOne’s marketplaces. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Edmund spearheaded new and innovative return-to-work solutions such as protective anti-microbial coating, thermal imaging cameras, production print and document management solutions. Edmund has the energy, ideas, and determination to lead SumnerOne in meeting the challenges and opportunities ahead.”—Mary Sumner, CIO, SumnerOne
Why Chris Taylor is a difference maker:
Despite his unrequited love for the game of golf, Taylor is an inordinately (but not excessively) happy person. It’s worked well for the CEO and co-owner of Fisher’s Technology. In fact, in 2006, Taylor and his management team devised a transformation plan for the stagnating 70-year-old dealership with the goal of fostering extremely happy employees and customers. The belief was that executing on the plan would have a salutary effect on Fisher’s bottom line. Taylor was correct: the dealer grew by 6x, expanded from one location to 11 and developed a thriving managed IT operation. Speaking to the happy goal, the company has been named “Idaho’s Best Place to Work” for 13 years running and earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list five years in a row, among numerous other awards. Taylor has an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and graduated summa cum laude with a chemical engineering degree from the University of Idaho. Prior to joining Fisher’s, Taylor managed technology projects globally for Accenture and BearingPoint.
“Chris has an energy and drive that’s contagious, paired with his passion for success and a great heart. He is truly an inspirational leader. Chris believes that people make a business, and he works day in and day out to create a thriving work culture. Chris’ leadership skills and ambition are something that I look up to, and many others within Fisher’s feel the same way.”—Paige Mooney, Marketing Coordinator, Fisher’s Technology
Why Salley Thornton is a difference maker:
Bolstered by advanced-level speaking, writing and critical thinking skills, Thornton is a master of formulating and communicating key strategies to meet corporate goals and provides deft guidance in her position as director of national field marketing. Thornton provides honest feedback in a kind, thoughtful manner, and her ability to mentor individuals beyond her direct reports enables them to represent Toshiba in the best possible light. She graduated with a communications degree from the University of Mount Union and later attained an Executive MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she graduated first in her class. Thornton began her career as an editor for a Rochester television station—among other radio, TV and newspaper positions—and later had several stints in a marketing capacity before joining Toshiba in 2004. She’s a board member for the American Heart Association’s Rochester chapter and a member of Nazareth College Women’s Advisory Council, while also finding time to lecture at colleges and volunteer for nonprofits.
“Salley is an enthusiastic and dynamic leader within our organization. As a true champion for the voice of our sales teams, she continually strives to deliver sales enablement tools that drive better outcomes for our sales organization. She’s thoughtful, organized, and always willing to take on new responsibilities with passion and dedication. Her positive leadership and can-do attitude drives those around her to pursue excellence and have fun along the way, which has been especially critical during the pandemic.”—Kerstin Woods, Vice President, Solutions and Outbound Marketing, Toshiba
Why Brian Titulaer is a difference maker:
Revered as someone who is ethical and faith-focused by those who work alongside him, Titulaer has a reputation for possessing a thorough understanding of the industry and a commitment to always doing right by clients, employees and partners. The vice president of sales of Wisconsin Digital Imaging (WDI), he was part of the original ownership group that founded the firm in 2010. Titulaer’s career traces back to the 1980s, when he began as a service technician under a previous incarnation of the dealership. He later moved into sales and now provides guidance to the service department and all other facets of the operation. The holder of an associate’s degree from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Titulaer’s ingenuity is critical in bringing value and finding solutions for clients and team members on a daily basis.
“I’ve been Brian’s partner for 15 months now and have known him for several years. In that time and throughout his career, Brian consistently exemplifies what service leadership means and goes out of his way to provide customer solutions. Brian consistently placed the concerns and well-being of his team and his customers at the top of the list to help to navigate WDI through the pandemic. As a result, WDI was able to keep its team intact and is poised for growth in 2021. He’s a terrific leader!”—Cory Spice, President, Wisconsin Document Imaging
Why Roland Tolan is a difference maker:
Tolan certainly deserves the 2020 Fearless Entrepreneur award for boldly embarking on a startup company, United Office Technology Group, alongside partner Mark O’Brien. Pandemic or not, Tolan has his sights set on rolling up Southern California dealers in the $100,00 to $300,000 range, and believes the territory is prime for creating a solid network of dealerships. The Romanian-born executive, who once played professional soccer in his home country, has logged 35 years in the industry with a variety of companies, including Century Business Services, Coast to Coast Business Equipment, Office Digital Solutions and Staples. The holder of a marketing degree from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania, he came to the United States in 1985 and attained certifications in business management. Tolan donates outdoor excursions to his ranch and lodge in Kansas for non-profit entities that support children with special needs as well as the disadvantaged.
“Roland’s a great guy with a wealth of experiences in the industry. He’s a fascinating individual with old world culture and values, and balances that extremely well with his knowledge and experience here in the U.S. He’s truly a positive influence for anyone he speaks to, and he has a phenomenal track record of growing businesses into formidable operations. He’s always focused on the next big opportunity. And he has to be one of the most optimistic, solutions-based people I’ve ever encountered—he’s never in a down mood. Roland treats people with a tremendous amount of courtesy and is a true asset to his up-and-coming dealership.”—Michael Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Paul Tyczkowski is a difference maker:
During the course of his 17-year career with LEAF Commercial Capital, Tyczkowski has made a significant impact. Most recently, he served as leader and advocate-in-chief of a massive effort to integrate the next generation of advanced business intelligence (BI) technology and techniques into LEAF’s platform and workflow. Constructed courtesy of a thorough understanding of clients and customers while leveraging the latest thinking in data structuring and warehousing, the BI efforts have delivered incredible incremental value for the company. LEAF is driving substantial improvements in turnaround times, dealer service levels, sales cycle efficiency and a host of other metrics, and the benefits realized from BI technology continue to multiply daily as new capabilities come online. Tyczkowski’s leadership and enthusiasm has enabled the project to exceed all expectations. He formerly held positions with EDS Group and DVI Financial Services, and has a BS in accounting from Roger Williams University and an MBA in finance from La Salle University.
“One of the things everyone picks up on after spending even a little time with Paul is that he’s a born leader who truly embraces the team-first mindset. He’s the kind of person who will walk into a leadership situation, quickly assess the strengths of those around him, position them to do their best work and constantly remind them of their value to him and the team. And when constructive feedback and professional growth come into focus, Paul stands next to his team as a cheerleader, mentor, advisor and coach, doing all he can to help his team be successful. When it comes time to be recognized for all the great work the team did on a project such as our business intelligence initiative, Paul will insist that it’s not him, but rather his team that is the reason for the success.”—Miles Herman, President and COO, LEAF Commercial Capital
Why Charlie Usherwood is a difference maker:
The chief technology officer of Usherwood Office Technology and an industry veteran of 35-plus years, Usherwood has spent much of his career developing computer, security and overall IT proficiency. During the last 20 years, he’s elevated the dealer’s status as a purveyor of managed IT services and was instrumental in the company becoming a Microsoft partner in 2001. Usherwood’s vision for services based around information technology has allowed the dealer to become a leader in the Northeast, and his commitment to the industry is unparalleled. He currently guides a team of 75 elite service professionals and has been responsible for the development and management of the company’s internal infrastructure that has enabled it to increase growth and revenue year after year. During 2017, he was honored by Pros Elite Group as Service Leader of the Year. In addition to his work with the family-owned business, Usherwood was as a systems engineer at Electronic Data Systems, serving at General Motors’ manufacturing facilities in New York and Georgia.
“Charlie has been a key member of Usherwood’s leadership team that develops the strategy and tactics to grow in all its markets. He’s been a nucleus of our growth and success, and his vision has allowed Usherwood to take on many lines of business surrounding IT. Charlie is widely respected as an expert in our field throughout the industry and helps many dealerships throughout the country assimilate the new realities of IT.”—Louis Usherwood, CEO, Usherwood Office Technology
Why Tim Votapka is a difference maker:
Votapka has spent his entire professional career tapping into his creative font through words and images to carve out a niche as a marketing communications savant. A published writer, editor and photographer, his award-winning work has graced the pages of leading trade magazines and online entities. Along the way, he’s been in the vanguard of many emerging trends among companies in imaging, electronics, health care and life science. Votapka has forged branding and positioning programs, campaigns and literature for distributors and suppliers, and has produced several corporate sales meetings and thematic events for clients nationwide. The graduate of C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University is currently vice president of Prosperity Plus Management Consulting, which helps imaging system resellers improve profitability, cash flow and growth using best practices and methods drawn from the Hubbard Management System. The firm’s clients rave about Votapka’s ability to thoroughly assess their business to develop specifically tailored marketing materials.
“To work with Tim Votapka is to work with a professional’s professional. Appreciating Tim’s incredible work extends far beyond celebrating his go-getter mentality or his self-starter work ethic. To see his thought process is to behold the light of true brilliance. With ease, Tim takes our unpolished gems of ideas and transforms them into diamonds.”—Will Day, Content Manager, Advantage Business Systems
“For 10 years, Tim Votapka’s marketing support has made significant positive impacts for our company. We all value his input, timeliness and energy. Our in-house promotions team talks about internal and external products with marketing strategies that we would like to improve or often even start. He takes these ideas, sometimes realigns them, and then makes great things happen. Although he operates behind the scenes, Tim’s impact is professionally center stage.”—Scott Day, President, Advantage Business Systems
“Like all of you, we had our share of challenges this past year. Many of our customers were essential to helping us all make it through the pandemic, and they still needed our support. We couldn’t have done that without Tim. From helping quickly get out expertly crafted messages to staff and customers to creating dynamic videos that encouraged the team along the way, Tim worked tirelessly to help us overcome the challenges we faced. He’s an integral part of our success.”—Bethany Ainsworth, Project Manager, Advantage Business Systems
“Tim has been adding value to our organization for years now, but that value has never been more apparent than in 2021. As processes rapidly became remote and we had less and less physical interaction with our customers and coworkers, Tim was there to bridge that gap digitally. Within hours, he had added a COVID-19 section to our site to keep both customers and our employees informed. Having a partner such as Tim, who is so digitally savvy, helps position our dealership as a true technology resource. He is committed to his craft as well as his customers, and that is why he succeeds.”—Jed Day, Technology Provider, Advantage Business Systems
“Tim is thousands of miles away from us, but I always feel like he’s part of our team. His kindness allows you to personally connect with him each time you talk. He’s always willing to adjust his ideas to fit our culture, and he takes our ideas and makes them real.”—Sheri Taylor, Contract Administrator, Advantage Business Systems
Why Taylor Wells is a difference maker:
It doesn’t take decades of experience to make a significant impact on a dealership. After just one year at Pearson-Kelly Technology, Wells was elevated to operations manager, where she’s responsible for a team of about 20 and has oversight for all aspects of post-sales technical support, service and implementation. In a span of roughly eight months, Wells increased billable utilization of all techs, implemented automation tools across her department, redefined Pearson-Kelly’s client onboarding process, increased employee satisfaction, restructured the operations leadership team and simplified the way clients interact with the dealer’s post-sales teams. She also renegotiated vendor contracts, saving the dealer approximately $10,000 during the heart of the pandemic. Her efforts have paved a clear path for massive growth at Pearson-Kelly. With a background in event management and hospitality, Wells’ people skills and generosity inside and outside the company make her an invaluable cog in Pearson-Kelly’s success.
“The impact Taylor has made at PKT is astounding. She has that perfect blend of accountability and empathy. Because of her leadership, those that report to her grow leaps and bounds in their professional and personal lives. She gives them the confidence and stability to outperform their goals. But she’s also a genuinely fun person to be around, and they all like to work with her. Taylor isn’t just deserving because of her work accomplishments; she’s also a leader in her community. She serves in her church, volunteers at various community events and invests in lives of PKT employees.”—Lee Flood, Executive Vice President, Pearson-Kelly Technology
Why Justine White is a difference maker:
Business process knowledge, leadership and competence in IT systems integration and automation have been White’s calling cards during her nearly 25-year career with Toshiba. She’s carved out a well-established network of service provider and strategic partner relationships that have resulted in superior customer engagements, elevating Toshiba’s reputation for ease of business execution. The director of customer support, White also oversees the company’s transportation functions and logistics service providers. She’s been instrumental in initiatives including an order management document automation project that dramatically improved process accuracy and efficiency, and guided a major upgrade project to modernize and enhance FYI, Toshiba’s online ecommerce and client engagement system. White earned a BS in business management from the University of Phoenix.
“When it comes to grace under pressure, Justine is a shining example. Ever cheerful in demeanor, positive in outlook and capable in action, she comes to work each day with high energy, leading and supporting our customer service teams toward the ultimate goal of delivering a superior customer experience! And despite countless and ever-changing challenges, she consistently delivers great business results, often via creativity and resourcefulness, but at times through sheer will power and scrappy ingenuity. Her spirit is one of a kind, and every member of her team radiates and amplifies her infectious uplifting attitude.”—Jason LaComb, Vice President, Supply Chain and Planning, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Elliot Williams is a difference maker:
In his own way, Williams is a modern-day Alexander Hamilton, having spent 20-plus years in the industry gaining notoriety for the things he created—tangible assets that will have a lasting impact for years to come. He has a wealth of experience launching new print categories and technologies in worldwide and regional product marketing and business development roles, something he’s done for Memjet, HP and now Epson. In the past year alone, he helped introduce the next generation of the WorkForce Enterprise MFP portfolio, a wide-ranging line of color and monochrome printing solutions. In guiding the Business Printing division, the University of Michigan graduate and history buff is driving the business inkjet printing revolution as it gains momentum in the office printing spectrum.
“Elliot is a brilliant individual who brings the best of engineering, marketing and business development skills to the table. His knowledge of inkjet technology and passion for the business are unparalleled in the industry. What I enjoy most about working with Elliot is his professional and calming demeanor in working with dealers and customers as well as his persevering and unrelenting effort to succeed.”—Joseph Contreras, Commercial Marketing Executive, Office Solutions, Epson America
Why Monica Wilmore is a difference maker:
Wilmore spent the first six years of her professional career as an elementary education teacher, and her 15-year career at Virginia Business Systems has enabled her to assume the role of both student and instructor. A self-taught technologist, her passion for learning has been shared with clients, prospects, partners and employees alike. Engaging and enthusiastic, Wilmore can reduce complex systems for comprehension to all levels within an organization. She’s held several sales leadership roles, culminating with her promotion to vice president of sales this year. Wilmore’s insight helps shape the direction and growth of the company’s sustainability initiatives. She sits on the Cytracom Partner Advisory Council and serves on the Select Dealer Group Sales Leadership Forum. A cancer survivor, Wilmore serves on the Down Syndrome of Richmond board and works with pediatric cancer patients to create artwork with Connor’s Heroes.
“As the saying goes, ‘A boss is someone you have to follow, but a leader is someone you want to follow.’ This is Monica, a true leader on the field and off. Monica not only cares about what you do for the company, she cares about your personal life as well. She’s an inspiration to everyone!”—John Day, Senior Network Service Engineer, Virginia Business Systems
“Monica’s has the unique ability to connect with all facets of the organization and understands the roles that each department plays in creating an excellent company.”—Rick Lingon, Major Account Manager, Virginia Business Systems
“Monica’s creative thinking can take you to the next level. Her passion and effort are unmatched, moving everyone forward together. I see Monica’s above-and-beyond effort at work daily, but seeing that same passion and effort outside working with nonprofits and community service opportunities is amazing.”—Ryan Schoepke, Regional Sales Manager-Central Virginia, Virginia Business Systems
“Monica’s work ethic is one of the best I’ve encountered. She’s dependable, flexible, humble, driven, passionate, dedicated, consistent and committed. Monica always looks for opportunities to become even better. She is always thinking how she can help her team succeed while embracing the company’s core values.”—Tracey Ahmad, CRM Administrator, Edwards Business Systems/ Virginia Business Systems
“Monica embodies the company’s core values and has earned the leadership role. She effortlessly mixes proficiency, professionalism and expertise with an infectious personality that makes working with her a pleasure. Our clients and employees recognize this, and we’re thrilled to have her on our senior leadership team. She’s the bomb!”—Jim Dotter, President and CEO, Virginia Business Systems
Why Mike Wyatt is a difference maker:
Supplies Network is blessed to have cultivated many lifelong careers among its team members, and Wyatt certainly fits that description. A 26-year veteran of the firm, he offers a genuine quality and grit that have been the underpinnings of his success. Wyatt relishes the opportunity to travel and visit with clients face to face to learn the ins and outs of their business and culture. The sincerity he shows with Supplies Network’s clients has also enabled him to develop long-lasting relationships along the way. The holder of a BS in economics from the University of Kansas, Wyatt is a hockey dad, a do-it-yourselfer and a fanatical golf enthusiast.
“Mike has been an outstanding business partner, helping us navigate and leverage Supplies Network’s extensive capabilities. He’s always a thoughtful and creative resource as we strategize on what truly supports and delivers value to our customers. I rely on his expertise and industry knowledge, but more importantly, I trust him.”—Chris Callaway, Vice President and General Manager, UBEO Business Services
Why Andrew Zwerner is a difference maker:
Many difference makers are heroes to the companies, customers and partners they serve. But few individuals are heroic on a grand, national scale, and as we cap off this year’s Difference Maker roster, we offer a true American hero in Zwerner. Spurred by the events of 9/11, he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the premier Special Operations Unit, the Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Development Group, where he completed multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2006 to 2009. Zwerner later joined the FBI as a special agent, but decided he wanted the adventurous life of an entrepreneur instead. He’s currently the CEO of Chassi, a Phoenix-based startup that helps dealers accelerate their cashflow. Before joining Chassi, he was COO and co-founder of Prescient, a global risk management and intelligence services firm. There, he helped grow revenues to $15 million in a seven-year span. From counterterrorism and counterintelligence on the national and international stage to solving the challenges faced by businesses large and small, Zwerner’s thirst for bringing order to chaos is to be appreciated and commended.
“Andrew is a unique individual, a young guy, brilliant software CEO, a visionary and strategist. He has an absolute gift when it comes to simplifying highly complex business requirements. He creates solutions the average person can understand and embrace. Andrew makes sure that the product is implementable without a great deal of pain and with tremendous speed and accuracy. The story behind how Andrew became a software CEO after being a member of Seal Team Six and the FBI is incredible. Andrew is just a brilliant and caring guy, highly disciplined. He’s incredibly humble and I find that to be a tremendous asset. He’s a great family guy and a tremendous patriot, and we’re fortunate to have him in our industry.”—Michael Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting