While face masks and distancing guidelines have faded from our collective consciousness, the impact of COVID-19 continues to manifest itself in various ways, from supply chain headaches to the way we operate our businesses. That’s not to diminish or ignore the mortality toll the pandemic has wrought; the United States is less than 20,000 away from reaching the sobering 1 million death count as of April 4, according to the New York Times.
But as we move forward in a post-pandemic context, another compelling storyline continues to be The Great Resignation. In 2021, more than 47 million Americans voluntarily left their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, averaging more than 4 million letters of resignation per month during the second half of the year. That average continued in January and February of this year, undoubtedly fueled by cases in which employees who left jobs in 2021 found their new positions to also be unfulfilling (a.k.a. Grass is Greener Syndrome).
While current conditions clearly indicate a buyer’s market for job seekers, it also brings into sharp focus the value of high-performing individuals and the need to underscore their importance to the organizations for which they toil. Loyalty is a two-way street, and while today’s employment landscape has provided more leverage for the rank and file, businesses are scrambling to find new and innovative ways to demonstrate their affinity for valued and long-tenured team members.
As businesses continue to mobilize in an era of HR musical chairs, it’s recognition programs such as ENX Magazine’s Difference Makers that spotlight the many valued contributions—and examples of staunch loyalty—that, given the circumstances, are perhaps more essential now than ever before. From receptionists to executives of multi-million dollar dealers, distributors and OEMs, just about every walk of life imaginable is represented in our 2022 class. And while top-level VPs are less likely to be job-hopping, contributions both great and small are essential to the health and vitality of our industry’s mainstay performers and are worthy of celebrating—and maintaining.
Please take some time to peruse our roster of 63 Difference Makers and the stories behind their careers and contributions to their current employers. We’d also like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time from their busy schedules to call attention to our industry’s Most Wanted. This program isn’t possible without your valued input, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Congratulations to this year’s honorees. Read on:
Why Trevor Akervik is a difference maker:
Not everyone can trace their career roots to a college parking lot, but that was the genesis of Akervik’s journey in the office technology sector. The St. Cloud (Minnesota) Technical and Community College product began his career in copier sales with Marco, but it wasn’t long before Akervik found a higher calling within the firm. His penchant for exceeding goals led him to become a sales manager, but Akervik soon became one of the chief architects in the dealer’s managed service platform and is credited as a significant force in building Marco’s IT business. His current role as COO is geared toward driving results for Marco as it evolves into a national, integrated business technology provider. Akervik oversees human resources and business strategies that promote growth and opportunities for the company’s talent. He also crafts and modifies strategies to support market dynamics and achieve Marco’s business plan. A Peloton and pickleball enthusiast, Akervik is also involved with United Way of Central Minnesota.
“Trevor is one of the finest, brightest IT people in our industry. His skills are unbelievable; his ability to teach, learn, promote and research gives him great insight into where this industry needs to go. He’s a real visionary and a credit to the Marco organization.”— Mike Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Clarence Baker is a difference maker:
If there’s one position in an organization for which intelligence is a must-have trait, the director of finance is either at or near the top of the list. Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) addressed that need in 2001 when it hired Baker as vice president of finance and administration. The Wayne State University magna cum laude had established himself during stints with Deloitte and Pfizer as a marketplace financial controller. Upon joining TABS, Baker soon transitioned into a critical role handling complex accounting and IT system issues, reporting directly to the company CFO. His skill sets combine a CPA with in-depth knowledge of Oracle ERP. That’s enabled him to manage complex issues such as ASC 606, which is highly challenging given the sheer number of transactions, multiple element arrangements, bundled transactions and complex pricing to support bids. Baker’s outgoing and engaging personality bucks the ideal of a droll number-cruncher.
“Clarence not only possesses unique technical knowledge, but also has an infectious personality that makes him welcome by all business leaders and staff across the organization. This is evident by the fact that he has had several job offers across multiple functions around the country. Clarence also does a phenomenal job managing the large CPA firms we engage with (for both audit and technical support). The CPA firms have tremendous respect for Clarence as well as a trust in what he delivers. This is due to his professionalism, technical skills and ethics. I’ve worked with Clarence for over 10 years, and he truly does stand apart from most.”— Michael Torcaso, Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Holly Brandt is a difference maker:
Brandt has been a fixture at Doing Better Business (DBB) for the past 35 years in her role as human resources director, and she’s also manager of the dealership’s First Touch Team. A graduate of West Virginia University, Brandt arrived at DBB in 1987 and has cemented her reputation as a driving force behind the dealership’s corporate culture. She’s also a keeper of the flame when it comes to enforcing the company’s core values. Brandt’s deft guidance has enabled DBB to capture numerous Best Places to Work honors for both Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania. She toils diligently to align DBB’s corporate culture with business outcomes. Due to her leadership, the First Touch Team has consistently exceeded its goals. Brandt has also served as a guest presenter during BTA Select Dealer Group peer meetings. Away from the office, she’s a staunch advocate for animal welfare, children and political issues.
“No one embraces and exemplifies the core values of DBB like Holly Brandt. She’s passionate about both our employees and our customers and truly wants everyone to feel like they’re part of our family. I know I would be lost without Holly and all the things she does every day to make us a great company.”— Debra Dellaposta, President and CEO, Doing Better Business
Why Sally Brause is a difference maker:
From her early role as human resources director to sales training and development, and now as director, human resources consulting, Brause has been a 20-plus-year cornerstone for GreatAmerica Financial Services. The holder of a BA in business administration from Coe College and a masters in organizational leadership from St. Ambrose University, Brause had stints with Rockwell Collins, The Ertl Company and Glaxo prior to joining GreatAmerica in 2001. She’s made an indelible impression as part of the firm’s PathShare HR Services offering, which is aimed at enabling client success through strategic focusing on business. She also serves an invaluable role as a certified implementer of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) Traction, a set of business tools to help align and synchronize all operational aspects to yield maximized results. Brause’s ability to enable clients to move beyond the day-to-day elements and create a clear direction of actionable initiatives is essential to everyday business and has taken on greater significance during a period of significant change and uncertainty.
“Sally is a skilled and certified implementer for EOS Traction. She has a proven track record of helping office technology providers place a structured focus on strategy, so they can continue to navigate the pandemic and long term as they evaluate adding services and solutions.”— Jennie Fisher, Senior Vice President and General Manager, GreatAmerica Financial Services
“Two of the greatest strengths Sally brings to the table are her abilities to tackle strategic problems and encourage others to think differently in a way that produces desired outcomes. I love her ability to mediate discussions among conflicting opinions. She comes at it from an aspect of understanding the root problem that needs solving and doesn’t choose sides. She provides a helpful calmness to strategic conversations.”— Sean Seward, President, South Central Regional, Visual Edge IT
“Sally is a great implementer for EOS Traction. Looking at our core values has changed the way we do business and helped us implement simple ideas such as, ‘Do the right thing.’”— Jim Dotter, President and CEO, Virginia Business Systems
Why Derris Butler is a difference maker:
Butler is the personification of a clutch player. During The Great Resignation—which saw approximately 47 million workers exit their jobs—many small businesses were forced to scramble for fresh talent. Pearson-Kelly Technology (PKT) wasn’t immune from this development, as the Missouri dealer lost 60 percent of its sales force. Butler mobilized and was able to restock PKT’s talent pool in a mere nine months. The Columbia Southern University graduate didn’t stop there, adding a new rep, a specialist and a sales development rep—boosting the size of PKT’s sales unit by more than 30% when the smoke had cleared. With a background that includes tours with Baker Phillips Jackson and Federal Protection, Butler has a penchant for identifying driven performers and follows the motto that he would rather “have an ignorant team on fire than a knowledgeable one on ice.” PKT’s newbies brought the fire and were able to hit their numbers, due in no small part to Butler’s motivation.
“Derris is PKT’s unofficial hype man. He consistently challenges everyone on the PKT team to look for ways to improve themselves personally and professionally. He’s also one of the most competitive individuals on our team, whether that’s hitting pipeline goals or playing in an impromptu cornhole tournament. If you’re struggling, there’s no one better to be standing in your corner.”— Kenzie Ward, Marketing Coordinator, Pearson-Kelly Technology
Why Ledena Cayetano is a difference maker:
You won’t find many practicing attorneys in the office technology universe, and that versatility speaks to the value Cayetano brings to Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS). As the company’s program manager, Cayetano is responsible for developing go-to-market strategies and implementing sales initiatives for the Consortium program. Over the course of her 10-plus years with the organization, Cayetano has showcased her experience in operations, customer relations, sales communications and marketing. This allows her to have an in-depth understanding of the business throughout all parts of the sales cycle. Backed by her former experiences as a practicing attorney, with an emphasis on entertainment law, Cayetano mixes her skill sets to maximize sales potential while adhering to strict requirements that Consortium contracts often present. She has a BS in business administration with an emphasis in marketing management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and a Juris Doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.
“Ledena is smart, talented and hardworking. She brings a lot of energy to everything she does. A significant part of her job is presenting and communicating our Consortium program to our resellers and partners. Her presentation skills are exceptional, as she is well prepared and has great knowledge of the program. Ledena’s communication skills have helped us to better interact and create mindshare with our resellers, which is very important to our program success.”— Khanh Pham, Director, Sales Operations, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Jim Coriddi is a difference maker:
If Coriddi isn’t the face of Ricoh North America in the eyes of the Ricoh Family Group and its 400-plus dealer partners, he’s certainly no stranger to them. A 36-year veteran of the company, Coriddi has been instrumental in the group’s continuous annual growth, which accounts for nearly 50% of the OEM’s unit sales. During his tenure, Coriddi has served in various sales and marketing positions in the field and operational aspects of the business. Before taking the VP helm of the dealer division, he was responsible for coordinating the Ricoh field integration efforts in tandem with the company’s IKON Office Solutions acquisition. He once led the dedicated IKON division—with oversight of all sales, service and marketing operations—and the unit grew 58% to $500 million annually during a five-year period. The Montclair State University graduate was previously vice president of Ricoh dealer sales and vice president of marketing support. In addition to his acquisition work, Coriddi developed and led an innovative consumables sales program and implemented a field marketing initiative to provide training and support for Ricoh’s first digital multifunction product in the U.S.
“Jim’s longtime expertise and understanding of dealer needs and pain points makes him a true partner to Ricoh’s dealer community. From his early days of leading sales and marketing teams to recent years of helping dealers innovate in a time of rapid business change, Jim has shown knowledge of how to inspire both his internal teams and external clients. Innovation also sits at the heart of Jim’s work with the dealer community. Last year, at a time when bringing everyone together for in-person events wasn’t possible, Jim led the effort to organize Ricoh Connection21, a six-month virtual program that allowed for meaningful collaboration with dealers. His commitment to Ricoh is beyond compare, while at the same time, he’s always a friend to the dealer community, wanting to support their initiatives and help them grow and change alongside Ricoh.”— Jennifer Healy, Director, Marketing and Campaign Strategy, Dealer and Partner Channel, Ricoh USA
Why Brandon Cork is a difference maker:
In a span of less than two years, Cork has made his presence felt as a Chicago-area branch sales manager for Pulse Technology. He’s represented the dealer at five area Chambers of Commerce and two networking groups for business development, and quarterbacked several significant community initiatives. He’s also demonstrated leadership qualities while serving as a representative at BTA sales management meetings alongside other MPS influencers. From a community outreach perspective, Cork led a Pulse team of six that volunteered with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to help prepare 3,600 meals for the underserved. He’s also carried the torch for CEO Chip Miceli’s “Buy Local Give Local” program, providing area nonprofits with off-lease printers. Prior to Pulse, the Robert Morris University graduate (bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration) was a sales manager for Canon Solutions America and worked in admissions for both DeVry University and Colorado Technical University.
“Brandon brings enthusiasm, optimism and a can-do attitude to everything he does. He’s a strong leader and a goodwill ambassador who’s passionate about giving 110% to the company and the community. Brandon is all in when it comes to making Pulse Technology a household word throughout the state and beyond.”— Jim Farrell, Founder, Farrell PR
Why Tony Donnellon is a difference maker:
Every company has a “without whom” performer whose versatility and willingness to chip in where needed is essential to the success of the organization. Donnellon is a prime example of an individual who will handle any duty necessary to advance the cause of his firm—in this case, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises (DME). He’s been known to climb into a truck and make deliveries or lend a hand to the billing department when needed. But the former Columbus branch manager and 20-year industry veteran is most at home in his current role as vice president of operations, which he took on in 2016, and he’s been critical to the success and growth of DME. His various roles have also included sales and sales management, service technician and logistics. A proud alum of Xavier University, Donnellon’s background also includes stints with American Racing and Belterra Casino Resort.
“Tony is an extremely hard worker for DME. He’s helped with our deliveries, billing and even helps with our sales department. We couldn’t run this operation without him.”— Erica Huentelman, Executive Assistant, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises
Why Kimberly Doyle is a difference maker:
A Rowan University graduate and four-year stalwart on the school’s lacrosse team, Doyle embodies the team concept. In her short time with Epson, she’s demonstrated a willingness to step up or volunteer for any task to advance the team cause. Boasting a background in sales provides her with a deep understanding of what an executive requires to be successful, making her a key cog in Epson’s channel and field marketing team. Doyle understands how marketing complements sales with thoughtful enablement tools and develops whatever is needed to advance projects. Forging a reputation for reliability within the sales unit has produced a halo effect within Epson’s field team—she’s one of the most pursued specialists with whom to partner. Cultivating relationships is one of her trademark attributes. Partners’ sales teams seek out Doyle’s support because of the value-add created by her attentiveness. Away from the office, she’s still involved with lacrosse as a coach for recreation and travel organizations.
“Kim Doyle is an outstanding field marketing specialist. I find her to be very approachable and willing to assist me and any of our dealers in supporting their efforts in selling Epson. She’s very creative, responsive to the needs of our dealers and is always one of the first to jump in and offer assistance. She is a pleasure to work with, and I’m very happy to have her on my team.”— Sandy DiMarcello, Business Development Manager, Epson America
Why Leroy Farrell is a difference maker:
Farrell is a respected dean within Canon U.S.A., having spent more than 33 years with the organization. A leader committed to providing efficient, innovative and industry-leading service, he has a steadfast focus on enhancing the Canon customer experience. Farrell’s leadership has paved the way to major customer support enhancement tools, including virtual presence, proactive and predictive services, and innovative remote services. Through remote diagnostics and predictive maintenance, Canon can identify issues before they become problematic for the client. As a result, the manufacturer’s customer solutions center has earned the Center of Excellence Award from Benchmark Portal for more than a decade. Farrell’s team continues to unveil new device and software services that improve productivity, efficiency and profitability for Canon service partners. This includes remote monitoring services, data distribution services and customer applications. He continues to stay two steps ahead of the changing business climate by incorporating technological advancements to Canon’s service value proposition.
“Lee has been an important part of Canon’s success, and his impact can be seen in the numerous awards his team has earned throughout the years, highlighted by Canon’s Customer Solutions Center garnering Center Of Excellence recognition from Benchmark Portal. He’s made a difference in heading a group that continues to enhance the customer support experience. In an ever-changing business environment, Lee’s team continues to show great adaptability, evidenced by his unit’s focus on items such as remote monitoring services, data distribution services and applications that help improve the end-user experience.”— Shinichi “Sam” Yoshida, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Canon U.S.A.
Why Mark Flesch is a difference maker:
If it can be said that the Flesch family is royalty within office technology dealership circles, then suffice to say that Mark Flesch has earned prince status. He’s been instrumental in spearheading four acquisitions since taking over as COO of The Gordon Flesch Company (GFC) in 2018, enabling the dealer to diversify its equipment offerings and transform its managed technology services. A graduate of University of Miami (Ohio) with a degree in marketing, Flesch is constantly seeking new avenues to innovation and has launched several initiatives aimed at bolstering the dealership. He created the GFC Customer Experience, a senior leadership team that builds on GFC’s reputation for excellent customer service through training, internal communications, team-building efforts and improved workflows. He also had a hand in launching the Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) committee to foster a culture that values a more diverse and equitable workplace, ensuring all employees are valued and supported. Flesch also furthers his family’s commitment to supporting the communities it serves; he sits on the boards of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce and Ohio Health Dublin Methodist Hospital.
“Mark’s leadership style is to always look for ways to make GFC more competitive and innovative. He’s committed to protecting the company’s legacy while moving us forward into the future. His drive, optimism and initiative are inspiring to all of us.”— Connie Dettman, Director of Marketing, Gordon Flesch Company
Why Carrie Fox is a difference maker:
Epson America has carved a reputation as one of the fastest-growing scanner brands in North America, and Fox has played an integral role in its development. She was instrumental in the introduction of a new wireless network color document scanner, the DS-790WN, to meet increased demand for networking technologies. Fox has served various business units within Epson during her 15 years with the organization, including product manager and group product manager for the consumer inkjet team, prior to leading the scanner team in 2019. Her people-management skills have produced tremendous results with retail accounts and she’s been honored by the manufacturer for her efforts in helping launch FastFoto and EcoTank. The holder of a BA in psychology from Mercer University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, Fox also served as a senior product manager for Belkin Corporation and worked in the HR department with Universal Studios.
“Faced with turbulent and challenging times, Carrie has led her business group with nimbleness, a can-do attitude and an inclusiveness that values every team member’s contribution. Like many teams, Carrie’s group has seen severe supply challenges, attrition and the obvious issues of transitioning overnight to a remote workplace. Despite these obstacles, she’s guided the group with a laser-like focus on our customers and partners. She brings to the table a unique ability to be decisive when necessary, but also follows a collaborative process, gathering input from extended teams with an openness that invites everyone’s voice to be heard. Indeed, I believe it’s her inclusiveness, the ability to make everyone feel that their contribution is valuable, that brings to the table unique and creative solutions that have elevated our business.”— Tim Anderson, Group Product Manager, Epson America
Why John Fulena is a difference maker:
Though his impressive resume encompasses a comprehensive tour of imaging and graphic arts, Fulena’s latest challenge is one of new beginnings. He’s seeking to foster new growth opportunities for dealers in the world of print production and industrial printing (PP/IP) through the development and implementation of programs that aid in this diversification. A 35-year veteran who’s plied his craft with Ricoh, Kodak, Océ (Canon) and HP Indigo, Fulena joined Konica Minolta in 2020 as the pandemic was changing the way businesses engage with one another. His team used the OEM’s client engagement center to provide virtual product demonstrations, which helped proliferate the sale of PP/IP solutions. And as supply chain issues continued to mount, the Gannon University graduate remained highly focused on managing inventory and allocating toner. He assessed needs and identified priorities to fulfill as many orders as possible on a weekly basis. As part of his 13 years with Ricoh, Fulena was an original member of the production printing business group, with whom he helped build and develop Ricoh’s initial product line of sheetfed color and black-and-white digital production printing solutions.
“John makes an incredible difference by ensuring that PP/IP is a growth product and very profitable for our dealers. Through his virtual tour program, he’s doing so much more than providing equipment demos; he’s telling the Konica Minolta PP/IP story. John makes print come alive for the dealers. Once hosting eight straight days of live Zoom demos for 450 people, John’s enthusiasm, passion and ability to get dealers excited about print never waned. We’ve had an incredible year with sales of our presses thanks to education, awareness, training and understanding, and adjusting to the ever-changing marketplace. John’s played a huge part in that. Additionally, John‘s done an amazing job of helping dealers manage through supply chain challenges, being creative with customers, staying engaged and answering the hard questions. He works tirelessly and we are so lucky to have him on our team.”— Laura Blackmer, President, Dealer Sales, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Why Mike Gallagher is a difference maker:
While his career path at ECMSI has continuously evolved, Gallagher constantly embodies the core values and work ethic of the firm, having captured the organization’s internal Ox Award for two consecutive years. A graduate of ITT Technical Institute with an associate’s degree in electrical engineering, he previously owned CompTech Networking Solutions and has enjoyed a 10-year journey in the information technology sector. During his time with ECMI, Gallagher has served as account manager, service team lead and vCIO. In his current position as service manager, he focuses on furnishing exceptional service and support for partners on a daily basis. Gallagher also offers cross-departmental assistance to solve issues, educate and promote growth, ensuring the development of ECMSI and its partner base.
“I don’t work with Mike directly, but as a tight-knit company, it’s not hard to notice that he’s the workhorse of ECMSI. Mike is always there to step up, take additional responsibility and ensure the team feels supported and understood. He’s won our internal Ox Award for two consecutive years because of his hard work ethic.”— Lauren Butka, Marketing and Communications Specialist, ECMSI
Why Patrick Garcia is a difference maker:
Garcia is currently on his second tour of duty with Southwest Copy Systems, having rejoined the firm in 2015 after spending nearly five years as the CEO of the non-profit Center for Hands-On Learning. In 2019, he was elevated to sales manager in tandem with his major accounts. During the pandemic, Garcia enabled Southwest to attain annual sales growth, and he shares his expertise and experience with the organization’s sales executives and solution providers to maintain the dealership’s position as a preeminent purveyor of copiers, printers, managed IT, VoIP and solutions in New Mexico. Prior to Southwest, Garcia spent 10 years on the support staff of one of the state’s largest law firms, where he garnered an understanding of the workflow and office equipment needs of the legal environment. The University of New Mexico product also served as a down-the-street sales representative for Office World Technologies, where his ability to secure numerous major accounts caught the eye of Southwest.
“Every company has a mission and a culture, but those missions and cultures within the workplace are upheld and ever changing from the individuals that make a company what it is. Patrick Garcia is the definition of positivity, the face of gratitude and a leader whose followers want to model his actions. His knowledge and wisdom go beyond the technology industry. He brings value to each situation in life and does the right thing for whoever he interacts with. Customer satisfaction seems to be the goal of countless companies and their employees, but if you ask those who Patrick interacts with, both in and out of the workplace, you’ll find that he has loyalty in and with these individuals. Patrick is a selfless man who looks to the positive and works to make this world a better place in every aspect of his life.”— Josh Herrera, Sales Rep, Southwest Copy Systems
Why Brain Gertler is a difference maker:
A master of building relationships, Gertler’s boundless enthusiasm and big-picture perspective have been essential in helping the LDI Connect shine a light on the technologies end-users need to be successful, with an eye toward emerging technologies. Perhaps it’s only fitting that his past life includes the ophthalmic dispensing world; innovation and creativity allow LDI’s customers to focus their technologies more clearly. Gertler was a driver of the company’s rebranding to LDI Connect earlier this year, an effort that gives more clarity to the overall product and solution catalog that has evolved and grown to better fit clients’ needs. With managed IT, professional audio/visual, document workflow, cloud communications and security boosting the portfolio, Gertler showcases how these tools can enable organizations to be more modern and efficient. His fingerprints are all over the proof of concept and market development of the firm’s core disciplines. Prior to joining LDI more than 20 years ago, the NYU alum was the president of Integrated Media Group.
“Brian is the biggest advocate for working with, partnering with and being employed by LDI Connect. I was recruited by Brian to work for LDI Connect on the train. Brian treats everyone he communicates with as equals. I say I work for Brian, and Brian says we work together. He values long-term relationships and ensures the company morale is high. With so much on his plate, Brian still finds time to decorate our offices for the holidays, take photos at our corporate events (tens of thousands), apply corporate window decals and help everyone around him be successful.”— Louis Pearlman, Graphic Designer, LDI Connect
Why Jodie Grice is a difference maker:
The best way to understand Grice’s value is to appreciate her style and adept people-handling skills, which were cultivated during a 30-year odyssey with Xerox. It was truly a family affair for Grice, whose mother and father also worked at the manufacturing giant for 30-plus years. Xerox kept close tabs on how its customer service team interacted with clients. Grice fielded many a call from irate clients, but by conversation’s end, the anger and frustration melted into laughter and appreciation for her assistance. It wouldn’t be long before Grice was elevated to service admin, then later to field rep, where she handled a fleet of 325 copiers on a studio lot. She moved over to family-owned GoodSuite in 2015 and oversees the imaging and IT service teams. She’s thrived in an environment that cares for its employees and customers, and is a staunch proponent of the firm’s core values. Grice is also deeply involved with community outreach endeavors.
“Jodie started out in dispatch, and it was apparent right away that we had a rock star. We modeled our core values that we live by every day from looking at the way Jodie attacks her work. She takes pride in every detail and continuously gets better. Whenever someone says rock star, we know it must be about Jodie.”— Dan Strull, CEO, GoodSuite
Why Malea Habbal is a difference maker:
Marketing has long been a passion for Habbal, but she first joined her family’s Vision Office Systems as an account executive in 2007 to manage a three-county territory. Habbal then embarked on a freelance marketing career in 2011, providing consultation and action plans for a variety of business sectors before returning to Vision as director of marketing in 2019. Upon her return, she added leasing company manager to her responsibilities. The holder of a BSBA in marketing from Western Carolina University and an MBA from Wingate University, Habbal is also the president and founder of Digital Marketing On-Ramp, which helps clients improve their digital strategies. A health enthusiast, Habbal also serves as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer for a local YMCA.
“Malea continues to show that she knows the ins and outs of marketing. She constantly has new things the company rolls out, which has helped us continue to grow during the two years of the pandemic. On top of the marketing side, Malea also manages our leasing company and takes great care of our clients who lease their equipment from us directly. She’s a true asset to the company.”— Jason Habbal, Vice President, Vision Office Systems
Why Amine Hammedi is a difference maker:
Hammedi can speak four languages, but is perhaps most fluent in finance and profits. He’s thrived during his decade-long venture at Nauticon Office Solutions, where he leads the office equipment sales division and has been instrumental in building the team through recruiting and sales efforts. Despite the pandemic downturn for most businesses, Nauticon has enjoyed record months, and Hammedi played a critical role in the dealer realizing record company sales in 2021. The holder of a BSBA from American University, he attributes the success to Nauticon’s incredible service team, led by Vinh Phan and John-Austin Shepard, who have been vital in implementing a sales process that enabled the dealer to nearly double its revenue per deal since he joined.
“Amine’s favorite phrase is ‘humble and hungry,’ and you won’t find anyone who demonstrates those characteristics better. He enjoys rolling up his sleeves and supporting the team out in the field, on the phones and alongside teammates throughout the sales process to help others achieve success. He sets a fast pace for the team and truly embodies our company values of service first, teamwork and inclusion.”— John-Austin Shepard, Vice President of Sales, Nauticon Office Solutions
Why David Hanlon is a difference maker:
Hanlon served his country as an electronics technician in the United States Marine Corps, then began his 33-year journey in the office technology world with a copier dealership, A-Tec Office Equipment. After stints as a sales rep with Dealers Unlimited and Danka Wholesale, Hanlon spent 19 years at Collins Distributing Company. He joined Distribution Management in 2018 to focus on building the organization’s A3 hardware business. It quickly became clear that Hanlon’s knowledge and expertise in distribution and operations would be vital to navigating the unique supply chain and logistics needs of selling hardware. He’s proven more than adept at juggling inventory needs, supply chain challenges and the coordination of device installation rollouts. Hanlon has effectively bridged the gap between manufacturer, distributor, dealer and end-user during this difficult business period. His love of college football is equaled by his penchant for rolling around town on his Harley Davidson.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with David these past couple of years, which quite possibly have been the most difficult of times in our industry. The pandemic drastically impacted not only everyone’s business but our supply chain as well. David’s expertise in our channel, along with his knowledge of A4 and A3 hardware, really helped bring a sense of calm and structure to the chaos caused by the pandemic. We’ve known David as a difference maker at Distribution Management since he arrived. In these adverse times, our manufacturer partners and customers recognize how big of a difference maker he is and how much we rely on his expertise.”— Jason Moore, Services and Solutions Sales Manager, Distribution Management
Why Gary Harouff is a difference maker:
As his company celebrates its 20th year in business, Harouff has forged a reputation for providing greater opportunities to customers, employees and the community. He expanded AIS’ portfolio into IT services, telecom, physical security (cameras and access control) and digital marketing services, and also devised innovative, customer-centric initiatives such as an e-commerce solution and a self-selection tool for prospects. He boosted profit sharing for employees and developed culture committees that enable team members to connect with one another through shared passions, hobbies and interests. In addition, Harouff provides employees with the opportunity to dedicate 24 hours per year toward the non-profit organizations of their choice—eclipsing 500 hours in all during 2021. The UNLV product spent five years as president of Toshiba Business Solutions and was a founder of Skipco, where he spent the first 15 years of his career prior to selling the family-owned business to Toshiba. He’s involved with the Copier Dealers Association and will be installed as president in 2023.
“Gary and AIS have been a valued customer of GreatAmerica for many years. I’ve been impressed with his leadership not only with his team at AIS, but in our industry. He’s a true entrepreneur, pushing the envelope for innovation. He was one of the first dealers in our industry to embrace inbound marketing (as a marketer myself, this has been inspirational to witness) as well as many other forward-thinking solutions to solve business and customer problems. I’ve been particularly impressed with his willingness to share his company’s best practices to help better our industry. At last year’s CDA meeting, he and his team shared their process and work behind their fully-integrated configurator and online store (e-commerce solution).”— Josie Heskje, Director, Strategic Marketing, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Karin Harrington is a difference maker:
Harrington is celebrating 30 years of service at Canon U.S.A. and has played a vital part in leading the OEM’s dealer strategy initiatives. In a male-dominated industry, Harrington continues to drive success in her new role as senior sales director for dealer services, in charge of the independent dealer network. Ever since arriving at Canon U.S.A. in 1992, she’s been a key cog in growing the manufacturer’s partnerships and guiding them through the evolution of an ever-changing industry. Her leadership qualities dovetail with Canon U.S.A.’s commitment to bringing innovative technology that expands business opportunities with the authorized dealer network. She graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in business management.
“Karin’s diligence, combined with strong knowledge of the industry, has been an important part in growing our partnerships and will continue to be a key factor in expanding opportunities with our authorized dealers.”— Mason Olds, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Canon U.S.A.
Why Melody Harris is a difference maker:
A past honoree, Harris has many adjectives attached to her pedigree: organized, disciplined, detail-oriented, analytical problem-solver and top-flight project manager. She’s been wildly successful at every stop along her career, including her current role with Milner. In this business operations capacity, she can hit revenue goals while still meeting customer satisfaction standards. Harris focuses on centralized processes and systems, with a concentration on increased efficiencies in the quote-to-cash workflow. A wealth of experience in project management and logistics adds depth to her overall value. Prior to Milner, she spent 12 years with United Technologies as director of customer operations and manager of North America hospitality projects. While there, she oversaw the company’s 24/7 tech support team, warehouse, global security rollouts and nationwide installations for large accounts. Harris was also director of signage services for Benson Integrated Marketing Solutions. An Emory University alum, she holds a Georgia real estate license.
“When you’re watching CEOs and CFOs making decisions about how to effectively improve profit, either through software or processes, she’s one of the top five people I know in getting that done. Melody is a hard-nosed negotiator to the extent that she manages some very opinionated people who work in the IT world. She manages to stand her ground when she needs to. She gets the job done, and in my opinion, that makes her a great leader.”— Mike Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Diane Henriquez is a difference maker:
It’s not a stretch to say that the impression a business makes with its clients and prospects is dictated by the first contact that’s made. In the case of Diane Henriquez—the receptionist for Coast to Coast Computer Products—it’s one that is both lasting and favorable. Coast to Coast’s staff and customer base credit Henriquez, who’s been the familiar, friendly voice on the other end of the line for 30 years, with setting the tone for doing business with the company. While she’s worked in many departments within Coast to Coast, her smile and can-do attitude makes her the perfect fit for being that first point of contact, whether on the phone or in the office. Her positive attitude is infectious, to the point where many a business associate has complimented Henriquez. That friendly face at the onset of an engagement has been vital to the organization’s success, and her teammates view Henriquez as more than “only a receptionist.”
“You won’t find too many beautiful people like Diane. She brightens every room she enters and is missed when she’s not around. I’ve worked with Diane since I was about 19 years old and when I turned 21, she rented a limo to drive us around during our lunch break. She’s giving, caring and fun, but stern. She will not be taken advantage of, yet she would give you the shirt off her back. I’ve always looked up to Diane, confided in her and respected her advice. She takes care of all of us here and is loved by all. She deserves all the praise she receives and more. Our customers love her just as much as they do their sales representatives!”— Melissa Servatdjoo, Technology Sales Manager, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why Kimberly Herold is a difference maker:
Grit, persistence, passion and the dedication to be the best are all qualities that have driven Herold during her 20-plus years in the office technology sector. She joined Ohio Business Machines (OBM) shortly after graduating from John Carroll University in Cleveland with a degree in marketing, but quickly found a calling as a high-performing sales professional. During her 12-year stint with OBM, she recruited, coached and mentored many sales professionals and administrative teams, enabling her to rise to the position of vice president. In her seven years as VP, Herold helped increase sales revenue 320%. Following a stint as a Chicago sales manager for Des Plaines Office Equipment (now Pulse Technology)—a time in which she was honored as a top under-40 professional by The Cannata Report—she joined Impact Networking as a sales manager in downtown Chicago. She’s been particularly effective with driving growth in managed services and helped Impact reach its goal of $100 million for 2017.
“Kimberly was made partner in January 2018 for her success leading, promoting and mentoring team members and her dedication to Impact’s overall growth. I first met Kimberly 22 years ago and immediately recognized that she was very talented and was bound to have a great career. She’s been the highest-level achiever in our industry and has garnered several awards. Impact is an excellent organization, and to make it to partner level is a testimony to her professionalism and dedication.”— John Rickey, Vice President Sales Eastern Zone, Kyocera Document Solutions America
Why Hector Jara is a difference maker:
A one-time construction foreman, Jara has never been afraid to get his hands dirty and leads by example; he won’t ask his charges to tackle a task he wouldn’t handle himself. An 18-year veteran of Brother International with 30-plus years under his belt, Jara was certified in all printer brands prior to joining the firm’s color division as a product support specialist. As part of the OEM’s national service, he was tasked with launching Brother’s first color engine. He traveled through Latin America, training the continent on the printer in three languages—English, Spanish and Portuguese. Upon returning to the U.S., Jara took over as a solutions engineer to support sales. He’s thrived in that role by prioritizing relationships; if Jara doesn’t have a product that’s ideal for a client’s needs, he’ll recommend another reputable brand. His focus on transparency and building long-term relationships has helped cultivate a pipeline of consistent, happy customers, many of whom have been with him for 18 years.
“No one deserves this award more than Hector. Those who have had the privilege of working with him are well aware of his exceptional leadership skills and empathy for others. He truly seeks to understand and connect with those around him. We’re fortunate to have Hector on our team, given everything that he’s accomplished for Brother, and look forward to seeing him achieve even greater success in the future.”— Bob Burnett, Director of B2B Solutions Deployment and Planning, Brother International
Why Chris Johnson is a difference maker:
In a career that spans more than 20 years, Johnson has gained insights at every level, from solutions engineer to sales, and currently guides channel sales for Sharp’s central region. During the past five years with Sharp, he’s navigated his team and reseller partners through difficult times to produce 15% in revenue growth. Blending skills with a focus on understanding the vision of Sharp’s partners, he’s carved a path to success for both the OEM and its dealers. Johnson’s leadership skills have been demonstrated repeatedly through his career, including tours of duty with the U.S. Army in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was responsible for the health, welfare, morale, family support and discipline for more than 80 soldiers. The holder of a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from North Central College and an associate’s degree in computer networking from Robert Morris University, Johnson carved out a 16-year career with Konica Minolta as a branch sales manager and later an IT services consultant.
“I can remember when I was first introduced to Chris. At our first meeting, he came into our organization and began offering his support, ideas and experience. He didn’t realize this, but his passion for major accounts created a vision for our major accounts program, and his spark ignited a fire within our sales organization. Over the years, he’s been a difference maker for me and the growth of our company. He’s encouraged and challenged me to reach levels that I never thought would be possible. Our partnership with Sharp is undeniably one of the strongest, and I attribute that to our relationship with Chris. A difference maker is an ordinary person who accomplishes extraordinary things by creating positive change in the lives of others. Chris Johnson has made the difference for Platinum.”— Kimberly Gonzalez, President, Platinum Copier Solutions
“Chris is always available with an answer and does all he can to help. From the first phone call, he’s knowledgeable about technology and price support. He’s made a big difference in our relationship with Sharp.”— Bruce Gibbs, President, GFI Digital
Why Ryan Jones is a difference maker:
Keeping up with the Jonses may be an idiom for matching established benchmarks of the elite, but as a third-generation caretaker of the American Business Machines (ABM) dynasty, Jones has done more than his share of maintaining standards during the course of his 28-year career. Known for setting the highest of bars, Jones has been strategic in his expansion to key sectors of the company, from incorporating security technology equipment to document and process management software. Under his guidance, ABM has grown the company from eight employees to more than 100 while maintaining a customer-first mentality. ABM has been recognized as a Canon Elite Member and is consistently one of Canon’s top 10 dealership partners by sales. He continues to follow the quality and customer service guidance set forth by founder Wallace T. Jones by providing the tools each of ABM’s seven central California branches require to be successful.
“When you need someone who understands the value of dreaming big, you look to Ryan. His ability to look forward and see our company’s potential got us through this difficult time. Because of that, we were able to thrive in the current environment and continually expand our business to support our employees as well as the community. Even with his big ideas, Ryan never forgets about the people who have helped propel this company forward and always stresses the importance of quality customer service. Ryan is a pillar in both our company and the city he lives in, and we’re blessed to have him lead us through these unprecedented times.”— Saretta Micciche, Operations Director, American Business Machines
Why Steve Keeter is a difference maker:
Tireless is an apt descriptor for Keeter, who regularly checks in 5 a.m. at Southwest Copy Systems and doesn’t make his way home until 7 p.m. But it’s not just the amount of time he puts in that has added value to the dealership for the past 13 years. Keeter had the good fortune (or misfortune, depending on your point of view) of replacing a service manager who was universally disliked. The change in leadership sent positive ripples throughout the service department, and Keeter’s managerial style has significantly brightened the department. He wears many hats beyond managing service; Keeter is the main instructor for Southwest Copy System’s fleet of printers and can still be called upon to make service calls and deliveries. Keeter’s career began in commercial storefront before transitioning to residential service manager and instructor. His mechanical gifts also fuel his passion for restoring motorcycles.
“Steve is always one to help out when he needs to and he goes the extra distance not only for the bosses, but for the employees he directly manages. I’ve worked alongside Steve for almost three years now and I wouldn’t want anyone else in his position. I know we can rely on him and he’ll do his absolute best to help anyone.”— Nick Manning, Systems Engineer, Southwest Copy Systems
Why Michael Kidd is a difference maker:
A results-oriented leader, Kidd feels both “lucky and blessed” to have cultivated a 42-year career that’s culminated with his current position as president and CEO of U.S. Business Systems (USBS) in Elkhart, Indiana. The Northern Illinois University graduate (BS in marketing) began his career with an independent Minolta dealer in Chicago before joining Minolta corporate, rising to district sales manager and twice capturing the firm’s Salesman of the Year award. Recruited to Wisconsin dealer NEP as vice president and general manager, Kidd then hooked on with McShane’s, where he spent 12 years as a GM. After McShane’s was sold, he landed with USBS in the same GM capacity—the beginning of a five-year odyssey that’s led him to the top leadership role. His giving nature is evidenced by not only his willingness to share knowledge, but also through his dedication to area youth through the Boys & Girls Club and the Boy Scouts of America.
“I first met Michael in 2014, when I took the position of Midwest regional manager for Kyocera. Michael attended every regional event we had and always seemed willing to contribute in any way. I could tell immediately that he had a great love and passion for the technology industry. Michael was a giver versus a taker, and I’m sure that’s what allowed him to ascend the ranks during his career. Even after moving to another position within Kyocera, we’ve remained good friends, and my respect for him has continued to grow over the years.”— John Rickey, Vice President Sales—Eastern Zone, Kyocera Document Solutions America
Why Kate Kingston is a difference maker:
It’s impossible to have a discussion about sales training in the office technology sector without someone name-checking Kingston. A ubiquitous fixture, Kingston brings high energy, insights, mounds of suggestions and an endless font of tools designed to help representatives close deals by overcoming objections. An energized communicator and a wizard in the fields of lead generation and new business development, Kingston can often be found at industry events and dealer engagements, electrifying the room with humor, audience participation, role-play drills and live calls. Her proven techniques and practical guides offer students a roadmap to cultivating new business opportunities. The one-time theater actress built her engagement proficiency while setting appointments as a secretary to pay the bills while waiting for her big professional break. Kingston kept getting “no, thank you,” answers, so she changed her strategy, tracked the results and tweaked her approach. Her employer was so taken with Kingston’s success that management began telling sales reps to “sit with Kate” and learn how she gets results. Before long, Fortune 500 companies in New York City engaged Kingston as a freelance cold-calling consultant. The appointment-setting skill soon took form as The Kingston Training Group, and she’s trained thousands of sales reps and managers in forging more meetings with ideal prospects.
“She’s a fantastic, well-known personality in our business. Kate has great leadership skills and tremendous imagination. Her presentations and the way she conducts herself are really top-shelf. She’s very professional and articulate. Kate has trained thousands of salespeople and managers in our industry for years. She’s really a secret weapon, and she’s truly the best at motivating, inspiring, teaching and follow-up. Her execution skills are the best, bar none. Kate’s reputation is as good as it gets.”— Mike Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why John Konynenbelt is a difference maker:
The ascension of Applied Imaging to the $100-plus million stratosphere is due in no small measure to the efforts of Konynenbelt. The Calvin University graduate started with Applied Imaging during its humble beginnings and has been instrumental in the dealer’s expansion from a mere copier dealership to offering managed print services, document imaging products, network and IT services, and various other products in the information lifecycle. A driven executive with high integrity, Konynenbelt also helped establish the dealer’s renowned corporate culture, which touches not only the way Applied Imaging relates to clients and prospects, but its internal core values as well. While Applied Imaging has experienced significant organic and acquisition-based growth, Konynenbelt and the dealer’s other top management personnel have ensured the corporate culture has been maintained, fostering the smooth integration of acquired employees and new hires.
“I’ve known John for close to 20 years, and he’s one of the nicest guys I’ve met in the industry. He enjoys having fun and being creative in his attempts to motivate not just the salespeople, but all Applied Imaging employees. Outside of work, he’s very active in the community and a proud member of Calvin College’s alumni. Over the years, I’ve interviewed over 100 Applied Imaging customers for radio commercials, and many of those interviewed mention John as one of the primary reasons for their long-term partnership with Applied Imaging. I’ve discovered over the years that due to his multi-syllable last name, employees as well as customers simply know him as J.K.”— Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
Why Rick Lambert is a difference maker:
Lambert has coached more than 2,000 sales professionals on showcasing their personal brand via LinkedIn, assisted a major distributor in a rebrand, coached employees of two major OEMs on how to appear on video and strengthened the digital DNA of hundreds of technology dealers/MSPs. The University of New Hampshire product began his career with Xerox and captured the Rookie Sales Rep of the Year award in Canada. With notable experiences such as IKON Office Solutions to his credit, Lambert created selltowin.com, a tool for transforming sales professionals built through his experiences as a rep, sales manager and VP of sales. An AskTheCoach YouTube series followed, furnishing sales professionals with insights for improving results, and in 2018 he unveiled the selltowin.com eCademy, a core of on-demand training videos that capture the energy of his live coaching engagements. Between his IN2communications digital marketing agency and THE SMARKETING SHOW YouTube series, Lambert continues to plumb the possibilities for helping traditional copier dealers digitally transform their sales and marketing to align with today’s digital buyer.
“Rick helps OEMs, distributors, dealers and their people unleash their business potential in today’s digital business environment. His ability to create and execute comprehensive sales and marketing strategies makes him a giant among others in the business technology arena. Rick doesn’t just consult from the sidelines—he walks the walk.”— Melissa Theriault, Business Manager, Virtual Events, IN2communications
Why Bob Lamendola is a difference maker:
A passion for innovation and a customer-centric leadership approach has served Lamendola well. Tasked with creating a clear strategy and identity for Ricoh’s digital services portfolio, his team has developed integrated solutions and services that enable organizations to become more agile, effective and secure. Among his team’s credits: a market-leading service that transforms inbound communications into digital information, leveraging Ricoh’s AI-powered automation system; a ransomware containment solution that helps prevent attacks; and RICOH Capture & Conversion Services, an AI-fueled solution that intelligently captures, digitizes and stores information, making it securely and efficiently accessible and searchable anywhere. On the strength of Lamendola and his team, Ricoh was named Best Cloud Infrastructure at The Cloud Awards and ranked on CRN’s 2022 MSP 500 list. The Bloomsburg University alum has been with Ricoh in various capacities since 2007, serving numerous leadership roles within the IT services organization including oversight of the managed hosting, application development, and ITS infrastructure and support teams. His past experiences include Invision, Vishay and General Semiconductor.
“Bob’s deep technical knowledge and understanding of key trends that impact both our customers and valued dealer partners make him an excellent leader. He constantly encourages team members to actively participate in business strategy and portfolio development, and he’s a huge supporter of personal growth and development, recognizing that individuals who are inspired and excited to come to work each day contribute to a positive and collective team environment. Bob also contributed his expertise and knowledge to our Ricoh Connection21 dealer program by participating in the first themed cycle event on security. His commitment to our dealer partners and customers and ability to always think ahead help ensure that our support aligns with their needs and that these needs are always at the foreground of all ideation and go-to market plans.”— Jennifer Healy, Director, Marketing and Campaign Strategy, Dealer and Partner Channel, Ricoh USA
Why Josh Lane is a difference maker:
Possessing the prescience of an executive with decades of experience is but one calling card for Lane, so don’t let his youthful exuberance suggest otherwise. Industry distributor Access Control Devices Inc. (ACDI) has leveraged extensive R&D to develop feature-rich, value-added cost recovery solutions that dovetail nicely with PaperCut MF, an undisputed global leader in cost accounting print management software. A graduate of the University of Arkansas (BSBA finance), Lane started his career as a finance supervisor for UPS. He launched ACDI in 2000 with a five-person staff, which has grown to nearly 100 team members across the U.S. With a quest to deliver sustainable products and services, ACDI provides best-of-breed solutions from the aforementioned PaperCut to the newly announced EV technology services—all speaking to the company’s mission statement to be “Better than Yesterday.” Lane’s community involvement includes coaching for the Boys and Girls Club, teaching a middle school Life Group at his church and serving on the advisory board of Benton BRIGHTfutures.
“Josh is one of the visionary people in our business and a man of high integrity. He’s an advocate for promoting new products and new directions for clients. Josh’s ability to translate analytics and explore marketing tools is as good as it gets. For a younger guy, his ability to see and do things and pivot are amazing. He has the ability to assess, study and research, and also make decisions as he’s doing it. Besides that, he’s one of the nicest and most humble people I know.”— Mike Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Casey Lowery is a difference maker:
The next generation of leadership at Applied Imaging, Lowery offers a fresh perspective and boundless enthusiasm—not to mention innovative ideas—that are poised to keep the dealership at the fore of the office technology leaderboard. A 15-year veteran of the company, Lowery is responsible for the day-to-day logistics at Applied Imaging’s 18 offices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Florida. He helps keep employees loose and productive by maintaining an enjoyable atmosphere, but by the same token, Lowery is constantly analyzing how to keep operations streamlined so employees are working smarter rather than harder. An ideas-driven executive, Lowery loves to brainstorm on topics such as efficiency, sustainability and innovation. A product of Indiana University Bloomington and the institution’s Kelly School of Business, Lowery was also instrumental in acquiring new offices and introducing the dealer’s Applied Chemistry to the marketplaces it serves. Prior to joining the family business, Lowery cut his teeth as an account representative for Ricoh Business Systems.
“Casey is always beaming with energy from the minute he walks in the door to the minute he leaves. It’s hard not to laugh or smile when he comes to talk to you because he has a way of making sure all employees are having the best day. It’s such a family environment at the office, and the Lowerys are always inclusive and transparent about the state of the business, so we all feel as though we’re part of the family. Casey’s innovative ideas and ability to get everyone excited about new developments are what make him a perfect difference maker. Not only is he passionate about people, service and business, but he always wants to find the most environmentally friendly way to operate.”— Sheila Keller, Marketing Strategist, Applied Imaging
Why Maegan Lujan is a difference maker:
Of all the success stories outlined in this issue, perhaps Lujan’s is the most improbable. At the age of 14, she was a foster youth who was on her own, but was able to persevere and overcome such a drastic challenge by channeling her energy toward positive growth and self-improvement. Lujan has left her mark in a nearly two-decade journey: she’s a two-time nominee for the Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business Award and a Product Marketing Alliance 2020 Top 100 Product Marketing Influencer. She’s been lauded three times by The Cannata Report—a 2016 Young Influencer, 2019 Woman of Influence and the 2021 People to Watch List. In her current position with Toshiba, Lujan is responsible for the direction, planning and strategy for the OEM’s solutions and services portfolio and is a frequent presenter at industry events, workshops, vendor seminars and webinars. This brand strategist and author has a new book, “A Million Little Clicks: Brand Vision,” slated for release this summer.
“Maegan as an individual/contributor is someone you can count on to get things done. Give her a task and a timeline and she’ll conquer it. And as a manger, she’s extremely organized and truly cares about the people on her team. Together, her can-do attitude and team support make her a wonderful leader.”— Kerstin Woods, Vice President Solutions and Outbound Marketing, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Kohei Maeda is a difference maker:
A graduate of Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Maeda has proven to be a champion of innovation during his six years with Canon U.S.A. He helps quarterback dynamic new technologies such as the product lead on the Activate My Line of Site (AMLOS) team. Maeda puts into practice Canon’s vision to leverage imaging technology that enhances creativity and helps people collaborate and create together. As the workplace dynamic shifts to a hybrid model, Maeda leads the cross-functional team in developing the AMLOS system. This improves the hybrid collaboration process by making it more productive, natural and human. Maeda has been part of a team utilizing Canon’s imaging technology to help improve the collaboration process, working at the fore to use existing technology in unique ways. Maeda’s passion for his work made him a natural fit to be a spokesperson for special projects, including his presentation of AMLOS to international media during the 2022 CES tech show in Las Vegas.
“Kohei has distinguished himself as a difference maker by helping to drive new initiatives at Canon, evidenced by his tireless work as the product lead for the team responsible for the new AMLOS solution. With his support, Kohei’s team has been able to enhance creativity, allowing our company to boldly pursue innovation.”— Mike Betsko, Senior Director, Integrated Marketing-Business Imaging Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
Why Ron McClintock is a difference maker:
McClintock is a savvy veteran of the service sector, having logged more than 36 years of experience with a wide variety of dealers. A dedicated team player, he’s spent the past seven years as director of aftermarket services with CopyPro, where his responsibilities include overseeing parts and supplies inventory, service contract management, equipment setup and delivery, along with warehouse management. McClintock is a consistent performer who’s been named to the organization’s President’s Club each year. During the course of his career, he’s managed service, parts and supplies, service contracts and budget/expense control for a number of organizations, including Coeco Office Systems, Digital Office Solutions, Ricoh Business Solutions, Kelley Connect, Copyco and Copier Specialists. McClintock also spent more than six and a half years as a commercial finance broker for Cypress Financial Corporation. By leveraging a superior business knowledge and structure implementation, he’s able to foster customer satisfaction and produce positive results for his team.
“In 2021, Ron’s expertise and relationships with outside vendors was crucial in helping us manage the supply chain disruption. Ron led his team to keep our toner inventory at the level needed to support our customers. His can-do attitude kept our team motivated in spite of the pressure of potentially running out of supplies. The term difference maker fits Ron perfectly, because in a year of disruption, he made a difference!”— Debra Dennis, Vice President of Support Services, CopyPro Inc.
Why Denise Miller is a difference maker:
Miller is an invaluable resource for customers as they evaluate their staffing needs and hiring processes by helping them prioritize and identify practices that work and those that require adjusting. This has been critical for businesses during the high turnover of The Great Resignation, which has challenged companies to source and onboard high-performing individuals. A Society of Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) with an additional specialty credential in talent acquisition, Miller innovates through continuous self-improvement and advancement to furnish forward-thinking best practices and ideas that speak to the needs of challenged HR departments. She studies the challenges of modern business to identify process-improvement tools and drive faster results, then conducts training sessions for new skill development to overcome the challenges identified. Prior to joining PathShare in 2013, Miller spent 10 years in a leasing sales role with GreatAmerica, helping office equipment dealers grow their customer base.
“Denise is a superb trainer, facilitator and moderator. Training salespeople is often a thankless job. Denise does an outstanding job at not only presenting the material in an informative and entertaining fashion, but she’s also excellent at gaining participation from everyone involved, even during remote sessions, which is incredibly difficult. She’s insightful, patient and concise, and her real-world scenarios and dialogues have helped immensely. She knows our business and our industry. I highly recommend Denise and the work that she does.”— Mike Steinhoff, President, Rhyme
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without Denise and Sally (Brause). They both contribute to the success of AIS and they’re dynamite to work with. Providing responsiveness and an exceptional experience each and every time sets them apart from competitors.”— Rosa Solares-Harouff, Director of Culture and Talent Management, Advanced Imaging Solutions
“Denise’s approach to understanding the needs of our customers by thinking through and prioritizing their challenges, coupled with her impeccable follow up in bringing solutions, is valued by so many of our customers—organizations of all sizes.— Jennie Fisher, Senior Vice President and General Manager, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why George Milton is a difference maker:
A major player for more than 30 years in the office products space, Milton has held senior management operations positions with some of the most notable distributors in the industry, including Boise Cascade Office Products and Associated Stationers. Before becoming CEO of Clover Imaging Group in 2017, he served as COO with oversight of product research and development, engineering and robotic automation, worldwide manufacturing, global distribution, quality assurance, global procurement, packaging engineering, customer service and technical support. He has extensive experience with system integrations and operations management and has been instrumental in helping Clover build its world-class infrastructure. Before joining Clover in 2004, Milton served as vice president of operations for the Chicago and Wisconsin markets with Corporate Express, where he had P&L responsibility for over $200 million and was instrumental in the integration of several large acquisitions and managed the start-up of a new distribution center.
“George isn’t driven by recognition or accolades, which is one of the many reasons why he’s such a fantastic leader. He deeply understands all facets of the business and can just as easily deep dive into operations as he can discuss marketing and sales strategy. Through all the challenges Clover Imaging has faced over the last two years, George’s unwavering leadership and ability to steer the business has served as the inspiration and motivation for the entire organization.”— Keli Posch, Director of Marketing and Sustainability, Clover Imaging Group
Why Brad Mofield is a difference maker:
Mofield embarked on his career at Copiers Northwest upon completing his tour of duty in the Navy, where he served at the Naval Communications Station in Keflavik, Iceland. The dealer was in business for just three years prior to Mofield cutting his teeth as a tech trainee, and he moved through the ranks as supervisor and service manager. Now, as vice president of services, Mofield is responsible for developing innovative tech bonus programs, improving the company’s aftermarket performance and overseeing the dealer’s customer-based service culture. Under his guidance, the service department boasts an average employee tenure of 23 years. Mofield is also instrumental in Copiers Northwest attaining one of the highest Net Promoter Scores—based on customer satisfaction—in the industry. The dealer finished 2021 with an 87.88 NPS, recording three 100 scores in the process and solidifying its reputation for delivering world-class service.
“Having been with Copiers Northwest for over 30 years and coming up through the service ranks, Brad embodies the customer service culture that’s made Copiers Northwest successful. I’ve been around the office technology industry for a long time and can’t think of any other dealership that has field technicians averaging 23 years with the company. Brad deserves a lot of the credit for that statistic and for their Net Promoter Score that annually places them in the World Class Service category.”— Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
Why Cindy Moyer is a difference maker:
Moyer has long been a constant for Edwards Business Systems/Virginia Business Systems (EBS/VBS), having worn many hats during her 27-plus years. She joined the firm in 1994 as a receptionist/dispatcher, then evolved her role to administrative assistant, sales support specialist and customer service representative. In her current role as a service and supply group supervisor with multiple integrated job duties, she coordinates with service, sales, billing, internal and external purchasing and logistics, to name a few. Moyer is viewed as the glue that ties everything together for EBS/VBS—she’s taken on various new responsibilities as the pandemic and supply chain entanglements have added to the challenges confronting dealers. A consummate professional who boasts a work ethic that is “beyond compare,” according to her EBS/VBS teammates, Moyer provides a calming influence and has kept EBS/VBS clients appropriately supplied during a period of great turmoil. Moyer also handles many of the company’s fundraising initiatives and serves as the team captain for the Relay for Life.
“Cindy takes great pride in her work, her department and our company. She ensures that our clients and all the departments that she deals with are responded to in a timely manner. Cindy is also involved with other EBS/VBS company committees such as safety and community service. She makes a difference every day.”— Nick Phillips, Executive Vice President of Sales, Service and Logistics, Edwards Business Systems
“Cindy takes pride in and responsibility for her work. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cindy for the past 20 years and most recently the last three directly, and I know I can always depend on her professionalism and hard work, day in and day out, without question.”— Sam Shillabeer, Pennsylvania Director of Service, Edwards Business Systems
Why Shane Nesbitt is a difference maker:
There’s no dearth of industry veterans among this year’s crop of Difference Makers, and Nesbitt—with more than 30 years of sales, marketing and telecommunications experience under his belt—is a prime example. The Youngstown State University product (business administration) has ushered in significant growth for ECMSI since joining the firm in 2018. Tasked with guiding the sales and marketing department, Nesbitt has cultivated a dedicated, streamlined team that’s been critical to attaining financial and sales goals year over year. With an eye toward future goals, he works across multiple departments to provide clients and prospects with optimal satisfaction while supporting the day-to-day sales process. An entrepreneur in his own right, Nesbitt is the owner of a restaurant and bar that has enjoyed explosive growth during the pandemic—making it an outlier from the many businesses that have struggled during this period.
“Shane has an infectious attitude for success and brings out the best in everyone he encounters. He wholeheartedly puts everything he has into his work and in the support of his team. Shane goes out of his typical lines of duty as a sales manager and actively seeks out additional work through project management and service to ensure our prospects and partners feel heard, understood and see progress in the issues they may have along the way. Shane goes the extra mile in everything he does, in and out of work. As a direct report to Shane, I have the confidence of knowing I have someone knowledgeable, kind and supportive in my corner.”— Lauren Butka, Marketing and Communications Specialist, ECMSI
Why Hannah O’Donnell is a difference maker:
Described as a driving force in the industry, O’Donnell is actively involved in industry events, trade shows and associations and is frequently called upon as a subject matter expert. O’Donnell’s success in her nine years with Collabrance was foreshadowed by her capturing the organization’s Rookie of the Year award in 2014. The following year, she joined the 100% Sales Achievement Club with parent organization GreatAmerica. Since then, the recognitions have continued to pile up: she was honored among CRN’s Women of the Channel in 2019, 2020 and 2021; bestowed with the 2020 ChannelChanger Award by CompTIA; and elected to serve on the CompTIA Managed Services Community Executive Council. In addition, O’Donnell was recognized as one of The Cannata Report’s 2021 People to Watch. She provides expertise in managed IT, sales, marketing and hiring, among other disciplines. She earned her business degree in marketing and management information systems from the University of Iowa.
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Hannah for many years. Her energy and tenacity mixed with her professionalism make her one of the best in the industry.”— Greg VanDeWalker, Senior Vice President, IT Channel and Services, Collabrance
Why Melani Patterson is a difference maker:
During a storied career that spans nearly 25 years, primarily with Global Imaging Systems (GIS) and Sharp, Patterson has served in a variety of capacities, including sales executive, major accounts manager, sales manager, general sales manager and general manager. In her leadership roles, Patterson strives to expand her skills and leads with authentic intention. Since 2010, this dynamic leader has been promoted a staggering six times. Recently promoted to associate vice president, sales strategy for Sharp Business Systems, Patterson’s goal is to provide consistent results while aligning people and companies to achieve their strategic goals. She began her industry tour as an account executive with Pitney Bowes in 1998, then took on sales roles with QBSI, a Xerox Company. She’s captured multiple honors throughout her career, including President’s Club and the Global Leaders award.
“I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Melani. She’s established herself as one of our industry’s premier leaders and most successful executives by virtue of her commitment to excellence and her unwavering dedication to her clients, team and the industry at large. I never cease to be amazed by her desire to learn and apply herself with intelligence, ideas, initiative and empathy! Melani is the definition of a difference maker!”— Mike Stramaglio, President and CEO, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Michael Pietrunti is a difference maker:
It’s nearly impossible to discuss Xerox’s role in the office technology space without Pietrunti’s name being bandied about. But he’s also a well-traveled executive, having plied his craft with Kyocera Mita and Sharp. Pietrunti took the helm as senior vice president of the U.S. multi-brand dealer channel in 2019, tasked with expanding Xerox’s business in the BTA dealer space. He’s worked alongside his team to transition Xerox’s dealer program into a more simplified and dealer-friendly experience. During the pandemic, Pietrunti and his team huddled with dealers to better understand the specific challenges they face and provide tailored feedback on a case-by-case basis. By 2021, the resilient dealer channel began to bounce back to pre-pandemic performance levels, sparking growth for Xerox. A visionary blessed with a talent for inspiring teammates to greater heights, Pietrunti was formerly senior vice president for acquisitions, corporate service and marketing for Xerox Business Solutions (XBS, formerly Global Imaging Systems). At XBS, he ushered in more than $400 million in acquired dealer revenue and continued to manage those firms post-acquisition.
“One of our dealers said it best: ‘Mike makes himself available, listens and understands dealers’ pain points. He works hard to deliver best-in-class solutions and goes above and beyond what you might expect.’ More importantly, Mike acts with integrity in all he does, making him one of the best in the industry.”— Todd Smith, U.S. Partner Development, Xerox Corporation
Why Jon Pottebaum is a difference maker:
In a career that traces back 25 years—predating digital technologies—Pottebaum started as a technician with Advanced Imaging Solutions (AIS) in 2000 and was celebrated for his ability to handle a substantial workload. But while his client list burgeoned, the dealer saw leadership qualities in Pottebaum, thus he was moved into a management role. He eventually became AIS’ service manager and now serves as operations and service manager. Passionate about his job and the company, Pottebaum continues to focus his efforts on sparking growth. He also played a big part in the company’s decision to remodel in 2021. An avid boater and golfer, Pottebaum holds an associate’s degree from Hawkeye Community College. He’s currently taking courses to complete his bachelor’s degree.
“In this crazy world of supply chain issues, Jon’s really shown his abilities as a leader. He’s managed to work with AIS’ vendor partners, his team and our clients to ensure that our clients are up and running. That task has been a bit daunting and tedious to say the least, but he’s managed to make it work. Jon is extremely passionate about his job and working at AIS and continues to focus on helping the company grow. Jon was a big part of the decision-making team of the AIS remodel this past year. Jon continues to grow as a leader and is getting very good at making lemonade out of lemons.”— Stephanie Keating Phillips, Director of Solutions, Advanced Imaging Solutions
Why Lance Redler is a difference maker:
Redler is the personification of a team player. He played for the State University of New York Delhi’s baseball team and has manned multiple positions on winning teams during his professional career. From age 21-24, he earned his way onto four consecutive President’s Club lists during a stint at Konica Business machines in the early 1990s. Upon joining Xerox in 1995, Redler became the second-youngest sales manager in company history at the time, leading a team of eight major account representatives. He later held a number of executive roles during a five-year turn with Danka Office Imaging, including vice president of sales operations, creating a nationwide sales management process. Redler then became regional manager for southern Florida, where he captained a team of roughly 80 employees with a $60 million budget. Executive roles at Delcop USA and COMDOC followed before his arrival at Docugraphics in 2016. As senior vice president of sales, Redler has been instrumental in leading nine branch offices, delivering double-digit growth year over year.
“At this time of accelerated growth and business expansion for Docugraphics, we’re fortunate to have in Lance such a uniquely qualified and talented sales management leader to support our customers and business.”— Thomas Fimian, CEO, Docugraphics LLC
Why Scott Robinson is a difference maker:
Robinson announced his presence with authority upon joining Toshiba in 1999, spearheading a team that acquired 40 companies, producing more than $200 million in annual revenues while increasing those subsidiaries’ profitability by over 400 percent. Talk about setting the bar high. Robinson continues delivering in the clutch via world-class managed print as a service (MPaaS) programs to help streamline employees’ everyday tasks across thousands of clients throughout the United States and Latin America. Employing a people-first approach and tireless work ethic, he’s become widely popular within the organization by also demonstrating selfless leadership. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Robinson is a staunch supporter of charitable and non-profit organizations ranging from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to Easterseals. He’s also a lifetime supporter of the Special Olympics, having served as a board member and volunteer coach for the Virginia Special Olympics.
“Throughout his tenure at Toshiba, Scott Robinson has been instrumental in elevating the overall success of our business. Particularly so by building, establishing and separating our industry-recognized managed print as a service program from the rest. His strong business acumen and expansive knowledge in a myriad of functional areas are integral elements driving the impressive profitability and continual year-over-year success of our MPaaS program. He’s also one of Toshiba’s most popular employees. Scott is driven to meet our financial objectives while always placing our clients’ and employees’ needs first.”— Steven Sauer, President, Toshiba Business Solutions
Why Scott Roussin is a difference maker:
This is one performer who was making a difference long before arriving at Coast to Coast. Roussin’s impressive portfolio includes a 12-year stint at Clorox, where he served in various capacities for IT service and solutions manager. His duties there included logistics, backup and disaster recovery, and plant operations. He held managerial posts with Pactiv Corporation during his four-year stay, handling warehouse operations, logistics and strategic planning. Roussin also served with another household name, General Mills, tending to distribution planning, manufacturing scheduling and logistics operations. The Michigan State University graduate has a BA in supply chain management, which has been put to good use during his seven-plus years with Coast to Coast. With proficiencies in vendor relations and technology, Roussin has worked rigorously to streamline manual processes into automated ones and has developed stronger relationships with the company’s manufacturers and distributors—all the while seeking out avenues to increase productivity and growth. A master of incentive programs, Roussin huddles closely with the Coast to Coast sales team to provide insights into distributor/vendor programs, shipping points and cutoff times.
“I love working with Scott, and we are similar minded when it comes to business and performance. If there is ‘crazy’ in business, he takes it head on and makes it look easy. I really couldn’t ask for a better general manager and business colleague. His knowledge has created so many avenues of success within our organization, and I’m a better employee and person because of him. Not only is Scott a mastermind in business, but he’s also fun to work with, honest, caring and has a great sense of humor. He treats everyone fairly and with respect inside and outside of our company and is a true asset to our organization.”— Melissa Servatdjoo, Technology Sales Manager, Coast to Coast Computer Products
“Scott has great enthusiasm for our industry and a tremendous mindset of growth and improvement! He’s an asset not only to Coast to Coast, but to the entire industry!”— Giuseppe Alleva, Vice President of MPS, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why Jay Schofield is a difference maker:
The former Supplies Network went shopping for a subject matter expert to help proliferate the company’s thermal line of business, seeking an individual who could educate its internal salesforce as well as the reseller community. Distribution Management had forged a partnership with Zebra Technologies, and since many of its resellers weren’t doing thermal, a category expert was what the doctor ordered. Enter Schofield, who touted 15 years of experience in the automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) channel. He worked closely with Zebra to ferret out opportunities, then devised a program that is now called Barcode Select, an automated, hands-off approach to replenishing critical Zebra Certified supplies. Since then, he’s worked with a full range of resellers—BTA, MPS and traditional AIDC dealers—to grow their business and offer new revenue opportunities to diversify. This offering took on greater meaning when the pandemic slowed office printing. Despite the supply chain challenges, Schofield’s strategic planning and business development acumen has helped growth flourish for Distribution Management and its customers.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jay on my team the past four years. Jay was exactly the person we needed to take us from our barcoding infancy to one of our fastest-growing categories. He brought the perfect blend of barcoding product knowledge, tenacity and attention to detail to help develop the category. Since Jay joined the team, he’s become the go-to guy helping many of our dealers enter into the barcoding space as they look to replace declining print volumes. He’s been a critical part in the development of our Barcode Select program and our expansion with Zebra Technologies. On more than one occasion, I’ve had partners and internal team members describe Jay as a game changer. Thank you, Jay, for your passion and persistence. I couldn’t be more excited to see barcoding explode today and into the future for DM and our partners!”— Ted Gruener, Vice President of Sales, Distribution Management
Why Mason Smith is a difference maker:
Success has come quickly for Smith, who had carved out a 10-plus year career at G5 as its vice president of sales. The Greenville, South Carolina dealership was acquired by Xerox’s Global Imaging Systems in 2017, which led to it becoming corporately controlled as opposed to locally owned. Smith decided he wanted to take the helm of his own organization, and he found the ideal opportunity in the form of MTS Office Systems in 2020. MTS has flourished during the pandemic, recording 35% growth in 2021. Smith targets a client persona that values personal relationships, rapid response times, live phone support and local help desk assistance. And during a period of significant national turnover, MTS lost just one employee while adding five. Smith has helped facilitate the company’s success by launching a new website, embarking on a new ERP system and making improvements to the company headquarters. The Furman University graduate was formerly a right-handed pitcher in the Washington Nationals organization.
“I’ve worked with Mason for over 12 years, actually hiring him into the industry back in 2009. I’ve seen him grow from a skilled salesperson to a dealer executive, to now a dealer principal. Mason is passionate about taking care of employees and clients, which are two of the main reasons he purchased MTS. He’s shown great ability as a leader in both dealing with the complex business world we’re all living in and also great vision in guiding MTS in the right direction.”— Justin Wagner, Vice President, MTS Office Systems
Why Kevin Snyder is a difference maker:
A sales leader for more than 20 years, Snyder has oversight for the entire SumnerOne organization, covering five states. A graduate of Oral Roberts University with a degree in business management, he spent more than two decades with Drake Systems, advancing through the organization from account executive to vice president and general manager before being named president. Snyder left Drake for a two-year stretch, during which he served as a major account manager for Xerox. He’s carved out a reputation for superior communication skills that have made him such an effective manager, adding to his proficiencies in negotiation, budgeting, business planning and customer relationships. Snyder embodies the core values embraced by SumnerOne, including integrity, collaboration, achievement, service, growth, resilience and giving.
“I’ve done business with Kevin for 13 years. He’s truly a rock in the organization. Kevin is a good listener and always willing to engage in conversation with anyone. His door is always open to lend a helping hand or bounce thoughts off of. He’s not judgmental or arrogant. He’s simply a professional leader and an easy guy to follow.”— Bob Burke, Vice President of Western Region, Kyocera Document Solutions America
Why Ken Stinson is a difference maker:
In January, Stinson gained the distinction of being the first non-Usherwood family member to lead the Syracuse, New York-based dealership. Known for his ability to inspire and generate enthusiasm among team members, he joined in the company in 2015 as vice president of information technology sales and services. Stinson came to Usherwood following a nearly 10-year stretch with firms (Eastern Managed Print Network, ComDoc) acquired by Xerox’s then-Global Imaging Systems division. At ComDoc, he earned multiple President’s Club awards and became a dominant sales leader for the western New York region. In 1999, he became vice president of sales and a founding member of a Boston-based technology company, leading the firm’s sales organization until its acquisition in 2004. Stinson is a 1995 graduate of Buffalo State College with a BA in communications. He coaches Lou Gehrig youth baseball and is a board member for the 100 Club of Buffalo, which provides financial assistance to the families of public safety officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who have died or were seriously injured in the line of duty.
“Ken has had an incredible impact since he joined the Usherwood team. His ability to inspire positive, genuine dialogue that balances the (at times) competing internal interests toward our common goal of thrilling clients is second to none in our industry. I’m tremendously proud to have the opportunity to work alongside a leader such as Ken on a daily basis.”— Andrew Flamik, CFO, Usherwood Office Technology
“I’ve worked at Usherwood for 24 years, and Ken is one of the most pivotal additions we’ve made to this company. He’s become an incredible mentor and friend that I’m grateful to work alongside every day.”— Cliff Laws, COO, Usherwood Office Technology
Why Linda Sudderth is a difference maker:
One would be hard pressed to cite an individual who’s as accomplished and experienced in the realm of the retail and hospitality industries—segments in which Sudderth has flourished for nearly 30 years. The pandemic era provided an even greater challenge, given the onerous impact it visited on retail and hospitality the past two-plus years. As Epson’s North American sales manager for business systems, Sudderth has gone to great lengths in partnering with the OEM’s customers and ensures that both her sales team and customers remain a foremost priority. During 2021 alone, this solutions-oriented manager, partner and team member provided multiple options when faced with obstacles and engaged with Epson’s cross-functional teams, encouraging her direct reports to do likewise. Sudderth assumed added responsibilities with forecasts, airfreight and allocations for all sales teams. She’s been unfailing when it comes to customer engagement and maintains a positive outlook with customers. In 2019, the Sam Houston State University graduate captured the Women to Women Leader of the Year Award from the Retail Solutions Providers Association.
“With the kind of leadership that earns respect from direct reports, peers and customers, Linda is a valued team member that any organization would want in their corner. Linda is committed to the continual improvement of her team, offering excellent mentorship to help others grow and reach their goals. She has strength in both interpersonal and organizational communication. And she’s able to read complicated situations and develop innovative and effective plans to address issues. As business has changed in the last few years, Linda has proven herself nimble to meet the changing environments, and committed to her team and customers.”— Tom Kettell, Director, Commercial Channel, Epson America
Why Elizabeth Sumner is a difference maker:
An M&A maven, “Liz” is responsible for acquisition strategy. Deals that onboarded Corporate Business Systems of Springfield, Missouri, and Drake Business Systems of Tulsa, Oklahoma, among others, enabled SumnerOne to branch into new markets. Her M&A skills were honed during her tenure with Philips Respironics, a multi-national health care solutions provider, where she also directed strategic marketing within continental Europe. Blessed with problem-solving and analytical skills, Sumner quarterbacked the dealer’s innovative production print solutions rollout. The holder of an MBA from Carnegie Mellon and a member of YPO, she’s led marketing efforts to provide distinction and visibility for SumnerOne. Sumner can also be counted on to provide expertise in a number of disciplines, from leasing to health care benefits planning simulation and financial management.
“Liz has an intellect, diligence and work ethic that’s unique and critical to navigating the challenges of the digital imaging industry. Her professional networking skills have impressed everyone who deals with her, including customers, prospective clients, vendor partners and key stakeholders in our industry. Her logical reasoning and problem-solving skills support making the right decisions that are consistent and clearly focused on moving in the right direction. Liz has the ability to learn quickly, to assess the competitive forces affecting our company and our industry, and to focus on the critical strategies which will enable focus, financial performance and profitability. As a member of the Sumner family, she’s devoted her knowledge, skills and capabilities to moving SumnerOne forward.”— Mary Sumner, Chief Information Officer, SumnerOne
Why Tony Titone is a difference maker:
In a career that spans more than 27 years for Sharp Electronics Corporation, Titone has held numerous business-to-business and business-to-consumer roles. He’s served in marketing, product management and product planning positions in every facet of the imaging technology marketplace. Titone’s support of Sharp’s sales team and the manufacturer’s dealer/distributor network has led to successful engagements on both sides of the sale. He strives to not only provide products that are unique and appropriately priced, but also ensures they remain profitable for both Sharp and his customers. A warm and engaging manner has enabled Titone to foster long-lasting relationships. The Southern Illinois University product’s past experiences include electronics channel manager for Dealtime.com’s comparison shopping website and marketing manager for Datatec.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tony for more than six years in supporting the Sharp/Lexmark alliance. Over my 30-plus year career in the output industry, I can honestly say that Tony has been the most collaborative person I’ve worked with. He always has a mutually beneficial approach which is combined with a deep understanding of the industry, making him a great asset for Sharp.”— Jim Barnett, Territory Sales Manager, Lexmark
Why Hiro Ueda is a difference maker:
Ueda abides by the motto “hataraku”—he seeks to work hard and make others happy. In 1985, he backpacked across the United States, and that month-long experience kindled a desire to become a U.S. businessman. Loyalty and integrity are twin fortes for Ueda, who fulfilled his dream of business success in 1996. During the course of his 36 years serving in the office imaging, IT and software industries, Ueda has toiled for organizations large and small in Japan and the U.S. He began his career with Tokyo-based Nissei Sangyo, where his responsibilities included strategic alliance, corporate planning and business development. More recently, he served 14 years as chief planning officer at MWA Intelligence, later acquired by Konica Minolta’s All Covered division. Today, as a COO/partner with Stramaglio Consulting, he’s played a large role in developing and expanding The Consortium, a think tank for the imaging channel. Ueda graduated from Faculty of Law, Hiroshima University.
“Hiro is a brilliant guy and an international businessperson. He’s one of the most loyal, high integrity, honest people I’ve ever encountered. He can steal people’s hearts and minds and is a great guy. He does a great job of managing relationships on a global basis and is a wonderful example of someone who’s able to leverage his Japanese relationships, Asian relationships and American relationships.”— Mike Stramaglio, President, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Suzanne Wahba is a difference maker:
Wahba has been a fixture in the print and imaging space for nearly 10 years at Distribution Management, playing an essential role as a member of the organization’s product management team. Like fellow team member Jay Schofield, she’s been instrumental in onboarding and launching Zebra Technologies to Distribution Management resellers—crafting the Barcode Select platform, the Zebra-certified supplies program that utilizes mpsSELECT. Wahba and her team put Barcode Select through a rigorous vetting and testing process in advance of its official launch in 2019. Her enthusiasm and penchant for effective collaboration made the initiative a rousing success. Prior to joining Distribution Management, she served as an indirect services specialists for Cricket Communications as well as a sales consultant for five years at U.S. Cellular. Wahba graduated with honors from University of Missouri-St. Louis and holds an MBA from Webster University.
“Suzanne has been an integral part in growing our Zebra relationship over the last six years. Her strong work ethic, high energy and ability to collaborate with various departments was critical in the development and launch of Barcode Select in 2019. Suzanne is clearly a difference maker in our business, just as Barcode Select has been a difference maker in our partners’ businesses.”— Monte White, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing, Distribution Management
Why Cody Walton is a difference maker:
Walton joined the Konica Minolta organization in 2015 as a solutions consultant, buffered by a 10-year hitch with Toshiba, where he provided various solutions engineering support. At the onset of his Konica Minolta career, Walton handled the company’s software portfolio, and in 2018 he added support for managed IT offerings to his oversight. Currently, Walton is responsible for assessing Konica Minolta’s wide range of offerings—including managed IT, intelligent information management, unified communications, traditional software solutions and video security solutions—and strategically fitting them into the dealer sales model. He evaluates dealer partners’ business plans, current portfolio and offerings, customer base, commitment and capabilities to formulate new lines of business they can successfully incorporate into their sales strategy. And when the manufacturer launched an initiative in 2021 to focus on vertical markets, the Texas State University graduate devised a plan for how Konica Minolta could align the approach used by its direct sales organization with its dealer channel.
“A master at rapport building, Cody brought strong relationships with software providers and vendors he had cultivated over the years, which have been very beneficial to Konica Minolta. Through his extensive industry experience, he has great intuition when working with our dealers and finding solutions to meet their needs. He takes great pains to thoroughly learn our products and services as well as our dealers’ businesses, then matches them up to ensure their success. In his role, Cody has helped Konica Minolta by allowing the company to hyper-focus on dealer incentives around its DX strategies. Helping dealers understand and carry out the go-to-market strategies, he’s created accelerators to reward them for diversifying through purchases of Konica Minolta’s DX portfolio products, expanding their offerings beyond the core product. Cody makes a difference by not only helping dealers reach optimal growth, but serving to advance Konica Minolta’s initiatives through our dealer network.”— Laura Blackmer, President, Dealer Sales, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
Why Mike Wilkes is a difference maker:
It’s hard to argue with the credentials of a channel business manager who’s earned the nickname, “The True Professional.” Wilkes, who’s spent 23 of his 25 years in the industry with Xerox, is noted for his passion, performance and prowess. A model of consistency, Wilkes’ dedication and passion in supporting his partners has solidified his reputation. He’s also earned his stripes for taking the time to mentor and support his Xerox teammates. Based in his hometown of St. Louis, Wilkes has been instrumental in the development and growth of the company’s multi-branded channel for the past eight years. He’s selfless in supporting partners, striving every day to improve the relationship between them and the manufacturer. A graduate of the University of Kansas, his background includes five-year stints with MicroAge and NCR.
“I’ve worked closely with Mike over the past three years, and while there’s much I’ve learned from him, the one thing that stands out is how much he cares. He always has the time to assist his teammates, and it’s commonplace to find Mike working late to make sure all emails are retuned and questions answered.”— Jason Kerfeld, Channel Business Manager, Xerox
This special issue would not have been possible without the input of the many individuals who took the time to respond to our requests for nominations and comments about this year’s Difference Makers. We would like to thank everybody who participated over the past several months to help put this issue together.