The 2023 Difference Makers of the Office Equipment Galaxy
Well, awards season is almost over in the world of entertainment. All the Oscars and Golden Globes have been doled out for best actor, best actress and best picture—along with the more esoteric honors that recognize cinematography, animated shorts and top performance by a key grip in a documentary. It’s noteworthy that a number of actors and actresses who’ve toiled in the television and motion picture industry for decades finally got the recognition they deserved from the Academy Awards.
For many top-notch performers in the entertainment industry and beyond, acceptance and accolades come infrequently. They quietly go about their work, day after day, month after month, year after year, amassing an impressive body of work that may be appreciated and compensated, but perhaps merits more than a pat on the back. But it’s never too late to celebrate the remarkable among us. As best actress Michelle Yeoh observed in her acceptance speech, “Don’t let anybody tell you you’re past your prime.”
Which brings us to our annual Difference Makers issue. We’re rolling out the red carpet on 60 A-list industry professionals, some of whom boast considerable star power and are renowned for their excellence among the dealer, manufacturer, distributor, trainer/consultant and solution spaces along with numerous other facets of the office technology sphere. Other individuals may not boast a household name in your circle, but as you’ll soon learn, their contributions, performances and dedication to uplifting the industry are undeniable and worthy of celebrating.
It’s not just the CEOs who make this industry great; clearly, these visionaries play a large role in molding and shaping our industry. But there are numerous middle-management types in sales, marketing, operations, service, admin and just about any title that includes the word “officer” who propel many of the industry’s top organizations. They’re the industry’s writers, producers and directors—indispensable elements who help raise the curtain on stellar performances.
Best of all, we didn’t need the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to vote on our best and brightest—it was you, the reader, who took the time to cast your vote for our Office Industry’s Shining Stars. For this, we thank you, as the Difference Makers program wouldn’t exist without your support. It’s also important to note that comedian Chris Rock was not harmed in the production of this year’s list.\
We offer our congratulations to the 2023 honorees. Read on…
Why Valerie Alberico is a difference maker:
This year’s crop of Difference Makers features a healthy dose of current and former journalists, including Alberico, who holds a degree in corporate communications from Purdue University and a second B.A. in broadcast journalism from Columbia College in Chicago. These days, she guides the North American strategy for Clover Imaging Group, a manufacturer of consumable imaging supplies. Alberico also directs Clover’s mid-market account management teams, sales operations and business analyst teams as well as the company’s highly decorated customer and tech services. She’s a pivotal cog in Clover’s executive leadership team and has been vital in developing the organization’s customer-centric go-to-market strategy. Alberico also authored multi-million dollar contract and program negotiations that netted multi-year agreements with Fortune 100 companies. A 20-year veteran of the office products industry, she previously held a senior marketing and merchandising director post with Royal Office Products.
“Those within the industry who’ve had the pleasure to work with Valerie immediately sense her passion to provide the ultimate level of customer satisfaction to any task. Her positive energy is infectious and raises the bar for others to model themselves after. Valerie is an amazing leader who challenges her peers while always expressing compassion to team members and ensuring she offers her full support with their individual career development. Valerie’s professional approach to business relationships and her amazing organizational skills make her one of the best. I have tremendous respect for what she’s been able to accomplish so far in her highly successful career. I’m extremely thankful for what she’s taught me while working alongside her for over 15 amazing years.”—George Milton, CEO, Clover Imaging Group
Why Matt Baroletti is a difference maker:
Not long after completing his electrical and electronics engineering degree from Villanova University, Baroletti began a 34-year (and growing) odyssey with Canon U.S.A. Today, he serves as a senior director in the BICG Engineering Services and Solutions subgroup, guiding the engineering teams, the technical support center and the technology systems group, supporting all BICG solutions. Baroletti wears many hats; chief among his duties are product quality assurance, issue resolution, dealer and customer satisfaction, dealer service meetings and employee engagement. As the point person on the technology systems team, his group supports system infrastructure that drives Canon’s service business, including the e-Support website, CRM system and service training learning management system. Under his guidance, Canon’s customer solutions center has been recognized by Benchmark Portal as a Center of Excellence for the past decade. Baroletti is a valued mentor for young and developing team members within the organization, supporting various company initiatives including the Canon Spirit Award program. True to his roots, Baroletti is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
“Matt’s four decades of work at Canon has seen him provide invaluable contributions to Canon’s service organization. He continues to work tirelessly to lead and support our engineering, technical support center and technology systems teams to ensure our dealers and customers receive award-winning customer experiences with all Canon solutions. He continues to lead, both as a senior director in the company and also as a mentor who is always willing to help and guide colleagues through any professional challenges.”—Lee Farrell, Vice President and General Manager, Engineering Services and Solutions, Canon U.S.A
Why Josh Braendle is a difference maker:
Braendle has been the ultimate road warrior, particularly the past two years. Whether he’s visiting dealer customers to help them add margin to their bottom line or hopping on his motorcycle to join the Patriot Pack each summer in support of The Jillian Fund and the nation’s military heroes, Braendle is always willing to log miles that back worthwhile causes. This is his second tour of duty with Static Control in a career that spans more than 20 years in the imaging world. His stops have included Nu-kote, Richmont Holdings, MSE and LaserCycle USA, where he served in various sales and business development capacities. Braendle played a huge role in launching Static Control’s cartridge line as the company transitioned from only supplying the interior components used in remanufactured cartridges to a full line of cartridge solutions. He’s heavily involved in buying groups such as IBPI and ISG in addition to multiple industry associations and peer groups throughout the imaging channel.
“Josh is a natural leader in the Static Control organization. His experience and knowledge of the industry has made him one of the go-to guys to ask questions or seek advice from.”—Shannon Parish, Marketing Manager, Static Control
Why Charles Brewer is a difference maker:
When it comes to reporting on the world of inks, toners, cartridges and supplies, Brewer is without peer. His Actionable Intelligence website, launched in 2009, is a bottomless font of news and analysis for this industry niche. He’s covered the imaging technology and consumables world for the better part of 30 years, providing breaking news coverage of consumables-related litigation and M&A activity. He also furnishes critical analysis of the business performance for key hardware and supplies manufacturers, backed by a research team to help provide perspective to industry executives. Brewer also provides clients with customized research and consulting. A popular speaker on the industry circuit, he’s given presentations in events throughout North America, Europe and China. His work has also appeared in various industry publications, including ENX, providing deep dives into digital printers, MFP hardware, toner and supplies. Brewer previously served as an editor for Inc., ComputerWorld and The Hard Copy Supplies Journal.
“Charlie Brewer is an avid researcher and writer with his finger on the pulse of the news when it comes to inks, toners, cartridges and supplies. He works tirelessly to deliver the latest timely research in this niche industry. Charlie is a well-respected source here in the United States and globally.”—Jim Farrell, President, Farrell PR
Why Greg Burrell is a difference maker:
Excellence in technical service has long been a prime differentiator for office technology dealers, and Burrell has helped elevate Doing Better Business’ proficiency in the 10 years since he joined the firm as part of the 2013 acquisition of Van Dyk Business Systems. Recently promoted to vice president of service, Burrell has fashioned an impressive resumé in his 30 years in the service segment. He became a Sharp Certified 3T Technical Trainer, which enables him to provide regular in-house training for his technical staff. As Doing Better Business continued to grow through acquisitions, Burrell was tasked with service management for operations in the Pennsylvania cities of Greensburg, Pittsburgh and Erie as well as Boardman, Ohio. Constantly on the lookout for ways to improve his craft, Burrell is a routine participant in technical service best practice meetings with the Select Dealer Group and Pros Elite 100. He’s impressed Sharp as the driving force behind Doing Better Business attaining the OEM’s AAA Platinum Service Award.
“Greg is always excited to learn and find ways to improve both the customer experience and our employees’ experience. He actively participates in best practice groups and shares new ideas on our senior management team. He’s truly someone we can count on to model our core values and commitment to customer service excellence.”—Debra Dellaposta, President and CEO, Doing Better Business
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 everyone who participated over the past several months to help put this issue together.
Why Erica Calise is a difference maker:
Virtually every successful business has a high performer who’s known for getting stuff done, and for Sharp, that’s Calise. A 30-plus-year veteran of the company, she’s renowned for her drive and commitment to Sharp, its customers and business partners. As the point person for Sharp’s government and commercial accounts, she manages nationally awarded pacts with luminaries such as Sourcewell and NASPO in addition to health care and commercial portfolios. During her career, Calise has handled bid strategy and development, business development, process enhancement, sales training and coaching, and building marketing strategy and marketing materials. Her signature high energy, enthusiasm and propensity for leading and motivating others has left an indelible impression throughout the organization. In 2019, she was named a Woman of Influence by The Cannata Report and recently received the Legendary Leadership award from Sourcewell. A graduate of Brown University, Calise spent the first three years of her professional career with Merrill Lynch in fixed income trading.
“Erica has been instrumental in helping government agencies get the quality products and services they need through our Sourcewell-awarded contract. Thousands of agencies across North America have saved millions of dollars by using the pricing Sharp offers under our contract. While Sourcewell, as a government agency, creates awareness for public sector entities to use our contracts, Erica has helped drive that message to partners and dealers as they work with our mutual clients to use public funds in the most efficient way possible.”—David Duhn, Supplier Development Supervisor, Sourcewell
Why Thomas Chacko is a difference maker:
Certain individuals are the foundation of the company in the sense that, without them, the business would crumble in a metaphorical sense. Chacko definitely fits that description. The company’s vice president of operations—a Long Island transplant—touts the virtues of being hard-working, humble and driven, which has endeared him to GoodSuite team members since his 2017 arrival. Thus, it’s not surprising that Chacko is loath to accept personal credit for organizational triumphs, preferring to cite the team. He possesses relentless organization and project management skills. As VP of operations, he plans, directs, coordinates and oversees operations activities, ensuring development and implementation of efficient operations and cost-effective systems to meet the current and future needs of the organization. The holder of an MBA in accounting from the University of Phoenix, Chacko previously spent 11 years with SoCal Office Technologies (Global Imaging Systems) in a number of director positions and is Lean Six Sigma certified by Villanova University.
“If Thomas asks someone to do something, you know it will get done. He is a bulldog and will follow up until completion. Thomas volunteers to do everything from sales projects to marketing and all things service, finance and admin related. He’s the captain of our all-star team. GoodSuite’s own Derek Jeter.”—Dan Strull, CEO, GoodSuite
Why Robert Covington is a difference maker:
As Toshiba America Business Solutions’ (TABS) product portfolio burgeoned the past 25 years, Covington played no small role in the development and marketing phase of many signature releases. He was part of the team that developed Toshiba’s first printer controller and was instrumental in the OEM’s successful transition from analog to digital products. Covington huddled with TABS’ corporate parent in Japan to develop printers and MFPs for the U.S. market—units that boasted some of the most competitive and feature-rich products in the industry. The Cal State Fullerton product has perfected the ability to repurpose complex technical information and relate it in simple terms, which has been vital in developing the materials needed to equip the company’s sales teams with tools for success.
“Robert has been an integral part of the product marketing team since joining Toshiba and is always someone you can count on to get things done—and done well. Given a task and a deadline, Robert will work with a passion and tenacity that’s hard to match. He always tackles a challenge keeping in mind what’s best for the company. Robert’s infectious can-do attitude, high energy and ability to work within a cross-functional team makes him an extremely valuable member of the team and the company.”—Anthony Venice, Director, Product Marketing, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Josh Craig is a difference maker:
In less than two years as general manager, Craig has made a quantifiable difference in Docugraphics’ quest to scale for sustainable growth. Dubbed a “born integrator,” his ability to rally the team while simplifying and automating work processes has enabled the dealership to make significant strides. Behind Craig’s guidance, Docugraphics implemented the Traction-based Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a key tool for enhancing its ability to scale further growth and achieve operational excellence. A corporate cultural unifier, Craig helped foster a value-based relationship with team members, customers and vendor partners. He provided oversight and operational integration for two of Docugraphics’ largest acquisitions, all the while demonstrating his exceptional skill in driving success. A graduate of Liberty University, Craig has an extensive resumé that encompasses dealers, manufacturers and software companies, having served stints with Visual Edge IT, Technocom Business Systems, Sharp and ECI Software Solutions.
“Josh Craig has been an outstanding addition to the DocuGraphics team, demonstrating his exceptional talent and skill in driving success and growth. He’s proven himself to be a wonderful difference maker, demonstrating his ability to navigate complex challenges with ease and drive success for our company. We’re extremely grateful for Josh’s contributions to DocuGraphics and look forward to his continued leadership and innovation in the future.”—Thomas Fimian, CEO, Docugraphics
Why Steve Cundy is a difference maker:
This former Army Ranger has built a career providing consultation services that leverage his 20-plus years of leadership in business technology solutions across nearly every industry. As the CEO of veteran-owned Tuatara Consulting, Cundy has a proven track record of providing digital solutions and thought leadership that move his clientele—which includes many Fortune 500 companies—forward leveraging Microsoft, ServiceNow, Salesforce, IBM and Google platforms. He’s consulted on digital transformation journeys for many dealer executives, with topics ranging from cloud transformation strategies, low-code automated solutions, data model simulation, cybersecurity and AI to getting organizations connected to the military ecosystem and onboarding more veteran talent. Last year, Cundy launched Taskforce Uplift, a veteran support nonprofit that focuses on closing the digital divide for veterans and their children. The organization donates laptops and connectivity, mentorship and technology training with the mission to break the poverty cycle and reduce veteran suicides in the military community. An executive MBA holder from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cundy also touts an undergraduate degree in business systems management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
“Tuatara is a great fit for the next generation of people in our industry who are going to help it grow past print. Steve’s contributions to overall leadership capabilities and effective selling and communications are as good as it gets. He’s young and aggressive, and offers diverse thinking and really great planning and expertise for anything he’s been involved with. This is someone who’s going to be one of our key leaders going forward in helping with dealer implementations.”—Mike Stramaglio, President and CEO, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Tim Cunningham is a difference maker:
Sales has long coursed through the blood of Cunningham, who has plied his craft since embarking on an 18-year tour of duty with IKON Office Solutions. In more than 10 years with Stratix Systems, he served as vice president for the Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based dealer prior to being named executive vice president last December. Known for taking up-and-coming sales professionals under his wing, Cunningham takes pride in motivating and developing all team members while cultivating an atmosphere of success that paves the way to career advancement opportunities. Prior to joining Stratix, he spent eight-plus years as vice president of sales at Capitol Office Solutions, a Xerox Business Solutions Company in Columbia, Maryland. Cunningham graduated from James Madison University with a BS in marketing and economics.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tim for 10 years. During that time, he’s proven himself as a leader and a person who cares about his team. Tim has a unique ability to make a personal connection with everyone he meets (staff and clients). His down-to-earth demeanor allows me to enjoy the job and run the extra mile for our goals.”—Art Post, Senior Client Manager, Stratix Systems
Why Sarah Custer is a difference maker:
A veritable Swiss Army knife in the world of managed print services (MPS), Custer’s roles have evolved in the 20-plus years she’s spent with Distribution Management. She advanced within the sales team before tackling the role of MPS program advisor, where her expertise and leadership were vital to accelerating MPS growth. Custer continued to make an impact in various capacities, including MPS solutions manager and also as vice president of services and solutions, where she led a team of solutions advisors responsible for MPS engagements and ultimately equipment sales and related services. It all led to her current VP of sales operations post, where she guides teams focused on sales and MPS operations. Custer also furnishes critical direction and design of program enhancements and vendor integrations. An innovative thought leader who continually looks for ways to streamline and enhance technology and processes, she’s a trusted and respected colleague. Custer holds a BA and MBA from Webster University.
“There isn’t a challenge in our company or the industry that intimidates Sarah. She just rolls up her sleeves, gets to the root cause and then works collaboratively to get it solved. We’re very lucky to have her at DM, and our partners around our industry would agree, as she’s figured out how to make partnerships work between many companies and ours. Her can-do attitude and business acumen are a force to be reckoned with!”—Michelle Kaufman, Vice President of Technology, Distribution Management
Why Peter Davey is a difference maker:
Davey already made a name for himself prior to joining Toshiba in 2004, having plied his craft for IKON Office Solutions and Konica Minolta. But it was his domination in Florida with developing, building and increasing the revenue and profitability of TABS’ professional services business that soon cast him into the role of national professional services lead, and the accolades have only continued. Davey has a demonstrated organizational development, project management and implementation skills, which earned him the respect of TABS’ leadership, sales force, engineers and consultants. In his current role, Davey leads the development of Toshiba’s national solutions and services strategy, including the firm’s go-to-market approach; the adoption of national standards for consulting, implementation and support; and the adoption of tools, best practices and processes necessary to scale the business. His dedication to making solutions and services accessible and profitable to the Toshiba dealer community have also earned him high marks.
“The positive impact Peter’s made here at Toshiba is evidenced in many ways. One of his signature contributions is the vast improvement he’s had on our solutions and professional services business. Peter’s specifically responsible for building and increasing the profitability of that business. He’s additionally standardized employee roles and compensation within this element of our business. Moreover, Peter intuitively understands what our clients need to operate more profitably and efficiently while collaborating with our team members to implement the best solution possible.”—Steven Sauer, Chief Revenue Officer, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Randy Dazo is a difference maker:
Every school in the nation has that prodigy student who helps elevate its overall test scores, and the office technology sector has such an individual in Dazo. A brilliant mind and a friendly, easy-going demeanor have served him well the past 30 years, which has included stops among many notable brands such as Ricoh, Sharp, Minolta, Canon, InfoTrends and Net2Phone. His background includes strategy, marketing, sales, training, service, and professional services and solutions. At Keypoint Intelligence, he’s responsible for all of the firm’s current and new product strategies as well as the growth of these businesses. His groups are charged with the delivering and marketing of content, testing, products and services for the organization worldwide. The SUNY Stony Brook product is also renowned for his engaging and welcoming personality, making him a popular figure at industry events.
“With his vast knowledge of the traditional print industry as well as newer areas such as managed IT and smart workplace, Randy Dazo is an outstanding resource who opens his ears when others are speaking. With his easy-going manner and wide-ranging humor, he’s an absolute pleasure to work with. Randy was among the first analysts I ever met when I entered into print, and I was super excited to finally get to work with him when Buyers Lab acquired InfoTrends. But above everything else, Randy is just a guy who you want on your team, period.”—Carl Schell, Channel Services and Group Publishing Director, Keypoint Intelligence
Why David Dwyer is a difference maker:
When he took over the supply chain and operations for Sharp more than 10 years ago, little did Dwyer know the spotlight that would be cast on his department—and those of many other manufacturers—when the global shortages of 2021 and 2022 reared their head. Dwyer authored, along with his team, a deft supply chain strategy that positioned Sharp as one of the precious few OEMs to not be significantly impacted by inventory availability and fulfillment delays. Behind Dwyer’s leadership, Sharp was able to maintain a steady flow of inventory from factory to dealer throughout 2022. He’s also a member of the Steering Committee for WISE (Women Influencing Sharp’s Evolution) and is an active participant in Sharp’s mentoring program. Prior to joining Sharp, the University of Scranton graduate served as a senior manager at Kraft Foods for four years and addressed multiple roles in a four-year stint with Nabisco Biscuit.
“Dave Dwyer’s passion for enhancing supply chain and operational processes has made a significant difference in solving many of the logistics challenges we experienced as an imaging dealer. Dave’s strategy in utilizing third-party partners, namely VMI via Tech Data, has been successful in achieving unified and efficient operations to the benefit of dealers across the country. Dave is truly a difference maker.”—Moody Hamdan, Owner, A.D. Solutions
“When I think of Dave Dwyer, I think back over the last couple years and how tremendously heavy the load he’s carried has been. Through the many logistical nightmares he had to traverse, his cool and collected approach helped guide Sharp better than any in the industry.”—Mark Miller, President, Eakes Office Solutions
Why Christina Fisher is a difference maker:
The world of negotiating contractual terms in business may sound interesting and exciting, and that it would present a nice diversity in terms of ongoing projects. But it’s also an exacting and often technical process that calls upon granular skills and precise knowledge. That’s where Fisher shines for Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS). She has oversight for the unit that responds to bids and prepares contract proposals for RFPs across the entire TABS business. The complexity increases when large purchasing consortiums and government agencies are involved, which can create huge challenges and obstacles. Complex terms and conditions can often lead to white-knuckle negotiations. It’s essential for Fisher to ensure her team is well-versed in certain accounting and legal considerations, and she works closely with her organization’s CFO and legal department to ensure compliance. As post-pandemic volumes continue to climb, Fisher has improved functional efficiency to reduce stress levels for her team. An MBA holder from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School with a BS from LeTourneau University, she’s viewed as a consummate professional.
“Christina has the drive and passion to ensure bids and contract proposals are accurate and professional in their presentation, that deadlines are met and that business questions are answered timely. Christina is a perfectionist when it comes to compliance and can always be trusted to ensure thorough vetting of contract terms and conditions. As CFO, I have to sign many large contract deals, and it gives me added assurance knowing that Christina has reviewed and vetted the contract/proposal.”—Michael Torcaso, Vice President and CFO, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Robin Fonck is a difference maker:
There’s a parallel between Fonck’s role as a high school volleyball coach and her strategic technology position with GreatAmerica Financial Services (GAFS): in both, she’s creating roadmaps to success. Her day job with GAFS centers on introducing and continually improving integrations that automate the transfer of vital information between the company and its partners, ultimately making business easier for end-users. Her curiosity and solutions-driven approach have enabled her to maintain a deep understanding of customer systems and processes. Past duties include contract management operations leader, with responsibility for the overall strategic direction of the team. In this role, she huddled with all GAFS business units and functional leaders, focusing on all aspects of invoicing, structural contract changes, dealer integrations and implementation of new billing programs. Fonck’s willingness to tackle new or lesser-known technologies underscores her dedication to finding optimal solutions for customers.
“Robin has a passion for our office imaging customers and their success. She’s been involved in process and technology reviews of some of our largest customers. They’ve all expressed great value in her ability and willingness to thoroughly understand their needs and provide them with valued insights and solutions. She’s developed great relationships with the software providers in our industry, and that collaboration has helped us be a better resource for our channel customers. Her hard work and strong collaboration skills have been instrumental in making GreatAmerica an industry leader in technology integrations.”—Jennie Fisher, VP and GM, Office Equipment Group, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Dave Galioto is a difference maker:
Galioto’s growth has mirrored that of ECMSI over the past 20-plus years. An IT wunderkind, he first made his mark as service manager, helping build the technician staff while serving as a mentor to team members. As a key cog in ECMSI’s leadership team, Galioto has helped usher the growth and evolution of the organization. In his current role, Galioto works closely with ECMSI’s vendor partnerships while ensuring its IT strategy addresses the company’s growth projection and vision. An innate problem-solver, he’s been an indispensable facilitator for streamlining operations for both ECMSI and its partners, elevating IT support and security to optimal levels. Galioto has grown the company’s internal support, security and project teams to provide continuous partner support and deliver the utmost in customer satisfaction. He’s a member of ECMSI’s Evolve peer group and works with nationwide MSPs on business and IT strategies.
“Working with Dave provides an opportunity to always learn. He’s extremely approachable and always has a door open for any questions, concerns or just to discuss ideas. I’ve worked with Dave over the past four years, and I truly attribute a lot of my knowledge growth in the MSP industry to him. It would be difficult for me to think of a more experienced and friendly IT professional to help in my role.”—Lauren Butka, Marketing Director, ECMSI
Why Kelly Glaser is a difference maker:
When you’re the head of sales for a leading national office technology dealership, it’s akin to being the number-four hitter on a World Series-contending baseball team. Glaser may not have a baseball card to tout his achievements, but he’s definitely attained all-star status during a career at Gordon Flesch Company spanning more than 30 years. He joined the organization as an account manager, then swiftly ascended the ranks as a major account executive, sales supervisor and then sales manager in charge of the Milwaukee sales unit. In 2012, Glaser was tasked with helping start (then leading) the company’s new branch in Appleton, Wisconsin. Backed by his signature selling style and focus on building a solid culture, the Appleton branch quickly flourished. Glaser moved on to senior director of sales for the west region in 2017 before taking the sales reins of the entire organization this past January. An army veteran who served as a military police officer, Glaser graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a BS in business and accounting.
“Kelly has played a critical part in designing multiple sales programs and initiatives over the past few years while also staying very active in the field. He’s had a solid impact on the growth of our company since his first day.”—Patrick Flesch, President and CEO, GFC
Why Ted Gruener is a difference maker:
While he may not be drawing comparisons to the Energizer Bunny, Gruener’s boundless energy is legendary in the halls of Distribution Management. Backed by vast experience and a propensity for cultivating meaningful relationships with clients, he’s been essential in enabling the company’s reseller channel to thrive. He arrived at Distribution Management in 2016 as director of business development and quickly ascended to vice president of sales, where he’s responsible for providing oversight and direction to the regional sales teams and business development managers. In the post-pandemic era, Gruener has spearheaded efforts to proliferate the company’s addition of A3 supplies and expanded barcode portfolio, educating reseller clients on strategies to combat supply chain challenges, cost increases and labor shortages. The resume of this Missouri State University grad is a who’s who of the industry, ranging from U.S. Office Products to Boise, Corporate Express and OfficeMax.
“Ted gives 110% no matter what it is…work, cycling, trail running, life. His unique perspective having spent time as a reseller himself really fuels his passion for finding solutions for our customers. A3 distribution is a game changer for DM and many of our partners, and Ted’s leadership around this category of our business will undoubtedly ensure its success for all parties. Thank you for all you do, Ted. You’re definitely a difference maker here at DM and beyond.”—Mike Wyatt, Business Development Manager, Distribution Management
Why Robert Gurney is a difference maker:
It takes a lot of guts—not to mention a degree of confidence—to pack up and move 500-plus miles from one city to another in search of a better life. It’s another matter to then leave a lucrative sales job in Chicago to open a start-up business in the confines of a garage. Such was the path taken by Gurney, who connected the dots from Buffalo, New York, to Chicago in order to be closer to family. He then summoned the courage, at age 29, to exit a job as a branch sales manager—where he surpassed quotas and delivered stellar results—to hang a shingle as the CEO of his own company, Evoke Networking, in 2020. Add bonus points for doing so in the teeth of the pandemic, but Gurney remained unshaken in his quest to grow as a managed print services provider. He’s carved a niche for himself in delivering unparalleled solutions and services to clients seeking to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving technological landscape. Gurney and Co. moved into a new Rolling Meadows, Illinois, headquarters in 2022, where he seeks to transform the industry one customer at a time.
“Robert’s unwavering dedication to helping people is what truly sets him apart. His passion for assisting clients through challenging financial situations and improving workplace operations is where he finds his greatest fulfillment. As he works tirelessly to empower business owners and managers with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions, he earns their trust and provides invaluable insights and guidance to help them thrive even in the face of daunting challenges. Through his commitment to helping people and his community, Robert is a true difference maker, leaving a lasting impact on the organizations he touches and the lives of their employees.”—David Jez, IT Technician, Evoke Networking
Why Jason Habbal is a difference maker:
The younger Habbal at the helm of Vision Office Systems—where he and dad Fred have teamed to create a hidden office dealer gem in the cozy confines of the Carolinas—is a repeat Difference Maker. Fred Habbal knew better than to just hand the reins to his son, who was first put through the paces of learning every aspect of the business to provide him with a thorough perspective. Habbal embraces the idea of serving every need under the office technology sun in order to thrive as a single-vendor provider. The Western Carolina University product is always searching for ancillary offerings that can elevate the dealer’s catalog and is a firm believer in the buy-local theory to support area businesses. Habbal is also a frequent contributor to this and other publications, underscoring his belief that dealerships can learn from one another, to the betterment of all.
“Jason continues to be a difference maker in his marketplace because of his volunteer efforts in his community and his ability to create custom solutions for his clients. Jason continues to lead by example and has the desire, dedication and determination to build his brand in Vision Office Systems’ marketplace. I’ve seen Jason grow throughout the years, and his dedication to the business and his family is amazing.”—Art Post, Founder, Print4Pay Hotel
Why Jennifer Healy is a difference maker:
For the better part of 30 years, Healy has repeatedly demonstrated her value to Ricoh in a myriad of capacities. Her leadership skills have resonated through sales, vertical markets, channel planning, integrated marketing and strategy—all with the intention of casting Ricoh as the number-one dealer partner in the eyes of channel resellers. Healy leads with an entrepreneurial and forward-thinking perspective, fostering the development and growth of numerous strategies and teams. She’s successfully proposed and developed new roles driven by paradigm shifts to help generate best-of-breed products and solutions. Healy has quarterbacked the development of robust dealer sales, marketing campaigns and co-branded programs that enable dealers to focus on customer challenges, aligning to trends and lead generation. Recent programs she’s helped craft include a digital customer enablement program that allows dealers to engage clients in digital conversations and transactions, and a weekly products, trends and sales tools webinar to support customer digital transformation.
“Jen has a contagious energy and an absolute passion to deliver marketing initiatives that make a difference in our dealers’ business. An integral part of the Ricoh Dealer Team, Jen is relentless in connecting the key business trends with what the dealer needs to achieve the best outcomes with their customers.”—Jim Coriddi, Senior Vice President, Dealer Division, Ricoh USA
Why Sheldon Horowitz is a difference maker:
The embodiment of a self-made professional, Horowitz carved out his professional identity through insights from the highest performers in not just the office technology sector, but the business world at large. He began his career at Coast to Coast Computer Products 18 years ago as an assistant to his father, Mitch. Warm and gregarious, Horowitz studied the craft of sales intensely, learned the ins and outs of cultivating relationships and became one of the organization’s top producers. He completed numerous courses from business and personal success luminaries including Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, Ron White, Tom Hopkins and Eric Thomas to bolster his professional skill sets. Along the way, he developed leadership acumen that enabled him to be elevated to vice president of sales in early 2018, then vice president of business development in 2021. Horowitz enjoys mentoring and coaching team members in goal-setting so they can achieve their dreams.
“I’ve watched Sheldon grow from a young, crazy man into a sophisticated, well-spoken, upstanding salesperson and now our vice president of business development. Sheldon is a shining example of what heights can be reached when one puts themselves to the test. He’s mastered his knowledge of sales by reading and listening to every book from Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, and others who’ve helped to mold and shape many of us into the salespeople we are today. His outgoing personality and open-door policy have allowed for great growth among both our new and seasoned sales reps. I’m proud of Sheldon and look forward to seeing him grow even more!”—Melissa Servatdjoo, Technology Sales Manager, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why Tyson Johns is a difference maker:
For someone who never intended to make a career out of the office technology sector, Johns has certainly left his mark for nearly 15 years and continues to evolve. He’s spent the last year serving as Pearson-Kelly Technology’s director of finance. He entered the industry with Corporate Business Systems of Springfield, Missouri, where he combined his accounting and leadership skills to provide oversight of sales, service, accounting and operations for the 70-plus employee firm, rising from CFO to president and CEO in the process. Johns then orchestrated the sale of Corporate Business Systems to SumnerOne, where he served as a regional president for three years. The holder of a BS in finance and an MBA from Missouri State University, he held finance positions with the city of Nixa (Missouri), Kelly Staff Leasing and BKD prior to his foray into the office technology sector.
“Tyson has been one of the biggest assets to me as a leader and employee at Pearson-Kelly Technology. With his industry knowledge and his ability to captivate any audience with his driven focus, it’s easy to follow a gentleman such as Tyson. I adore his work-hard, play-hard mentality that’s the perfect blend to keep a team motivated and hyped, all while giving recognition and making employees feel valued. Tyson is a pure joy to be around and has the ability to pull out your highest potential in your personal and professional life. It’s a privilege to serve alongside Tyson!”—Taylor Wells, Operations Manager, Pearson-Kelly Technology
Why Lindsay Keller is a difference maker:
Not every path is a linear one, and in the case of Keller, her success in the office technology universe at The Swenson Group took a bit of a circuitous route. Initially an inside sales representative, top executive Dean Swenson soon discovered her abundance of talents were destined elsewhere within the organization. Keller became the company’s CRM administrator, lead sales support, pricing coordinator and finance company liaison. In 2015, she was promoted to TSG’s leadership team, where she now has multiple direct reports with oversight for sales support and administration. Blessed with advanced problem-solving skills, Keller utilizes her experience and cross-departmental knowledge to resolve issues, enhance processes and reduce wasted time. She’s also involved in Konica Minolta’s Step Together women’s leadership group. A San Jose State University graduate, Keller previously served with Financial Network Investment, H&R Block and the U.S. Census Bureau before arriving at TSG in 2009.
“Lindsay is one of those rare teammates who thinks like an owner. She’s consistently looking out for the best interests of the company, our clients and our people. Her even temperament and analytical skills have been invaluable in helping shape important company-wide decisions. Lindsay’s can-do, positive attitude has helped her tackle critical company initiatives and ensure their success. Her thoughtful input and unique perspective have enabled her to become a true trusted advisor to our ownership group.”—Dean Swenson, President and CEO, The Swenson Group
Why Patrick Layton is a difference maker:
A dean of managed IT and cybersecurity, Layton draws upon more than 25 years of experience and expertise in network and system administration for enterprise-level companies, including UPS, government organizations and dot-com startups. Upon joining Impact Networking in 2014, he formalized the company’s managed IT department and full-service MSP program, employing more than 350 IT professionals across the dealer’s network. In recent years, Layton developed a team to drive the creation of Impact’s managed cybersecurity department, providing advanced security for clients. He was at the center of the company’s 2021 launch of DOT Security, a managed security service provider spinoff, which operates out of a state-of-the-art facility Layton designed. He’s been a visionary leader and proven innovator, advising the company’s cybersecurity service improvements and writing the business plan. Layton was named a partner in the company in 2022, a tribute to being the architect of the department that generates more than half of Impact Networking’s revenue.
“He’s a brilliant and effective leader and is making a huge contribution to creating revenue and profit for our industry. He’s one of the few people in the industry on the IT services side who understands how to sell, implement, develop product and support those products. Patrick articulates well; he’s extremely intelligent and good at his job, but he also has a heart of gold. He’s one of the top-five most passionate people on that side of the business in our industry. Patrick wears his heart on his sleeve, and he goes at projects with all the aggressiveness you want, tempered by a kind and endearing personality.”—Mike Stramaglio, President and CEO, Stramaglio Consulting
Why John Lowery is a difference maker:
When Lowery went shopping for a new company name in 2022, the decision was made to replace “Imaging” with “Innovation,” as it’s the heart of the dealer’s product and service catalog. Beyond that, it speaks to the company’s ulterior mission to help end-users innovate and garner efficiencies that allow them to better serve their clients. Lowery has guided the company through countless innovation treks en route to eclipsing the $100 million mark in annual revenue. From managed network services to document destruction and medical waste services, Lowery leaves no stone unturned in delivering on the firm’s corporate mission. He’s relied on a mixture of organic growth and strategic acquisitions to gain traction throughout Applied Innovation’s home state of Michigan and cement footholds in Ohio, Indiana and Florida. Lowery has taken many up-and-coming executives under his wing and celebrates the dealer’s many victories as a unit, creating a corporate culture that’s become a model for the industry.
“From the beginning, John developed a corporate culture that’s now become the envy of customers, manufacturers and, yes, even competitors. Labeled Applied Chemistry, it stresses behavior in many categories such as customer service, family, community and fun, to name a few. I’ve known John for over 20 years and this extraordinary corporate culture not only dictates how Applied Innovation personnel behave, but shows that they’re grounded in John’s personal beliefs. He’s a dedicated family man, has always personally supported his local communities, wants his customers to enjoy peace of mind and is genuinely a fun person to be around. He also enjoys helping others achieve their goals. Having known and worked with John for so many years, I’ve come to realize he’s more than a Difference Maker—he’s the type of leader others aspire to be.”—Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
Why David Lynch is a difference maker:
Lynch is a disciple of Jim Collins’ “20 Mile March” school of thought—a rigorous, self-imposed performance metric that requires discipline in order to consistently attain goals. He develops the skills and talents of the teams he manages by creating a defined structure with expectations and accountability, along with two-way communication with all staff. Lynch founded an IT business consulting firm, DRJ Computing, from scratch in 2004 and grew it into a respected, profitable venture. Five years later, he negotiated DRJ’s sale to Repeat Business Systems (RBS) and joined the fold, becoming COO in 2017. Quarterbacking RBS’ IT division, he quickly grew it to represent 20% of the dealer’s business and bolstered service operations’ gross profit from 35% to 55%, the industry benchmark. Lynch has guided his team through 10 successful acquisitions and continues to provide thought leadership on cutting-edge operations/service techniques and methodologies. A hard-core hockey fan and former player, he’s coached three youth hockey teams to New York state championships.
“David has participated in 10 of Repeat Business Systems’ acquisitions and was responsible for integrating them into the organization. This resulted in organic and acquisition revenue growth from $6 million a year to a projected $30 million in 2023. Through this growth, Repeat Business Systems supports hundreds of local organizations each year. David currently serves on the Ricoh Service Dealer Council and has participated in consulting panels for several associations. He’s truly grown up in the technology industry and is liked and respected by colleagues and competitors alike.”—Dawn Abbuhl, President, Repeat Business Systems
Why Michael Mathé is a difference maker:
Executing a digital transformation (DX) platform requires a leader who’s fluent in many technologies, and Mathé—who speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese in addition to English—is the ideal candidate to drive Konica Minolta’s efforts. Mathé heads the company’s DX initiatives including operations, production print, marketing, ecommerce and emerging technologies. He manages Konica Minolta’s OEM business development and IT value-added reseller channel while also overseeing its Motorsports Strategic Marketing and Alliance Program. He’s charged with developing Konica Minolta’s strategic alliance program with IMSA and its partners, including Wayne Taylor Racing and its No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura ARX-06 race car. Mathé joined the OEM in 2012 as senior vice president, international sales, and was promoted to president in 2021. The University of North Carolina graduate previously held roles with Toshiba America Business Solutions, Lanier Worldwide, RISO and IKON Office Solutions.
“Michael Mathé is a digital transformation global leader at Konica Minolta, making a difference in our business every day. With 30 years of industry experience, he has a proven track record in global business performance, acquisitions, expansion and accelerating sustainable revenue growth utilizing sound turnaround leadership. Michael is known as an engaging, agile leader with sound analytical abilities resulting in action-oriented strategic plans, data driven performance and profitable turnaround and transformation.”– Sam Errigo, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions
Why Paul McKinney is a difference maker:
During the course of his 25-year journey with Eakes Office Solutions, McKinney has interacted or managed every department. Currently, he oversees operations, technology, logistics and finances, making him one of the most indispensable cogs in the organization. He’s heavily involved in the development and implementation of corporate strategy. The University of Nebraska at Kearney product has played a pivotal role in the company’s managed print services throughout his career, and he’s become proficient in a wealth of adjacencies including office supplies, contract furniture, janitorial products and services, and workflow/business productivity software. McKinney has raised his company’s profile through involvement in a plethora of boards, committees and organizations inside and outside the industry—chamber of commerce, Independent Stationers Group, American Co-op, Academy of Business & Communication, Business Solutions Association Standards Council, Pinnacle Affiliates and the ECI DDMS advisory committee.
“Paul is invested in his company, his community and the various industries he’s involved with. He works tirelessly to ensure the success of his company. He’s smart—as the CFO, he taught himself how to create and interpret company financials. He’s thoughtful in that he’ll consider how the outcomes of decisions will impact the direction of the company not only immediately, but also long term. And, he’s a very good evaluator of people; when we NEED to be sure we have a situation assessed correctly, we seek out Paul.”—Mark Miller, President and CEO, Eakes Office Solutions
Why Debra Merritt is a difference maker:
Merritt is a skilled leader when it comes to strategic and tactical field marketing, and has parlayed that into a successful track record in new digital business ventures. Her expertise in business intelligence, demand generation and customer insights has helped Merritt deliver, coordinate and execute all digital marketing and sales enablement initiatives while consistently exceeding Epson’s business printer marketing objectives, netting year over year growth. Merritt is charged with supporting channel partners through the development, management and execution of marketing strategies along with fully integrated commercial marketing efforts. She’s also the liaison and point person for all business printer commercial channel partner marketing needs. Merritt uses cross-functional team building and relationship management skills to lead teams in multiple locations, and she supports a hybrid approach toward sales for Epson partners via virtual open houses and sales enablement tools. She’s captured five Spotlight Awards for providing collaboration and leading projects that yielded value for Epson partners and employees. A veteran marketing professional, she previously served with Ricoh USA, Pitney Bowes, ScienceVision, Pharmedica Communications and Eastman Kodak, and holds a BS in business administration and marketing from PennWest Clarion.
“Deb Merritt is a pillar within the BIJ sales and marketing team. She brings passion and energy to everything she does and has had a significant impact on the programs Epson offers to our office equipment dealers. Her wealth of industry knowledge, experience and sales enablement approach has served to establish Epson’s credibility and place in the channel. Her enthusiasm to support dealer’s success makes her a go-to person when a partner wants to bounce creative ideas off us. She’s a pleasure to work with, and I’m extremely proud to have Deb on the team.”—Joe Contreras, Head of Sales and Channel Marketing, Office Print, Epson America
Why Chip Miceli is a difference maker:
Ordinarily, one might term Miceli a rock star—after all, he’s one of the most recognizable faces in the dealer space and a frequent speaker on the industry circuit. Rock stars aren’t known for being down to earth, exceedingly helpful and highly accessible, but those adjectives only scratch the surface of Miceli’s value to the industry as a whole. His backstory is well known; he took the reins of the firm his father, Vince, founded in 1955 and grew it into a $25 million performer, later rechristened Pulse Technology. From video walls to furniture and break room accessories, Miceli is determined to address a myriad of client needs in the quest to become a single-source provider for all things related to the office. He isn’t shy about sharing his wealth of experiences with the industry. Miceli is an original founder of the Select Dealer Group peer organization, and whether it’s a Business Technology Association meeting or an OEM dealer conference, he frequently sits on dealer panels or delivers solo presentations on a number of topics relevant to the dealer sector.
“Chip is energetic, optimistic and an industry visionary with a talent for identifying ‘the next big thing’ that helps companies grow and expand. He’s generous in sharing his time and experience, whether it’s mentoring a colleague, helping an employee discover his/her full talents or sharing best practices at a national industry association meeting. He’s a true professional in every sense of the word.”—Jim Farrell, President, Farrell PR
Why Dan Misilewich is a difference maker:
Following a nearly 10-year stint with Canon U.S.A, Misilewich joined Epson America as senior product manager in 2022 and quickly made his presence felt. He helped lead the Business Imaging team with perhaps its biggest launch for 2023—the Epson WorkForce Enterprise AM Series A3 line head multifunction printers. The offering is vital to perpetuating Epson’s industry-disruptive PrecisionCore technology to the world of office printing. Misilewich was also a key author in planning the manufacturer’s 2023 InkBoldly channel partner event for dealers. From intensive product planning sessions and critical dealer meetings to filming demonstration videos and presenting in front of a crowd of over 240 attendees at InkBoldly, Misilewich maintained a charismatic attitude and professional demeanor. Such attributes were fundamental in conveying key product features and benefits to Epson partners, making him an essential addition to the team. A graduate of American University, Misilewich’s previous experiences include Long Island GLBT Services Network, The EGC Group and Audiovox.
“Dan is talented, collaborative and genuinely professional. When he joined the product management team at Epson a little over a year ago, we were planning one of the most important launches—the WorkForce Enterprise AM Series. I’ve never seen anyone quickly get up to speed and lead, and he made it look so easy. He never loses his composure or shows that he’s frustrated. His confidence and composure came through during our InkBoldly event in February. As if launching three products wasn’t enough, he was the key leader in planning and presenting at the InkBoldly event.—Debra Merritt, Group Manager, Commercial Channel Marketing, North America, Epson America
“Not only does Dan have great composure, he’s mastered being on stage, and his demonstration videos exemplify how to do an effective product demonstration. He takes the ‘basics’ seriously—communicating the benefits to a user without getting caught up in the speeds/feeds. It’s a refreshing glimpse of how to demonstrate Epson’s value and translate that to the dealer audience, and ultimately the end-users.”
Why Brandi Noye is a difference maker:
An 18-year veteran of Altoona, Pennsylvania-based Doing Better Business, Noye has guided business development for the dealer’s sales teams at its corporate headquarters, State College and Williamsport offices. Her previous duties included sales team leader, document management specialist and solutions consultant. A graduate of the Blair County Chamber Leadership Program, Noye is also active in the Sales Leadership peer group. Her sales teams continue to grow and enjoy success under her guidance. Noye has demonstrated high levels of success in sales, process improvement and document management throughout her career. The holder of a BS in business and management from Penn State University, she’s CDIA+ certified through CompTIA. For nearly six years, Noye has served as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County.
“With Brandi’s background in document management and process improvement, she’s an invaluable resource to her team. She’s closing in on 20 years of experience in our industry, and her knowledge and skills are making a huge difference in our success.”—Debra Dellaposta, President and CEO, Doing Better Business
Why Ron Nylen is a difference maker:
As the leader of Toshiba America Business Solutions’ software solutions and digital workflow technical support team, Nylen has tremendous responsibility for an integral and strategic segment of the OEM’s business and the fastest-growing segment within the industry. He thoughtfully and purposefully manages the teams supporting Toshiba solutions software while ensuring clients’ technical needs are met. Nylen and his team support dealer and marketplace technicians, help desks, service managers and their customers nationwide and throughout the Americas, while also working closely with Toshiba Japan engineers. He leads by enabling teamwork, innovation and agility to flourish. Backed by a deep technical knowledge and passion for helping others, he makes a difference within the walls of Toshiba that’s keenly felt and is a proven impact player for the many dealers, technicians and solutions engineers he supports.
“The future for our industry is managing information in both digital and printed formats. Ron enables Toshiba to lead in this vital area. He’s quiet and unassuming as well as somebody who gets along with everybody he encounters. As an independent industry group acknowledges, Toshiba’s technical support is among the industry’s best. Delivering support while keeping customers front and center is the reason we continue to excel in this area, and Ron Nylen is a key reason for our success.”—R. Steven Tungate, VP/GM, Service, Supply Chain, Technical Support and Innovation, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Moonsun Park is a difference maker:
While Park has oversight of many business units at Sharp Electronics as its CFO, perhaps none are as complex as the office equipment sector. She brings an abundance of fresh ideas, perspective and knowledge to her team and has long supported the manufacturer’s direct business by managing spending, conducting multiple-elements accounting or helping individuals do their jobs better with the proper tools. Park has truly demonstrated her value on the dealer channel side of the Sharp house, playing a pivotal role in providing inventory during the post-pandemic supply chain difficulties. A 25-year company veteran, she relishes the opportunity to work with sales, operations and marketing in offering Sharp’s customers a superior product at a fair price. Prior to joining Sharp, Park served as an accounting assistant manager for LG Electronics. The holder of a BA from Tufts University, she received her MBA in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
“Every interaction with Moonsun is a positive experience. I value her thought process, genuine care for her customers’ experience and the correlating business impacts as well as her passion to be innovative and push those around her to be solution oriented.”—Lindsay Bohon, Vice President, Corporate Sales Operations, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Stephanie Pearson is a difference maker:
A strong technician is like a fine wine—smooth, satisfying agmail.com
nd gets the job done. In that regard, Pearson is the Château de Beaucastel of the technician world. She averages the single highest call-per-day break/fix ratio from a single technician at imageOne. Factor in the proactive toner monitoring and replenishment she furnishes and it completes the white-glove treatment clients enjoy. A 15-year veteran of Ricoh USA, Pearson offers the compelling combination of knowledge resource with unprecedented productivity. She was vital in renewing a pact with a large customer due to her knowledge of a product line the dealership ordinarily didn’t support. The client had been experiencing poor service with another provider on a particular fleet of equipment, but on the strength of Pearson’s knowledge and expertise, the issues disappeared virtually overnight. Her friendly, easy-going attitude has made her a favorite at imageOne, and she continues to provide the dealership with a trove of opportunities to expand its client base.
“Stephanie has always had a willingness to go above and beyond, both when asked and on her own. The impact on her customer environment has been monumental, as she’s added key process and asset tracking that have gone beyond simply enhancing the customer’s device up time through her service. She’s also super friendly and down to earth, someone you can relate with and genuinely makes you want to cheer them on to be successful. Her reliability is top tier, and I never once have had to worry about her not doing what was in the company’s and customer’s best interest.”—Nick Hienton, Vice President of Services, imageOne
Why Stephanie Keating Phillips is a difference maker:
Working at Advanced Imaging Solutions as a receptionist was supposed to represent a temporary solution for Phillips as she mapped out her future endeavors. Nearly 25 years later, it’s clear the University of St. Thomas graduate and former college softball star was destined for greatness in the office technology universe. She’s garnered widespread recognition beyond her role as director of solutions for the Minnesota-based firm, speaking at various industry events on a variety of subjects aimed at helping dealers find new avenues for growth in production print, managed services and software solutions. A self-professed tech nerd, Phillips’ friendly and engaging manner meshes well with her penchant for aligning customers in the Twin Cities and beyond with solutions that can help increase profits and improve the way they do business.
“Stephanie has a great set of skills for the next generation of leadership. The way that she communicates, her attitude and personality—this is a woman who’s on her game. She’s articulate, smart, funny, aggressive and a great businesswoman. Stephanie is very sophisticated and elegant, and she holds her own on the golf course. She’s definitely the type of executive we need to move this industry forward.”—Mike Stramaglio, President and CEO, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Mark Pollack is a difference maker:
It would be difficult to topple the marketing record amassed by Pollack, who’s held leadership positions with a range of industry OEMs including Konica Minolta, Ricoh/Savin and Pitney Bowes prior to joining Xerox. A known quantity in the dealer world, he’s racked up more than 20 years of experience and is currently the lead within Xerox’s channel marketing organization for dealer reseller partners. During the course of his career, Pollack has focused on product management, channel marketing, sales promotions, marketing communications, incentive design and event planning/execution. Abiding by the mantra “dealers are customers that have a choice,” he’s driven to improve Xerox’s partner experience and create the best program incentives at all levels. Pollack—who once sold stereo equipment at a store called HI-FI-FO-FUM—continually offers tremendous creativity and effective ideas to produce opportunities that allow Xerox partners to garner more wins. A graduate of the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, he has a BS in marketing.
“Mark’s incredible to work beside. I truly value what he brings to the job and our organization. He’s extraordinarily thoughtful in his work, and I’ve learned a great deal from him. There’s never an end to his ideas for promotions that can be offered or ways to improve the overall experience for our partners. Mark’s a true professional.”—Todd Smith, Vice President, North America Partner Enablement, Xerox Corp
Why Keli Posch is a difference maker:
An 11-year veteran of Clover Imaging Group (CIG), Posch has significantly enhanced the company’s entire marketing portfolio and strategy for digital marketing. During the past year, her efforts were geared toward crafting a more sustainable and environmentally conscious platform at CIG. In recognition of her team’s efforts, Clover became GreenCircle certified in 2022, marking the first certification in the industry for OEMs or aftermarket manufacturers. Posch engaged with large corporations on sustainable purchasing strategies and trained CIG reps and customers on leading with sustainability when selling to consumers. She graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors from La Roche University (BA in communications, design and media management) and founded her own business, KMP Solutions, as a marketing strategy consultant. Posch was also a senior marketing manager for Insight, an ecommerce specialist with CDW and an assistant news producer at WPXI-TV.
“Keli has developed a passion for sustainability over the last few years that’s unmatched. In particular, during the 2022 calendar year she revamped all our green-centric marketing material and was an integral part of launching Clover’s life cycle assessment as well as our GreenCircle certification. As a result, we’ve been able to take a market position as the only viable green solution in our industry, and we have facts to back up our claims due to her hard work. She’s single-handedly engaged with end-users on sustainable purchasing and has become a student of the industry. I’m extremely impressed by her dedication to this initiative and look forward to more advancements in 2023.”—A.J. Brasel, Senior Vice President of Sales, Clover Imaging Group
Why Art Post is a difference maker:
By day, Post is a mild-mannered senior client manager for Stratix Systems. By night, he’s the founder, curator and concierge at the online Print4Pay Hotel, where there are no holiday rates, only the opportunity to glean knowledge from the man himself and a coterie of industry professionals who collaborate to solve problems, discuss trends and learn more about the industry. The site contains popular features including “Better Call Art,” the retrospective “This Week in Copiers” as well as employment and bid opportunity leads. Despite logging more than 40 years of industry experience in hitting the sales road, Post isn’t content with resting on his laurels. He’s recorded his best sales year yet, coming on the back end of a pandemic and amid supply chain restrictions, simply because he’s relentless in beating competitors to the punch. It helps to know your stuff, and in Post’s case, he’s without peer.
“I’ve known Art for a little over 15 years now. His dedication to this industry is unmatched, and his knowledge of the industry is extremely high. Art’s always willing to help out with questions and does a fantastic job of keeping the P4P Hotel forum going with relevant content for users.”—Jason Habbal, Vice President, Vision Office Systems
Why Mike Riordan is a difference maker:
This year’s list of honorees is certainly not wanting for crackerjack technicians, and Riordan is a sterling example of sustained excellence over a long period of time—40 years, in fact. Ronald Reagan was president when Riordan began his career with Usherwood as a Canon service technician, and it didn’t take long before he established himself as the firm’s top tech. In the early 1990s, he was promoted to corporate service manager, charged with providing world-class service to the dealer’s printer and copier clients—a role he held for 17 years. Riordan then transitioned to head up Usherwood’s newly developed printer and MFP in-house training facility. Today, he’s a qualified in-house trainer on Canon, Xerox and HP copiers and printers, educating the next generation of techs so they can achieve factory certifications. Riordan has influenced service managers and trainers throughout the country.
“Having known Mike Riordan for over 40 years, he’s the standard bearer for which all Usherwood technicians are challenged to become. In his time with Usherwood, Mike has demonstrated the ability to successfully resolve client conflict at the highest levels, and his capability of teaching all things ‘Usherwood’ to the next generation of service technicians is exemplary. Mike has a genuine character and has made a career of helping others perform at their best.”—Louis Usherwood, CEO, Usherwood Office Technology
Why Jeff Rudisel is a difference maker:
When Image 2000 was transitioning from a small- to medium-sized company around 16 years ago, CEO Joe Blatchford sought out a seasoned industry professional who could add both structure and a corporate feel for the organization. Fortunately, Rudisel had been transitioned into the Pacific Northwest region, and after 23 years with Ricoh, he was itching for a new adventure. It proved to be an optimal fit for both Image 2000 and Rudisel, whom Blatchford credits as the hardest-working executive he’s ever seen. An industry lifer of 39 years, Rudisel started out as a technician in his alma mater school district. Savin later asked him to run its new concept print center for a month before moving him into the field for a five-year stint. After two years of running Savin’s warehouse, he was “tricked” into tackling the world of sales, where he soon became a manager and then GSM. Rudisel is a product of Portland State University’s school of business.
“When Jeff joined Image 2000, it was a bit of a battle to get him to relax and not wear a coat in the office. Jeff is the consummate professional, from what he wears to the way he conducts himself. Jeff’s a great leader and immediately had a direct impact on our company. He’s earned respect from all branch managers, which wasn’t an easy task. Jeff’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve ever met. We’re very lucky to have him!”—Joe Blatchford, CEO, Image 2000
Why Matthew Salzano is a difference maker:
It’s almost a time-honored tradition for the old guard to criticize the next generation as lacking in work ethic, but Salzano is representing the best that Gen Z has to offer the future of the industry. By the time he graduated high school, Salzano had already racked up 100 hours of community service, and he shows no signs of slowing. The 2021 Rowan University graduate was already working full time before hoisting his diploma, closing deals from the comfort of his dormitory room. In fact, he became a full-time sales rep at Network Digital Office Systems in 2019, having interned there for four years. Previously, he worked as an operations specialist for S1 Print Solutions Group, managing and installing print and graphics projects for prominent clients including the Brooklyn Nets, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Industry City Brooklyn. Backed by a positive attitude, determination and commitment to excellence, Salzano has a bright future ahead of him.
“Matthew has an exceptional work ethic, and his dedication to his clients and the copier industry is unparalleled. In the years I’ve known him, he’s demonstrated his knowledge and skillset, successfully selling and supporting customers with copier solutions. He always puts his customers’ needs first, and his customers’ satisfaction is always his top priority. He’s a great team player and a valuable asset to the company. He goes above and beyond in his work, consistently delivering results that exceed expectations. His positive attitude, determination and commitment to excellence are truly inspiring.”—Greg Flanders, President, GMGN Enterprises
Why Jerry Savo is a difference maker:
There are often telltale signs that someone loves their line of work. For Salvo, his passion for finances is evidenced by his part-time role teaching it at the college level, nurturing young professionals on their path to success. He’s guided the financial fortunes of both corporate and non-profit businesses during the past 25 years. As CFO at ECMSI since 2015, he’s responsible for analyzing the company’s finances and overseeing all aspects of its success. Savo strives to achieve his goals of exceeding company expectations and financial goals while planning strategic initiatives as part of ECMSI’s leadership team. He received a BSBA from Youngstown State University and an MBA from The University of Phoenix.
“Jerry’s one of those people who allows you to see a situation from a different perspective. He’s incredibly knowledgeable and easy to work with. As our CFO, I work closely with Jerry on a variety of projects and annual tasks. He’s always doing what’s best for the company, and I truly appreciate being able to understand the long-term vision and how it pertains to our company and our partners in order for ECMSI to continue to grow.”—Lauren Butka, Marketing Director, ECMSI
Why Rich Schaublin is a difference maker:
A 25-year veteran of Xerox, Schaublin has held a variety of channel sales roles focused on program development, recruiting and new business. He’s dedicated to delivering solutions that help bolster dealers’ revenue growth, buoyed by an extensive knowledge of the IT and office technology sectors. Schaublin has been integral in the development, support and growth of the Xerox dealer program, the crowning achievement of his career. A passionate executive, he leads Xerox’s business development efforts, including digital transformation strategies for the multi-brand dealer program. Schaublin loves burrowing through the cornucopia of opportunities and challenges confronting the dealer community. He believes in fighting the battles worth fighting and focusing on vital activities that positively impact results for Xerox and its clients. The St. John’s University product, with a degree in quantitative analysis, previously held accounting and sales roles at IBM and served as a sales manager for Texas Instruments.
“Rich is laser focused on developing programs dealers can use to help solve their customers’ business challenges. Rich has a unique ability to navigate complex business environments and collaborate with multiple teams to deliver results. He’s laser focused on developing programs dealers can use to help solve their customers business challenges and is truly a great ambassador for Xerox.”—Mike Pietrunti, Senior Vice President, U.S. Channels, Xerox Corporation
Why Nathan Schwenke is a difference maker:
In an over 20-year career with Digitech Systems, Schwenke’s blend of leadership values and technical expertise catapulted him from an entry-level position to vice president of customer support, where his passion has been a driving force in crafting a stellar track record. He’s demonstrated an unparalleled level of responsiveness to customer needs, and his values-over-profits philosophy is reflected in the numbers: 99% of calls are answered by someone ready to help within five seconds, a 98% satisfaction rating and 88% of calls are resolved within a day. Schwenke relies on creativity as a unifying element for his team. His approach and genuine interest in people and making them feel valued has had a salutary impact throughout the organization. Schwenke is constantly empowering team members to realize their full potential. Prior to joining Digitech Systems, Schwenke was the president of Datapeak, a direct mailing specialist.
“Nathan’s monomaniacal focus on providing legendary customer service is an inspiration. His leadership at Digitech Systems and in his personal life is an example to us all. Nathan makes accomplishing the impossible look easy with his unique service-leadership heart and immense technical talent. This one-of-a-kind leader uses a dynamic staffing and team development strategy to encourage everyone around him to new heights of success. Nathan doesn’t just set high-value and high-quality goals, he achieves them in a way that creates profound benefits in the lives of his teammates and customers. We’re immensely grateful Nathan is a leader of our team.”—H.K. Bain, CEO, Digitech Systems
Why Tom Scully is a difference maker:
From small desktop devices to large production equipment across multiple brands, Scully has seen (and serviced) it all, witnessing many technological evolutions in a career that covers more than four decades. He served as a field supervisor for Wisconsin Document Imaging (WDI) during his first 33-plus years there and was promoted to service manager nearly three years ago, with oversight of 19 technicians. A product of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Scully’s service department has been recognized with Ricoh’s Circle of Excellence designation for 10 consecutive years. He’s been credited as a main driver behind WDI’s growth in recent years. He’s also the “go-to guy” for remote customer resolution calls. Scully has spent his entire career attending training and education programs, and he holds CompTIA certifications in A+, Net+ and Security+. He’s also earned Ricoh’s Prestige Elite Certification three times.
“Tom offers a terrific combination of technical expertise and great customer service that make him well liked by customers and his team. Customers enjoy working with Tom because he gets the job done and makes sure they’re happy with the result! Tom regularly scores in the top percentiles in industry technical service testing, so when there’s an issue to solve, he usually knows how to approach it and fix it. Tom’s a servant leader who embodies what WDI is all about. He’s willing to lead by example and do whatever it takes to get the job done! He’s easy to work with and puts the well-being of his colleagues before himself. He even volunteers his time to support our not-for-profit customer Big Brothers and Big Sisters with many of their printing needs. Overall, Tom’s truly a difference maker for WDI, our customers and the industry as a whole!”—Cory Spice, President, Wisconsin Document Imaging
Why Alison Seltzner is a difference maker:
A 30-year sales veteran with tours that include Minolta, Sharp and IKON Office Solutions, Seltzner has thrived in various account managing roles with Konica Minolta for the past 20 years. She’s demonstrated excellence in people management, P&L responsibility, customer service, managed services, document imaging, sales and managed print services. Seltzner has trained as a specialist in color, production print and dealer business manager. She’s well suited in her role as strategic accounts director for Marco—one of the OEM’s largest dealer partners—and sets a high standard of account management and true business development. Seltzner’s year-over-year growth from 2019 to 2020 was the highest in the organization, with 140% in 2019 and 300% in 2020. For her efforts, Marco recognized Seltzner with its first Vendor of the Year award in 2019. She’s also played a significant role in the Women of Marco empowerment program, a joint initiative between the OEM and dealer.
“Alison is a huge asset to Konica Minolta, building tremendous relationships based on trust, transparency and innovative thinking. She continues to grow all key product lines (production print, industrial print) faster than the rest of the channel. Alison also engages regularly with her Konica Minolta colleagues, leveraging their unique experiences to provide support to one another. Together with two other saleswomen, they’ve created a group called the ‘brain trust.’ Through this alliance, they connect to share best practices, commiserate when needed and be a force beyond each other. These three women manage three of our largest accounts that have had a huge impact on our success.”– Laura Blackmer, President, Dealer Sales, Konica Minolta Business Solutions
Why Derek Shebby is a difference maker:
Succeeding in the world of managed print services (MPS) has become an increasingly difficult proposition. Viewing it as more of an opportunity and less of a challenge, Shebby decided to strike out on his own three years ago, founding Modern Sales Training as a vehicle to help office technology dealers forge a path to profits. Backed by more than a decade of experience in selling MPS in Los Angeles, Shebby parlayed his passion for sales and individual growth into a program that’s enabled dozens of dealers to realize an immediate ROI. His offerings include consulting services, a 12-week sales boot camp, online sales courses, workshops and the monthly Outlier community meetings. Shebby also produces a podcast, “In Between Sales Calls,” that provides easily digestible tips for B2B salespeople to listen to on the fly. A graduate of San Diego State University, he served in sales and learning/development capacities with MRC, a Xerox Company, for more than 16 years.
“Derek is relentless in his approach to sales, and that translates into his rep training. He has an undeniable passion for helping sales teams reach their full potential and stays with a customer until they make back their entire ROI on his training. We’ve been utilizing his services to help our customers maximize sales efforts in the field. This has resulted in massive results for our dealer partners and for Clover. Derek’s unique approach to MPS simplifies the mystique around it and allows reps to deliver proposals confidently, resulting in massive success in the field.”—A.J. Brasel, Senior Vice President of Sales, Clover Imaging Group
Why Summer Smith is a difference maker:
There’s a lot to be said for consistency, which Smith has demonstrated throughout her 24-year journey with Stargel Office Solutions. She’s never failed to record at least $1 million in sales every year, and has led the organization in sales a staggering 14 times. Yet, Smith still finds time to handle most of Stargel’s marketing promotions and even designed the app the dealer uses for its annual Tech show. She was named Employee of the Year in 2020, and during the pandemic, Smith came into the office every day while the balance of the staff worked remotely. During that time, she designed new brochures to help the sales department navigate the “new normal.” Smith strives to help clients reduce their costs and increase efficiencies by tailoring solutions that address their specific needs.
“Summer has a passion for sales and problem solving. She continues to look for better workflow processes for the sales department and, without being asked, will create and share templates and RFP responses with the entire team. Summer continues to come in every day even though we allow remote work on Fridays, and she’s always willing to help fellow reps with their marketing needs. She’s truly one of the best in the industry.”—T.J. DeBello, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Stargel Office Solutions
Why Carson Stone is a difference maker:
One of the industry’s top young executives to watch, Stone is a next-generation executive with a high pedigree who started with the company by making deliveries and worked in every position during his ascent. His father, Sam, has guided Stone’s Office Equipment for more than 30 years. As the product and solutions specialist, the younger Stone has been instrumental in bringing new and/or ancillary product offerings to the dealer’s end-user community, including pure water technology courtesy of its relationship with Pure Water Virginia and Wellsys. The holder of a degree in criminal justice from Old Dominion University with a concentration in leadership and leadership ethics, Stone is tasked with all software vetting and onboarding. He also provides support during the sales process and acts as a liaison between service technicians and sales reps. Stone offers a passionate approach to his work and an unrelenting work ethic, demonstrating a maturity well beyond his years. He’s been featured in The Cannata Report’s 2022 Young Influencers and served as a guest on Mike Stramaglio’s “Next Week’s Life” podcast.
“Carson has a personality that lights up the room. His enthusiasm for life inspires everyone around him to be better every day. He’s respectful of young and old, and he’s dedicated to improving himself. Carson understands his role as a mentor to those he works with.”—Mike Stramaglio, President and CEO, Stramaglio Consulting
Why Heather Valvoda is a difference maker:
Upbeat and optimistic in her approach to projects, Valvoda is not only friendly and easy to work with, she’s always willing to share her knowledge and expertise, making her a valuable resource for colleagues and customers. She possesses a deep knowledge of technology integrations and is diligent in staying up to date with the latest developments, making her indispensable for GreatAmerica Financial Services during her eight years with the company. Valvoda’s attention to detail, organizational skills and aptitude for strong communications have paved the way for her success in the office technology sector. Her previous roles in sales support have given her extensive experience working directly with customers, knowing what it takes to build lasting relationships with them. Valvoda’s dedication to understanding her customers’ processes and pain points has allowed her to identify solutions to improve their business operations.
“Heather, much like everyone I’ve interfaced with at GreatAmerica, is a consummate professional. She recently helped set up a large account on one of our technology integrations and was so thorough, pleasant and accommodating. Heather is organized and patient; she helped me focus on the information and tasks necessary for timely completion of our project.”—Caroline DeSpirito, Director of Contracts, Atlantic
“Heather works with our office technology providers to ensure our technology integrations are easy to set up and use, and she’s an unsung hero. Our customers consistently praise Heather for her caring demeanor, enthusiasm and curiosity. They’ve expressed how much she’s helped them and how much she genuinely wants to see them succeed. As operational efficiency has become more important to our customers, it’s wonderful to see Heather making it so easy and enjoyable for our customers to do so. She’s also great to work with as a GreatAmerica team member; we’re lucky to have her!”—Kim Louden, Vice President, Sales, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Adam Van der Mast is a difference maker:
A veteran of more than 20 years in the office solutions industry, Van der Mast joined Premium Digital Office Solutions (PDOS) in late 2018 and made an immediate impact. He’s played a critical role in developing PDOS’ sales force—building a team from the ground up—increasing sales, revenue and MIFs. Even when the pandemic curtailed traditional business interactions, Van der Mast employed creative methods to seek out and close new business while simultaneously managing a sales team. His sales approach is to focus on the “long game,” and he loves to network and help connect people with one another. Van der Mast actively shares best practices in many weekly networking meetings and is the chairman of the Business Development Forum for the Morris Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey. Countless hours of networking have allowed PDOS to generate more than 80% of total revenue from net-new business. Prior to landing at PDOS, Van der Mast held sales positions with Ricoh, OfficeMax and CARR (a Xerox Company) and also worked as a consultant.
“Adam has a smile that’s contagious, and he never seems to get flustered by things. He’s the kind of person, manager and coach you want to be around and run through a wall for. He leads by example, and his sales team follows his lead. His clients love him and he’s that guy you want to be around. Lastly, we’re happy to have him on our team here at Premium Digital Office Solutions because you only come across an Adam Van der Mast once in your lifetime.”—Van Seretis, Managing Partner, Premium Digital Office Solutions
Why Rick Vogel is a difference maker:
You may not know Vogel if you bumped into him on the street, but you can learn much about the veteran salesperson and his values just by understanding the causes he supports. He’s a board member with Darkness2Hope, a not-for-profit that leverages tools and government/private sector organizations to help discreetly communicate instances of human trafficking to rapid responses teams. From a professional standpoint, Vogel co-manages Coast to Coast Computer Products’ (CTC) federal sales teams and has oversight of several federal contracts and BPAs, including general services administration (GSA) and NASA’s solution for enterprise-wide procurement (SEWP). The duties call for an intensive amount of Excel-based analysis and content creation to properly manage federal accounts. He also oversees CTC’s federal marketing initiatives, guiding a team of 20 reps who sell into the federal space. A 22-year veteran of the company, Vogel also assists the firm’s administrative staff with vendor/manufacturer relationship development.
“I’ve worked with many great professionals over my 30-plus year career and Rick’s one of the most talented. He’s also one of the most ethical individuals who believes in leading by example. He’s a subject-matter expert in the technology and office supply industry in sales and operations. Many joke that he’s a walking encyclopedia or similar to Siri, depending on your age. He’s an expert at data analysis, training, documentation, project management and recommending various creative solutions to new opportunities and challenging issues. Rick’s a leader in personal development, and he loves helping people and learning about new technologies. He’s also very active in the community on human rights, the environment and as a youth director.”—Scott Roussin, General Manager, Coast to Coast Computer Products
Why Justin Wagner is a difference maker:
It’s not often that a dealership has the opportunity to add a president from a competitor, so MTS Office Systems was thrilled to score a high-value free agent in Wagner, a 25-year industry veteran who previously led G5 of Greenville, South Carolina. Working his way through the industry from account manager and director of sales, Wagner appreciates the value of relationships and has forged deep-rooted ties that withstood the test of time, corporate buyouts, the pandemic, supply chain woes and escalating prices. A passionate advocate for clients, Wagner is renowned for his tireless work ethic. In his 14 years with G5, he led tremendous growth in new sales and revenue while mentoring a large team of account representatives. Wagner believes investing in people will help them realize their full potential. A graduate of Bob Jones University, he’s a former elementary school teacher and owned Wagner Business Cleaning, which served the Greenville area through five different locations.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Justin for over 11 years at our previous organization and now MTS Office. Justin brought me under his wing when I first started in the industry and invested time and effort into making sure that I and our other sales team members were a success. Justin has a passion for teaching (he formerly was a teacher at a Christian school), and that shows with his work on a daily basis. Justin’s made a huge impact on my life and the lives of many others. We’re proud that he’s chosen to join MTS Office, and we look forward to many years of growth and continued success.”—Mason Smith, President and CEO, MTS Office Systems
Why Katie Wagner is a difference maker:
Wagner is a key linchpin for Applied Innovation’s leadership, responsible for managing more than 200 people in the administration team. The Western Michigan University graduate joined the dealership in late 2006 as SOS manager and was promoted to client relations manager seven years later. Wagner took over her current role in January of 2021, where she worked feverishly to streamline processes within operations. Under her guidance, the operations and shipping teams billed and shipped the highest amount of revenue in company history. Wagner’s leadership extends into the company’s acquisitions and additions within the department. She proved to be adroit at juggling the global supply chain challenges that confronted the industry.
“Katie’s such a joy to work with. She’s a perfect addition to the leadership team and has streamlined the operations department to run like a well-oiled machine. She’s always smiling and takes a vested interest in her employees’ well-being. She manages quite a large department, but takes time to get to know everyone and offer her assistance often. She’s well-respected within our organization and in the community, and we’re proud to be led by her.”—Sheila Keller, Field Marketing Strategist, Applied Innovation
Why Tim Ward is a difference maker:
Ward boasts a track record that’s as exhaustive as it is impressive. His strength lies in leading companies to financial and operational performance, culture transformation and strategic value creation. Ward has a magic touch for driving innovation and transformation through business process improvement, R&D, data strategy and technology investments. A values-driven, mission-oriented and highly collaborative style has enabled him to bring together teams to achieve superior results in short order. Ward loves to challenge the status quo and set new standards for excellence, encouraging others to push beyond in finding their better business selves. A Western University Illinois product, Ward also holds CEO positions with GSD Technologies, an IT services and consulting firm, and 20Twenty Design, which provides clients with integrated marketing solutions.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Tim for the past 10 years. He’s been an exemplary leader whose passion for office equipment and IT has been infectious. Tim’s always been an innovative leader, and his ability to get the job done efficiently and effectively is unparalleled. He’s built TTSG into a successful business with well-trained, motivated staff and an impressive customer portfolio. Tim’s been able to create a work atmosphere that’s both productive and fun, and his employees respect and admire him as a leader. He’s been a mentor to me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance and support. Tim’s a great asset to TTSG and I highly recommend him.”—Robert Withers, COO, TTSG
Why Monte White is a difference maker:
With 34 years under his belt in the distribution sector, White has held senior-level roles with Ingram Micro and Tech Data. He’s thrived at navigating vendor relationships and skillfully negotiating business engagements throughout his career, including the last 14 years for Distribution Management (DM). In recent years, he’s been instrumental in building DM’s portfolio of A3 supplies and expanding the company’s thermal and barcode product offering. He empowers and motivates his teams to achieve their goals, and his background in operations, procurement and merchandising, along with his sales experience in the print and imaging channel, has helped forge his reputation as a respected leader. A graduate of the University of North Texas, White is a staunch supporter of City of Hope’s cancer research and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
“I’ve been fortunate to work with and learn from Monte over the past 10 years as a member of the DM product marketing team. Our team is empowered and feels motivated by the guidance and mentoring Monte has provided, and I know for certain his impact extends well beyond DM. His dedication to our vendors, customers and colleagues has been a great asset to this channel throughout the years. Thank you, Monte. You deserve this recognition as an industry difference maker!”—Suzanne Wahba, Senior Product Manager, Distribution Management
Congratulations once again to the 2023 Difference Makers and thank you to all who took the time to nominate our honorees.