In the novella “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, there is a scene where the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is shown a glimpse of his young adulthood, when he worked for the kind and jovial Mr. Fezziwig. In an attempt to help Scrooge grasp the enormity of his own bitter, hate-filled attitude toward the world, the Ghost of Christmas Past makes light of Fezziwig’s holiday party. Scrooge, forgetting himself for the time being, leaped to his former employer’s defense.
“Mr. Fezziwig has the power to make us happy or unhappy,” Scrooge replied. “His power lies in words and looks: things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count them up. The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.”
To Scrooge’s point, there isn’t always a tangible or defining characteristic that illustrates the ability of people to bring pleasure to our business experience. The people we interact with on a daily basis can make the greatest of difference in our lives with a genuine smile, a hand on our shoulder or an encouraging word or two when they are needed most. These subtle nuances are keenly felt and help shape our attitudes toward the highest of executives and the most menial of task handlers—and everyone in between.
Perhaps that is the true value of our annual Difference Maker issue. Scores of professionals have ascended to the highest ranks of the office technology industry, and we could publish an annual list of Most Valuable Players, so to speak. But this list intermingles the heavy hitters with the mid-range workers whose exploits are lesser known but equally appreciated. The unifying trait is that all of these women and men strive to make a difference in the lives of their companies, co-workers, customers and everyone they interact with in the course of their work experience.
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been asking our faithful readers to submit their nominations for individuals who fit their definition of Difference Maker. It is a very subjective process; after all, not everyone will agree on the characteristics that create a standard of excellence in making his/her corner of the world a brighter place. But upon reading the testimonials, we feel you will wholeheartedly agree that all 62 individuals listed here (63, if you count ol’ Fezziwig as a supplier) have made a significant impact on their businesses, customers, co-workers and associates. They cover the entire range of our industry’s ecosystem, including dealers, suppliers and manufacturers, financial institutions, consultants and service providers
On behalf of ENX Magazine, I would like to thank all those who took time from their busy schedules to nominate our Difference Makers. Last but not least, we offer a hearty congratulations to those who made our list. Thank you for providing happiness to others, because it is truly worth a fortune.
Why Neal Becker is a difference maker:
Becker has seen and done it all during the course of 48 years in the office equipment industry. He served as a copier technician for a Denver-based independent dealership and later became a service manager for one of the then-largest dealers in the country. Becker joined Katun Corp. in a sales capacity and became vice president of sales for the North American Business Unit. Perhaps his crowning achievement is in founding Q2 LLC, along with Jane O’Brien and Joe Steinberg, with the goal of creating a customer-centered, trusted supplier of quality products. In the 10 years since Q2’s inception, Becker has used his vast industry experience to find creative cost-saving solutions for his customers. He leveraged that sales background to recruit and train a top-notch sales force that is dedicated toward customer success.
“I have known Neal for most of his 48 years in the industry, and have the utmost respect for his industry acumen and his tireless effort to provide for his customers. He regularly goes out of his way to locate an obscure product for a customer, even if Q2 doesn’t benefit from the transaction. Similarly, if you have a question about the industry, Neal typically has an answer or will work hard to find one for you. Neal has a high level of integrity and sense of fairness that inspires loyalty from his customers as well as employees. On top of that, he is fun to be around and is a great story teller, especially stories about his beloved Denver Broncos.”
–Elizabeth Schramm, VP Marketing, Q2, LLC
Why Ray Belanger is a difference maker:
A veritable fountain of office technology industry knowledge, Belanger’s success extends beyond the bottom line achieved by his dealership, Bay Copy. He is a founding member of the Select Dealer Group national trade association, a peer group that meets three times a year in person to discuss best practices and common issues that confront them. Belanger is also a staunch advocate of issues ranging from customer care, recruitment and training, and building the proper corporate culture. Bay Copy has been named an Elite Dealer for nearly 20 years, and it takes its cues from Belanger as a solid corporate citizen who gives back to the community.
“Ray has enthusiasm and excitement about the industry he has been part of for so many years. He is a genuine, hard-working individual who works well with customers and in motivating his employees.”
–Jim Farrell, President, PR First
Why Chelsea Bode is a difference maker:
Bode began earning her reputation in the office technology industry before the ink was dry on her marketing degree from Missouri State University. She took a position as a junior rep with IKON Office Solutions while still in school and transitioned quickly to a full-time post with her father’s business, Pearson-Kelly Technology, upon graduating. Bode has helped enable the company to grow both organically and through acquisition, and quickly forged strong relationships with many of the industry’s major OEMs. She was named vice president in 2011, and five years later became a partner in Pearson-Kelly. Bode was recognized on the 30-under-30 list by 417 Magazine. She has a passion for local business and charity organizations, with involvement in the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Association of IT Professionals, the board of directors for Good Samaritan Boys Ranch and the board of directors of Southeast Rotary Club of Springfield.
“The first word that comes to mind when thinking about Chelsey is driven. Chelsey is one of those people you want to be around because she makes you a better person. She is constantly challenging herself and her team to better themselves. One of the best things is that she doesn’t just do this in the workplace, but outside of it as well. Chelsey is on the board of directors for both Southeast Rotary Club of Springfield and Good Samaritan Boys Ranch. She carried that initiative into the workplace with quarterly “giveback” events. This is where the company as a whole gets the opportunity to serve the community around them.”
–Lee Flood, Sales Manager, Pearson-Kelly Technology
Why Dave Boelter is a difference maker:
Image Systems & Business Solutions (ISBS) was founded in 2005, and in a little more than 12 years the company has made a name for itself under Boelter’s guidance. In 2014, ISBS earned a spot on Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. It has made an immediate impact on Chicagoland-areas businesses with its managed print, IT and document management capabilities, as well as wide format, production printing and interactive white boards. ISBS has flourished with a combination or organic growth and critical acquisitions that have augmented its competencies.
“Year after year growth has steadily built up this Chicago area company. In addition to organic growth, the company has also made several strategic acquisitions. Dave is an outstanding leader who is extremely generous to the community.”
–Bob Goldberg, General Counsel, BTA
Why Michael Brigner is a difference maker:
A longtime fixture in the industry, Brigner’s success story includes stints with Sharp Documents Solutions Company of America, where he was a former vice president of market development. He has also held executive sales and operations leadership roles with IKON Office Solutions, Office Depot, Pitney Bowes, ADP, Savin Corp. and Xerox Corp. Brigner’s latest venture with Visual Edge Technology may be his most impressive yet, as he has helped guide the platform to become one of the three largest performers in the industry through an M&A blueprint that seeks out only the highest-performing dealerships for acquisition. His infectious enthusiasm and vision for growth keeps Visual Edge Technology on the fast track for success.
“Michael has, in recent years, had an enormous impact on the industry. He has persisted through the changing face of the market to continue to follow his dream of bringing together dealers to create one of the biggest organizations in the industry, and is surely one of the most successful holding organizations in our business. It has been through continued hard work and years of building trust that has led to that success.”
–Ed McLaughlin, President, Innovolt
Why Dan Castaneda is a difference maker:
It is not often that one finds a performer who is adept at managing people, processes and sales, yet can strap on a tool belt and fix a machine when the need arises. That’s the value proposition offered by Castaneda, a 29-year veteran of the office industry and a man who knows his way around virtually every aspect of the sales and service world. A sense of humor, charm and engaging manner have created many fans of Castaneda during his 16 years with International Copy Machine Center. In a previous stint, he served 13 years with a Konica Minolta authorized dealer, where he captured the Service Excellence Award. He has served as a volunteer for the Business Technology Association for the past five years, both with BTA Mid-America and on the national board of directors, where he currently sits as president.
“Dan is a great supporter of the BTA and, in turn, the independent office technology dealer channel. Those who know him know that he is a “go-to” person, stepping in to help at BTA’s events and otherwise in any way he can. In addition, Dan has done an outstanding job leading the association. Most recently, he established and leads the BTA Vendor Relations Committee, with the goal of further strengthening the relationship the association has with its vendor members, and the ultimate goal of further increasing the value of BTA membership for dealers.”
–Brent Hoskins, Executive Director, Business Technology Association
Why Greg Chavers is a difference maker:
The Difference Maker list is laden with long-term executives who have compiled impressive portfolios in a multitude of roles, and Chavers is no exception. During the course of his 25-year career, much of it spent with Lexmark, he has held positions including senior account manager, executive enterprise, vertical industry and channel sales. He was director of U.S. Copier Channel Sales prior to being named vice president of North American Channel Sales in 2017. Before joining Lexmark, the University of South Alabama graduate—who also attained an MBA from Saint Edward’s University—held various marketing and sales roles with QMS. Chavers has crafted a successful organization to help grow and support the Lexmark BSD (dealer channel), which has become the most visible and fastest growing of the organization.
“Greg is an executive who gets it. He has taken the time to get to know BSD dealers and understand how they are successful in their markets. Greg goes to industry events, helps support dealer peer groups, is an active participant of Lexmark’s Dealer Advisory Board, and on occasion will go on an equipment delivery. Greg’s humility and sense of humor sets a great example for his team.”
–Ray Belanger, President, Bay Copy
Why David Concors is a difference maker:
Concors relies on a combination of leadership, focus and a competitive nature to help drive the success of Supplies Network, where he has logged 10 years during a nearly quarter-century career in the distribution channel. He has an MBA and a BS in marketing from the University of St. Louis-Missouri, which he has put to good use in sales and sales management for Boise Cascade Office Products and Office Max prior to joining Supplies Network. He currently has responsibility for all customer engagements and provides direction for the development of channel strategies. He optimizes sales resources and drives programs designed to create value and win-win partner relationships. Concors also actively supports industry charities and events including the City of Hope-Bike for Hope.
“I consider David and his team assets to my company. It goes beyond the products and services they offer as a distributor. The partnership, dependability and collaborative spirit is where we receive the most value, that all begins with David and the energy he brings to the business.”
–Michael Kahn, CEO, Genesis Technologies
Why Joe Contreras is a difference maker:
One of the true thought leaders in promoting the movement toward managed services in the office dealer space, Joe Contreras is a high-energy evangelist for Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS). As vice president of product and solutions marketing, he is responsible for developing growth strategies and sales enablement initiatives for the company’s portfolio of TABS’ e-STUDIO multifunction products, document solutions, thermal and barcode printers, and the Ellumina digital signage line. Toshiba also relies on Contreras for enhancing global business development, revenue growth and leadership for Toshiba’s digital signage offerings for both TABS and Global Commerce Solutions. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas A&M University, he formerly held responsibility for all marketing activities at SMC Networks, including the company’s networking hardware solutions, wireless networking and broadband products before joining Toshiba in 2000.
“Joe is a tremendous asset to Toshiba. His tireless dedication and hard work have helped Toshiba remain an innovative and successful solutions provider. As TABS continues to transform itself and its dealers into managed content and information services companies, Joe’s leadership and knowledge will be even more important. I am privileged to have Joe as a key part of the marketing organization at Toshiba.”
–Bill Melo, Chief Marketing Executive, Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.
Why Michael Cox is a difference maker:
A combination of charisma and business knowledge have helped make Cox an “unstoppable force” during his 18 years in the imaging industry. He launched IT Products and Solutions as a start-up company in May 2017, with the partnership and support of the CPW family of companies. ITPAS has quickly become one of the fastest-growing distributors for HP and Lexmark long-life consumables and service products. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, School of Business, Cox is a results-driven leader with comprehensive management experience in sales, business development and operations. Cox also mobilized a fundraising campaign in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey to benefit the Red Cross.
“I cannot recommend Mike enough—he coaches and leads by example. Mike is also an amiable person who understands the industry and evolves when he sees the chance to assist the customer and the community. One of the best things about working with Mike is he really loves bringing the family experience to the printing and imaging market.”
–Jack Killen, Account Manager, IT Products and Solutions
Why Todd Croteau is a difference maker:
In the 18 years since Croteau joined All Covered—the IT services division of Konica Minolta—he’s acquired deep and broad expertise in document imaging technologies and their implementation. In his role as president of All Covered, Croteau oversees all aspects of delivering critical managed services to Konica Minolta client organizations. Croteau graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in civil engineering and worked in the client support trenches at IBM, as well as other Boston-area technology firms. He went back to school and picked up a master’s degree in engineering at Northeastern University before joining the All Covered team in 2000. Croteau is focused on ensuring that managed services are effectively and reliably delivered, and that includes guiding clients who are transitioning to cloud computing.
“Todd combines a strong background in customer service in fast-changing technologies along with careful project management and organizational savvy. He manages an excellent support team and has been instrumental in the strategic growth of All Covered, keeping them on the forefront of technology trends. He’s helped our clients through hardware and software transitions, and we now have a significant amount of dealers reselling All Covered services. The difference he makes is reflected in high levels of client satisfaction. That’s largely because Todd himself is so good at staying on top of customer needs and responding quickly to questions and requests.”
–Kay Du Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta
Why Sarah Custer is a difference maker:
During the course of her 17-year journey with Supplies Network, Custer has flourished in every capacity she has served. After leading key sales accounts, Custer became a prominent player in the firm’s MPS program, using her expertise and leadership to help Supplies Network accelerate MPS growth. She was promoted to MPS Solutions Manager in 2012, heading a team of solutions advisors responsible for MPS engagements, and ultimately equipment sales and related services. In her current capacity as director of sales and solutions, Custer spearheads a team of equipment advisors, contract coordinators, service analysts and a technical operations team focused on break-fix service and software solutions. She also provides critical direction and design of program enhancements and vendor integrations. Her experience and expertise are key to the ongoing success of Supplies Network’s services strategies.
“Sarah is a highly innovative thought leader in a critical element of our business segment. She is trusted, respected and her collaboration is key to our successful partnership. She is undeniably a highly valued member of the Supplies Network team.”
–Jim Joyce, Senior VP of Strategic Partner Growth, Xerox Corp.
Why Dave Dwyer is a difference maker:
A supply chain specialist with more than 20 years of experience under his belt, Dwyer has helped guide Sharp Electronics’ efforts in logistics, supply chain planning and operations. He has been a leader in supply-chain process improvement initiatives, guiding many pivotal projects focused on developing logistics strategy and improving supply-chain efficiencies. Dwyer’s expertise has been critical in driving systems and process development, including the design and implementation of key go-to-market strategies and outsourcing relationships. He has led the Sharp VMI Alliance with Tech Data to position the Sharp dealer community with world-class logistic and delivery service. The program provides Sharp dealers with access to a wide array of IT products to expand their businesses.
“Dave has done an outstanding job leading the transition to our VMI Alliance program. This industry-first program has fundamentally changed the way dealers can support their customers and Dave has been the key driver to achieve this.”
–Mike Marusic, COO, Sharp Electronics
Why Tom Flesch is a difference maker:
One of the most recognizable names in the office technology universe, Tom Flesch has taken Gordon Flesch Co. (GFC, founded by his father in 1956) and grown it into one of the most formidable forces in the industry, with annual sales north of $150 million. He joined the firm in 1977 and became president and CEO in 1986. Flesch takes the lead in setting GFC’s strategic direction and is responsible for guiding its various teams in establishing and achieving goals, both for the company and its customers. Under his guidance, GFC now employs more than 600 people in 23 offices throughout the Midwest, and holds the distinction as the No. 1 independent Canon dealer in the country.
“As the leader of one of the largest independent dealers in the industry, Tom has managed to keep Gordon Flesch Co. at the top of the heap not just for years, but for decades. They are fierce competitors and respected for their values and business principles throughout the industry.”
–Ed McLaughlin, President, Innovolt
Why Mary Ellen Franz is a difference maker:
A compassionate and positive role model to both her staff and customers, Franz boasts big-picture perspective and is adept at mapping out a game plan to achieve the desired ends. She employs a customer-first mentality that is embraced throughout Imaging Technology Group (ITG), and doesn’t shy away from involvement at the granular level to ensure a smooth delivery for clients. Franz is a highly-decorated exec, having been recognized by the Cannata Report as an “Influencer in the Industry.” Other accolades include Sharp’s Hyakuman Kai Award, the ITEX Perfect Image award for “Outstanding Customer Service” and Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Companies, along with the 50 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Companies by American Express. Previously, Franz led the customer service organization for Avalon Software and managed development teams in Arizona and India, creating Oracle-based software for the manufacturing industry.
“We love having Mary Ellen in the Sharp Dealer Council. As one of our newest members, she brings the same outstanding energy and fresh ideas to the Council that she has brought to her business.”
–Doug Albregts, President and CEO, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America
Why Andrew Gardner is a difference maker:
A veteran of 20 years at Lexmark, Gardner has global responsibility for the intellectual property enforcement programs that combat the counterfeiting and grey marketing of its supplies and maintenance parts, as well as targeting patent-infringing compatible supply items. A graduate of Miami University with an MBA in international business from Baldwin-Wallace College, Gardner is also on the board of directors for the Imaging Supplies Coalition and the Imaging Consumables Coalition of Europe, Middle East and Africa. In his role as Worldwide Brand Protection Manager, he is also responsible for developing and implementing a variety of industry-leading safeguards, working across global business functions including legal, sales, marketing and development engineering to establish and direct efforts that protect customers and channel partners from illicit goods.
“I have worked with Andrew since assuming the presidency of the ISC in 2006. In managing Lexmark’s industry-leading brand-protection program, Andrew has demonstrated extraordinary business, technical and leadership skills. In his roles with Lexmark and the coalitions, Andrew is a thought leader who discusses ideas in constructive and supportive ways. He has played a key role in design and implementation of ISC programs. Andrew’s work has resulted in the removal of a great deal of infringing product from the marketplace, helping to create a fairer, competitive environment.”
–Allen Westerfield, President, Imaging Supplies Coalition
Why Michael George is a difference maker:
The title may say CEO, but the description for George is more along the lines of an architect or an engineer. He has spent more than 25 years in creating, building and leading world-class companies. George has served as CEO and board member of Continuum since it was founded in 2011 and he is responsible for ensuring the company is empowering its thousands of global managed service provider partners with the technologies they need to be successful in the managed IT services ecosystem. Formerly, George served as CEO of OATSystems, Bowstreet and Interlynx, and held executive leadership positions at TALX Corporation and DEKA Corporation. He’s also a founder of the Continuum Veterans Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to local and national charities focused on helping veterans transition to careers in IT. An accomplished keynote speaker, George has addressed graduating classes at Harvard and Stanford, and industry events including ITEX, CMIT, Technology Assurance Group (TAG), Business Technology Association (BTA) and Navigate by Continuum.
“Michael has put together the single best method for dealers to transition into the network services business. His focus is to support the dealer network, and he has created a structure that never becomes a competitor to the partners he works with. His leadership and disciplined approach has created a true extra-value partnership for the dealer community.”
–Ed McLaughlin, President, Innovolt
Why George Grafanakis is a difference maker:
Grafanakis combines a strong marketing and technical acumen with a tenacious approach to getting the job done. He boasts more than 25 years of experience in the office equipment industry and has worn many hats since joining Sharp in 2000. During the past few years, Grafanakis has been responsible for coordinating the efforts of the product-management hardware team, enabling Sharp to bring the right products to market at the optimal time and at an effective price point. He can often be seen delivering enthusiastic presentations during Sharp’s dealer meetings and road shows.
“I have had the pleasure to work with George on many projects over the years. He is the consummate professional and always willing to go the extra mile. There is no doubt he is a difference maker!”
–L. Troy Olson, President, Les Olson Co.
Why Frank Grasso is a difference maker:
Grasso has never lost touch with his Brooklyn roots. His father was a co-founder of TGI Office Automation, and the younger Grasso worked his way through the organization while not being afraid to get his hands dirty. From being a service dispatcher to driving delivery trucks, he came to know every aspect of the business. In this vein, Grasso developed a love and respect for what it takes to provide quality customer service. Under his guidance, TGI continues to flourish, recording double-digit sales increases during each of the past five years, with 450 employees across 10 locations. A pillar of the community, Grasso and his employees invest both time and money to make their corner of the world a better place to live.
“They say a good leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. Frank Grasso certainly does just that. He is an outstanding, energetic business leader. His drive and innovative approach has grown TGI by leaps and bounds. In addition to being a pioneer in business, he invests in people and community. Frank motivates employees and their families to get involved, and many spend time volunteering.”
–Heather Davis, Marketing Coordinator, TGI Office Automation
Why Jason Habbal is a difference maker:
Having a self-deprecating sense of humor and a lunch-pail mentality serves Habbal well. The son of Vision Office Systems’ owner Fred Habbal, he carved a hands-on path during his journey to becoming vice president, performing warehouse and logistics duties, service, setup and admin work prior to doing sales for the past decade. In the process, Habbal learned every facet of the organization. He has also distinguished himself as an advocate for the local dealer channel, investing time in educating customers, prospects and online readers about the benefits of working with a true, local business as opposed to OEM direct operations. Habbal also helps moderate the Canon forums on the Print4Pay Hotel website, operated by fellow Difference Maker Art Post.
“Jason Habbal is the next generation of forward-thinking executives in the office equipment industry. Jason’s passion for the office equipment space is undeniable and his vision of change in our industry is refreshing. He is one of those forward thinkers who is leading the charge for trying something new.”
–Art Post, Founder, Print4Pay Hotel
Why Tarek Hafiz is a difference maker:
Despite competing in arguably the toughest market in the country, Los Angeles, Hafiz has guided CBE Office Solutions against long odds and has enjoyed much success in the company’s 25-year existence. He’s been able to accomplish this backed by a loyal core of employees, while adding branch operations in the Inland Empire, West Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. By expanding product offerings and reaping substantial organic and acquisition growth, Hafiz has forged a network support division that is among the best in the industry. CBE Office Solutions has been a strong supporter of the local community and the dealership has scored numerous awards, from nine Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing recognitions to multiple Best Places to Work honors by the Orange County Register.
“I’d known Tarek for a number of years since he heavily participated in our Hunter Barth syndicated manufacturer advertising programs. Two years ago, we decided to do business. Since then, I have been so impressed with Tarek’s operation. When I walk through the front door of any CBE office, there’s a warm, non-technology feeling I haven’t sensed in years. Humans work here. Humans answer the phone and are there to help me. There’s also an air of confidence permeating through his headquarters that says CBE is the best. They have no rivals because they do business the right way, really want to help their customers succeed and they love working there. He has perfectly positioned CBE for the future.”
–Ian Crockett, President, ICE Advertising
“Tarek Hafiz has got be one of the top industry innovators and difference makers in 2017 and 2018. Tarek is an innovator and thought leader, always looking for way to improve on his customer’s experience with technology and workflow solutions. His business is centered on doing what is right for his customers and his employees. This must be why CBE is able to retain long-term customers as well as loyal long-term employees. Tarek has ensured that CBE is offering cutting-edge technology to his customers and nothing less than a perfect experience.”
–Eddie Castillo, Senior Director, Product Management, HP Inc.
Why Arial Harland is a difference maker:
Equipped with high energy and boundless enthusiasm, Harland enjoys fostering relationships with business owners by assisting them with their organizational challenges. She has made an immediate impact on the office equipment dealer community. Harland joined GreatAmerica in 2014 and quickly established herself by demonstrating a passion for her work. Harland shares her HR expertise in a wide variety of conference venues, including CompTIA and BTA, as well as MPSA webinars. Her knowledge and excitement about positive company cultures and its impact on attracting and retaining top talent is infectious and enlightening. She is a certified AVA Analyst through Bizet Human Asset Management and obtained a BA degree in Organizational Sciences and Psychology at Coe College. Harland is also pursuing a Master of Organizational Leadership through St. Ambrose University.
“Arial lights up a room with her passion and enthusiasm for helping dealers be the best they can organizationally in order to hire top talent. She is so smart and thoughtful, truly digging in to thoroughly understand our dealers’ challenges in order to offer the solutions that will make a tangible impact on their businesses. Arial is one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met; our industry is fortunate to have her as an advocate.”
–Josie Heskje, Director, Strategic Marketing, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Jim Joyce is a difference maker:
Considered a pioneer in the field of MPS, Joyce has served the IT and imaging industries for more than 35 years. He was formerly the president of Xerox Connect, a large reseller acquired by Xerox in 1998, and led the Xerox MPS business from 1998-2012. Joyce is currently focused on core MPS growth in the channel segment, developing a richer partner experience and the infusion of analytics and agility to enable growth beyond MPS into managed content services. His experience in owning an IT services company and role as an architect in developing Xerox’s MPS platform add to Joyce’s ability to transform partners’ managed practices.
“Jim is the foremost expert in managed print and is laser-focused on identifying greater value for our partners and their customers. One of his many strengths is finding alternative solutions that creates a real win for the customer and puts the partner in position to succeed on the current deal, growing account footprint throughout the contract and establishing pole-position for the contract renewal. Nowhere does Jim’s enthusiasm and passion come through more than when he is on site, helping partners with new programs and solutions.”
–Darren Cassidy, President, U.S. Channels Unit, Xerox
Why Melissa Kaiser is a difference maker:
If you wonder what it takes for a single resume to stand out from a pile of candidates, look no further than the background of Melissa Kaiser. A logistics and operations expert, she is a West Point graduate who served as a cyber warfare officer in the U.S. Air Force. At SOCSoter, she is director of business development for the nationwide managed detection and response service, specializing in securing SMBs. Kaiser brings a vitality, professionalism and focus to her role, as well as a mindset of service and advocacy. She has a rich background in business development, training and consulting with a focus on revenue generation. Kaiser is an invaluable resource in the cyber community and a speaker on women in technology.
“Melissa is very easy to work with. She is passionate about her work and enjoys succeeding in everything she does. She is very down to earth and is a great female mentor to have in the cyber-security industry.”
–Brittany Gruber, Director of Marketing, SOCSoter
Why Rick Lambert is a difference maker:
As the founder and president of selltowin.com and in2communications.com, Lambert and his award-winning team combine training and marketing to create powerful sales offense systems for lead generation and measurable ROI that empower OEMs, distributors, dealers, IT VARs and MSPs. He’s been ranked a top-four sales trainer in North America and is a global winner of the MPSA’s Best Sales & Marketing Provider. Lambert has coached and trained many industry leaders from Xerox and LMI Solutions to Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office, with thousands of sales reps benefitting from his webcasts and the new selltowin eCademy.
“Rick is the most overqualified, yet unknown sales coach and marketing talent in the office technology arena. You may not know his name yet because of his humble nature, but you will because he’s been the mastermind sales coach and digital marketing strategist that helps the industry’s biggest OEMs, distributors and mega dealers ‘selltowin.’ His new 2018 selltowin eCademy is a clear demonstration of his understanding of market trends, the millennial impact on sales teams and why resellers need an on-demand learning continuum to accelerate new-hire time to profitability with powerful courses on LinkedIn to Win, Selling B2B to Win, Selling MPS to Win, Selling MDS to Win and Selling Managed IT to Win. Rick’s competitors know him and you should too.”
–Melissa Theriault, Client Manager, in2communications
Why Ted LeBlanc is a difference maker:
When it comes to high energy and enthusiasm, LeBlanc boasts an unending supply. The 10-year veteran of Toshiba was recently promoted to vice president of U.S. dealer sales, having previous domain over east region sales. Throughout the course of his career at Toshiba, LeBlanc established himself as an impact player, consistently shooting past expectations. His blend of sales experience and expertise provides Toshiba a critical asset in its quest to successfully grow its dealer channel.
“When I first met Ted LeBlanc, I was concerned he might have had one too many cups of coffee. I quickly learned that is his normal speed of operating. In his years in management, Ted is the consummate professional, and has earned the respect and admiration of both his peers and customers. His attitude is infectious, and he is one of those rare individuals who make everyone around him better, both professionally as well as personally. There is no task he is not willing to take on, and he does so with great enthusiasm. Probably one of Ted’s greatest attributes, however, is his ethics and a strong sense of ‘doing the right thing.’ I am very proud to work and be associated with Ted LeBlanc.”
–Larry White, Chief Revenue Officer, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Why Phil Luzius is a difference maker:
Boasting decades of experience in telecommunications, Luzius is a thought leader in VoIP telephony, hosted PBX services and cloud-based unified communications. He excels at ensuring the expectations of All Covered’s managed voice customers are met or exceeded after they’ve transitioned from managing their own traditional PBX services. Luzius oversees direct sales, enterprise-account service and the dealer network while keeping a sharp eye on continuous process improvement. He is also tasked with keeping his team on the leading edge with training. The University of Indianapolis product is well versed in the life cycle of VoIP solutions, and anticipates client needs during every phase of the cycle.
“Phil is extremely knowledgeable about VoIP technologies, but more than that, he’s especially good at translating the complexities of tech offerings into terms anyone can understand. Phil is also passionate about the single point of contact idea, and he’s dedicated to achieving 100 percent SLA targets—all of which makes him a major asset for our clients. He’s been introduced to our dealer channel and is off to a fast start. This is a great conversation changer and an entrée into selling a wider range of managed services.”
—Kay Du Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta
Why Scott Maccabe is a difference maker:
Despite being the top executive of a major OEM, Maccabe has fostered an everyman appeal that is endearing to many in the office technology industry. The president and CEO of Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions, Maccabe employs a personal touch and open-door policy that is both genuine and impactful. Under his guidance, TABS has experienced steady growth in both its hardware and solutions sales, successfully expanded its product portfolio with digital signage solutions, pioneered industry-related cloud solutions and received multiple business and product awards. Before joining Toshiba, Maccabe held a variety of senior roles in operations, marketing, sales and general management in the technology sector at Quantum, Vangard, Fujitsu Computer Products and StorageTek.
“Beyond Scott’s authenticity and genuineness, he is also very much an innovator, as he is an advocate for complementing our clients’ print fleets and ROI by introducing them to other relevant technology. As a result, many of our clients are enhancing their sales and marketing efforts by implementing digital signage. Scott’s presence at Toshiba has been a windfall for the company.”
–Jack Stargel, President and Owner, Stargel Office Solutions
Why Bill MacDonald is a difference maker:
MacDonald founded Capital Office Products in the late 1990s to offer clients a higher level of personalized service that larger companies could not achieve. He’s accomplished this by adeptly evolving with the changing needs dictated by technology and his customers. MacDonald works tirelessly to analyze figures and see projections for the future. His career in the office technology industry came about quite by accident. After serving a tour in the U.S. Navy, MacDonald ventured into the copier world in 1987, working as a technician for Modern Office Machines in Charlotte, NC. That company was acquired by ALCO STANDARD, and he was later promoted to regional service manager before leaving in 1996. In guiding Capital Office Products, MacDonald has cultivated a family atmosphere that enables employees to reap the benefits of the company’s success.
“Bill pushes us to question everything we do. How does this affect the customer? Is there a better way to accomplish this goal? How can we work together to help one another? He believes staying stagnant is dying. Growth must continue.”
–Ashley Whisonant, Administration Manager, Capital Office Products
Why Eric Martin is a difference maker:
The president of North America Sales for Clover Imaging Group, Martin is responsible for North America retail, contract and strategic account sales; marketing; merchandising and the printer parts division. He joined the company in 2005 as executive vice president of Clover Environmental Solutions, where he was responsible for pioneering CES programs and expanding Clover’s recycling business. Before joining Clover, Martin was a partner at Superior Office Products and Superior Wireless, holding various sales and operations positions. Superior was sold to U.S. Office Products, then acquired by Corporate Express, and Martin held various roles, including vice president of operations, then later vice president of sales for Chicago, where he managed more than 125 sales professionals.
“There is no finer business leader than Eric Martin. He continually inspires everyone with his entrepreneurial spirit, which in turn motivates Clover associates to reach their full potential. A calculated risk-taker with deep industry knowledge, Eric has built a reputation for developing business strategies, incubating new business models and building out strategic revenue-driving programs for Clover.”
–Mark Richards, Vice President of Marketing, Clover Imaging Group
Why Akisa Matsuda is a difference maker:
A dogged determination and commitment to excellence are two of the driving traits behind Matsuda’s success. She joined Sharp in 2011, and has immersed herself in solving challenges that companies face, from document workflow and security to cloud and mobile connectivity. Matsuda dedicates herself to bringing creativity and technology innovations to the industry, making office products more intuitive and impactful. Her vision is to empower organizations and people to make effortless, but intelligent, decisions by providing better methods to access data and information.
“Blackboard and Sharp have been partners in the education industry since 2015. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Akisa and her team to bring our integration to market, which optimizes print-to-digital workflows for students and instructors. Akisa has been instrumental in the success of this project. I look forward to continuing to support our partnership together.”
–Sara Lehnert, Senior Partner Manager, Business Development, Blackboard Inc.
Why Bill McLaughlin is a difference maker:
Innovative. Forward-thinking. Pushes the envelope. Leverages technology. Those are just a few of the adjectives used to describe McLaughlin, an executive vice president and chief technology officer for Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office. With more than 16 years of industry experience, he has held various executive-level positions as a key contributor in managing strategic partnerships, national accounts and business development. It is through leveraging technology that McLaughlin has improved the competitive position of the companies he’s worked for during the course of his career. His sense of community responsibility is reflected by his co-founding of The Jillian Fund, which provides financial support to parents of children with life-threatening illnesses. The Fund has raised in excess of $1.5 million, which has benefitted more than 125 families since its inception five years ago.
“I have met with Bill many times over the last decade or so, and each time have had some of the most engaging, insightful conversations about our industry, trends and innovation as I have had with anyone in the industry. He is passionate about what he does and the value he brings his customers, and it shows in the results for Atlantic, Tomorrow’s Office. In addition, I admire his commitment in his role as chairman of The Jillian Fund. He clearly approaches his philanthropic activities with the same energy and passion as he does his day job.”
–Doug Johnson, Chief Strategy Officer, LMI Solutions
Why Chip Miceli is a difference maker:
One of the most recognizable faces in the dealer community, the one-time accountant has grown the firm founded by his father in 1955 to three facilities in Chicago and the surrounding area. He bolstered DPOE’s footprint with the acquisitions of Document Vision Technologies and Synergistic Office Solutions. Miceli also serves as chairman of McShane’s and Kramer & Leonard. He is a founder and member of the Select Dealer Group national trade association, where he’s served as past president and a member of the board of directors. Miceli serves on the Sharp Document Solutions of America’s Dealers Advisory Board and is on the board of International Business Products Inc., a Phoenix-based buying group that focuses on document-generation equipment. He is a prominent industry speaker on the subject of print management.
“Chip is the very picture and definition of energy. He always has time for employees when it comes to mentoring, as he does for industry colleagues. He sets the standard for hard work and staying on the forefront of his industry.”
–Jim Farrell, President, PR First
Why Jason Moore is a difference maker:
In his role as services and solutions sales manager, Moore guides the team responsible for reseller interaction and support of all MPS and equipment sales activity. He strives to help partners navigate the complexities of deploying and managing environments to support successful, profitable and scalable MPS practices. Backed by his team, Moore brings focus, knowledge and experience to front-line customer engagements to ensure a consistent, world-class customer experience for Supplies Network partners.
“Jason’s support has been crucial to the successful refinement of our MPS business.”
–Christen Dingess, Director of Managed Print Services, MT Business.
“We bring unique business challenges to him and his team, and their ability to listen and problem solve has cultivated numerous wins for our team.”
–Bill Erpelding, Marketing Director, Supplies Network
Why James Morrissey is a difference maker:
A lifelong member of the office equipment industry, Morrissey has enjoyed a diverse career path, from owning a dealership to executive roles with some of the largest manufacturers, including IKON Office Solutions and Ricoh. He currently spearheads Xerox’s Dealer Channel growth initiative into the SMB space. Morrissey overachieves operating plans, both top and bottom line, by motivating people to bring their “A” game and perform at an optimal level. A process-driven performer, Morrissey can devise a strategic plan and execute on it by leveraging the people and pillars within it. His passion for success extends into altruistic endeavors, as he’s served on the local boards of organizations including United Way and the Boys and Girls Club.
“Jim brings credibility from testing and refining business processes from his diverse background that supports partner growth objectives. He has a passion to construct successful sales teams with a partner-first attitude and establish a combination of innovative and time-tested strategies that just plain work to drive growth. Jim speaks the dealer language and our partners have told me time and again, he is an incredible value add for Xerox and our partners.”
–Mike Feldman, President, North America Operations, Xerox Corp.
Why Greg Moseley is a difference maker:
The world of analytics has made many aspects of our personal lives and business performance quantifiably measurable. But long before advanced statistics became en vogue, Moseley—along with partner Wes McArtor—founded BEI Services, which makes complex ERP data easy to understand and allows users to measure their service performance against contemporaries. Moseley’s career began in 1975, when he worked as a service technician in support of lines including SCM, 3M, Royal and other now-defunct product lines. His exposure to newer technology and the challenges of managing service operations led to an interest in statistics to better manage demands on service and increase executive understanding of business opportunities. BEI’s Worldstats is viewed as the largest print-services-metrics database in existence.
“The vision and hard work of Greg is proving to be a great asset to the channel. The industry continues to decline, and now more than ever, the ability of dealers to recognize and correct cost overruns is paramount. Today, dealers must transition and add deliverables. BEI, under Wes and Greg’s leadership, gives dealers the ability to offset the much-needed investment in transitioning by reclaiming wasted service cost.”
–Ray Stasieczko, B/D Manager, BEI Services
Why Luong Nguyen is a difference maker:
Another person who exemplifies the American dream, Nguyen came to the United States as a Vietnamese refugee in 1983. His path toward the industry began in earnest in 1986, when he moved to Virginia to become a service technician for Pitney Bowes. He left there in 2000 to start Metro Mail Services (MMS), and Nguyen has carved his own niche, selling and servicing postal equipment, along with offering facilities-management contracts for various agencies within the federal government. MMS has successfully branched into offering office equipment, and following Nguyen’s lead, the firm has thrived for the past two decades by providing high levels of customer satisfaction.
“The ultimate success story. He escaped Vietnam by boat, came to the United States and established a highly successful business. Metro Mail is a premier mailing equipment dealership expanding into printers and copiers. Concentrating on government contracts, Metro has developed a loyal customer base singing the praises of Metro’s service and support. A movie should be made of Lu Nguyen’s life and the positive impact he has made on the industry.”
–Bob Goldberg, General Counsel, BTA
Why Casey O’Hara is a difference maker:
A multi-talented designer, developer and product specialist, O’Hara is the leading technologist behind PrintReleaf, which provides technology solutions for dealers and customers who place value on sustainability and the environment. He is a full-stack engineer with a background in user-interface design and a passion for building solutions at the intersection of print technology and environmental sustainability. O’Hara oversees all dimensions of the company’s technology—design and development of PrintReleaf’s product suite, integrations platform, infrastructure and developer operations. His vision and execution have enabled PrintReleaf to emerge as a leader in the environmental technology market.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Casey for almost five years. While his primary focus is product/software development, he adds value to really every aspect of our organization: culture, brand, finance, customer service and even forestry standard development. Furthermore, he has been a trusted colleague to our integration partners. The bottom line is, he has carved out a great path for his future within PrintReleaf and the industry as a whole.”
–Jordan Darragh, CEO, PrintReleaf
Why James Olson is a difference maker:
A third-generation owner at one of the office equipment industry’s royal families, Olson has held a number of roles in his 27 years with Les Olson Co. The CEO is perhaps best known for his technical savvy, having worked closely with Sharp to help improve the customer service experience. Under Olson’s guidance, Les Olson Co.’s service teams have been recognized with numerous excellence awards, including having the top Sharp service technician in the country. Olson continues to abide by Les’ edict that service is the backbone of the company; in fact, it guides him in the decision-making process. He takes a hands-on approach and cultivates interaction with employees, which has created a work culture that makes their jobs pleasurable.
“The Les Olson Co. continues to make a difference in this industry and is one of very few successful third-generation companies. James’ leadership has been an intricate part of that success. Each generation continues to stay fashionable with the changing landscape of the ever-changing business.”
–Ed McLaughlin, President, Innovolt
“James inspires people to be their best through a servant-based leadership style that encourages growth and a desire to perform at the highest level. James is a person we would follow to places we would not go on our own.”
–Lisa Thaller, Chairman of the Board/Chief Financial Officer, Les Olson Company
Why Dino Pagliarello is a difference maker:
The vice president of Product Management and Planning, Pagliarello is responsible for Konica Minolta’s portfolio of industry award-winning office and production devices and leads a team of product and solutions experts that help dealers maximize their business opportunities and customer satisfaction. With more than 17 years at the company, he has accumulated extensive experience in all facets of the business. A regular speaker at dealer conferences, he works closely with many dealer partners, sharing his insights and knowledge. His passion for creativity is underscored by his love of wine making.
“Dino is an amazing leader, with great skills in building teams and working collaboratively across the organization. He has a genuine commitment to the success of employees, dealers and customers, and always goes the extra mile to make sure a commitment is met, or a problem resolved. He does it all with great passion and enthusiasm—maybe coming from his Sicilian heritage, an important part of his identity. Recently, he’s been involved in a lot of new innovation initiatives, and has demonstrated his adaptability and creativity.”
–Nick Pegley, Senior Vice President, Solutions and Services, Konica Minolta
Why Christian Pepper is a difference maker:
Always outspoken, energetic and informative, Christian Pepper can be found delivering quality educational presentations on the industry conference circuit, speaking on subjects ranging from MPS and B2B sales training to digital marketing and consumables strategies. The president of LD Products has more than 20 years of office product experience under his belt, having held executive and management positions with OEMs and aftermarket manufacturers in the United States and Europe. Pepper is active in various sustainability projects, particularly with the refurbishment of used printing devices and their resale into managed environments. He is also founder of the 2,000-plus member PRINT group on LinkedIn.
“Anyone who has attended an industry event or otherwise been on the receiving end of a presentation from Christian—whether it be in a sales or educational environment—is consistently impressed with the knowledge, experience and meticulous level of preparation invested in that presentation. As an individual who clearly understands that the future of this business lies primarily in the hands of the resellers rather than the legacy manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers, Christian and his ongoing initiatives will continue to disrupt legacy practices and provide a positive impact on those who matter most.”
–Ian Elliott, Owner, Executive & Strategic Solutions LLC
Why Art Post is a difference maker:
It’s safe to say that Post is not your typical, grizzled sales veteran. Sure, he’s probably burned through his share of mileage-weary cars in 38 years as an SMB copier rep, but the people he’s met and the sales he’s closed (or lost) make for good yarn spinning. Fortunately, Post’s exploits can be followed on the Print4Pay Hotel website, where he’s penned more than 2,000 blogs for the imaging industry. The site is also an office technology hot spot where industry pros can share ideas and success stories, and collaborate with their peers. His love of knowledge and old-fashioned sales is well reflected in his warm, relatable writing style.
“Art is a wealth of knowledge and a true leader in our industry. His knowledge of products and services that he doesn’t even have the ability to sell is quite impressive. Any time I cannot find an answer to a problem, Art or the P4P Hotel can help address any of my needs or questions.”
–Jason Habbal, Vice President, Vision Office Systems
Why Ann Priede is a difference maker:
In an accomplished 30-year career in the printing and imaging industry, Priede has made a tangible impact through her work with a number of organizations. She is currently senior operations manager for Canon Solutions America, where she has operational responsibility for Canon fleet devices at customer sites under a managed print services agreement. Priede is also a recognizable figure through her work with the Managed Print Services Association, where she serves on the executive committee. She has also co-chaired the MPSA Marketing & Communications Committee. Her multifaceted experience offers a diverse view of the office equipment industry and the ability to understand managed print and all of its related issues from a variety of perspectives.
“It’s hard to think of a more consummate professional than Ann Priede. I’ve had the privilege of working closely with her the past few years in our roles at the MPSA and she is one of those people you can always count on. She is extremely intelligent, strategic yet detailed, and takes her role with the MPSA seriously. As a co-chair, she was collaborative and willing to help support our not-for-profit organization’s other committees. She regularly edited and formatted the output documents of other committees and helped ensure the consistency of the MPSA brand. She has the highest degree of integrity. I can imagine her full-time job at Canon is demanding, and yet she always puts 100 percent effort in our MPSA work. The MPSA is lucky to have her on its Executive Committee.”
–Josie Heskje, Director, Strategic Marketing, GreatAmerica Financial Services
Why Jim Ross is a difference maker:
A 25-year veteran of the office products industry, Ross leads Clover Imaging Group’s (CIG) U.S. Strategic accounts and mid-market sales. He joined CIG in 2006 as vice president of sales. Ross is viewed as an exceptional sales leader who is passionate about his work and always encourages others to perform to their capabilities. He was responsible for helping to develop Clover’s key strategic accounts and help grow them into multimillion-dollar accounts. Ross also spearheaded Clover Imaging Group’s mid-market growth strategy.
“Jim is an integral part of our success within CIG mid-market and strategic account sales, a team leader who has built a stellar inside sales team. The level of mid-market sales he produced and the degree of activity generated by those sales resulted in the growth of Clover Imaging Group.”
—Mark Richards, Vice President of Marketing, Clover Imaging Group
Why Aaron Rubin is a difference maker:
A richness of life experiences often helps shape a Difference Maker, and Rubin is a prime example. As an 18-year-old studying abroad in Israel, Rubin conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces as an infantry soldier. Upon returning to the United States, Rubin completed his history degree at CUNY, Queens College. He joined the office technology industry in 1992, holding a number of sales and sales management roles (including vice president of sales and marketing) with a large dealership based in the Big Apple. In 2002, he founded Docutrend Imaging Solutions along with partners Edward and Alexander Solomon. In its 15-plus years of operation, Docutrend has grown to a $15 million-plus dealership with 55 employees and more than 6,000 active machines in field. The dealership has been ranked as an Inc. 5000 company for the past six years, with Rubin guiding it to double-digit growth year over year.
“Aaron is one of the most progressive, intelligent and sound business people I have met. Docutrend is growing company that is acquiring dealerships in the fiercely competitive New York area. Strong customer support is the foundation of the company.”
–Bob Goldberg, General Counsel, BTA
Why Pat Russell is a difference maker:
Hard work, humility and integrity are the drivers for success in Russell’s estimation, yet it is his insecurities that make him stronger. He has forged numerous friendships within the industry and relishes working with those contemporaries to make their fellow businesses stronger. Russell is recognized as an innovator within the imaging channel through his leadership and forward-thinking approach to the inherent challenges of a complex business world. He joined ImageNet in 1990, and became president and CEO when his older brother, Tom, semi-retired. During his tenure, Russell has enabled the company to flourish by attaining remarkable growth levels through areas such as managed IT, displays, 3D and ECM.
“Pat has a passion for his clients and his employees like I’ve never witnessed before. By leveraging the immense talents of ImageNet’s valued employees and best-in-class global partnerships, Pat and his leadership team have created an enviable dealership and a world-class organization that is committed to the highest possible customer care.”
–Michael Amiri, Senior Director, Dealer Services, Continuum
Why Mike Sadoski is a difference maker:
A long-tenured member of the EverBank Vendor Equipment Finance team, Sadoski manages one of the most competitive regions in the northeast and also serves as program manager for the largest partner program in EverBank Vendor Equipment Finance. Sadoski is a respected player in the office technology space, having logged 25 years serving in management roles with companies such as GE Capital and Tokai Financial Services (now DLL) prior to joining EverBank in 2008. He was recently presented with the Top Achiever Award for outstanding dedication and service to EverBank.
“Mike has an uncanny ability to form meaningful connections with both our clients and his colleagues across all levels of our organization. They see him as a strong and compassionate leader. He manages some of the firm’s largest client relationships, and works tirelessly to ensure that they have the support they need to grow their business. Not only is he a valued figure on the sales team, but he is also driving progress by leading EverBank’s effort to adopt and implement exciting, contemporary technology solutions within the office products space.”
–Mike Sweeney, SVP, Vendor Equipment Finance Originations, EverBank
Why Brock Saladin is a difference maker:
Calling Saladin a valuable utility player belies the significance of the roles he has undertaken, but the executive has flourished in every capacity during his 22 years with Lexmark International. He is currently senior vice president and chief revenue officer, responsible for meeting worldwide customer needs for products, supplies, solutions and services, while also creating effective go-to-market strategies. Past roles include vice president and general manager of global sales and marketing for Lexmark’s former Imaging Solutions and Services division, and he held the same title for global supplies sales and marketing. Saladin also took the reins as interim CEO in 2017 during Lexmark’s search for a new leader. A fantastic listener, Saladin has been a driving force in the dealer channel for Lexmark.
“Brock is a highly experienced executive who is fully engaged in any role or challenge he takes on. He is a champion of Lexmark’s BSD (dealer channel) and has invested the time to visit dealers, understand our business model and be an active member of the Dealer Advisory Council. Brock has built a great team that reflect his professionalism, humility and great sense of humor.”
–Ray Belanger, President, Bay Copy
Why Chris Sinibaldi is a difference maker:
Fostering long-term, successful relationships is just one of the assets Sinibaldi brings to the table. He is the senior vice president and general manager of parts for Depot International (a Clover Imaging Group company), which is a market leader in distribution and remanufacturing of laser printer parts and certified pre-owned printers, selling to service organizations, self-maintainers, copier resellers and dealers. Backed by nearly 20 years of experience, Sinibaldi leads the growth of Clover’s U.S. printer parts and enterprise computer parts sales. He joined Depot International in 1999 as director of quality assurance and research and development. Prior to his current position, Sinibaldi served as vice president for mid-market sales operations, where he was responsible for customer service, sales support and technical support for all mid-market companies.
“I’ve worked with Chris for close to eight years now and am continually amazed at the level of expertise he has in printer parts and business development. Chris always takes a customer-centric approach and has a proven ability to foster relationships with C-suite and senior-level executives. I’ve found that Chris is most fulfilled when helping people to grow professionally. His vision and ability to nurture relationships lead to long-term solutions and success.”
–Mark Richards, Vice President of Marketing, Clover Imaging Group
Why Eric Smith is a difference maker:
Eric Smith became a household name in recent years during his publicized court battle with Lexmark International, but the story behind the man is one of great sacrifice. He took control of the family business, Impression Products, in 1996, and fully immersed himself in the world of remanufacturing and selling toner cartridges. Smith’s only goal was to make his modest Charleston, WV, firm one of the best in the business. He sacrificed a personal life, didn’t take vacations and committed himself to the operation seven days a week, logging as many hours as humanly possible. Smith’s historic Supreme Court triumph over Lexmark is a testament to his lifelong, unfailing commitment to his business, employees and customers.
“Eric is a hero to the reseller and service provider community. At great risk to his company, he took on a fight against Goliath. Eric is someone we all can look up to as an example of ‘doing the right thing.’”
–Ernesto Rodríguez Lourido, Managing Director, Roer International
“Eric Smith acted selflessly in helping to protect the jobs of his employees, many whom have been with the company for 30 years. In the process, through drive and conviction, Eric made a significant impact on an entire industry.”
–John Chalifoux, President and COO, MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing
“Eric showed the courage and resolve as a modern-day David vs. Goliath and won. The win is for consumers’ rights and he deserves applause.”
–Todd Bone, President, XSi
“In addition to winning the battle, Eric brought awareness to a problem a lot of resellers face.”
–John Sullivan, Senior Account Executive, Telesource Services
“The courage, tenacity and vision that Eric demonstrated in litigating this case all the way to the United States Supreme Court helped save thousands of jobs and entire industries well beyond the scope of the original case.”
–Brian White, Division President, Stryker Corporation
“Eric showed tremendous courage in fighting Lexmark to the U.S. Supreme Court. With his family business and his reputation on the line, he exhibited grace and good humor under pressure, and against all odds he won. Eric stands as an example that sometimes the little guy wins and justice is served.”
–Doug Kari, Principal, Arbitech
“Eric made a difference in the right to resell goods. A big step for the reseller industry.”
–Paul Fenlon, Senior Vice President of Sales, Origin Micro
“He made a difference for all resellers who are trying to do the right thing and re-purpose products against tremendous push back from brand-holders.”
–Heather Huggett, Vice President of National Accounts, SoTel Systems
“Eric is someone we all can look up to as an example of doing the right thing, a great personality.”
–Jan Hoogstrate, Owner, act2xceed
Why Scott Spencer is a difference maker:
From the time he started his career with Laser Pros as a summer worker in 1992, Spencer has always been driven by knowledge. Now the CEO and co-owner, he has forged a reputation for developing business strategies, cultivating new business models and building out channel programs. Spencer has a desire to motivate and cultivate individuals to succeed. He generously shares knowledge and experience from working in each level of the organization. A strong communicator and motivator, Spencer can often be found reading business articles or adding inspiring quotes to the whiteboard in his office. His passion for people extends into the community, where he coaches youth athletics and works with various organizations.
“Scott surrounds himself with success stories purely by the nature of his empowerment to the employees at Laser Pros International. His hard-working, forward-thinking and humble demeanor is an example of leadership that motivates people around him to thrive. I have worked with Scott for more than 10 years, and truly appreciate the time and devotion he has bestowed upon me to encourage my personal development.”
–Kam Hoffman, Purchasing Manager, Laser Pros
Why Aldo Spensieri is a difference maker:
A veteran of 30 years in the data products and printer supplies aftermarket, Spensieri has focused specifically on the cartridge remanufacturing industry for the past 17 years. He has played a key role in the development and successful implementation of Clover Imaging Group’s Axess Managed Print Services Program and has guided its evolution to becoming a world-class MPS and MDS solution. Spensieri, who speaks fluent French and Italian, is a proven success leader who analyzes the market and maps the strategy from vision to execution. He follows the “delivering happiness” mantra as the driving force behind developing customer loyalty. Spensieri is active in numerous advisory and peer groups related to MPS, including the MPSA’s Education Committee. He also participates in CompTIA’s Technology Lifecycle Services Community and is a proud, active member of the SBB Council.
“Aldo is one of the top business executives I’ve had the opportunity to work with. I am fortunate enough to work alongside Aldo and his team as we market the Axess MPS program. From large-scale projects to fine-tuning detailed processes, Aldo’s guidance was essential in building and executing the business plan and strategy that has propelled the program to the foreground within the MPS industry. When it comes to product launch and hands-on leadership, they get no better.”
–Mark Richards, Vice President of Marketing, Clover Imaging Group
Why Tyson Stargel is a difference maker:
The University of Texas product has helped further the success of Stargel Office Solutions by following the credo, “Building a Great Company, One Relationship at a Time.” The vice president and owner’s oversight includes the Star Managed Services division, which focuses on IT for the SMB space, as well as MPS and management software solutions for companies of all sizes. In his 16 years with the company, Stargel has demonstrated unwavering professionalism, dedication and compassion for employees and clients. The dealership has flourished to the $22 million level, with its growth attributed to building lasting client partnerships with a unique concept of customer support, following Stargel’s lead.
“Tyson works tirelessly to go above and beyond the client’s expectations. His leadership has resulted in a unique company culture committed to the value they bring their customers built on honesty and integrity by always placing the customer first. As a boss, Tyson is fair minded, open to suggestions and always willing to listen. As a business owner, he is well educated in the business and always looking for new opportunities.”
–Emilie Holden, Marketing Coordinator, Stargel Office Solutions
Why Sam Stone is a difference maker:
When it comes to working in a family-owned business, some may assume that younger generations get a pass and take on a top executive role from the get-go, when in fact the opposite is true in many cases. Stone is no exception; he’s toiled in numerous positions in the course of 35-plus years at Stone’s Office Equipment, from typewriter cleaning to sales. Now as the firm’s “head cheerleader,” his main focus is to set processes in place to grow the business, improve service and deliver on the best possible customer experience. He strives to exceed the parameters of great service and ensure it surpasses customer expectations. A man of strong faith, Stone and his employees are constantly searching for ways to give back to community, supporting numerous causes.
“Each time we have visited, Sam has graciously donated to our cause, no matter what it was. The last two trips, he coordinated our visit with donations to the Virginia State Police and another personal local charity SOE supports. Sam is a man of faith and is always willing to get behind a good cause. He’s a true inspiration in this industry.”
–Andy Slawetsky, President, Industry Analysts
Why Tawnya Stone is a difference maker:
Innovation and passion are two tools in the value-proposition belt Stone wears at GreatAmerica Financial Services, where she is responsible for the overall strategic direction, oversight and implementation of customer-facing tools and products across various GreatAmerica business units. Stone collaborates with business unit, functional leadership and external technology partners to deliver value. She has designed groundbreaking integrations that have saved thousands of man hours for dealers and improved relationships between technology providers within the office equipment ecosystem. Stone is also the vice president of the Managed Print Services Association (MPSA) and is on the executive council for the CompTIA Technology Lifecycle Services (TLS) community.
“Tawnya has not only designed and brought to life innovative integrations, she has also become a trusted adviser and friend to many of the industry’s best dealers and technology providers. She does this with a tenacious passion to make a positive, long-lasting difference for our industry.”
–Kip Kugler, Director of Sales, ECi Software Solutions
Why Scott Swidersky is a difference maker:
When it comes to knowing the inner mechanisms of enterprise content management, one would be hard-pressed to find more impressive credentials than those held by Swidersky. He heads the ECM business for Konica Minolta following its acquisition of Quality Associates Inc. (QAI) and its DocPoint Solutions subsidiary, known for its competencies in cloud-based systems and Microsoft SharePoint applications. Swidersky joined QAI in 1997, and was tasked with developing and delivering comprehensive solutions for organizational knowledge and content management. That 20-plus years of experience has provided Swidersky with a deep understanding of the issues that can arise from the integration of document management with other IT systems. The Jacksonville University graduate, who also is an active member of the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM), is a go-to person for organizations struggling to gain control over their unstructured information assets.
“Scott has been largely responsible for making QAI a leading player in the ECM field in the years before we acquired the company in 2016. In fact, you could say he’s a big reason that QAI came to our attention in the first place when we were looking to expand our own ECM capabilities and our footprint into Federal agencies and household-name organizations. He and his team have delivered a consistent year-over-year growth with a 25 percent increase in 2017, and have integrated acquisitions effectively. Needless to say, we’re excited to have Scott leading Konica Minolta’s ECM business going forward.”
–Kay Du Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta
Why Kim Valenta is a difference maker:
There are many adjectives that can be used to describe Valenta—hard-working, generous, intelligent and compassionate. The vice president and CFO of Offix leaves a positive, indelible impression on customers, employees and the community alike with her selfless gestures and determination. Valenta encourages her employees to extend their dedication to service beyond the customer by volunteering time and resources to those in need. She sits on the board of several local charities and champions numerous causes, such as providing gifts and food to families during the year-end holidays. Valenta imparts upon her employees that the greatest reward from working hard is the ability to give back to those people who need it most.
“Kim Valenta is a game changer, an encourager and our fearless leader. She is an outstanding role model of what it looks like to be a successful and strong business woman who walks in humility and truth. Because of Kim, we are being molded into difference makers in the workplace and our community. She makes us better and this company better. Offix is the greatest place on earth to work because we care about people and serving them to the best of our abilities.”
–Asheton Rose Graham, Marketing Director, Offix LLC
Why Austin Vanchieri is a difference maker:
Given the volume and rapid pace at which Vanchieri has grown Visual Edge Technology, the CEO sits on the verge of rock-star status within the industry. Under his guidance, the North Canton, OH-based platform has bolstered its reputation of acquiring high-caliber dealerships at an impressive pace that has it poised to become the largest collection of office technology firms in the United States. Vanchieri also boasts a storied previous career with Xerox Corp., where he was president of the billion-dollar Xerox Information Systems division.
“Austin gives you the impression and feeling that he really cares about the people that he meets and interacts with each day. He listens, because that is when you learn and find the heart of the person you are speaking with. He is extremely professional and very genuine. When all is said and done, one has to have immense respect for a leader such as Austin Vanchieri, and it is assuring to know that in business today.”
–Bernadette Russo, President, WBS Technologies
“His vision and leadership is presently creating an exploding organization of solid businesses that are joining his vision and becoming one of the largest, nationwide networks of companies wrapped up into one business. His quality of character and leadership are outstanding, and his vision is shared by all who work for him. He has created a team of talented, driven professionals.”
–Brad Craft, President, Image Source
“The man has the temperament and vision to lead 25 independent entrepreneurs on a daily basis. And if you ask those 25 entrepreneurs, they will all agree that the man is incredible.”
–Craig Zimmerman, President, Premier Business Products
“Austin is a visionary in our industry. He has taken his wealth of knowledge and experience and has grown Visual Edge in a short few years from approximately $30 million to over $200 million. There is nothing stopping him from doubling that number in the next 18 months. He puts people first and invests himself in the careers of those he works with. He shares his wisdom easily, helping others to develop and grow. He is an extremely humble man who believes in always doing the right thing when it’s sometimes not easy to do.”
–Troy Turner, President, Commonwealth Technology
“Austin is a great leader. He pursues his goals in an authentic, relentless and selfless way. He is authentic with his time and his people. He relentlessly pursues VET goals of becoming a billion-dollar organization. All the while, he is an unselfish leader who will provide great incentives for his people. The world needs more Austin Vanchieris in it.”
–Jeff Horn, President, Benchmark Business Solutions
Why Elliot Williams is a difference maker:
A tireless worker who does whatever it takes to get the job done, Williams has amassed an encyclopedic knowledge base during his 20-plus years in the industry. His background is replete with experience launching new print categories and technologies for leading companies. Williams has held worldwide and regional product marketing and business development roles with market leaders Epson, HP and Memjet. Currently heading the product-management team as manager of Product Marketing for Office Printing at Epson America, he quarterbacked the launch of the company’s celebrated WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590, Epson’s first high-speed color line head printer. He also helped deliver Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-C869R, WF-R8590, WF-R5690, and WF-R5190 products with Replaceable Ink Pack System technology. Williams has opened growth opportunities for resellers to expand the inkjet color printing market.
“Simply put, Elliot is incredibly passionate, assertive and attentive to us, a new Epson dealer. Elliot has been quick to assist and do anything and everything to help us in our Epson adventure, even giving up his own time to assist us in a demo, even though he had to cancel previous plans. Elliot has the technical expertise that we need for our training and support for the Epson WorkForce, and his excitement about the product is infectious to all. He always has a positive outlook and a sense of humor that makes him a joy to be around. His technical expertise and honesty is a bonus.”
– Mary Hillen, Sales Manager and Owner, Complete Business Systems
Why Rose Willis is a difference maker:
In a results-driven business, Willis has been able to deliver the goods during the course of her 20-year career with Xerox. She came aboard as an account manager, and has held a variety of leadership positions in sales across multiple industries and channels. This year, Willis was tasked with leading Xerox’s U.S. Channels Unit, Agent Operations, and has focused her energy on ensuring the success of Xerox’s agent partners as they transform to a new buy/sell model. She takes pride in engaging as a mentor for others and has a direct, inspirational management style that sets clear expectations and provides an environment for individuals to reach their full potential. Willis credits her success to recruiting and retaining the best people possible, and every win is the result of working with great teams of committed professionals.
“Rose is extremely innovative in establishing and managing a disciplined market strategy, and skilled at functioning in a collaborative manner to deliver results across multiple lines of business. She is engaging and adept at mentoring people with a direct, inspirational management style that sets clear expectations and makes her an exceptional leader. Rose maintains a strong focus on day-to-day operations while providing an environment for individuals to reach their full potential. When challenges arise, Rose is the difference maker for her colleagues and partners alike.”
–Darren Cassidy, President, U.S. Channels Unit, Xerox
Why Danielle Wolowitz is a difference maker:
An innovative thinker who is never satisfied with the status quo, Wolowitz has guided the transformation into high-potential digital communications at the heart of the KYOCERA Document Solutions America’s value proposition. She’s held a number of posts with KYOCERA since joining the company in 2005, and in 2016 she took her current helm as vice president of corporate marketing. In addition to her traditional marketing duties of advertising, product marketing and business services pre-sales, she is involved in strategic growth initiatives for both business process improvement and enterprise content management. Wolowitz is a strong advocate for KYOCERA’s dealer network and constantly challenges and empowers her team to take bold, new initiatives and develop enhanced solutions to complex business challenges.
“Danielle is the definition of a true business partner. She’s challenging, yet fair; and results-focused, yet open-minded when it comes to new ideas. She’s acutely aware of the sea change in her company’s business and uniquely able to translate that into fresh, well-conceived leadership and sound strategic direction. Her enthusiasm is infectious. As a result, creativity in many forms is flourishing under Danielle in an industry where that’s not easily achieved.”
–Dan Howald, Director, Digital and Social Media Intelligence, SMA NYC
Why Preston Woolfolk is a difference maker:
At only 30 years old, Woolfolk is already an accomplished performer with an unlimited ceiling of potential. However, he cut his industry teeth at a much earlier age, working summers in the warehouse of DOCUmation as a youngster. He is now co-president (along with his brother, Hunter) of the business technology company that services businesses throughout Texas. He’s held numerous positions during his tenure, and was the driving force behind DOCUmation’s foray into managed IT in 2011. In his first year at the helm, DOCUmation enjoyed a 16 percent growth in sales, and its IT division posted a 25 percent increase to nearly $3 million in annual sales. Woolfolk can be found delivering keynote addresses at industry conferences, highlighting the challenges that a dealer faces during the transition from a traditional copier dealership to a true business-technology provider.
“Preston is a very quick study. In the early days of DOCUmation’s entrance into managed IT services, Preston is the one who led the initiative. His ability to learn a new business quickly helped DOCUmation become very successful, very fast relative to others who entered the space at the same time. Another example of Preston’s ability to adapt quickly is his recent move to co-president with his brother, Hunter. Preston has made the move look easy. He has a rare ability to work comfortably at the C-level, leading strategy and big-picture ideas. If needed, he can get into the trenches to work the details to help those around him learn by his example. Preston is a young superstar in the office equipment industry who is mature well beyond his years.”
—Greg VanDeWalker, Senior VP, IT Channel and Services, Collabrance LLC (A GreatAmerica Company)