CRNs 2021 Channel Chiefs list
We’re proud to announce members of our team’s achievements with the Channel Chiefs list. Geoffrey Willison, Craig Fulton, Gregg Lalle, Bradley Schow, Corie Leaman, Brooke Candelore, Jay Ryerse, and David Powell have been recognized as top channel executives within our industry.
More about the award
The Channel Chiefs list recognizes the channel executives who consistently defend, promote, and execute effective channel partner programs and strategies. They’re identified based on their track record of channel accomplishments, standing in the industry, dedication to the partner community, and plans for driving future business innovation and channel growth.
Meet the winners
Geoffrey Willison is Chief Operating Officer (COO) for ConnectWise. He led the integration of Continuum into ConnectWise to create a company of 2,400 colleagues focused on the success of our partners. He also created channel-focused initiatives, including Voice of the Partner (partner feedback through surveys, CSAT and CES (Customer Effort Score), and a new Partner Communications team.
As Chief Customer Officer, Craig Fulton oversees The IT Nation and educational teams to empower ConnectWise's partners to succeed in growing their businesses and exceeding their goals. The pandemic caused Craig and his team to focus more on our partner community and the transition to virtual events. There was also a strong emphasis on developing new content on business recovery, financial training aimed at weathering the storm, and training on submitting for financial aid. The team also helped the IT Nation® Evolve peer group members navigate impacts of the pandemic on their business.
Craig is known for having the best adventures and stories. His biggest adventure was racing the Vegas to Reno in 2015. He did the off-road trophy truck race and did this in 17 hours— winning him second place!
Back in the day, Gregg enjoyed running marathons. Now Gregg Lalle, SVP, Sales and Strategy for ConnectWise, has more than 28 years of experience with demonstrated leadership in sales, marketing, and strategic development. Since joining the ConnectWise team in 2010, Gregg has leveraged his passion for partner success to rise through the ranks to arrive at his current vital role as SVP of International Sales and Strategy.
In the everlasting pursuit to drive business efficiency, Gregg worked with the marketing team to develop a KPI calculator that assists managed service providers (MSPs) in identifying what metrics to measure and how to accurately calculate efficiency. It's been one of our top performing assets of the year.
Brad Schow is the VP of Consulting Services for ConnectWise and oversees our IT Nation Evolve program as well as our Strategic Business Consulting team. The most innovative initiative Brad and his team was responsible for in 2020 was the Strategic and Operational response series to leading through a crisis.
Help with response and recovery from a strategic and daily operational perspective on cash and business management, transitioning to work from home, properly handling PPP funds, re-engaging sales and marketing efforts in a pandemic friendly manner.
Our Director of IT Nation Events, Corie Leaman, is great at cheering on our partners, and it’s no wonder. In college, Corie was the mascot, Alberta the gator, for the Florida Gators. Corie now oversees the strategy and execution of IT Nation events with an emphasis on growing The IT Nation community membership.
As 2020 impacted businesses, The IT Nation had to reimagine how events would be handled. Corie’s team, which relies on events to drive pipeline, customer retention, and build community, had to completely revamp our programs because of the pandemic. By shifting to a virtual strategy, their team increased engagement of channel partners by 220% year over year. The team also launched a brand-new property, IT Nation Secure, cybersecurity by ConnectWise.
Brooke is the product manager for BrightGauge®, a ConnectWise solution. In 2020, Brooke worked with a partner to identify key Sophos metrics for reporting that would allow them to gain insight and be more efficient in their business. She then led the BrightGauge team to engineer and deliver a new integration with Sophos including those key metrics in out of the box dashboards and reporting.
Brooke identified that there are partners who do not know what metrics they should be tracking to increase the maturity of their business. Because these partners do not know what metrics to track, they may track the wrong metrics, track too many metrics, or track no metrics at all. This gives these partners a skewed or incomplete view of the health of their business. Additionally, partners are at a loss to identify the levers that can make a dramatic impact on their profitability and growth.
David Powell is a 24-year veteran of the IT industry, the last 20 spent in managed services. David is the SVP Expansion Sales, a fast-growing player in the cybersecurity software space. David brings a wealth of MSP experience, having worked for three of the top 25 MSPs, to Perch.
Coming from the MSP space, it’s common for David to show empathy to MSPs. He literally used to sit in their seat. As such, MSPs are often looking for guidance on how to package, bundle, and price their security services. David has had many conversations with partners helping them conceptualize this, providing them guidance on best practices from personal experience, and giving them actionable next steps. He also offered guidance on how to pivot their sales conversations with their end users from security being viewed as "technology" to more of a "risk" conversation.
Jay Ryerse is the Vice President of Cybersecurity Initiatives for ConnectWise. He brings more than 30 years of experience to ConnectWise in cybersecurity, information technology, and security solutions to businesses of all sizes. Last year, Jay led the team that created and published the MSP+ Cybersecurity Framework and over 400 pages of content dedicated to securing the channel community and their clients. Jay and his team delivered IT Nation Certify Fundamentals cybersecurity training to more than 6,000 students from MSPs across the channel and from different regions.
While difficult to choose just one, based on feedback from partners, Jay said that the biggest impact of his work has been around helping partners align their security goals, including packaging and pricing security, building a cyber technology stack, and developing an understanding of how to have the right conversation with their clients who may believe their MSP is already delivering cybersecurity for them.
We are ecstatic for these ConnectWise team members to be a part of CRN’s 2021 Channel Chief list. These awards require a strong track record of channel accomplishments, standing in the industry, dedication to the partner community, and plans for driving future business innovation and channel growth. We are so proud of each one of these recipients.