Throughout the month of May The Week in Imaging is honoring the imaging industry’s 40 most influential people. That influence can extend throughout the industry as well as to the dealer and end-user community. These are the thought leaders, the movers and shakers, and those who have made a difference in their organizations or in the industry and continue to make a difference today. These individuals come from all corners of the industry, executives with the OEMs, analysts, consultants, associations, and supplies and solutions providers, pretty much the entire imaging industry universe. What this list is not is a Hall of Fame list. Everyone on this list remains active in the business.
Nominations were compiled over the past four months with selection based on comments from those who took the time to nominate these individuals as well as my final evaluations of all the nominees. This wasn’t done in a bubble and I consulted with peers and associates in the industry before making the final selections. That wasn’t easy and you may not agree with some of these selections just as you may feel some deserving individuals were left off the list. However, final selection was based largely on what those folks who sent in their nominations had to say about their selections and why they deemed them worthy. There’s plenty of individuals who we seriously considered as well. We hope to make this an annual event, so if you or someone you nominated didn’t make the cut this year, maybe next year.
We’ve been presenting the Top 40 in groups of 10 over the past four weeks. They are not in any particular order, so the first ten that we announced on May 6 aren’t necessarily the Top 10. This week we present the final group of 10.
Darrell Amy, Owner/President, Dealer Marketing Systems
Meet the master of packaging and promotions for the office technology dealer. Darrell’s company has set the industry standard in Web design, Web hosting, and search engine optimization while also providing print and direct mail services that have been instrumental in positioning many dealerships for success. As Ken Stewart of Photizo notes, “Always positive, Darrell embodies the energy, drive and compassion of a true leader. He is innovative and gets it done… I mean where do you turn that you don’t see his team’s work or hear his name?” John Pulley, who works with Darrell and may be a tad bit biased, adds, “Darrell has led the industry in developing and repositioning dealerships for solutions success through training, Website development and Web marketing strategies that have our dealerships on the front page of Google searches in Miami, St. Louis, Dallas, Little Rock, Atlanta, and Houston.” Biased or not, we can’t help but agree that Darrell Amy rates Top 40 recognition.
With more than three decades in the industry, including high-level executive positions at Panasonic and CyLex Systems as well as an executive position with IKON Office Solutions, Ed Carroll is well versed in all facets of the office technology and imaging industry. “Ed has worked with dozens of dealers and the OEMs to help them improve business results or launch new strategies, such as MPS,” notes his business partner Tom Callinan. “In this role Ed is helping the industry to grow and prosper. As a VP/GM at IKON, Ed built a culture of winning and employee development inside of a $150M business unit. He built a strong customer base as CEO of Cylex system, successfully selling the company to Ricoh. And over many years Ed worked hand in hand with dealers as president of Panasonic. It is highly unusual for an industry exec to have experienced success in such a variety of roles, which speaks to Ed’s talents.”
Peter Cybuck, current title and whereabouts unknown
Here’s where we break our rule of not including anybody who is no longer active in the imaging industry. Peter was on our original list of Top 40 influential people, but was downsized out of Kyocera Mita earlier this year, and as a result came close to getting downsized from our list as well. However, after some serious deliberation, we decided to rewrite the rules to include individuals who were active in the industry as of the first of the year. Indeed there is no one in the imaging industry before or since who has been as influential and knowledgeable about MFP data security as Peter. He led the security initiatives at Ricoh and Sharp prior to joining Kyocera Mita a couple of years ago, and in fact was responsible for securing the first Common Criteria certificate for a security product in the copier/printer/scanner industry. When we last heard from him he was involved in additional Common Criteria evaluations and protection profile development projects, as well as in the planning, development and introduction of new security solutions for multifunction devices. It’s doubtful those talents will go to waste and we look forward to talking security with him at a future date, wherever he is and whatever he’s doing.
Charles LeCompte, President & Founder, Lyra Research
Charles is another one of those industry analysts who just keep going and going even though it seems as if he doesn’t have as high a profile these days as some of the other analysts on our list or the other analysts on the Lyra team. Since founding the company in 1991, he has assembled a solid organization and team that does a top-notch job of covering the industry and providing valuable insights about all things related to printed output. Lyra’s monthly publications, The Hard Copy Supplies Journal and The Hard Copy Observer are must reads for anyone involved in the digital output industry. As Jon Bees notes, “For years The Hard Copy Observer was the gold standard of publications in the industry.” We think it still is.
Wes McArtor, President, B.E.I. Services
Here’s a guy who started out as a service tech, rising to various senior-level service positions with Savin and Minolta before starting B.E.I. Services in 1993. Since then he’s been providing independent dealers with an unbiased source for standards and nationwide comparative service reporting, saving them money along the way. His company now tracks more than 1.1-million service calls on more than 7.6-million imaging devices around the world. Wes remains a familiar face and speaker at industry events such as ITEX, BPCA, BTA, the OMDA Users Group, and CDA. As with some of the other members of our Top 40, Wes doesn’t typically get a lot of industry recognition because he isn’t someone who is big on self promotion. As Bud Karakey who works with Wes says, “He just helps dealerships.” All and all not a bad career trajectory for someone who started out servicing copiers.
Terry Newsom, President, Pacific Automation
Can an independent office technology dealership successfully expand from their home turf in the Pacific Northwest into other regions of the country? And can an independent office technology dealership do that carrying five different brands within each of those five different locations? The answer to all those questions is a resounding ‘Yes’ and it’s all thanks to Newsome who has come up with a successful business model for expansion, and one that is profitable as well. “We used to say stay dedicated and stay close to home in your expansion, well he blew that myth right out of the water,” says Frank Cannata. “That was Terry’s contribution, to show people there’s a way to do that and make money.” Yes, Pacific Automation is a large dealership, but as Cannata points out, Terry doesn’t rate Top 40 status because he’s got a big dealership, he rates because of the way it got there.
Thomas Schneck, CEO, DocuWare
Thomas has a deep understanding of the BTA channel and what it takes for entrepreneurs to be successful in document management. Over the past 20 years countless document management companies have come and gone in the channel, some have enjoyed periods of success, most didn’t, but DocuWare remains the heavyweight document management champion. “When I have conversations with Thomas his deep curiosity for understanding the entire business model of the evolving BTA channel is evident,” states Tom Callinan. “I define success as being able to earn a fair return on investment. Thomas has created and executed on the programs, guidance, and training to provide the necessary tools for the BTA channel to experience success in document management. Thomas certainly is technical—he has a great product—but it is knowledge of the channel and strong commitment to continue to learn and understand the BTA channel that makes him extraordinary.”
Bob Sostilio, President, Sostilio & Associates
Bob is one of the vanishing breed of industry consultants who cut their teeth on the sales and marketing side of the copier business. He’s held prominent positions at numerous copier companies as well as research organizations such as Dataquest where he was instrumental in bridging the gap between analysis for the manufacturers and analysis that would be of value to the office equipment dealer community. He did the same thing with CAP Ventures (Now Infotrends), helping grow that organization’s multifunction service to where it is today. It’s safe to say that Bob has helped shape some of the research out there today, especially since many are still using the same forecast models he built while at CAP Ventures. “Bob’s consulting skills are beyond reproach, his analytical talent provides the greatest insight in the business, and his ability to provide wisdom to those he works with is nothing short of remarkable,” opines Mike Stramaglio.” “He has a vertically broad base of experience whether it’s on the vendor side or the consulting side,” adds Lou Slawetsky. “There’s only three ways to play in this industry—independents, larger consulting groups, or with a vendor—and he’s one of the few that’s done all of those.”
Robert Weideman, senior vice president and general manager, Nuance Document Imaging Division
It is absolutely impossible to ignore an industry executive who oversees such a wide variety of office productivity solutions, including eCopy, X-Solutions, as well as OmniPage, PaperPort and PDF Converter Professional products. And with the recent announcement that Nuance would be acquiring Equitrac, we can add Equitrac into that impressive mix. Indeed, Robert heads up a division that places him front in center of the imaging solutions provider pack, and with a background at companies such as ScanSoft and Cardiff Software as well as Computer Associates, he’s got the right stuff that makes him one of the industry’s 40 most influential people.
Keith Allison, President & CEO, Systel Business Equipment
Keith Allison has been described to us as an innovator from an independent dealer perspective particularly when you look at what he’s done in the production print area. Since 2004 Systel has been providing commercial offset printing and digital printing through its Printing Services Division. Plus how many dealers do you know who would purchase a private plane to fly people to their commercial printing site, let alone even have a plane or a Printing Services Division to begin with? In fact, we’re told, when Ricoh or Konica Minolta has a new production printer, that’s where it goes and based on the success within that commercial print environment, the decision is made to sell it or not. Allison has been running the business since 1981 and has grown it into one of the largest independent office technology dealerships in the Southeast. Again, size isn’t what we’re talking about here although one has to applaud a dealer who decided to focus on service rather than sales from the get go. “I don’t know anyone who can even come close to competing with Keith,” says Frank Cannata. “The mere fact of the intelligence to buy a plane to justify flying people in and out of there was brilliant. When someone does things like that it gets your attention.”
Phil Boatman, Manager of BSD Program Development, Lexmark
What distinguishes Phil is that he’s a major supporter of the BTA channel witnessed by the fact that he’s a presence at many industry events plus he’s assembled a solid channel dealer program by listening to the people who count—BTA dealers. Like many equipment suppliers in the industry Phil is focused on moving product but his focus is well balanced with ensuring Lexmark has a program that ensures profitability for the BTA channel. “He’s taken a product that everybody thinks of as a commodity and been successful with it,” says Tom Callinan. “I first met Phil five years ago at a peer group event. Lexmark was exhibiting and Phil was a speaker at the event. I was struck by Phil’s energy, but frankly figured it was an anomaly that Lexmark was at a BTA channel event. Well I ran into Phil over and over again as he tirelessly worked every BTA event. Phil didn’t simply show-up to exhibit or give his presentation; he was there to inform as well as learn.”
Angele Boyd, Group VP, General Manager, Imaging/Output Document Solutions & SMB, IDC
As one long-time industry analyst told us, “Angele is the first lady of imaging analysis.” We can’t argue with that, especially since she’s been doing it for 25 years. She’s extremely focused and as anyone can attest who has attended a press briefing or a conference call at which she’s been one of the invited guests, she’s a master of the three-part question. ““No one can more nicely keep the vendors on their toes,” observes Brian Bissett. “She knows what she wants and she knows how to get people with whom she works to produce that.” Angele’s focus and knowledge and pursuit of useful data is one of the reasons why IDC remains one of the primary sources of information within the imaging industry.
Tom Callinan, Founder and Managing Principle, Strategy Development
Can a successful dealer and former IKON executive make a successful transition into the consulting world? All you have to do is look at what Tom has done with Strategy Development and you’ve got the answer to that million-dollar question. Not that the consulting world isn’t a place where a former dealer or office equipment company executive has traveled before, but Tom has transformed Strategy Development into a sales and services consulting powerhouse. His knowledge and expertise along with assembling a team that is pretty much the cream of the sales and services consulting crop, has helped revive struggling dealerships or dealers reinvent themselves to keep pace with changes in the industry. Not only is Tom extremely knowledgeable about the industry and what it takes to become a successful dealership, he clearly has fun doing what he does. And that counts for a lot.
Jim D’Emidio President, Muratec Americas
Jim D’Emidio may be self-effacing when it comes to his company’s role within the office technology industry, but self-effacing or not, Muratec remains one of those Energizer Bunny like companies that keep going and going in the wake of much heavier weight competitors. Whatever the case, Jim has helped created a model for success for what many consider a minor player on the technology front, but a viable option for dealers who are looking for a respectable second or third product line to differentiate themselves from the competition. “For a small vendor with a limited product line they’re among the most respected and liked,” opines Brian Bissett. “They’re the company that everybody loves.” And you can credit Jim for helping to create that love fest.
Ronelle Ingram, Vice President of Technical Service, Steven Enterprises
She’s a past president of BTA and a long-time association volunteer, and one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry when it comes to service and the daily issues confronting service techs and departments. A frequent contributor to ENX magazine and other industry publications, Ronelle remains on a mission to share her knowledge and best practices, which is what earns her a spot on our Top 40 list. “Ronelle has demonstrated an extraordinary amount of dedication to the dealer community,” says BTA’s Brent Hoskins. “Anyone who has ever attended her ‘FIX: Cost Management for Service’ workshop knows the enthusiasm she possesses for helping dealership strengthen their service operations.”
Doug Johnson, SVP, Supplies Network
The consumables segment of the imaging industry is an integral component of managed print services and one need look no further than Supplies Network and Doug Johnson who is taking that message to the streets. Before joining Supplies Network in 2010, Doug spent a good portion of his career pioneering MPS initiatives with companies such as Print Inc. and RedSage Consulting. As senior vice president/COO of Print Inc. and president of its subsidiary, PrintValue Solutions, Doug helped grow Print Inc. into a $67-million company when it was acquired by Pitney Bowes in 2006. Add to that 20 years with HP and Johnson has an impressive résumé in the print industry, which makes him well qualified to speak knowledgeably about the past, present, and future of MPS. “Not only is Doug one of the best and brightest in our industry, he is a high-integrity mover and shaker,” states Ken Stewart of Photizo Group. “Since joining Supplies Network, I have knowledge of some of the wonderful advancements he has brokered in the infrastructure space. Additionally, he continues to heavily support educational initiatives and association missions to ensure the industry as a whole benefits.”
Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta U.S.A.
Kevin Kern was there at the dawn of the digital age when Canon released their first digital products and has taken that knowledge and enthusiasm for digital technology with him to Konica Minolta where he has risen through the ranks while remaining one of the most technologically astute individuals in the industry. You want to know how something works, set aside a couple of hours, wind Kevin up, and let him go. “He’s been one of the most loyal employees at Konica Minolta and has been focused on bringing Konica Minolta into a print world and his product knowledge, product management, and his vision,” notes Bob Sostilio. “He’s kept Konica Minolta in the game from a product and market position.”
Jim Phillips, CEO, Digital Gateway
It’s an age-old story, you have an idea, you create something in your basement or garage, take it to market, and if timing is on your side and you’re really lucky, the market notices, and you’re on your way. That was 16 years ago when Jim Phillips and a group of system integrators came up with e-automate business management software for the office equipment dealer channel, and the rest is history as the dealer channel has become increasingly dependent on data management and collection tools like e-automate. “Few in the industry are as quick to so strongly voice commitment to the independent dealer channel,” says Brent Hoskins. “He stands behind that commitment with a dedication to helping dealerships grow and prosper.”
Lou Slawetsky, COO, Industry Analysts
There aren’t many analysts in the office technology and imaging industries who can provide valuable insights and do it with a sense of humor as well Lou Slawetsky. Others may take themselves more seriously, and that’s their style, but Lou can make a point and a joke at the same time, and that’s one of the reasons he continues to be a familiar presence at industry events. But let’s not forget the value to the industry of Industry Analysts, including research, consulting, training, and testing. Consider that the company conducts 60,000 user interviews a year along with 5,000 dealer interviews, making them uniquely qualified to gauge what’s happening in the office technology industry. Their reports and newsletters remain valuable to dealers and manufacturers as does their contract research such as pricing studies and competitive analysis. And it’s all because of Lou. “Almost no one has as much history with dealer data collection as Lou does,” comments Brian Bissett.
Brian Bissett, Editor, The MFP Report
You won’t find a more cerebral industry pundit than Brian and we mean that in a nice way. He was one of the earliest observers and trackers of the multifunctional marketplace before anybody knew what a multifunctional product was and remains one of the most visible. He’s what Jon Bees of IDC calls a “Thought Leader.” From our perspective The MFP Report is one of the best industry publications out there. It’s a must read for those looking for unbiased and insightful commentary on new product introductions, strategic initiatives, and other happenings within the imaging industry. “He definitely shakes things up and he’s not a political crony,” says Bees. You’d be hard pressed to find a manufacturer or solutions provider that doesn’t have Brian’s publication on their required reading list for the month. “His significance to the marketplace is that he’s not always writing about things that are positive; he does both sides and sometimes the negative is more valuable if it’s taken correctly than the positive,” adds Lou Slawetsky of Industry Analysts.
Jerry Blaine, CEO, LDI Color Toolbox
If you look up “Innovative Dealers” in the dictionary you’ll likely find Jerry Blaine’s picture. Blaine has transformed LDI Color Toolbox into one of the most innovative office technology and services dealerships in the country, and he’s done that in a short period of time. Add to that a long-time commitment to sustainability and it’s clear why he remains in the upper pantheon of independent dealers. Indeed, Blaine was ahead of the curve before most other dealers even realized there was a curve. “He’s really shown the way for dealers to transition into services providers,” says Frank Cannata. Another fan of Jerry’s is Mike Stramaglio of MWA Intelligence. “Jerry Blaine has a proven highly successful track record in the toughest marketplace in the country. He’s been a mover and shaker in pursuing new business models, new products and technologies. He always takes the time to do his homework and apply his knowledge in a way that optimizes his position in the marketplace. He is aggressive and bold and yet uniquely cautious as he translates his vision into success.”
Leo Bonetti, CEO, Flo-Tech
Meet a dealer who has found a way to leverage sustainability initiatives in his business and make a successful transition into managed print services. Those two initiatives place Bonetti ahead of the curve and firmly in the realm of influential independent dealers. We can also acknowledge him for making Flo-Tech one of northern Connecticut’s fastest-growing companies and his participation on HP’s Partner Advisory Board, but we’re going to stick with the innovative ‘green’ programs that Flo-Tech has created and the managed print services programs that give them a sizable edge over their competition. “He has one of the three largest MPS companies in the country,” notes Tom Callinan from Strategy Development. “He’s grown the company from nothing to tens of millions, done acquisitions, and hires really talented people both at the senior level and for his front line managers.”
Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corp.
Ursula Burns took over Xerox after the departure of the much-heralded Anne Mulcahey and by all accounts has done an admirable job of running the industry’s flagship copier and technology company, or as they used to describe themselves, ‘The Document Company.’ Not a bad career trajectory for someone who joined the company in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern and who consistently rose through the ranks, establishing herself as a major force within Xerox and one of the imaging industry’s most powerful women. “Ursula Burns was Anne’s hand-picked heir apparent and was very much involved under Anne’s direction in helping turn that company around,” says Frank Cannata. “On that basis alone, she’s got to be in there.” “She’s tried to reshape Xerox, which was a household name in copiers to not just be a network and solutions company but an IT services firm,” adds Brian Bissett.
The independent dealer couldn’t find a better friend than Frank. His role in the industry has served to position Frank as an icon in the eyes of many. For more than three decades he’s been the voice of the independent dealer community and their biggest booster. He’s honest, forthright, and if you’ve ever read his publication, The Cannata Report, or heard him speak, he’s like Howard Cosell, consistently telling it like it is. That candor doesn’t always go down to well with some manufacturers while others appreciate his candor even if doesn’t always tell them what they want to hear. And let’s not forget the thousands of dollars that Frank has raised for charitable organizations through his annual awards dinner. It’s one of the few events where you will find most of the movers and shakers from the office technology industry in one place at one time.
Jim Cerkleski, CEO, Clover Holdings, Inc.
Jim Cerkleski has been the driving force behind Clover Technologies Group ever since he acquired the company in 2000. Although the company was founded in 1996, it really hit its stride when Cerkleski took over. What he’s created is a recycling powerhouse with $400 million in annual revenues that keeps growing and growing. In addition to recycling and remanufacturing imaging supplies, Clover is expanding its collection programs into small electronics, printers, printer parts, and services. It’s just another indication of how the company has always viewed emerging markets and diversification to grow the business and provide value-add products and services. Its remanufactured toner and ink cartridges are sold through office products distributors and resellers, and marketed under a variety of private label brands. We salute Cerkleski, an industry leader with a proven track record for providing strategic vision and leadership while overseeing sales, business development, and strategic alliance initiatives.
Ed Crowley, President & CEO, Photizo Group
One might think there was no such thing as MPS before Ed Crowley founded Photizo Group four years ago. Since then he has become the Johnny Appleseed of MPS, spreading the MPS message around the world with his MPS conferences while building an MPS empire in Lexington, Kentucky. It should come as no surprise that an ex printer guy would have the knowledge it takes to put up the good fight when it comes to transforming an industry’s mindset from moving boxes to selling services. As the industry has changed, or should we say, continues to evolve towards a services model, Crowley and company continue to preach the gospel of MPS through their conferences, Webinars, and speaking engagements. Ever hear the term “Hybrid Dealer”? That was coined by Photizo. They also defined the 3-Stage Customer Adoption Model for the MPS decision-making process—a model that’s been adapted as an industry standard while expanding to include additional stages. In four short years, Crowley has built Photizo into one of the industry’s leading go-to sources for anyone looking to gain knowledge and insight on all things MPS, landing him squarely on our list of the industry’s Top 40 most influential people.
Frank Gaspari, CEO, FlexPrint
Here’s a successful entrepreneur who after running successful copier dealerships had a vision and saw a need for a company that would become a national provider for document management and managed print solutions. It’s not easy to break the mold and reinvent oneself, but Gaspari did just that and did it well. Since its founding in 2005, FlexPrint has enjoyed a 700 percent year-over-year growth rate and recognition by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the nation. In addition to its home base in Phoenix, FlexPrint has offices in Los Angeles and Chicago, and supports hundreds of customers in 45 markets across the country. Whatever you do, don’t put FlexPrint in a managed print services box. Although Gaspari started FlexPrint as a managed print services company, he will quickly and unequivocally tell you that the company does a whole lot more than managed print services. That’s the kind of attitude that has kept the company growing at a rapid pace and in a position to shift with whatever industry shifts come its way.
Bob Goldberg, BTA General Counsel
The Business Technology Association (BTA) has certainly experienced its ups and downs over the past two decades, but the one thing that remains consistent is the invaluable legal assistance and guidance that Bob Goldberg provides to members and the business technology industry as a whole. For several decades he has been crucial to the industry on many issues such as bringing fair and equitable arrangements between dealers and manufacturers, defending the industry players from unscrupulous organizations and most recently being at the forefront of the industry’s latest security initiatives, working tirelessly in making sure state legislatures are well aware of the industry response to security. While membership within the association may have declined, one thing that hasn’t is Goldberg’s value to BTA’s dealer members. As BTA Executive Director Brent Hoskins says, “Few, if any, have shown more dedication to the independent dealer community through the years. Bob is not only available as a source of counsel to dealers who seek to benefit from his wisdom, but he is quick to proactively find ways to help strengthen the dealer channel.”
John Hey & John Hanson Associates and Founders, Strategic Business Associates
Hey and Hanson, the names have practically become synonymous in the office technology industry. There aren’t many dealer or office technology industry events where a Hey & Hanson seminar isn’t on the agenda. If anyone knows how to grow a business it’s Hey and Hanson who transformed the D.C. Hey Company from a $5 million company to a $170 million company. That was then, now that they’re both out of the copier dealership business and running a successful management consulting firm offering valuable guidance to the dealer community as well as the magic formula for operating a successful dealership. “These two are the most gracious in sharing their knowledge of how to run a successful dealership,” says Bob Sostilio of Sostilio & Associates. “They’re vendor agnostic and give dealers all the tools to be successful as they were.”
Brent Hoskins, Executive Director, BTA
Many of us were surprised when Brent Hoskins was named executive director of BTA. Here was the editor of BTA’s publication, Office Technology all of a sudden thrust into the limelight and the top of an organization that has meant so much to the independent dealer community over the years. And what a job he’s done. Since taking over that role he’s become the association’s strongest advocate for education and remains focused on growing the membership ranks while making sure that the industry continues to be relevant and the voice of the independent office technology dealer. “Brent has been a vital part of the Business Technology Association staff for many years and his most recent as Executive Director has moved the association in a very positive direction from growing the membership, to increasing the educational opportunities and venues for members, to raising the association’s presence to vendors,” says Bill James with WJS Enterprises in Metairie, La. We couldn’t agree more although we’re still surprised by and admire how he continues to juggle his many responsibilities as executive director while still writing for and editing Office Technology.
Ed McLaughlin, President Sharp
Can an American executive make a difference within a Japanese company, particularly in an organization that has historically been a notoriously difficult environment for U.S. executives? They sure can and after 10 years at the helm of Sharp, McLaughlin has shown that he is a successful leader and one that is adept at working closely and respectfully with his Japanese counterparts in the U.S. and Japan. His ability to speak from the heart, candidly with a great deal of passion before Sharp dealers as well as the press and analyst community distinguishes Ed as a respected industry leader. Although Sharp remains a strong brand within the consumer world, it’s a brand that’s become more relevant within the office environment since McLaughlin took over. While some may say it’s overly ambitious to think that he can convert Sharp into a top-tier player, under his leadership the company has been making some bold moves in A4 and has done a bang up job with the new Ui interface, giving the company a leg up on its competition. During his tenure at Sharp he has certainly made his mark at the company and throughout the office technology industry. “He’s probably the only American since Joe Castrianni who stood up to the Japanese on matters of principle, direction, and opinions,” says Frank Cannata. “He never caved to what he felt was taking the company in an incorrect direction. The Japanese have a lot of respect for him.”
Vice President Marketing, Services and Solutions, Toshiba
If you want to talk about applications and MPS, there’s no better place to start in the industry than with Bill. Those are two areas he knows and knows well and that knowledge has helped place Toshiba squarely on the MPS program map well above many of its more well-heeled competitors. “Bill Melo has done a great job at Toshiba of positioning them for MPS,” says Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “He’s helped put them far in front of the other OEMs.” “He’s an important person when you talk about applications in the marketplace,” adds Lou Slawetsky. “If that’s his specialty he becomes pretty important in understanding what applications are and how they interface with the devices you’re selling.” While Brian Bissett observes, “He’s been instrumental in helping Toshiba America develop MPS visibility that is larger than the size of the firm.”
Michael Pietrunti, President & CEO, Kyocera Mita
Without a doubt Mike Pietrunti is one of the most dedicated, loyal, and pragmatic executives in the office technology industry. Over the course of his career he has left his mark at two companies—Sharp and Kyocera Mita. During his tenure at Sharp his resolve was tested when IKON stopped carrying Sharp. That was a big blow to the company and Mike was responsible for rebuilding Sharp’s dealer channel at a time when the company couldn’t have been more vulnerable. No doubt this experience made him an attractive addition to the Kyocera Mita team when he joined the company in 2002. “Mike is one of those guys who has been a good soldier for many years and has paid his dues and the reward for having paid his dues, which by the way includes performance, is the position he has now,” notes Lou Slawetsky. “He’s a presence in the fact that he’s always done a good job and has always been there.” “If it wasn’t for Mike the Sharp dealer channel as we know it today wouldn’t exist,” adds Bob Sostilio. “He’s done the same thing at Kyocera Mita. He is a consummate executive, understands what his goals and objectives are, and he’s extremely loyal to his employer and one of the most successful executives in our industry.”
Art Post, Print4Pay Hotel & Print4Pay Hotel’s MFP Solutions Blog
Here’s a feet-on-the-street sales guy, who started out as a tech transitioned to sales and has become the office technology industry’s #1 blogger while connecting dealers from all parts of the globe with his Print4Pay Hotel discussion board as well as its offshoots. As he describes it, it’s a resource for imaging professionals by imaging professionals. If you want to take the pulse of the sales and service folks out in the field, one of the best sources of information is the Print4Pay Hotel. Art Post is not only an excellent representative for top-shelf dealer sales representatives, but he is also an innovator who has promoted our industry on his p4photel message board and his MFP Solutions Blog. He has developed an entire community of industry personnel who share ideas and best practices every day on his p4photel Website. He always does his best to make sure that every question is answered and that every member has a rewarding experience. “For someone like me who loves our industry, Art Post has given me not only valuable information, but also hours of reading enjoyment,” writes Gregg Sollenne, region analyst, Konica Minolta Business Solutions.
Jon Reardon, Group Director of Office Document Technologies, InfoTrends
Jon is one of those analysts that seemingly flies under the radar yet has a profound effect on the direction of the industry. His team at InfoTrends provides relevant data, both historical and future projections, and then uses that data to paint a clear picture of where the industry is headed. “There is no sensationalism or grandstanding in Jon’s reports from InfoTrends, simply great commentary on solid data,” opines Strategy Development’s Tom Callinan. “Moreover, Jon can be counted on to contribute to the industry with his substantive presentations at industry events such as ITEX and InfoTrends Summit. I am always amazed at how much actionable data Jon shares in these presentations. It was Jon’s work at InfoTrends that clearly forecasted the need to move to MPS and continues to guide the consultants at Strategy Development.”
Carlyle Singer, President & CEO, Katun Corp.
Over a 27+ year career Carlyle Singer has established a reputation for integrating strategy, organization, process, people, and technology to deliver business results. Prior to joining Katun, the world’s largest supplier of OEM-compatible imaging supplies, photoreceptors and parts for the office technology industry, in 2005 she was senior vice president of operations for IKON Office Solutions, Inc. Before joining IKON she served as a partner and vice president of operations at Basetec Office Systems, an office equipment distributor in Tampa, Fla. We think it’s safe to say that background has provided Singer with a keen understanding of every facet of the business and has provided her with a foundation for holding down Katun’s top spot for the past six years and doing a superior job as well.
Mike Stramaglio, President &CEO, MWAi
It may seem as if Mike Stramaglio has worked for just about every office technology manufacturer in the universe, but that’s an illusion. The reality is, Mike has always maintained a high profile everywhere he’s been and in every role he’s ever had in the industry. The name of the game for Mike and MWAi is machine to machine intelligence and he’s done a heck of a job in building MWA Intelligence into one of the world’s leading machine-to-machine intelligence providers, particularly for the office equipment dealer community. He’s also got a knack for fostering partnerships as witnessed by MWAi’s relationships with Samsung, Intel, and so many others. There aren’t many industry events that take place where Mike isn’t in attendance. In fact, it’s not an industry event if Mike isn’t there. “Mike is an entrepreneur and everything he’s been asked to do he’s left his mark in a positive way,” says Bob Sostilio. “At MWAi he’s found a way to make that company successful and they finally have brandname recognition and have a good presence in the support and solutions market and M2M markets. He’s finally found a place and product he can call his own.”
Rick Taylor, President & CEO
, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc.
Who wouldn’t want Rick Taylor at the helm of their company? He’s run successful dealerships, done a terrific job during his tenure at Toshiba, and is now making a huge difference at Konica Minolta. His down-to-earth style—and his humor—has been endearing to those in the industry who have known Rick throughout the years. One always knows where he stands on issues and his presentations before a dealer audience are always engaging. Arguably, one of Taylor’s biggest accomplishments at Konica Minolta has been reducing the channel conflict that was so prevalent throughout the organization even if some may argue the company has become a predominantly direct organization. His experience in acquisitions at Toshiba has been instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition after the acquisition of Danka and with this year’s earlier acquisition of All Covered. His recent promotion to President & CEO underscores the impact he’s already had at Konica Minolta and just how important his presence is to one of the industry’s most progressive office technology companies.