Every other year The Week in Imaging presents its Top 40 Most Influential People in the Imaging Industry. It’s a broad mix of individuals consisting of those who make the tough decisions either at the top or at various levels within their organizations, those who others in the industry follow or emulate as well as thought leaders whose commentary and experience help them navigate through the ever-changing landscape whether it be hardware, solutions or services that make up the imaging industry. We present these awards every other year to keep the names on the list as fresh as possible. Yes, many of the folks we’re recognizing were honored in our first Top 40 back in 2011, however, there’s also a number of new individuals who have come to the forefront of the industry since that time.
Throughout the month of May we’ve been presenting 10 of these influential people each week in random order. Although you might not agree with every selection, each and every individual on this year’s list is deserving in our estimation and in the estimation of those individuals who we’re quoting in these snapshot profiles. This week we present our final group of 10.
Leo Bonetti, President Flo-Tech
A perennial Elite Dealer and a forward thinker when it comes to MPS and green initiatives, one can’t underestimate the effect that Leo Bonetti of Flo-Tech has had on his company and the industry as a whole. Yes indeed, he transformed a printer supply company into an industry leading MPS provider before the term MPS was known. In the decade since Leo and his senior team have continued to stay far ahead of the competition and those competitors happen to be in one of the most competitive market areas in the country, from Boston to Washington, DC. In addition to strong organic growth Leo has acquired a significant amount of companies and quickly integrated them into the Flo-Tech culture.
Like many other industry leaders, Leo and the Flo-Tech team have been recognized with many industry awards, and this is just one more in a long list of accolades.
Ron Books, CEO, ECi
Talk about rapid change and growth, since Ron Books took over as president of ECi on January 1, 2009, the company known as a developer of business management and e-commerce systems for the independent dealer community has grown at an exponential pace, most notably through acquisition. At the time he took the helm, Books had been with ECi for nine years, working directly with independent dealers and distributors learning about their businesses and their software needs. At the time, ECi was focused primarily on the office products dealer community. That’s no longer the case and through a steady stream of acquisitions, ECi has consolidated the ERP industry, becoming a software and solutions powerhouse. On the office products and office technology front the company’s products include Britannia, DDMS, La Cross, OMD, FMAudit, and Digital Gateway. Whatever vision Books has for the company seems to be working, making Books and ECi highly influential.
Paul Schwartz, President & CEO, Copier Careers
If it was only for launching Copier Careers, arguably the copier industry’s most prominent placement firm for sales representatives, sales managers, and service techs and managers, then Paul Schwartz would warrant inclusion as one of the imaging industry’s most influential people. But when you consider the volumes of salary survey information Copier Careers has published over the years on sales managers, service managers, service technicians, and now sales representatives, the industry would be sorely lacking when it comes to this important data that serves as an industry benchmark. Credit Paul and his team for developing these surveys and going where no other placement firm or imaging and office technology organization has gone before.
Sarah Henderson, Director, MPS Operations, West Point Products
In case you haven’t noticed, Sarah Henderson has been assembling an impressive résumé in the imaging industry over a short time span. After 5+ years at GreatAmerica Leasing she’s found a new home at West Point Products where she develops and manages the implementation of MPS programs and infrastructure tools in the North America channel via West Point’s Axess program. One of the most knowledgeable women in the industry when it comes to MPS, Sarah serves on the board of directors of the Managed Print Services Association and not surprisingly maintains a high-profile presence at industry conferences where you’ll find her sharing her expertise on MPS-related issues. “Sarah is a great influence in the MPS realm,” observes Greg Walters, president of Walters & Shutwell. “She has designed and constructed a great program and continues to enhance the MPS ecosystem.”
Jim Loffler, President & CEO, Loffler Companies
There are many influential dealers around the country and Jim Loffler is one of them. He’s got all the qualities of a good leader, honed over 26 years in the industry, and has the knowledge and awareness to surround himself with good people that he can trust. This excellence for Jim and his team as well as his dealership has been consistently recognized over and over again whether its as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, multiple Elite Dealer Awards, as well as recognition from vendors whose products his company represents. As an influential leader, Jim has made sure that Loffler Companies leverage great technology and design solutions that work for clients. Examples include building Loffler Digital Transport (LDT) which is a Web-based job submission tool with catalog for print shops; being a MEAP developer for Canon, being one of Canon’s top uniFLOW resellers, one of the first wave of dealers to offer MPS and managed IT services, and being one of the first dealers to successfully off on-site managed services. “All of these things and more in the way Jim works and lives has made a major impact on the industry and how competitors run their business not only in the Upper Midwest, but across the country,” says Gary Volbert, director of Loffler management solutions and marketing, and a 23-year industry veteran, including the past nine years at Loffler.
Mike Stramaglio CEO, MWAi
We can think of a number of good reasons for Mike Stramaglio to be on this year’s list, the least of which is his years of service to the industry, a claim many others on our list can make as well. However, Mike has taken those years of experience along with the many relationships he’s made over his career and built a technology powerhouse in the desert that has dramatically improved the operations of office technology dealers across the country.
Mike’s focus at MWAi continues to be machine to machine intelligence and he’s done a stellar job of building MWA Intelligence into one of the world’s leading machine-to-machine intelligence providers, particularly for the office equipment dealer community.” Now with the formation of MWAi’s SAP Business Unit and the MWAi Services Platform, enabled by SAP Business One, the office technology and imaging channel has a new integrated business management solution to better manage their business.
His tireless efforts on behalf of his company and the industry finds him logging thousands of miles a year (We’d love to have some of those frequent flyer miles.), attending and speaking at industry events and conferences, including his own Executive Summit earlier this year. We also appreciate his charitable efforts and cross-country motorcycle treks, examples of just how big of a heart this industry leader possesses.
Whether it’s helping others or being on top of the latest trends, from big data, to little data, to MPS, or whatever, Mike continues to have his finger on the pulse of the industry and that’s why he’s back on this year’s most influential list.
Barry Taylor, CEO, TaylorMade Business Systems
Here’s a guy who has been in the copier business for almost as long as there’s been a copier business. That may be an exaggeration, but Taylor has been an influential player since acquiring his first copier company in 1972. “TaylorMade was a powerhouse copier company in the San Francisco Bay area that was acquired by Alco (predecessor of IKON, acquired by Ricoh) and thrived for many years with an intense focus on customers and employees,” recalls Tom Callinan of Strategy Development.
After ‘retiring’ from IKON in the late 90′s Barry enjoyed a few years without the day-to-day focus on imaging. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that Barry didn’t sit still, founding TaylorMade Water Systems with a highly talented management team, many with the same family name of Taylor. TaylorMade Water was acquired last year by WaterLogic. In 2001 Barry and family reentered the imaging space with TaylorMade Digital, before selling to Ricoh in 2005. In 2012 Barry, Casey, and Clint Taylor founded TaylorMade Business Systems as a pure MPS VAR and are experiencing rapid growth in the Bay Area with that same laser focus to customers, employees, and superb strategic and marketing skills, staying ahead of most in the industry.
“Founding one successful company is a great accomplishment; having the ability to repeat that success four times is simply amazing,” says Callinan. “Barry has brought that same passion to philanthropy, founding The Taylor Family Foundation (www.ttff.org) and over the last twenty years the foundation has provided a caring environment to 40,000 children in Northern California living with life threatening and chronic diseases.”
Greg Walters, President MPSA, President, Walters & Shutwell
Who hasn’t Greg Walters rubbed the wrong way or enhanced awareness of the MPS world in his “Death of the Copier” blog? For anyone who has ever read that blog, which passed away in 2011, it’s little wonder that Greg calls himself a “Contrarian Technologist.” He doesn’t tell the industry only what they want to hear, and that’s what makes him somebody worth listening to whether you agree with him or not.
“Greg is an influencer, a leader, and continues to speculate and prognosticate about the future of the imaging channel as a whole,” says Art Post, founder of the Print4Pay Hotel and the MFP Solutions blog.
What began as a career in IT sales and services some 25+ years ago has now turned into a new career as a prolific industry observer, writer, and consultant through his new company, Walters & Shutwell. Add to that a leadership position in the Managed Print Services Association, and Greg remains at the forefront of the industry and one of our most influential people of 2013.
Steve Galloway, President and CEO, ESP
If longevity in the industry is an indicator of influence, then Steve Galloway has done his time with more than 33 years, including over 28 years at Xerox as VP and GM. But what makes Steve influential is that for the past four years he’s been at the helm of ESP/Surge X, transforming what was once simply a power protection company into an energy intelligence technology company. Under Steve’s leadership ESP has developed cutting edge field service diagnostic solutions, energy management, and IT network administration technology, providing dealers and resellers with an added revenue opportunity in the IT and AV services business. The imaging industry tends to highlight hardware, services, and software solutions, but let’s not forget how important power protection, and now energy intelligence technology is even if most of the time it’s flying under the radar. Even so, ESP is growing thanks in large part to Steve who has also made sure in this era where manufacturing is constantly moving overseas, ESP is still a U.S. manufacturer. In our book, those credentials are what makes Steve Galloway one of the imaging industry’s most influential people.
Fred Carollo, General Manager, Office Products, EverBank Commercial Finance, Inc.
Has anyone noticed all the activity on the leasing front of late, at least from a personnel perspective with various comings and goings? One company that seems to be leading the charge in bringing in new talent is EverBank Commercial Finance. Overseeing much of this activity is Fred Carollo, who is on a mission to raise the profile of EverBank Commercial Finance among the office technology dealer community and so far he seems to be doing a good job of it, especially with his eye for talent and his knack for working with dealers. Indeed, Fred knows leasing having held management positions at Heartland Business Credit and De Lage Landen where he managed office products and technology leasing operations prior to joining EverBank. His résumé and history in the finance business has provided Fred with a keen understanding of the challenges companies face in financing and acquiring office technology. For us, he’s become increasingly influential on the leasing front and that’s why he’s found a place on this year’s list.
Bill Melo, Vice President of Marketing, Services & Solutions, Toshiba America Business Solutions
Meet a guy who has intimate knowledge of the latest applications, trends, and opportunities in the office technology and imaging industries. Want to talk MPS, talk to Bill Melo. Want to talk managed services, talk to Bill Melo. Want to talk applications, talk to Bill Melo. Want to talk digital signage, yes, talk to Bill Melo. Thanks in large part to his efforts, Toshiba was a forerunner in MPS and is still going strong in that segment. As far as applications, he can take an application and help dealers understand how that application can interface and enhance the devices they sell. That’s not an easy thing to do. “A creative thinker with a lot of intelligence and strong operational skills, Bill does a fabulous job of positioning Toshiba as an industry leader in technology,” states Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “There are a lot of buzzwords and strategies thrown around in our ‘imaging world,’ but Bill is able to connect those concepts to executable plans, whether in MPS, digital signage, or a services-led approach to sales.”
Alan Nielsen, Executive Vice President Dealer Sales and Administration, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A.
It’s no secret that dealers appreciated the efforts of Alan Nielsen when he was at Ricoh and Ricoh’s loss has been Konica Minolta’s gain…and a big one at that. Under his leadership Konica Minolta has built one of the most successful dealer programs in the industry. Believe it or not independent dealers today represent the fastest growing segment of Konica Minolta. “Alan knows dealers and depends on those dealers to provide him with the feedback he needs to keep his programs in the top tier of the industry,” says Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “Poll KMBS dealers and you’ll find one happy group; a great deal of that happiness has to be attributed to Alan’s commitment to and knowledge of the dealer channel.” Indeed, Alan is respected within the office technology dealer community and remains committed to helping dealers succeed, and if that’s why we consider him one of this year’s most influential people.
Brent Hoskins, Executive Director, BTA
It’s hard to believe that Brent Hoskins has been a part of the office technology industry for nearly a quarter of a century. That’s quite an accomplishment. What’s an even a bigger accomplishment is that he’s been able to successfully make the transition from editor of BTA’s publication, Office Technology to BTA Executive Director. That’s not what one would consider the usual career path even though Brent continues to write and edit Office Technology just as he’s done for more than two decades in addition to all of his other responsibilities as executive director. Under Brent’s leadership, BTA remains a relevant association to the independent dealer community, especially when one considers the many successful regional events, participation in OEM dealer meetings, and other industry events as well as the many educational opportunities the association provides. There’s many champions of the independent dealer among our Top 40, however, Brent remains one of the most dedicated, and hopefully will be supporting that community for many years to come.
Ed Crowley, Founder & CEO, Photizo Group
It would probably be an overstatement to say that there would be no such thing as MPS without Ed Crowley. One thing’s for sure there would likely be no Photizo Group or MPSA spreading the gospel of MPS the way that they do if it weren’t for Ed. He truly is one of the managed print services pioneers and continues to influence the imaging industry with his insights into the ways MPS is impacting traditional hardware and supplies markets and how MPS continues to evolve into managed services, digital workflow transformation, and business-process optimization. At the same time Ed remains focused on raising the profile of Photizo Group through various events such as Transform Global 2013, and most notably the acquisition in 2012 of Lyra Research. With that acquisition, Photizo added a host of influential industry consultants to his existing roster of MPS consultants.
Art Post, Founder, The Print 4 Pay Hotel and Editor of The MFP Solutions Blog
While most of the folks populating our most influential list are upper-level executives in dealerships, at the OEM level, or industry consultants, it’s refreshing to know that plenty of feet-on-the-street sales reps and service techs still appreciate the opinions, sometimes controversial mind you, of one of their peers. Art founded the Print4Pay Hotel in 2003 and followed that up with his MFP Solutions blog in 2008. He’s got thousands of readers all around the world who appreciate his knack for telling it like it is. We’re honored to include his posts in The Week in Imaging. “Art Post certainly belongs on this list,” says L. Lee Kirkby, vice president Leppert Business Systems, in Burlington, Ontario. “He covers the industry from a unique perspective and provides help, advice, and a forum for the frontline every day.”
Jeff Gau, President & CEO, Marco
There’s big dealers, and there’s big dealers, and Marco, run by Jeff Gau, is one of the biggest. But what makes Jeff one of the more influential dealers in the industry is what he’s achieved in his dealership with MPS and managed network services. Those initiatives have made his organization the poster child for the hybrid dealer. “Marco has a strong culture of winning, high employee engagement, and Jeff and his team are redefining the dealer landscape in the upper Mid-West with an acquisition every two to three months,” states Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “Add in their strong IT service and MPS program and you have the perfect dealer model. Jeff and the Marco team have piled on the awards, including numerous Perfect Imaging awards and great place to work recognition. Spend a day at their St Cloud headquarters and you’ll quickly understand that they are a unique and talented group.”
Frank Cannata, President and Founder, MRC Consultants
Frank Cannata has a well-earned reputation as one of the most candid and straightforward analyst in the industry. When he speaks, dealers, manufacturers, and anyone associated with the industry listens, and if they’re not paying attention, they ought to. In addition to his vast knowledge of the industry, we applaud him too for the way he champions the independent dealer community in his newsletter, speaking engagements, and his participation in countless dealer and OEM events. For many in the industry, his annual awards dinner is a must-attend function and one of the few events that consistently brings together a Who’s Who of the office technology industry, from OEMs, to independent dealers, to leasing companies, to solutions providers. Without question, Frank is responsible for the industry’s biggest networking event. Plus over the years those dinners have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for an array of charities. Frank’s knowledge and experience, and his efforts in fighting the good fight underscores why we consider him one of the industry’s most influential people.
Frank Gaspari, CEO, FlexPrint
If there was ever a blueprint on how to create a national MPS powerhouse one might look no further than FlexPrint based in Mesa, AZ for an idea of how to do it and how to do it right. The brains behind this model is FlexPrint CEO Frank Gaspari, a 26+ year veteran of the office technology industry, who saw an opportunity and seized it back in 2005 when he founded FlexPrint. Today, FlexPrint supports national clients in every state with direct offices in Arizona, California, and Illinois. If that’s not impressive enough for you, the company was named to the 2010 Inc. 500 list as one of the nation’s 500 fastest-growing privately held companies making it the second company that Frank has led (Column Office Equipment was the first.) to make this list. “Frank has defined the national MPS model and along the way continues to pile on the awards in every category, from growth as recognized by Inc. magazine, to top MPS provider as recognized by Image Source, to happy and engaged employees as recognized as a great place to work,” says long-time Gaspari fan Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “Leadership skills, strategic thinking, willingness to invest…Frank has it all.”
Doug Johnson, SVP, Supplies Network
There are plenty of people in the industry who can talk a good game about MPS and then there’s Doug Johnson, someone who has written many of the rules for the MPS game while serving at an array of companies. Since joining Supplies Network in 2010 he continues to drive the company’s MPS initiatives, most notably its CARBON SiX program. Prior to joining Supplies Network, Doug immersed himself in the MPS world and was instrumental in developing MPS initiatives at Print Inc. and its subsidiary PrintValue Solutions. Add to that 20 years at HP where Doug acquired a wealth of knowledge about the print industry and it’s little wonder he remains one of the imaging industry’s most articulate voices on managed print services.
West McDonald, President, FocusMPS
If you don’t know West McDonald, president and founder of FocusMPS, an organization that offers curriculum-based training to copier dealers, office supplies dealers, and VARs, you’re not as plugged into the MPS world as you should be. Over the course of his career Wes has trained thousands of sales rep on how to sell MPS. He’s an enthusiastic advocate for MPS and is doing his best to help his clients succeed in the challenging and competitive MPS sales environment. A visit to the FocusMPS Website yields testimonials from many of the movers and shakers within the industry, including WestPoint Products, GreatAmerica Leasing, Clover Technologies Group, HP Canada, and PartsNow! With friends like that in his corner, how can West not be influential?
Michael Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Nuance Document Imaging Division
After he sold Equitrac to Nuance back in 2011 anyone who thought Michael Rich was going to fade into the sunset was sadly mistaken. He hasn’t gone anywhere and in fact seems to have more responsibilities now than during the decade he led Equitrac. These days Rich is responsible for a broad range of Nuance office productivity products, including eCopy, Equitrac, PDF Converter, Omnipage, and PaperPort. Prior to his current role, Mike was senior vice president, worldwide sales for Nuance Document Imaging and Dragon. His current role, however, is more indicative of his proven leadership skills not only within Nuance, but why he is an influential individual within the imaging industry as a whole.
Phil Boatman, Manager of BSD Program Development, Lexmark
I don’t know if I’ve met anyone with the enthusiasm for the channel or the desire to learn more about the channel than Phil Boatman of Lexmark. His mission has been to enhance Lexmark’s presence in the BTA channel and despite a rocky road of late for Lexmark, the Lexmark product line remains a formidable second line whether they’re a member of BTA or not. No doubt too that Phil has some strong backing internally at Lexmark where he continues to get the support and tools to be successful. He’s not doing it alone, but Phil is most certainly keeping Lexmark and Lexington, KY on the map within the independent dealer channel. Without his endless quest for knowledge about the channel, his willingness to listen to dealers and others in the industry, and without his dedication to the channel, we’re not sure whether or not the dealer community would be paying attention to a company and a product line that in our opinion remain viable.
“The words and actions of Phil Boatman exemplify the type of dedication to the dealer community that has become apparent at Lexmark,” says Brent Hoskins, executive director of BTA. “Not only does Phil possess the integrity and character that should be prevalent with every manufacturer’s management team, but he also has a level of enthusiasm for moving the BTA channel forward that can truly make a difference within the office technology industry.”
Jim D’Emedio, President, Muratec
Where would Muratec be without Jim D’Emedio at the helm? They certainly wouldn’t be one of the leading secondary lines in the industry that’s for sure. One of the things we’ve always liked about Jim is his honesty about where Muratec fits into the office technology supplier food chain. In this case honesty is the best policy and dealers who take on Muratec products appreciate the flexible programs the company offers as well as the opportunity to fill in key gaps in their product lines. With so much volatility in the industry and a history of consolidation you can’t help but give Jim credit for ensuring that no matter which way the economic winds or technological changes blow, Muratec can take a licking and still keep on ticking. Another thing that impresses us about Jim is his thirst for knowledge and it’s not unusual to see him at an industry event attending seminars, enhancing his knowledge of the industry. Just another reason why Jim remains one of the industry’s most influential people.
Tom Callinan, Founder and Managing Principle, Strategy Development
There’s plenty of dealers who owe their success or at least some of their success to Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. Some of those dealers are in our Top 40 Most Influential People and many more are fixtures among our annual Elite Dealers. A former dealer and IKON executive, Tom has parlayed those years of sales experience in the trenches and within the corporate world to help dealers raise their sales and service operations to the next level. His keen insights about the industry and understanding of what it takes to create a successful dealership place him in the upper pantheon of industry consultants. The other thing we’ve noticed is that he’s not shy about sharing his opinions about the business. While honesty isn’t always the best policy, it always makes for good copy and that’s one of the things we can count on time and time again from Tom.
Kevin Kern, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Konica Minolta U.S.A.
One of the constants in the imaging technology industry during the past 20+ years has been the presence of Kevin Kern. Sure you can say that about plenty of individuals on our Top 40 list, but this is truly someone who has been there done that going back to when he was intimately involved on the product side of the business, especially during the emergence of digital first at Canon and now at Konica Minolta. Indeed, he’s one of the few executives in the industry who understands what’s under the hood and can speak intelligently about the impact that technology has both from an end user and a dealer perspective. In this day and age if you’re going to talk about technology trends, Kevin should be one of the first people on your list to talk tech with.
Gary Halperin, CEO, OnePrint Solutions
If MPS is the wave of the future for the printing and imaging channel, then Gary Halperin has come up a winning model that allows more players to get into the game. It was about five years ago when OnePrint first introduced its outsourced MPS solution, a business kit that offers remote monitoring, compatible cartridges, nationwide delivery within 24-48 hours, leasing programs, help desk support, and nationwide printer service, enabling just about anybody to start an MPS business.
“This guy is running an intriguing new franchise business model for disenfranchised MPS sales reps, and starting to see some solid success in the Northwest,” says Ed Crowley, president of Photizo Group.
If that sounds like a commercial for OnePrint and that he’s commoditizing the business, so be it. Gary’s company also offers training, marketing, and outsourced administrative support. His knowledge of the MPS business is extensive and can be traced back to 2002. Add to that an impressive résumé with nearly 30 years in the office technology industry, including stints at IKON, Print Inc., and Toshiba. In an industry where knowledge is critical, Gary has established himself as one of the industry’s foremost professors of MPS.
Ken Stewart, Director MPS Advisory Service, Photizo Group
It’s amazing how much of an impact MPS has had on the office technology and imaging industry. That impact can be witnessed by the inclusion of many of the movers and shakers in this year’s Top 40. When it comes to MPS, look no further than Ken Stewart at Photizo. He’s become a leading expert on managed print while also serving on the MPSA Standards & Best Practices Committee. What also impresses us and others who feel that Ken is influential is the new framework he developed for forecasting MPS to the industry. Some consider it ground-breaking and although we may not go that far with the superlatives, we will call it influential and important, just like Ken himself.
John Hey & John Hanson Associates and Founders, Strategic Business Associates
They made our list the first time we put this together in 2011 and they’re back again in 2013. As we pointed out the first time we acknowledged their influence, the names Hey and Hanson are synonymous with the office technology industry. How many events take place in a given year where they aren’t on the program? This duo knows how to build a business and they’ve been helping dealers build and improve their businesses ever since they formed Strategic Business Associates. Both have been successful at running dealerships and they’ve proven successful at running a management consulting firm as well. Their longevity in the industry and the fact that dealers still count on them for guidance illustrate just how influential Hey and Hanson remain in 2013.
Thomas Schneck, President, DocuWare
Thomas Schneck is the everyday face of DocuWare within the independent dealer channel. Credit him with understanding that channel and what it takes to sell document management. No doubt the document management business is a crowded one and dealers have a choice of some pretty solid document management solutions. If anyone needs a compelling reason to make sure that document management is part of their solutions mix, a few minutes talking to Thomas will place one on the right path. Since 1990, Thomas has served as President of the company in charge of all marketing and sales activities. A main emphasis of his work continues to be the expansion of a worldwide sales network of Authorized DocuWare Partners, a network that is growing rapidly. Clearly, Thomasis doing something right and remains one of the most influential people not only in the document management space, but in the imaging space as well.
Wes McArtor, President, BEI Services
How important is service to the office technology and imaging dealer community? That’s a rhetorical question if there ever was one, but it’s also why we’re enamored with everything that Wes McArtor has been able to achieve since launching BEI Services some 20 years ago. When it comes to service, it takes one to know one, or to completely understand what needs to be done to ramp up a dealer’s service capabilities. With all the metrics that BEI Services has created over the years, fashioning those into a solution, that achieves measurable results within a dealer’s service organization is something that you can’t place a number on. Thanks to Wes and his team at BEI Services, we stand corrected, you can place a number on it. And a growing community of dealers throughout the country are doing just that.
Jim Coriddi, Vice President, Dealer Division, Ricoh
When Jim Coriddi, vice president of Ricoh’s Dealer Division made a promise to dealers at their dealer meeting in June 2012 that Ricoh was looking to better balance their business by increasing dealer participation he meant what he said and that’s exactly what’s been going on since then. That may be hard to believe for many industry observers, especially after some of the turmoil Ricoh has been through over the past few years, but Jim has so far delivered on that promise, making him one of our most influential people in a company that truly needs an influential person in a leadership role.
“In less than a year he has taken a distribution that felt disenfranchised from its primary supplier and had begun moving a significant part of their volume to competitive brands,” notes Frank Cannata of Marketing Research Consultants. “The fact that Ricoh has enjoyed increases from the dealer channel is a strong indication that the plan is working. We expect the current trend to continue until such time as Ricoh is able to meet all of its channel objectives.”
Ursula Burns, President, Xerox Corporation
It’s somewhat of a surprise that the first two most influential people on our list are with organizations that many in the industry love to hate of late. While turmoil sometimes creates that love to hate attitude, so does a fair amount of turmoil. That doesn’t stop Frank Cannata, president of Marketing Research Consultants, from rating Ursula Burns of Xerox as one of the most influential executives in the imaging industry based in large part on her current track record with the company
“Her continued stewardship of Xerox as it goes through a very difficult transformation to become a services-led corporation has been an exercise in visionary leadership,” states Cannata. “Xerox now enjoys 50 percent of its revenue from the services side of the business. It has been difficult thanks to the financial community analysts who have difficulty looking beyond the next quarter. Her continued support for the expansion of Global that offers a very competitive SG&A and competes very effectively against the independent dealer was a great decision. Ann Mulcahy made the [original] call, but it was left to Burns to bring it all together.”
Bob Goldberg, General Counsel, Business Technology Association
Year in and year out, Bob Goldberg, BTA’s general counsel, is the man that BTA members count on for legal advice and support in their dealings with manufacturers, service providers, and customers. It was Bob who helped put together the industry’s game plan with a little help from his office technology industry friends to address misconceptions about document security a few years ago. Now he’s leading the fight against the patent trolls who are causing headaches for end users, dealers, and manufacturers alike.
Although one can argue this is what Bob gets paid to do on behalf of BTA, one can’t argue that he continues to fight the good fight on behalf of the industry and without his efforts many dealers would find themselves at a huge disadvantage.
Brian Bissett, Editor, The MFP Report
One of the most erudite and cerebral analysts in the industry, Brian Bissett continues to provide no-holds-barred commentary in his monthly MFP Report. If you don’t subscribe, you should: http://www.mfpreport.com/. Many folks in the industry, particularly on the manufacturer and solutions provider side of the business, consider his publication required monthly reading. His speaking engagements at industry events and his thoughtful commentary, position him as one of the more distinguished and quotable thought leaders in the imaging and office technology industry.
Rick Taylor, President & COO, Konica Minolta
There’s no way this list isn’t going to include the most vibrant and engaging President and COO on the OEM side of the business. Here’s an executive that has done a spectacular job of righting a rocking boat, at least in its dealings with their independent dealer channel, and putting it back on course. That’s pretty much old news now, but the story line at Konica Minolta continues to be the organization’s aggressive move into the IT space through its acquisition of All Covered and its ability to provide dealers with an opportunity to reap the rewards of new revenue streams. With Rick at the helm of Konica Minolta U.S.A., expect to see a healthy financial outlook for years to come.
“The obvious evidence lies in the success that Konica Minolta has enjoyed in recent years thanks in large part to Rick’s many contributions to the company,” states Mike Stramaglio, president and CEO of MWAi. “I admire Rick for many reasons but none more so than his ability to create and lead terrific groups of people. Further, he understands his marketplace, has great strategic vision and he is sincerely enthusiastic about encouraging the members of his team to exercise a great deal of imagination and initiative. Konica Minolta has invested in acquisitions in their continued effort to migrate the company from a conventional copier company into a ‘services’ company and Rick’s ability to articulate his plan is as elegant and compelling as anything I have ever heard in our industry and Rick is making it happen. Rick is a consummate professional with great insight, experience, humor and a man of his word.”
“One thing I learned when I was scaling the proverbial corporate ladder was that I wanted people on my team that had demonstrated success in more than one assignment,” adds Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “I’d want Rick on my team! He joined KMBS at what may have been their nadir in the dealer community minds’ and in what seems like the blink of an eye has positioned KMBS as the premier vendor partner; it was such a fast turnaround that many probably can’t remember when KMBS wasn’t on top. Moreover, Rick has built a strong direct operation that can co-exist with the dealer base. While positioning KMBS as the premier industry vendor, Rick is leading a rapid expansion into IT services. One thing for sure, everybody associated with KMBS under Rick’s leadership makes money; that’s the way it should be in business.”
Jennie Fisher, Senior Vice President and General Manager of GreatAmerica Financial Services’ Office Equipment Group
When Jennie Fisher, senior vice president and general manager of GreatAmerica Financial Services Office Equipment Group, talks about financing, she knows what she’s talking about. After all she’s been with GreatAmerica since 1993 after a stint with GE Capital. Not only is she a mover and shaker within GreatAmerica, she’s a familiar face throughout the industry, serving on the Board of Directors of the MPSA and the ITEX Advisory Board. That certainly helps position her as one of the industry’s most influential and knowledgeable players.
“A growing number of dealers are finding GreatAmerica Financial Services to be an ideal equipment financing partner for various reasons, including the company’s efforts to broaden its scope of services, focusing on such areas as managed services, managed print services and human resources development,” says Brent Hoskins, executive director of BTA. “There is also the easy-going, down-to-earth demeanor of its employees, characteristic of our nation’s Heartland. In many ways, Jennie Fisher is the “public face” of GreatAmerica. She is highly regarded within the office technology industry. It is apparent to me that Jennie possesses a very high level of commitment to the success of her company’s dealer customers. Clearly, she views her role to advance the industry, through meeting with dealers, her educational presentations, etc., as much more than just an 8-to-5 job.”
Frank Mallozzi, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales & Marketing, EFI
When Frank Mallozzi started at EFI 15 years ago after working at Canon he joined an organization with 790 employees. Today, EFI employs more than 2,200. During this time he’s watched the business grow into a powerhouse that does more than just make print controllers. Of course EFI is still known for its Fiery controllers, but has added inkjet printers and application software to the mix. And while the company used to sell almost exclusively through partners, it now markets its products through a mix of partners and direct sales. Although one can say there’s a lot of folks at EFI who are responsible for that evolution, including founder and president Guy Gecht, the face of the company in the field and in the industry is Frank.
He’s someone that Mike Stramaglio, president and CEO of MWAi says, “is one of the people that I watch and admire.”
As Frank said in an interview with The Week in Imaging about his job, “It’s a lot of fun. It’s always new, exciting, changing, and there’s still an opportunity to add value to the business. The day you’re not adding value is the day you look elsewhere.”
From our perspective, there’s no need for him to look elsewhere, he’s doing perfectly fine exactly where he is and continuing to add value, making him one of our most influential people in the imaging industry.
Chip Crunk, President & CEO, Robert J. Young
There is a wealth of dealers throughout the imaging and office technology industries who we consider influential, and many of those are recognized in our annual Elite Dealer awards, but some stand out from the pack thanks to the size and influence of their dealership and its continued growth. After taking over RJ Young in 1995 when the company was at $19 million, Chip brought the total revenue in 2012 to $86 million. His strategy has been to grow the company annually by 10 percent organically and by 5 percent through acquisitions. Chip’s biggest move came in 2012 when he acquired over 3,600 customers from Ricoh in a MIF transfer. That move was followed by another 3,000 service units in September of 2012 when Ricoh released those accounts to RJ Young. It’s not just RJ Young where Chip has been influential, he’s served on dealer councils along with being a past president of the Copier Dealer Association. Time and time again Chip Crunk has proven that he has a keen understanding and knowledge of the industry.
Tod Pike, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Business Division Samsung Electronics America
Tod has put Samsung on the map in the U.S. A respected veteran of the industry who has deep experience running direct operation and working with the dealer community, Tod understands how to help dealers earn a fair profit. Indeed, if Samsung expects to make any kind of an impact in the office technology marketplace, they couldn’t have brought in a better individual to lead their Enterprise Business Division. Tod’s background at Canon U.S.A. and Canon Canada as well as Xerox yield an impressive résumé and a knack for dealing with the daily issues of communicating with and helping multiple channels of distribution achieve success. “Tod is also a deep critical thinker that, as a famous hockey player once said, is skating to where the puck is going,” states Tom Callinan of Strategy Development. “His team has developed a strong product portfolio supported by top dealers to help companies match their print infrastructure to the realities of how paper is used today. I’d look for Tod and his team at Samsung to rapidly grow market share and their dealer community will be making good money on that growth journey.”
Gary Willert, President & CEO of LMI
I think most folks in the industry realize that Gary Willert knows MPS…intimately. Consider that he’s turned his toner remanufacturing business into a business that’s been recognized as a global leader for MPS. That’s quite an achievement as LMI now services more than 700 dealers throughout North America. We’re not the only ones noticing and LMI has been recognized as the 2010 Best MPS Infrastructure Provider by the MPSA and in 2012 earned Best MPS Program at the Readers’ Choice Awards.
Willert is well connected too and those connections span the MPS industry with organizations such as Technology United, Photizo, Comptia along with all the major MPS trade shows, associations, and events. He’s proven himself an innovator when it comes to leveraging technology to help his dealer’s combat commoditization and make their businesses more profitable. That’s impressive in an era where many folks consider MPS a commodity. We’re also impressed with LMI’s latest initiative, the industry’s first Zero Landfill recycling program, which if all goes according to Willert and company’s plans, will revolutionize the back end of the cartridge life cycle and make end users greener.