The industry is fortunate to have the following selection committee members who give their time and energy in choosing the ChannelChanger winners.
Managing Partner, Crossvergence
Robert Butler serves as Managing Partner of Crossvergence. Crossvergence simplifies the telecommunications solutions that enable today’s IT, Cloud, and managed services. Crossvergence is 100% partner enablement focused, allowing a unique perspective, skill set, and partner sensitivities that are uncommon in today’s market. Crossvergence currently maintains partnerships with 80 telecom carriers, data centers, and cloud hosting companies in their portfolio. Robert is a down-to-earth person who is fanatical about helping people. Robert believes in people over process and enjoys pushing the limits both mentally and physically in an effort to discover something new about himself. Robert loves a good team and believes that anything is possible.
Previously, Robert Butler served as Vice President Sales with Telarus for 4 years. Mr. Butler was responsible for P&L and all personnel involved in Sales; namely the Partner Development Managers (PDMs), the Internal Channel Account Managers (ICAMs), and the local Partner Relationship Managers (PRMs) in each market. Mr. Butler's department was on the front line, working with solution providers each day to ensure they had everything they needed, both from a Telarus support perspective, as well as from a carrier/supplier perspective. Mr. Butler is a telecommunications veteran and has a proven track record of accomplishments within the data, voice, and cloud industry. Robert also was Director of Telarus VAR Channel, Director of sales, and held sales leadership positions at New Edge Networks (now EarthLink Business). Robert holds a Finance degree from Southwest Texas University.
Robert lives in Austin, TX and enjoys running, mountain biking, live music, and spending time with his family.
Senior Vice President, Event Content & Strategy
Robert C. DeMarzo, dubbed "The Channel Man," spent most of his career helping solution providers and IT professionals analyze and solve the most complex issues facing their organizations. He spent more than two decades as a business technology journalist and publisher for the CRN and VARBusiness websites and magazines before turning his attention to the content needs and strategy for the XChange events business of The Channel Company as Senior Vice President of Strategic Content. He works closely with event sponsors and speakers to make sure their message and content resonate and inspire attendees. He is among a handful of individuals to experience something extraordinary: the successful launch of a computer industry publication that eventually became the largest trade publication in North America. He is a graduate of Saint Bonaventure University and did post-graduate work at Hofstra University.
Vice President, World Wide Partner Sales, Pulse Secure
Douglas Erickson, VP of World Wide Partner Sales at Pulse Secure, has been a leader of the Channel community for over 15 years. Mr. Erickson was recently named 2015 Channel Chief by CRN for his contributions to the development of partner-led business. Prior to his role at Pulse Secure, Mr. Erickson was the VP of World Wide Partner Programs and Development at Juniper Networks and has held leadership roles in Channels and Enterprise Strategy and Planning. Through his tenure Mr. Erickson has dedicated himself to developing world-class programs, services, and contributions to the technology industry, as well as to his community. As an active member of the Boys Scouts of America, Douglas believes in the power of giving back and motivating today’s youth to become future leaders.
Mary Ellen Grom
Vice President, US Marketing, SYNNEX Corporation
As Vice President of US Marketing at SYNNEX, Mary Ellen creates and delivers strategies, systems and innovative programs to effectively manage high tech channel marketing performance. She is responsible for business and lead development, market research and comprehensive vendor/reseller marketing planning.
Mary Ellen’s 21-year channel career journey began at The Ohio State University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications and marketing. She also holds a Ducktorate degree in marketing from the Walt Disney University in Orlando. Previous positions include experience director at Experience Engineering, Inc. and US marketing director at specialty distributor, ScanSource, Inc.
Mary Ellen is an active member of the CompTIA Board of Directors, Anderson, SC University Enactus Board and the Greenville, SC Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Board. She was named one of CRN’s "100 People You Don’t Know But Should" in 2012 and is recognized on CRN’s 2013 | 2014 “Most Powerful Women of the Channel” list.
Channel Marketing Manager, StorageCraft Technology Corporation
A Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce led me to an International Marketing role with Topps international – Global Confectionery and Publishing Company. Over a 16 year period I was actively involved in growing the business throughout Europe, the Middle East and Japan; successfully delivering both consumer and B2B campaigns. In 2011 I moved to a Supply Chain Management Role with Kerry Group – Global Food Company, which offered a series of exciting challenges. The role broadened my commercial experience and in particular allowed me to hone my skills in people management. In 2014, I joined StorageCraft as Channel Marketing Manager. As part of my role, I get the opportunity to reach out to partners and discuss the challenges they encounter. Together we develop ways in which we can mutually deliver growth.
Brittani Von Roden
CMO, VAR Dynamics
Brittani Von Roden was named one of four CompTIA Channel Changers in 2014. She has also played an integral part of the Champions group in the development and launch of the Future Leaders Group. As the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at ETS (formerly Erb’s Technology Solutions), Brittani has recently lead the charge in their rebranding efforts which has taken a 53-year old company from a transactional-based sales force to an innovative, outcome-focused solution provider. She was also named a 2014 Women of Innovation finalist.
Brittani recently accepted a new role as the CMO of VAR Dynamics, a leading hosted services provider in the channel. As CMO she is responsible for the strategic direction of the company in addition to developing and implementing a new go-to-market strategy to assist in revenue and profitability growth.