Press Releases

Three Future Leaders Recognized as CompTIA ChannelChangers

Jul 12, 2017

Program honors young professionals for early career accomplishments and impact on IT industry

Downers Grove, Ill. – Up-and-coming young leaders from three information technology (IT) channel stalwarts have been recognized as ChannelChangers for 2017 by CompTIA, the world’s leading technology association.

This year’s honorees are Brandon Garcin, senior content strategist, Continuum Managed Services; Melissa Lyons, global channel programs manager, Sophos; and Heather Ptak, community manager, ConnectWise.

Now in its fourth year, the CompTIA ChannelChangers program recognizes young professionals under the age of 30 who are making their mark within a CompTIA member company by demonstrating success or originality as an entrepreneur, or have made an industry impact in some other way.

“Our 2017 ChannelChangers are proof that young professionals with business acumen and an entrepreneurial spirit can find a home in the tech industry,” said Kelly Ricker, executive vice president, events and education, CompTIA.

“We focus, and rightly so, on the need to bring more talent into the tech industry pipeline,” Ricker continued. “For young people considering their career options, our four classes of ChannelChangers are testament to the opportunities available in tech, where you can demonstrate your ability to be a difference-maker even at an early stage of your career.”

About the 2017 ChannelChangers

Brandon Garcin possesses great enthusiasm for partner enablement and success. As senior content Strategist for Continuum Managed Services, he’s been responsible for developing white-label and customizable marketing collateral, hosting live and interactive marketing webinars, authoring educational eBooks and best practices content, and more. For the past two years, Brandon has also led the design and launch of the award-winning Grow Your Business Hub at Continuum’s annual Navigate user conference. Garcin’s professional motto, distilled into a hashtag: #AllIn

Melissa Lyons is a strategic thinker who takes time to evaluate the best way to approach a problem before jumping in and trying to solve it. She is on a mission to help Sophos deliver best-in-class programs that support the company’s “channel first” sales strategy and help partners grow their businesses. Since moving into a global channel role two years ago, Melissa has been working to align the Sophos’ partner programs worldwide through a simplified structure, competitive discounts, an increased awareness of cyber threats, such as ransomware, and the security solutions needed for prevention, and much more. To date, she has launched six regional partner programs, and plans to launch an additional five more in 2017. Lyons’ professional motto as a hashtag: #dontquityourdaydream

Heather Ptak is passionate about finding ways to drive mutual success within the IT channel through networking and relationship building. Since joining ConnectWise in 2013 as a Community Manager, she has helped plan and execute more than 600 community events. Additionally, in 2014 she established the ConnectWise Foundation movement to educate companies on ways that they can drive positive change within the IT industry and the communities they serve. Ptak’s professional motto: #LeadByExample

Young professionals between the ages of 23 and 29 as of August 2017, and currently employed by a CompTIA member company were eligible for consideration. Nominees were evaluated based on their career accomplishments and achievements, understanding of the industry, potential to serve as a role model and proven ability to draw on their own experiences to make business decisions that are and will continue to positively impact the industry.

The 2017 ChannelChangers were selected by a committee of industry experts and executives including, Rob Butler, managing partner, Crossvergence; Len DiCostanzo, senior vice president, channel development, Autotask Corp.; Doug Erickson, vice president, worldwide partner sales, Pulse Secure; Mary Ellen Grom, formerly of SYNNEX Corporation; Katie Hightower, channel marketing, Intel Security; and Nate Teplow, senior marketing programs manager, Continuum Managed Services.

The 2017 CompTIA ChannelChangers will be formally recognized at CompTIA ChannelCon, the premier education, networking and partnering event for technology companies and professional taking place July 31 through August 2 in Austin, Texas. To register for ChannelCon 2017 or for more information about the conference visit

CompTIA: Building the Foundation for Technology's Future
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the world's leading technology association, with approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners, over 100,000 registered users and more than two million IT certifications issued. CompTIA's unparalleled range of programs foster workforce skills development and generate critical knowledge and insight – building the foundation for technology’s future. Visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more. 

Steven Ostrowski