The most memorable people in 2007

It has been a busy, crazy and very memorable year for the channel. We have Michael Dell to thank for that.

CDN got a chance to interview him in the flesh this year and it was an experience to say the least. I remember the PR practitioners who invited me to his briefing asking me to behave in his presence. Interviewing Dell was memorable, but it wasn’t the only one CDN had this year.

The following is a list of some of the favourites.

Novell’s Ross Chevalier for showing that Linux actually has a chance in this market.

Mark Scott of The Utility Company: for taking Managed Services up a notch.

Novell’s Katie McAuliff was memorable because her eyes were just beaming when she talked about Michael Jordan.

AMD’s Henri Richard: how can I forget him? I interviewed him in the morning and then at night I actually met hockey legend Henri “The Pocket Rocket” Richard of the Montreal Canadiens.

Symantec’s channel chief Julie Parrish is always a pleasure and the same goes for Andrew Sage of Cisco Systems.

Tech Data’s new CEO Bob Dutkowsky really impressed because he could rifle off all the hockey teams in the old Smythe Division of the NHL.

Bob Martin of Cisco/Linksys makes this list just because he is so enthusiastic about his company in Canada.

Paul Curlander, the CEO of Lexmark, is memorable because he has been running this company for a very long time and it just seems to me that he is egoless.

CA Canada’s channel chief Pino Biase I would say was one of my toughest interviews I did this year. Don’t get me wrong. He is a great guy and provided me with usable information, but getting it out of him was a challenge.

I would have to say the same for Wendy Lucas, the new area director of Dimension Data Canada. Lucas, who is one of the smartest people I have ever met, is very good a sticking to the core message of her company. I only wish that she would expand a bit more so that she can bring out her knowledge to the readership.

Now both Biase and Lucas were not as tough to interview as Michael Dell was, but then again there is no history of hard feelings towards the channel with them.

Another tough interview was Greg Davis, the GM of Dell Canada. I must have rephrased the same question seven or eight times and each time Davis gave me a party line answer. However, I have to say that he was a lot better the second time around when he announced his channel plan to the world.

A couple of people left the industry this year. Both long-time Ingram Micro executives Kevin Murai and Martin Kalsbeek left high paying jobs for family reasons and you have to commend them for that.

I did not get a chance to interview him, but I did meet and shake the hand of the Terminator himself Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California during a visit to Toronto.

I was also very excited to interview Alex Burns the COO of Williams Formula 1 racing team on technology.

Speaking of Formula 1, I loved Avaya’s COO Michael Thurk’s Monaco experience story.

D&H Canada’s Greg Tobin was also a memorable interview because he is such a class act.

Carl Bass, the CEO of Autodesk, is on this list because he values people over economics. Bass said to me that no matter how high the Canadian dollar rises he would never close up the Alias operation in Canada.

My funniest interview was with Alison Watson, Microsoft’s channel chief. I was in a room with her and several other journalists who did not speak English. It turned out to be me interviewing her one-on-one with an audience who barely understood us.

Speaking of laughs I think Mark Snider and Charlie Spano, the new GMs of Ingram Canada, and I had a few during our time together in Las Vegas.

My three favourite interviews for the year are Harry Zarek of Compugen. I want to thank him for providing me with insight in regard to the Dell enters the channel story.

Lisa Baird, the senior vice-president of marketing for the NFL, was an exciting interview for me because I am big fan of football and the NFL.

Eric Lo, president of Toronto reseller GenX Solutions is one of my favourite interviews because I just loved his story about solving business problems with technology, expertise and effort.

Again I want to wish all the readers the very best for the season and I also hope you have a fantastic year in 2008.

One quick hit before I go. Rauline Ochs, an Oracle channel executive is leaving the company for a position at Safeco.

— Posted by Paolo Del Nibletto, 07/01/08, 10:34 AM,

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