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Image Gallery: Circle of Excellence Honorees Get Their Hardware

Wide Shot Circle of Excellence 2018

Last week we introduced you to the 14 channel executives inducted into the 2018 Channel Partners Circle of Excellence, with 11 of the honorees being first-timers. We told you about their vast accomplishments in the past year, that in part, earned them this prestigious nod.

Now for the fun stuff.

We asked them to fill out a questionnaire detailing their secret ambitions, what books they’re reading, best and worst high-tech inventions, and more. We’ve included their answers in the gallery below, which features the pictures we took of them during a special dinner event at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo on April 19.

The Circle of Excellence honors executives for their vision, innovation and advocacy of the indirect channel during a time of transition and convergence. All photos include Art Wittmann (left), Channel Partners’ SVP of content, and Brian Snortheim (right), Channel Partners’ VP of sales.

TPx's Hilary Gadda Circle of Excellence
TPx Communications' Hilary Gadda
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The worst? The smartphone is both the best and worst. Being able to be anywhere and available/engaged is terrific, but it also tilts the work-life balance toward the work side.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I grew up in Stinson Beach, a tiny town of 350, where  I lived until I was 20. As a teen, I was an avid surfer and delivered the Morning Wave Report for the local radio station.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? I would be an organic farmer and beekeeper
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? I want to conquer my fear of public speaking. My previous role as president of Women in the Channel gave me plenty of opportunities to face this fear, so it’s a work in progress
  • What book are you reading now? I am re-reading Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. It’s so relevant to what I am working on every day at TPx. As we’re moving from a regional brand to a national brand, this book instructs that the message must be crisp, clear and recognizable. Also, instead of talking about our incredible technology (what it can do and how it does it), this book guides us back to the customer and keeping the customer as our No. 1 priority.
Datapipe's Robb Allen
Verizon's Bill Hooper
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The iPhone
  • The worst? Not sure there is a worst — every invention was created by someone probably for purpose so had meaning at the time.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I love construction work — building or making something from nothing.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Work – have to be busy and fulfilled.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? Yes If so, what is it? Be a scratch golfer.
  • What book are you reading now? Red Teaming
Vonage's Bob Crissman Circle of Excellence 2018
Vonage's Bob Crissman
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The iPhone
  • The worst? The iPhone
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m a total beach bum.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Be a ski instructor in the winter and a beach bum in the summer.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? To run a half-marathon in less than 90 minutes.
  • What book are you reading now? The Last Man Who Knew Everything: The Life and Times of Enrico Fermi, Father of the Nuclear Age
Comcast's Dalyn Wertz Circle of Excellence 2018
Comcast Business' Dalyn Wertz
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? GPS – how did we get around using maps?
  • The worst? Digital music; while convenient, there is nothing like listening to music on vinyl.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? My name is a combination of my parent’s names, David and Linda = Dalyn
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Live in northern Michigan in the summer and Telluride in the winter, with a hideaway on the South Island of New Zealand.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? Start golfing again and beat Craig Schlagbaum.
  • What book are you reading now? The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK: A Counteractive Approach to Living a Good Life
Avant's Jen Gallego Circle of Excellence 2018
Avant's Jen Gallego
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? Self-driving cars. With our busy lives, the efficiency this will create, along with the added safety for us and our children, is unquestioned. Self-driving and driverless cars will revolutionize the world.
  • The worst? The smartphone. It’s a necessary evil, sadly.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m 100 percent Spanish, with much of my family living in Spain.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Travel, travel, travel to every end of Earth. From cities to jungles.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? Viewed more of as a side project: I am highly focused on maintaining the amazing culture we’ve built as we continue going through explosive growth at AVANT. I work hard to push people to be the best that they can — to elevate their game every single day. One of the key drivers in hiring and maintaining good talent is your corporate culture.
  • What book are you reading now? The Subtle Art of Not Giving a **** by Mark Manson. It's a good reminder about prioritization and focus on the important things in life.
BCM One's John Cunningham Circle of Excellence 2018
BCM One's John Cunningham
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? Antibiotics
  • The worst? The atom bomb
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I have studied martial arts for 25+ years.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Exactly what I am doing now
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? Be a successful musician. It is a secret because of the many gifts I have, music is definitely not one of them.
  • What book are you reading now? The Bible
CenturyLink's John DeLozier Circle of Excellence 2018
CenturyLink's John DeLozier
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The smartphone. It enables you to do business anywhere, anytime, at any place.
  • The worst? Also the smartphone. For the same reasons: It enables you to do business anywhere, anytime, at any place. Sometimes we need a rest!
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I think people would be surprised that I am a huge 1980s hair metal band fanatic! I love rock music!
  • If money were no object, what would you do? I would lead a study/research group and explain the phenomenon of why money is no longer an object.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? Yes, I actually do. I want to secretly play guitar for a living. It’s always been my dream.
  • What book are you reading now? I’m currently reading Powerhouse CAA — The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artist Agency by James Andrew Miller. It details the early beginnings of the agency and how it has evolved into a very powerful group with an incredible sphere of influence. It’s fascinating. A friend of mine gave it to me over a year ago and I just started reading it.
AT&T's Kevin Leonard Circle of Excellence 2018
AT&T's Kevin Leonard
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? Transistor
  • The worst? Pong (First video console game)
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I like to make wine.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Be a full-time youth running coach.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? When I was younger, it was to play for the New York Yankees.
  • What book are you reading now? It’s Your Ship by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff
Rackspace's Lisa McLin Circle of Excellence 2018
Rackspace's Lisa McLin
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The internet
  • The worst? Don’t really have a worst; I’m sure there are a lot out there.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I grew up on a dairy farm, and was gifted my first horse at two years old by my grandfather and enjoyed the experience!
  • If money were no object, what would you do? I want to own and manage a horse farm. I've always enjoyed being around animals, especially my horse. I want to use this farm to help care for horses and allow kids to learn more about life on a farm. This will be a place for school trips, volunteer work and a way to provide new experiences.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? No secrets. I want to support more women in leadership, serve on the board of directors for a public company and own a horse farm.
  • What book are you reading now? Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time, by Brigid Schulte 
Spectrum's Michelle Kadlacek Circle of Excellence 2018
Spectrum Enterprise's Michelle Kadlacek
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? Amazon Prime app with same-day delivery (does that count?!)
  • The worst? WebTV and Google Glass.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I’m a bacon connoisseur!
  • If money were no object, what would you do?  Retire and live on an ocean-front property.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? To own a winery in Napa.
  • What book are you reading now? Emails … and The Confidence Effect: Every Woman’s Guide to the Attitude that Attracts Success.
Broadvoice's Rebecca Rosen Circle of Excellence 2018
Broadvoice's Rebecca Rosen
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? Well, the best invention ever has to be the phone, or is it the microprocessor that led to the invention of the PC? Or is it the phone combined with the microprocessor? I think I am on to something here. 
  • The worst? The implications of automation combined with artificial intelligence have me concerned for future generations. It’s not just truck drivers and grocery clerks being replaced; it’s surgeons, radiologists, lawyers, insurance underwriters and so many more. Studies suggest that within the next 12 years a third of the workforce may have to switch jobs because of automation. And while I am certainly a fan of reinvention, I only have hope that enough opportunities remain available for meaningful work.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? Prior to my career in technology, I was a professional choreographer, passionate about the integration of dance and technology and worked in one of the first human movement sensing systems.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? I would take my family to every Disney park around the world, go on every Disney Cruise and go on a handful of Vacations by Disney. Did I mention I am a Disney fan?
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? I have always dreamed of being the person who could be out among friends and suddenly grab a microphone and a guitar or sit at a piano and start singing and playing music. I can neither play a guitar or piano.
  • What book are you reading now? One of my girls is an avid reader, finishing a book a night. Not only does she love reading, she loves to talk about the books she is reading. So I am reading “The Magi Series” by Kevin Turner with her. While, yes, I do read business books, too, I love a good escapist fantasy adventure to take me away.
Telarus' Roger Blohm Circle of Excellence 2018
Telarus' Roger Blohm
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? I think it has to be the iPhone. I can’t think of an item with a more pervasive impact on more people’s lives. Certainly, humanitarian items should be considered, i.e., the Pacemaker, PET Scans, etc., but you said fun so let’s go with the device every is looking at right now.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I have two granddaughters — ask me their nicknames.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Run a bar on the beach called Pink Is the Drink, which isn’t very far off from my current job.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it?  To run a bar on a beach, be the answer to Jennifer Aniston’s marriage woes, and learn to play the guitar.
  • What book are you reading now? I am reading Future Crimes by Marc Goodman
Cyxtera's Tina Gravel Circle of Excellence 2018
Cyxtera's Tina Gravel
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The worst? This is not meant to be either trite or snarky but I believe the answer to both of these questions is the iPhone. The iPhone ushered in the age of mobility. The good? You now have access and tools that were just 15 years ago were relegated to a laptop at best. It’s introduced capabilities like video phone calls that were previously only in expensive conference room unites or sci-fi movies. There is no other invention that I can think of that has been so transformative. The bad? It has chained us to our devices and as a result we have become addicted to them.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I was a lifeguard
  • If money were no object, what would you do? I’m a passionate advocate for dog rescues. Whether I’m fostering or volunteering what limited free time I have at a shelter, I feel so strongly that dogs in shelters run the risk of being forgotten. If money were no object and I no longer needed to make a living, taking a larger role in organizations that help dogs would unquestionably become one of my top priorities.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? Anyone that knows me knows that I’m inquisitive and I’m fascinated by listening to the experiences of others. One of my professional ambitions has always been to host a talk show. Whether I’m engaged with a partner or helping a customer, leaning in and learning about what they do, what they worry about, what they celebrate, has always been one of the favorite elements of my job. I think I’d make an entertaining host that people feel they could speak openly with!
  • What book are you reading now? As of the day I’m responding to this questionnaire, I have just started reading 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos; by Jordan B. Peterson. Peterson is a clinical psychologist and explores what he believes are the 12 things we can do in today’s hypertechnological age to be better versions of ourselves and not handcuffed to social media likes and online validation. He explores some complex ideas and scenarios, but what I’ve enjoyed is his ability to simplify (often humorously) these topics and make them accessible. I enjoy these books from time to time, and even if I end up not agreeing with all of it, it gives you pause for thought and variables that you can control to help you be successful in your pursuits and maximize your happiness.
RingCentral's Zane Long Circle of Excellence 2018
RingCentral's Zane Long
  • What do you think is the best high-tech invention ever? The telephone
  • The worst? Maybe not considered high-tech these days, but non-biodegradable plastic — this is destroying our oceans and our entire environment.
  • What would people be surprised to know about you? I love to cook … been doing so for 20+ years.
  • If money were no object, what would you do? Garden, cook and relax in Provence.
  • Do you have a secret ambition? If so, what is it? No, doing what I like to do right now …
  • What book are you reading now? Actually, three books — Pitch Perfect (improving presentation skills), Mastering Leadership (Bill Adams) and The Hidden Life of Trees (how trees talk!)

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