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2023 Channel Influencers: Channel Futures Honors the Best of the Best

See who made the list — and who’s Influencer of the Year.

Channel Futures Staff

February 21, 2023

49 Slides

Channel Futures’ 2023 Channel Influencers cover the gamut. This year’s honorees come from across the channel — from MSPs to technology service distributors and from industry veterans to next-gen trailblazers. But no matter how disparate their backgrounds, they all share a few common traits. They love their work. They don’t back down from challenges. They fully appreciate and acknowledge the contributions of their teams.

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Aryaka’s Craig Patterson

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Kaseya’s Fred Voccola

When we asked this year’s Channel Influencers what they thought being an influencer entailed, no one mentioned status or importance. They talked about building trust, helping their peers, supporting clients and sharing their experience. And almost to a person, they stated the belief that influence is an opportunity to contribute to the channel.

Our Channel Influencers of the Year, Aryaka’s Craig Patterson and Kaseya’s Fred Voccola, are both driving growth in their respective companies, each in his own individual style.

Once an Influencer, Always an Influencer

Each year’s list of honorees is determined by the Channel Futures editorial staff with input from advisors. Our editors are on top of the day-to-day activity in the channel. They are aware of individuals who have been particularly visible in the channel and submit their names for consideration. Once the list of candidates has been compiled, we contact advisors for their input and advice.

Just because the population of the Channel Influencer list changes from year to year doesn’t mean those honored cease to be influencers when their “term” is up. Far from it. Honorees are chosen for their past accomplishments and the impact they are expected to make in the future.

Every year brings its own unique challenges and opportunities to the channel. Challenges and opportunities that impact some influencers more than others, bringing them into the spotlight. That’s how many honorees find themselves on the Channel Influencers list for the first time. And why some make repeated appearances.

There comes a point, however, when an influencer is an unmistakable standout. Their experience, reputation and regard put them head and shoulders above the rest. That’s where Channel Influencers of the Year (IoYs) come from.

The IoYs Are the GOAT

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2018 Channel Influencer of the Year

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2019 Channel Influencer of the Year

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2020 Channel Influencer of the Year

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2021 Channel Influencer of the Year

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2022 Channel Influencers of the Year

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2023 Channel Influencers of the Year

Since the Channel Futures Channel Influencer list started in 2018, we have designated a Channel Influencer of the Year. Our first was Gavriella Schuster, then channel chief at Microsoft, for maintaining the trust of the $290-billion multinational vendor’s partners during a turbulent time in the channel.

In 2019, Janet Schijns was honored for being the best friend the channel has ever had. Transitioning from the corporate world to her own agency, Schijns maintained her focus and efforts on championing the channel.

Rockstar John DeLozier was Influencer of the Year 2020. At the time he was channel chief at 8×8. He’s since moved to Intelisys, but the beat goes on.

Analyst extraordinaire Jay McBain was 2021’s Influencer of the Year. His superpower? Being “spooky smart with a talent for data and a gift for quantifying the big picture.”

Last year saw the expansion of the Channel Influencers list from 10 to 50 individuals and the debut of co-Influencers of the Year. Tech Data’s Rich Hume and Upstack’s Christopher Trapp shared the spotlight for their roles in the year’s M&A and private equity investment on the IT channel and technology advisor (agent) channel sides, respectively.

As for this year’s Channel Influencers of the year, Patterson is known for his team building and Voccola is known for his deal making.

But first, scroll through the gallery above and find out who made the 2023 Channel Influencers list, why they made it and what they have to say.

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