Top Gun on Target: Top Gun 51 Winners Name Their Channel Mentors

Our Top Gun 51 honorees say who helped them get where they are today.

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

October 15, 2020

8 Slides

As leaders in the channel, the members of the Top Gun 51 recognize the importance of mentors. Many are mentors themselves. All have been guided along the way, either directly or indirectly, by the advice and examples provided by other channel members.

For this installment of Top Gun on Target, we asked whom they consider to be their mentors and what they learned from her or him.

Some respondents had more than one mentor. Others, like Meredith Caram of Cytracom and Oliver Tuszik of Cisco, collected insights and information from a variety of sources.

The Channel Futures/Channel Partners Top Gun 51 recognizes today’s channel executives who build and execute channel programs that drive partner, customer and supplier success. See the full list.


Cytracom’s Meredith Caram

“I haven’t really had a ‘channel’ mentor. But I have learned a few things that might be helpful for others,” said Caram. “You should be a human with other humans. Expand your skills beyond the technical stuff. The technical pieces are critical, but so too are the other experiences you need as a leader. There are many inner and outer pressures all day every day where change and growth have to happen. Creativity and adaptability are what move us forward.”

“And don’t ever buy a pair of shoes you can’t run in,” she added.


Cisco’s Oliver Tuszik

Like Caram, Tuszik didn’t have a specific mentor in the channel. “That would have been great,” he said. “Nevertheless, I really enjoy discussing channel topics with other players in the market. No matter if they are a competitor or working in a completely different mode, they have been the best coaches!”

“And as channel goes across all parts of the business, the best preparation to become a good channel leader is to run a partner program and run a vendor sales team.”

Scroll through the gallery below to see whom some of our Top Gun 51 members consider to be their mentors. You’ll also learn about the importance of mentors in their careers.

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About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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