Greg Praske led ARG for 33 years and help shape the agent/advisor channel community.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 13, 2024

3 Min Read
Greg Praske TA 101 Lifetime Achievement winner

CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Channel Futures is honoring ARG co-founder and board chair Greg Praske as the Technology Advisor 101 Lifetime Achievement Winner for his decades of service to the indirect sales channel.

The Technology Advisor 101 (TA 101) recognizes influential and top-performing business leaders whose companies sell technology through the agent partner model. The second installment of the awards program has added distinctions for Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement honorees.

A panel of technology advisors (agents), distributors and suppliers helped Channel Futures select Praske as the Lifetime Achievement winner. Praske spoke Wednesday afternoon at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, reflecting on three-decades building one of the largest partner organizations in the agent channel.

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Praske, who announced his retirement in January, points to the village that helped support his own journey in the channel.

"I feel very privileged and blessed," Praske said in an interview with Channel Futures. "I would love to say, 'Gee, this was a vision and we were just following the vision.' I think I've just been extremely fortunate to have been connected with so many people that made it all happen."

Greg Praske: A Pioneering Channel Figure

Related:TA 101 Rising Star Award: Doug Cardozo and Guhan Raghu

Praske launched ARG (Association Resource Group) in 1991 with Bill Power after working together for a dozen years at the National Air Transportation Association. They had hatched an idea of helping trade associations and nonprofits in the Washington, D.C., area with telecom. They started by reselling long-distance calling and evolved alongside the telecom industry into internet services and cloud communications.

According to an ARG analysis of its customer base, the company saves clients more than $100 million on technology costs.

Praske used his background as a vice president of finance to help ARG build a database of his customer accounts. The company's ability to manage customers and its related residual revenue allowed the company to continually grow its revenue and expand.

"From the beginning, we ran this as a business. I think that was critical," Praske said. "That allowed us to keep going, keep scaling and keep adapting as we went."

Praske said ARG took out an SBA loan at the beginning to hire a group of sales people. He said that experience taught him that investing in the business – especially the people – would pay dividends. Praske said ARG has now exceeded 90 employees, a number unheard of for most agencies.

In addition, Praske and Power played a key role in establishing the agent channel. They worked with Phone+ magazine (the predecessor of Channel Futures and Channel Partners Online) to create connections with other agencies. Praske said the community he encountered helped ARG and other agencies pivot into new technologies.

"We were getting together three four times a year and just doing the caring and sharing and challenging, more or less acting as each other's board," Praske said.

ARG employees at the end of Praske's Channel Partners speech handed out $20 bills to attendees, encouraging them to find a special recipient for the money. It was in keeping with the Random Acts of Kindness initiative that ARG promotes within its staff and its employees.

Moreover, it's in step with the idea of "investment" that Greg Praske has cultivated throughout his career.

"I want to challenge everyone to invest in their business, invest in their clients and invest in their people. Develop them. Make them all that they can be," he told Channel Futures. "It sounds corny, but that's such a reward to see somebody realizing their potential."

Read more about:

AgentsCP ExpoTA 101

About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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