Vernick, Jones Join Upstack Leadership Team, Reject 'Roll-Up' Stereotype

"The writing is on the wall. The superagent is the evolution of this channel," J.R. Vernick told Channel Futures.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 21, 2023

9 Slides

Upstack, the private equity-backed superagency, has tapped the leaders of one of the firms it acquired to head up customer experience.

J.R. Vernick and Darren Jones, who agreed to bring their company, RDS Solutions, into Upstack more than a year ago, will be executive vice presidents and co-heads of customer experience (CX) at the New York-based channel partner. In the eyes of Upstack leadership, the appointment demonstrates that Upstack is driving integration across the 27 agencies whose businesses it has purchased over the last two-and-a-half years.


Upstack’s Darren Jones

Aligning More Closely

RDS Solutions, an Intelisys palladium partner and one of the larger firms in the technology advisor channel, first announced its deal with Upstack in February 2022. Jones and Vernick initially accepted roles as partners and executive managing directors; however, they said Upstack leadership wanted to involve them more in the overall company strategy.


Upstack’s J.R. Vernick

“Following our acquisition of RDS, we have spent the last 12 months working closely with J.R. and Darren to redefine what customer experience means for our industry,” Upstack founder and CEO president Chris Trapp said. “I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about them taking the helm to architect and deliver this discipline at scale and quality hasn’t been done before.”

Trapp and Upstack managing director Jake Cummins both said RDS set an industry standard for customer experience.

“As an advisory partner, one of the most compelling opportunities Upstack offers is the ability to collaborate with and draw from the collective expertise of other top partners in our industry,” Cummins said. “I can think of no better example than J.R. and Darren who are leveraging nearly two decades of experience to lead CX at Upstack — a move that is a tremendous value-add for our customers and advisory partners.”


Upstack’s Christopher Trapp

Upstack Update

Upstack emerged in early 2021 with $50 million in funding from Berkshire Partners. It also drew financing from two other investors. It has now acquired 27 technology advisor agencies. Furthermore, Upstack has also announced several high-profile back office hires and supplier agreements.


Upstack’s Jake Cummins

Vernick and Jones in an interview with Channel Futures detailed their vision for Upstack customer experience. They also explained they view the company as more than a “roll-up.”

View highlights from the conversation in the nine slides above.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email James Anderson or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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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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