"The people who've joined the Upstack family are partners that have become my friends over 25 years," Dellar said.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

October 12, 2022

4 Min Read
Rick Dellar, Visionary Intelisys Architect, Joins Forces with Upstack

Upstack just added Intelisys co-founder Rick Dellar to its board of directors. It’s a move that reunites Dellar with many of his former sales agent partners.

Dellar, who left the Intelisys leadership team in 2020, will also serve as senior advisor to Upstack CEO Christopher Trapp. The move pairs a gigantic figure in the technology advisor channel with one of the channel’s most powerful partner organizations. Upstack has harnessed funds from Berkshire Partners and other investors to bring more than 20 agencies into its family. Dellar and his Intelisys leadership team, on the other hand, sold Intelisys to publicly traded ScanSource in a deal that many in the channel say drove future investors into the space.


Upstack’s Rick Dellar

Trapp called Dellar “a true visionary and one of the most highly respected executives in the digital infrastructure industry.”


Upstack’s Christopher Trapp

“Twenty-five years ago, Rick and his founding team successfully pioneered a new distribution model for telecom and digital infrastructure services — a model that Upstack aspires to transform as it enhances the way businesses of all sizes design and source digital infrastructure,” Trapp said. “Furthermore, Rick’s ability to cultivate a culture and community across thousands of entrepreneurs that transcends their competitive natures aligns perfectly with our aspirations of building an ambitious yet highly inclusive and supportive culture across our entire organization. Rick’s guidance, experience and support for our vision will be invaluable to Upstack’s future success.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in September.

Career Pivots

Dellar, formerly a sales rep for Cable and Wireless, co-founded technology services distributor Intelisys in 1994. The firm grew to generating $120 million in gross commissions with its partners in 2015.

Dellar stayed on for about four year following the sale of Intelisys to distributor ScanSource. He left in July 2020, two months before ScanSource delivered its final earnout payment to former Intelisys shareholders.

From 2020 to now, Dellar has been leading the real estate development company he founded in 2015. He will continue to lead that company.

Now Dellar turns to helping Upstack succeed.

“The motivation for me at this point in my career is to be part of something impactful,” Dellar said. “The channel community is evolving and consolidating in meaningful ways. I want to work with an organization that’s making an impact and leading the market. Upstack is disrupting the channel, gaining momentum and attracting the finest talent.”

Dellar said moving to Upstack would put him back in contact with some of his longtime partners. For example, Upstack has invested in award-winning Intelisys agents, including Subsidium and RDS Solutions. In addition, Dellar joins several other former Intelisys employees. Those include Danielle DeCosta (Upstack’s vice president of supplier and sales enablement), Samantha Jacks (Upstack’s vice president of commissions operations) and Cybil Nielsen (Upstack’s senior vice president of business operations).

“The people who’ve joined the Upstack family are partners that have become my friends over 25 years. Working with them again and having a continued impact is a huge bonus.”

Seeing Eye-to-Eye

Trapp said he first met Dellar about a year ago during an executive retreat. At that point, he had already heard a great deal about him.

“Many of the agents that we had invested in up to that point had expressed not only the amount of respect they had for what he had built at Intelisys, but how their relationships transcended business and turned into genuine, meaningful friendships,” Trapp said. “Hearing this from entrepreneurs I truly respect resonated with me because culturally he sounded like the type of business leader whose success was not only determined by financial outcomes, but also the personal outcomes, with lifelong friendships built over decades as proof,” Trapp said.

Trapp added that their relationship took time to develop.

“Despite some initial tension – which is not uncommon when you bring two ambitious people together – Rick and I came to not only like each other personally, but professionally, and I was able to clarify our mission at Upstack, which I believe resonated with him,” he said. “Rick is at a point in his life and career where he can do whatever he wants, wherever he wants. I think what excited him most about working with Upstack was to be part of one of the most compelling visions for the future of our industry, in addition to working with and closely mentoring me as a young chief executive. I couldn’t be more excited to work with him.”


Trapp first broadly introduced Upstack to the channel world in April 2021 with news of a $50 million investment from Berkshire. That money would go in part to invest in agents and their books of business. Trapp told Channel Futures that he was aiming to build “the best direct sales agency in the country.”

Upstack has produced a steady stream of headlines in 2022, including its partnerships with Lumen and more acquisitions.

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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