Saturday, March 10, 2012

My SMB 150 Recommendations

My good friend Richard Tubb did more than say "Vote for me" on his blog. He listed out his recommendations for others to (also) vote for in the SMB 150 voting. See

(Please take one second and vote for me. Just go to and click on the "vote" button. Thanks.)

The SMB 150 is an annual list of the top 150 influencers in the worldwide Small and Medium Business IT Channel. It is Put together by SMB Nation and SMBTN. This year's contest is sponsored by Blackberry.

From the SMB Nation Web Site:
    • Voting. In early 2012, a ballot will be presented with all of the nominations. Each candidate will have a photo and a biography/sales pitch/statement seeking your vote!
    • Judges. We have recruited a panel of esteemed industry judges we’ll announce soon to oversee the election. The judges input will be weighted along with the voted. This validation step insure that truly the Top 150 are selected!
    • Awards dinner! Awardees and members of the public will be invited to attend an awards ceremony and dinner in Los Angles in late April 2012. It will truly be a magical evening!
    • Sponsorships! Allowing us to the take the SMB 150 to the next level is the platinum sponsor from BlackBerry!

About SMBTN: The SMB Technology Network™ is an organization of over 600 consultants, solutions providers, and value-added resellers who provide technology products and services small-to-medium sized enterprises. The organization seeks to improve the quality and strength of the SMB market by providing programs to educate their members, opportunities for them to network, and to create alliances with interested SMB vendors.

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My Recommendations

This is a great contest because it results in 150 recognitions as influencers in the community. In a true community, that's better than one or two winners. So here are about 80 people I voted for and recommend. If I missed you, let me know and I'll correct.

I wrote just a few words for each, in the hopes that you might actually read it. So here are my recommendations and a simple few words on why I consider each an influencer. To vote, go to and search for the name.

Akash Saraf
- Akash founded Zenith Infotech. He changed my business and we still use Zenith RMM today.

Alan Helbush
- Alan is a great smiling representative of BASBITs.

Amy Babinchak
- My friend Amy is very soft spoken, and one of the wildest, smartest, best people you can ever hope to meet.

Amanda Harper
- Amanda and her hubby Andy are always a joy to see at the various conferences and events.

Amy Luby
- My friend Amy is a pioneer in many ways in our community, and one of the original voices for the move to managed services.

Andy Goodman
- Andy Goodman - "HandyAndy" - is one of the pillars of the SMB community, having worked with vendors and consultants to truly bring us all together for many years.

Andy Harper
- Andrew Harper is a Glasgow, Scotland native. He always brings a great smile and a positive attitude to the SMB space.

Arlin Sorensen
- Arlin Sorensen is another pillar in our community. He brings people together at every level and makes sure the big vendors acknowledge the power and special needs of the SMB space.

Armen Varjabedian
- Armen Varjabedian always brings a smile to the meetings, and is constantly open to new ideas and building a better future.

Arnie Bellini
- Arnie will always be remembered as the guy whole built an empire around educating his customers in order to take their business to the next level. It is a pure genius move. He changed our industry.

Bob Godgart
- Bob is the Chairman of the Board of CompTIA, the founder of ChannelEyes, and the past founder, CEO, and Chairman at Autotask. Bob is one of the most personable and likable people you'll ever meet. Keenly brilliant, with a big smile.

Bob Nitrio
- Bob is a bulldog when it comes to representing the Small side of the SMB space to vendors. His word with Xchange/Everything Channel and other organizations has helped the community more than most partners will every know.

Brian Sherman
- Brian has always brought a smile and positive attitude to our space. I look forward to seeing him again.

Carlson Colomb
- In the early years of managed services, he traveled (it seemed) 100% of the time - always bringing a smile to every event.

Chris Bangs
- Chris is the guy who brings vendors and partners together at SMB Nation. When vendors want to try something new and different, Chris is the guy they turn to. Also fun to hang with.

Chris Timm
- Chris is one of the most visible partners in the UK. I met him "in real life" about five years ago and always look forward to seeing him again.

Christy Sacco
- Christy Sacco is the hard work behind the successful events of the HTG Peer Groups. She is a powerhouse of energy and seems to always look on the bright side of things when we non-organizers would be overwhelmed.

Cliff Galiher
- Cliff is from Missoula, MT. I met him last year in Sacramento on the is Roadshow tour. Since then I've run into him several times. Positive and brainy.

Dan Wensley
- Dan is a regular fixture at industry events and a tireless advocate for Level Platforms.

Dana M. Epp
- Dana Epp is always great to share a hurricane with and talk about business. Don't be fooled by the security discussion. It's all business.

Dave Seibert
- Dave is a powerful industry leader and helped found or grow several IT Partner organizations. He represents the community on several company and community boards, actually working harder behind the scenes than most people realize.

Dave Sobel
- One of my sometime-partners in product development, Dave has influenced partners and vendors on two continents. One of the nation's leading experts on cloud computing and virtualization.

Doug Grabowski
- Accomplished speaker inside and outside of the SMB community, and frequently contributes to a variety of publications. His company is Ubiquitour: "Whatever you do, there we are."

Ed Correia
- Ed has been a leader in many organizations, including IAMCP and Silicon Valley's BASBITS. I love working with him.

Eric Ligman
- Eric has held various partner-facing positions at Microsoft. He is always one of the nicest, most focused, and most "normal" people you'd ever want to meet.

George Sierchio
- George is a business coach and brings a brilliantly different perspective to our community. With a background in engineering and experience as a successful business owner, he cuts to the chase when talking money.

Greg Starks
- To me, Greg is the face of HP in the small business community. I think we met six or seven years ago. I've shared beers with him in cities all across the U.S. Always a smile.

Harry Brelsford
- Harry is SMB. Nuf said.

Jacob Braun
- Jacob is active on many fronts. He gives when no one is looking . . . and looks good doing it.

Jamison West
- Jamison shows up all the time. I can't believe how many times I have been on a call or go to some event and he's just there, quietly providing an excellent perspective.

Jay McBain
- I met Jay when he was with Lenovo. He taught me a thing or two about vendor relations at Autotask. Now he's changing channel communications with Channel Eyes.

Jeannine Edwards
- Jeannine is the Director of the ConnectWise Community. Dynamic. Powerful. Fun. Thw way business should be.

Jeff Middleton
- Jeff is one of the most visible people in the community - from from the partner side and the vendor side. Both groups look to him for leadership.

Jeremy Anderson
- Jeremy is a newer member of the community, and has been great to get to know in the last year. He seems to suddenly be everywhere.

Jerry Koutavas
- Jerry is The ASCII Group. Jerry works tirelessly to improve our community and bring a higher level of professionalism.

Jessica Devita
- Jessica is often soft-spoken, but always making things happen. I have enjoyed getting to know her and learn a different business perspective from what I've experienced.

Jim Sterling
- Jim is one of the key players with SMBTN. And a helluva nice guy.

Josh Freifield
- Josh is another person I associate with SMBTN. As someone I run into constantly at events, he is well respected.

Josh Peterson
- Josh was my business coach. If I had unlimited resources, I would figure out a way to buy Chicago and move it closer so we could work together every day.

Joy Belinda Beland
- Joy is the Managing Partner of LA IT Girl - bringing yet another perspective on how you can niche within the IT business. Active and fun to run into at events.

Karen Christian
- Karen is a former SBSer of the Year and a long-time builder of communities the in south land. A very active leader.

Karen Guarino
- Karen gets my nomination for the absolute best support provided by a vendor in the history of the world.

Ken Edwards
- Ken is an innovator. To me he represents the entrepreneurial spirit of trying new things and loving it when it works. I admire his ability to move forward at all times.

Kevin Royalty
- Kevin re-introduced me to Cincinnati after many years. What I found there was a great group of partners that I want to try to visit every year.

Larry Doyle
- I met Larry when I needed a case study for my book on SANs. Later, I met him in Amsterdam. We may have shared a beer.

Lee Evans
- I met Lee when he was being recognized as a leader who helped other partners learn how to be successful. He continues today.

Leonard Dimiceli
- Len is the smiling face of Spam Soap. When he's not hocking things at shows, he's working with group leaders to bring the message of profitability.

Len DiCostanzo
- Mr. DiCostanzo is one of the most visible trainers in our community. I can't count how many events I've seen him at. And whether it's on stage or over dinner, Len is always talking about how to move to the next level.

Lynette Bohanan
- Lynette is lesser-known in our community. But to me she is a brilliant example of how we can move our businesses to the next level - with professional video!

Mark Crall
- Mark has been a community leader as long as I've been in this community. With user groups, vendors, partners. He's one of my peeps, and someone I look up when I go to his neck of the woods. He takes me to BBQ.

Matt Makowicz
- Matt is a co-conspirator of mine, developing products and engaging the community in a hundred ways. A true friend.

Maurice Saluan
- Maurice is one of my Zenith friends. I have been honored to work with him on several projects.

Michelle Ragusa
- Michelle is "new" to our community but brings brains and energy to it, as she does with everything else. She's a superstar at Cisco and a rising star in the SMB community.

MJ Shoer
- MJ is another one of those folks who seems to be on every call, at every meeting, and influencing 24x7.

Nancy Williams
- Nancy is second only to Harry as the face of the SMB Community. Energetic. Always ready for the next big adventure. Awesome.

Nick Bock
- Nick is a favorite online friend of mine. I follow him regularly and enjoy his contributions.

Ofer Shimrat
- Ofer is an outspoken member of the community from So Cal. I enjoy spending time with him, and enjoy his online contributions.

Oliver Sommer
- If you ever need a friend in Germany, Ollie will volunteer. With a big smile, he participates and contributes whenever it's needed.

Peter Sandiford
- Peter is an industry leader. In addition to being a nice guy, he brings class and a classy product to the SMB space.

Rayanne Buchianico
- Rayanne is a true leader. In addition to leading IT Pro groups at every level, Rayanne has a different business model and business than most of us. I learn from her whenever I'm with her.

Richard Kenyon
- Richard is my man in Michigan. He runs a great group up there. And when it's not Winter, I love to visit.

Richard Tubb
- Ric makes my short list for amazingly brilliant and educational people. Involved in everything, he builds community wherever he goes.

Robb Patterson
- Robb is one of those very visible leaders who just seems to influence everyone he meets at more than one level. And he has a great smile.

Robin Robins
- Robin Robins is the goddess of marketing in the SMB space. And she's a business coach, even though she doesn't call herself that. Probably responsible for more wealth building in the SMB space than any other single individual.

Scott Barlow
- Scott is the face of Reflexion. Except when Karen's the face of Reflexion. Anyway, Scott is super-friendly and constantly participates in events as both a vendor and content provider.

Scott Cayouette
- Scott is one of the few people who have hung in with the SBS User Group Leads as our industry has gyrated through the recession. A helluva nice guy that I've had the pleasure of sharing beers with on many occasions.

Scott Scrogin
- Scott is a leader in the HTG Group of leadership groups. Never too busy to stop and talk.

Shari Godgart
- Shari brings the personal side to the Autotask community. Smiling and always ready to assist. Now a brilliant member of the ChannelEyes team.

Steve Noel
- Whether representing a vendor or just sitting down to talk business, Steve gives his insights and excellent advice freely. When I first met him, he struck me as someone who never backs down from excellence. That holds true today.

Steven Banks
- Steve is a true leader at many levels. In the Seattle area, obviously. But he is also a contributor to user groups nationally and internationally, and influential in Redmond as well.

Steven Teiger
- Steven is based in Israel but influences the SMB community worldwide.

Stuart Crawford
- Stuart moved from MSP to marketing guru just when the industry needed that most. He help businesses all over North America learn how to take full advantage of the opportunities in front of them.

Stuart Selbst
- Coach Stu has raving fans all across the U.S. In addition to being an inspiring business leader, his personal achievements have been tremendous.

Susan Bradley
- Ms. SBS is the ever delightful and insightful Susan Bradley!

Susanne Dansey
- Susanne has been teaching and training MSPs for more than seven years that I've known her. She always brings a fresh perspective. So much so that she has made that approach the core of her business.

Ted Roller
- Ted has been honored as a major contributor to business development in the SMB space. And he pours a mean cocktail.

Teresa Bell
- Teresa is a frequent contributor to the SMB Community. I always enjoy spending time with her and her hubby at events.

Thomas Fox
- Thomas is another one of those people I just can't imaging without a smile. I look forward to seeing him again.

Tim Barrett
- Tim is a Microsoft MVP, a user group leader, and a great blogger in our space.

Tim Carney
- Tim is one of the regular contributors to events and activities in Northern California. Co-founder of BASBiTS, one of my favorite groups.

Vince Tinnirello
- Vince is always involved in something. Community development, vendor boards and councils, CompTIA, and more. Always great to see him at an event.

Vlad Mazek
- Vlad is a prime example of someone who does things differently. He has been building community for as long as I've known him, and always blazing his own trail.

Wayne Small
- Wayne is recognized internationally as one of the most giving, inspirational leaders of the SMB Community. He's also just a nice guy who is great to spend time with.

Feedback welcome.

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  1. Karl - thanks for the shout-out and kind words. Much appreciated!

  2. Karl, many thanka for your endorsement for the list. Much appreciated and right back at you! MJ

  3. Thanks for the props my friend. You are certainly at the top of my list for the SMB 150.


  4. Thank you so very much Karl! I am honored to be your friend, and in the esteemed company of yourself and the aforementioned stellar group of friends and nominees! PS I vote for you every night hehe :-)

  5. Karl, I truly appreciate the great work you have done to build our community of SMB IT consultants into more than it could ever be without your daily efforts. I encourage everyone who takes the time to participate in this voting process to cast a vote for Karl. And I appreciate the very kind words you have used to endorse me for consideration as well. It would be a privilege to be included with you as part of the SMB 150.

  6. Karl, this was a great summary of key SMB leaders around the globe - even better is having a story about each one!

  7. Dynamic. Powerful...and fun. Three great words...and I love them together. Thanks so much Karl! For this neat blog...and all you do for the Channel :)
    j. :)
    Jeannine Edwards
    Director, ConnectWise Community

  8. Wow, Karl. Thanks so much for the endorsement! Thanks for all that you do for us!


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