Alex has been in the UK IT Distribution channel for over 25 years. With a degree from Durham University in Zoology, Alex qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in 1991. Alex joined newly listed Ideal Hardware in 1995 and served time as Head of the Ideal Institute (training), Head of European Sales, Commercial Director and UK Managing Director before joining Westcoast as Sales & Marketing Director in 2008. He was promoted to Managing Director in 2014.
Theale based Westcoast were a £700m business in 2008 and now boast sales of £2.2bn (y/e 31 Dec 2017). The business is the UK’s largest distributor of HPI, HPE, Microsoft, Apple, Lexmark, Lenovo as well as printer supplies and spares. This year (2018) the business will do close to £2.7bn and is leading the way in Cloud services. Westcoast is the current Thames Valley Business of the Year and is 26th on the Sunday Times Top Track list of the 100 largest UK privately owned companies.
Alex is always lively, unafraid to express an opinion, has a strong media profile and has been voted IT Channel Personality of the Year and is the current holder of CRN’s Channel Achievement Award.“Accountancy is a particularly useful skill in IT distribution when you are dealing with vast numbers, oodles of data and tight margins,” says Alex. “However, there is also no better place to hone your sales skills, in an industry that has defined the past 30 years and will define the next 30! Taking cost from the supply chain and enabling vendors and resellers to transact efficiently with resellers and retailers is Westcoast’s core focus, as well as providing appropriate finance facilities for a wide range of customers. Westcoast currently provide over £5bn of credit for the IT channel and with ever increasing growth, access to finance is business critical.”
2020 is his 30th year working in the UK IT industry. Andy’s career started at a small family owned IT resellers tucked away in the Herefordshire country side (BWCL), before moving on to larger resellers and distributers, though always privately owned and family led businesses.
He held several senior roles within the SCC/ETC group and a 20 year period and, since 2017, been part of the senior leadership team at XMA. Andy enjoys the pace of change that working it the IT Channel brings on a daily basis, and the ability of the Channel in the UK to adapt, develop and move forward helping the users of IT in both the commercial and public sectors to execute their own change agendas.
Angela is the MD responsible for Cisco’s Partner Organisation in the UK and Ireland. She has been at Cisco for 27 years and she has held many positions. Starting at Cisco in 1992 as a Contract Administrator working out of the Brussels office, she has absolutely grown her career through a number of different roles. She held a number of EMEAR roles that meant extensive travel across the region where she was privileged to work with many different and diverse cultures. In 1999 she moved back to the UK to take on her first management role.
Angela is known for her decisiveness and clear-minded customer focus and proven track record as a leader with the ability to build and run diverse teams. A mother of two boys, she balances her career with a fulfilling family life as well as a desire to improve her golf skills! She describes herself as an enthusiastic golf novice!
Appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Sapphire in 2015, with over 22 years experience in the cyber security industry, Annabel is proud to have been recognised by CRN on their movers and shakers A-List for the past three years.
Excelling in leadership, the development and implementation of new strategies and identifying emerging technologies, Annabel is passionate about encouraging more women into the cyber security industry. She is proud to be on the advisory board for the Ladies Hacking Society, a Leadership Fellow at St. George’s House, Windsor Castle, public speaker, mentor and podcast host of ‘Securitea & Two Sugars’.
Apay Obang-Oyway has spent the last 15 years in global technology companies; working in, and then leading, teams responsible for revenue running into the 100’s of millions of $’s across sales, marketing and operations. Today, Apay is the EMEA Director Channels & Alliances at Broadcom. The “Partner” is at the centre of Apay’s DNA, along with a deep understanding that identifying and addressing their diverse needs is key to delivering valuable outcomes for customers.
Darren is the Managing Director of Boost Technology Group (www.boost-technology.co.uk). Boost is a channel services group that comprises an award-winning sales training company, Boost Training (also trading as Sales Gym 360) and a value-proposition and demand generation business, Boost Performance.
Prior to setting up Boost, Darren worked as Managing Director of Bytes Document Solutions (UK). During his first 23 months in role he turned a £1m loss to a £1m profit and improved top line sales by 20% to £21m.
With a 30+ year track record of success in sales and management, Denise is the former Distribution Director for Mitel International. Within this role, Denise spearheaded Mitel’s International transition to distribution and simplified the go-to-market strategy to drive profitable growth for the partners and for Mitel.
Denise is also a Non Exec Director of The Association of Professional Sales where she was formerly the Group Managing Director.
Prior to that, as Arrow UK Sales Director, Denise managed circa £1bn p.a. of sales into partners and SI’s.
Denise is married with two sons and lives in Nottinghamshire.
Gina founded her first agency MCC International in her early 20s and grew it to be one of the UK’s largest regional consultancies, before moving on to set up a successful PR division at WLM.Digital where she was co-owner and Communications Director for 7 years.
Gina set up The Marketing Communications Company in 2018 where she works with a great team of freelancers and global partner agencies, offering a wider range of services to clients and drawing on the knowledge she’s built up over the past 30 years. Her heart is in the channel, where she primarily operates and is very passionate about, spending lot of time mentoring and training - and her hands on, tell it how it is approach to managing clients’ expectations has never changed. Journalists know what to expect from her and she’s built up some great contacts during her career. Humour and an abhorrence of pretentiousness have always stood her in good stead and she’s currently enjoying her third time round the working wheel.
Graeme joined Softcat in April 2018. With 30 years of experience in the IT distribution industry, Graeme was most recently Senior Vice President EMEA, Advanced and Specialist Solutions, Tech Data Corporation ("Tech Data"), a position he held from March 2017. He was promoted to that role when Avnet's Technology Solutions business was acquired by Tech Data in early 2017. Prior to that, he was President for Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA for almost seven years and a member of Avnet's Global Executive Committee.
He previously spent six years at Bell Micro (as President of Global Distribution) and his earlier career included roles at Tech Data (President EMEA) and Computer 2000 (Managing Director UK & Ireland). Graeme is a qualified accountant (ICAEW). He is married to Kathryn and they have four children and live in South West London where he enjoys sports of all kinds, theatre and spending time with friends and family.
He is an active charity fund raiser and has a particular interest in supporting the homeless, MNDA and Bethesda Khanko Foundation in North East India.
Following a 20+ year career with blue chip enterprise businesses in retail, recruitment and technology, Hayley is now the driving force behind IT Security distributor Distology. The company specialises in identifying, representing and distributing the latest disruptive technology in the cyber security arena.
Hayley has carefully nurtured a unique company culture that encourages vibrancy and ambition and as a result Distology naturally attracts hard-working, engaged and dedicated professionals. As a leading voice of authority within the industry, Hayley is often quoted in the trade press on various trends and topics and sits on the CRN judging panel for Women in Channel and also features on the annual A list for channel.
Helen Slinger is CEO of BT Business Direct - the IT arm of BT’s Enterprise organisation. She leads a team of over 180 people providing Public Sector and business customers with end-to-end IT solutions. Helen has been with BT since 2010 and has over 25 years’ experience in the IT industry.
As well as leading the Business Direct team she is a passionate STEAM advocate, Chair of the Greater Manchester Academy Trust and a CRN 2019 A-Lister.
She’s also the proud holder of the 2018 CRN Diversity Employer of the year award.
Helen is a single parent to Thom aged 10 and enjoys outdoor life.
A leading and influential figure in the IT channel, Ian now heads up the Nuvias Cyber Security Practice. He has overall responsibility for cyber security strategy, as well as being a Nuvias board member. Ian brings many years of channel experience, particularly in security, to Nuvias. He was a founder member of the award-winning Wick Hill Group in the 1970s and thanks to his enthusiasm, motivational abilities and drive, led the company through its successful growth and development, to become a leading, international, value-added distributor, focused on security. Wick Hill was acquired by Nuvias in July 2015.
Ian is a thought leader, with a strong vision of the future in IT, focussing on business needs and benefits, rather than just technology. He is a much published author and a regular speaker at IT events. Before Wick Hill, Ian qualified as an accountant, was financial controller for a Fortune 50 company, and was a partner in a management consultancy.
Working as part of the senior leadership team at technology distributor Exertis, Jamie is charged with the strategic vision and implementation of business strategy for the Accessories, Peripherals, Toys and Own brand categories.
During Jamie’s tenure at Exertis, she has led the successful introduction of the value-added print specialist team and defined Exertis’ B2B and Retail print business strategy. The team delivered £47m record sales and revenue growth in FY17/18, well above the industry average, culminating in her team winning the Exertis group business unit of the year award. Having worked in the channel for 18 years, previously at Samsung and the Midwich Group in head of sales and sales management roles, Jamie has extensive experience and knowledge of the channel and has built up key relationships with vendors and customers.
Diversity and Inclusion is a huge focus for both Exertis and the channel today and Jamie hopes her journey can help pave the way for others to be their authentic self and to demonstrate that no matter who you are it's what you do that defines you.
Her motivation is and always has been to make a difference, to educate and to be the best version of myself. Jamie is an advocate for gender equality and is currently working as part of Exertis diversity project to drive new initiatives within the Exertis Group
Jane is an Executive leader with over 20 years of experience in both Sales & Marketing. She has held roles in a number of Global companies, including Gillette, SONY, HP and now Lenovo.
In her role as Channel Director, Lenovo UK & IRE, Jane has been instrumental in the re-set of Lenovo’s Channel Strategy. And in partnership with the Channel Partner community, Lenovo have seen record market growth over the last 2 years.
Jane is the voice of Lenovo’s Women in Leadership program, which strives to support diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and delivers guidance, networking and training to Lenovo employees. She also finds time to support her customers in their journeys too, speaking at events and supporting networking groups to inspire the next generation of females.
She has a passion for people and their wellbeing and has worked with businesses for many years to inspire working performance, whether that be at a Physical, Mental, or Emotional level.
Jane lives in Godalming, Surrey with her husband Mark and their 2 daughters.
Following an injury during training as a ballerina, Jen took herself off to college and re-trained. Heading in to the IT industry as many people do, starting out on an IT Helpdesk.
She then moved in to a support role within the Finance industry, and in turn applied to become a Junior Server Engineer, before progressing to Senior Server Engineer.
After ten years in the Finance industry, Jen took on Architecture roles within the Construction industry first as an Infrastructure Architect and then Solutions Architect. Eventually, moving away from the private sector, Jen moved in to consultancy roles where she has spent the last 9 years working on datacentre and network architecture and solutions. Jen is now Solutions Director for Infrastructure for XMA.
Mary Hunter is the Chief People Officer for Columbus and leads the global strategy for culture and people. An experienced industry leader Hunter has led one of Microsoft’s most successful UK channel partner businesses for 18 years. She has a deep passion for motivating and inspiring people to realise their full potential, both in the workplace and actively supporting the next generation too. Diversity and inclusion is an important element to creating the innovate continual learning culture needed in a global technology business like Columbus; therefore building confidence and personal leadership capabilities in underrepresented areas of the workforce is a critical focus area in her role to enable a successful diverse workforce of the future.
Hunter has been recognised by several organisations for her work most recently finalist for Women in IT’s Woman of the year 2020.
Mary is on numerous boards including IAMCP EMEA’s Diversity & Inclusion Board & is the Diversity, Inclusion & Culture Chair for the IAMCP UK Board and is also a member of the Women in Technology Network Global Board.
Miriam Murphy serves as Senior Vice President Advanced and Specialised Solutions business across Tech Data in EMEA. In this role, Miriam holds regional responsibility for Tech Data’s Advanced Solutions go-to-market strategy, which includes products and services for datacentre and next-generation technologies including cloud, internet of things, analytics, security and associated services.
She also holds regional responsibility for the specialised solutions businesses Maverick AV Solutions and Datech Solutions. Murphy reports to Patrick Zammit, president, Europe, and serves as a member of the company’s European Executive Board.
Neil manages the UK&I Channel organisation at HP. which focuses on all aspects of HP’s Printing, Personal Systems, Mobility and Software Solutions portfolio.
This encompasses Distribution, Consumer Retail, Office Supplies, Commercial Resellers and System Integrators.
Over the last 18 years, he has worked in a number of roles from an Operations, Strategy, Marketing and Sales perspective for HP, Samsung and Vodafone.
One of his keen areas of interest is how we look to promote and develop the digital skills of people and ensure that our channel and the wider IT industry is seen as an attractive career proposition for all who wish to work in this exciting sector.
Penny Williams leads CDW’s UK Public Sector division, committed in delivering digital transformation IT solutions across all Government verticals.
Penny is a Public Sector specialist with over 30 years of strong reseller leadership experience and achievement. She has supported decision makers at all levels and across all areas of the market ensuring each has achieved the transformational impacts that technology adoption brings.
Additionally Penny was elected Vice Chair on the TechUK PSB board last year, enabling thought leadership on critical policy issues bringing diversity of thinking and vision to the board.
Samantha Mudd has been the Managing Director of Phoenix Software since 2009 and brings over 30 years of software reseller and leadership experience. Having worked in the software industry all her working life, Sam has had held senior roles at global high-profile vendors such as WordPerfect, Novell Inc, and Trustmarque Solutions (now part of Capita plc). Sam holds a Hons degree in Psychology from the University of Nottingham.
Managing more than 230 staff, Sam was named Business Leader of the Year in 2018 at the prestigious Women in IT Awards and in 2019 Phoenix continued to win both Global and UK awards such as Microsoft 2019 Global Modern Workplace Transformation Partner of the Year.
Since joining the Board in 2009, with a remit to safeguard profitability and pursue an aggressive growth strategy during a tough global downturn, Phoenix sales have quadrupled and the portfolio of IT solutions and services that Phoenix offers has increased considerably to include cloud and transformation, infrastructure and managed services. Acquired in 2017 by the Bytes Technology Group, Sam is now working to steer the company through a fast pace of change that both customers and the IT channel are faced with, whilst remaining agile and innovative.
Sam works alongside an experienced Senior Management Team at Phoenix that puts staff at the centre of everything they do and is focused on offering long-term partnership value and customer outcomes.
Sam is based in York, UK.
With over 25 years in the tech industry Sarah has held roles in sales, services and strategy in a number of leading tech organisations. She originally joined Computacenter in 1996 and worked her way up through the Customer facing Business to lead UK Sales. Between 2008 and 2018, she consulted to some of the leading European tech companies, advising on business growth and organisational change; helping companies to develop deliverable strategies.
Sarah re-joined Computacenter in March 2019 as Chief People Officer for the group. Her responsibilities include development and execution of the Group People Strategy and leadership of the in-country HR teams across Computacenter. Sarah is passionate about developing people and achieving real business results through attracting, developing and retaining great talent.
For the past six years Sarah has also sat on the advisory board of Applied Influence Group, who create competitive advantage for their clients through elite influence skills. Sarah is married to Will, they have 2 children and live in Bedfordshire.
Sarah Shields is the current CRN Woman of the Year and has been championing Women in the Channel since starting in our industry 25 years ago.
Sarah currently holds the position of Channel VP for Central and North Europe for Dell Technologies where she has worked for the past 12 years, previously holding positions at Gateway, Acer and AMD.
A keen advocate of making Channel a destination for women, Sarah has a tribe of mentees, is a school governor and is an active participant in diversity and inclusion events throughout Europe.
A Board Executive in the Digital and Technology sector for 30 years.
Tracy was a Board Director at midlands tech firm, SCC plc running a £350 million public sector business. Latterly Director of Corporate Services, Tracy ran a range of operational functions overseeing in excess of 250 staff. In addition to her corporate career, Tracy was the Director of GBSLEP responsible for Stimulating Innovation in the West Midlands, sat on the Smart City Commission, Birmingham Science City Board, championed the Digital Leaders West Midlands programme and supported the West Midlands Mayor through the West Midlands Digital Advisory Board.
Now a Non-Executive Director at the Department for Transport, sitting on the Future of Mobility Advisory Board supporting the BEIS Industrial Grand Challenge. She has recently been appointed to the Board of WM5G Ltd. Tracy is Chair at Curium Solutions, an Advisory Board Member for Bruntwood Scitech Birmingham, a Governor at Birmingham City University and founder of her own board advisory business, Westmill Solutions helping businesses scale up.
Tracy spent several years on the Main Board of Tech UK, the trade association for the UK tech sector and is passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion in the sector, speaking regularly at events. She was recognised as the Digital Leaders West Midlands Champion in 2018 and has recently joined the Executive Board for the Coventry City of Culture 2021 as a Non Executive.
Yvonne has had an incredibly successful sales and leadership career in the technology industry for almost 20 years with her most recent role, at CDW UK. Yvonne joined Kelway (now CDW) in 2009 and was critical to the build-out one of the largest and most highly decorated, Global Award-Winning Cisco practises in the UK. Her most recent role was Director, Partners & Marketing, where she had overall responsibility for their Strategic Partners and Marketing for UK and International.
Yvonne has been a member of numerous Partner Advisory Boards, with her most recent being IDC and is a champion of initiatives helping young women into IT through the partnerships such as with the Stemettes.
Currently, Yvonne is building her Consulting and Coaching business, Coachere, while also writing mentoring and business blogs, coaching and mentoring female business owners and working on other women in tech initiatives around the UK. Yvonne is also a devoted mother to Alexia and in her spare time, enjoys travelling and spending time with family and friends.