PCR's 30 Under 30 2017: Industry's top young guns

PCR looks at 30 of the top influencers in the channel under the age of 30
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The UK IT Channel is full of wonderfully exciting young talents so once again we’ve done our best to shine a spotlight on 30 of the top professionals under the age of 30 from all corners of the IT world from retailers and resellers to disties and vendors.

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Adam Eldrett, 27

Buying Manager for Tablets and Printers/ Home Office

Tesco

Following a year outside of the industry, Adam has returned to the Tesco Computing team as buying manager for tablets and printers/ home office. Adam has a keen eye for a deal while building strong relationships within the industry. His strong commercial approach always ensures he delivers what is right for the customer.

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Alex Briggs, 25

External Account Manager

Panda Security

Alex Briggs heads up the external channel team at Panda Security UK, driving UK Channel development and sales, at one of Europe’s most innovative security vendors. Educated at the University of Winchester, Alex also has a strong IT Channel background having previously worked within Azlan, the enterprise arm of Tech Data, representing top brands such as HPE. Alex is driving growth in key areas such as UK partner recruitment, strategic partner development and awareness of cyber security within the Channel. 

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Alexandra Hiatt, 28

Marketplace Trading Manager

Tesco

Alex has become an integral category manager within the Tesco direct marketplace, since joining in 2016. She has been instrumental in delivering exponential growth and record sales. Having previously worked as a buyer in the tech industry she has used her market insight to create mutually beneficial joint business plans with her key trading partners. Alex’ solid business acumen, passion and technical knowledge make her a trusted colleague and a successful mentor to her team, successfully developing colleagues along the way. 

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Barry Kennedy, 26

Chief Technologist

Utopia Computers

Barry Kennedy joined the Utopia in 2007 as a trainee technician. While building his technical knowledge, he showed a natural ability for providing fantastic customer service as well as being able to get the very best out of any hardware system. He has now cemented a role as Utopia’s Chief Technologist responsible for building some of the fastest workstations in the world. He oversees the testing, overclocking and designing and continues to play an important role in managing Utopia’s gaming community. 

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Ben Malka, 25

HyperX

Community Manager EMEA

As the HyperX Community Manager, Ben is responsible for the discovery, development and co-ordination of strategic partnerships, alliances, influencers and any associated marketing opportunities within the eSports and gaming community across EMEA. He’s done a great job at HyperX, constantly hopping between the US and Europe to connect with all the eSports teams that the company sponsors support. 

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Connor Perry, 26

Senior Digital Marketing Analyst

Ingram Micro

Connor joined Ingram Micro in 2015. He has over seven years experience working in the mobile and technology industry, and is the company’s e-commerce web marketing star. Connor manages the Digital Marketing for Ingram and he has developed new tools to enhance the marketing and sales online.

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Dan Foster, 27

Distribution Channel Manager, UKI

D-Link

Since graduating from Southampton Solent University in 2013, Dan has rapidly progressed through the ranks at D-Link in a short space of time. Starting out as an internal Channel account manager for Netgear, he joined D-Link in April 2014 and now manages D-Link’s UK and Ireland Distribution Channel, as well as leading the D-Link Business Solutions team. Dan has built a number of strong relationships in the Channel and has proven to be an incredibly valuable asset to D-Link. Dan’s Business Solutions team is set to bring in 45 per cent of the overall sales figure for the first quarter of 2017, highlighting the impact he has made and the importance of his role at D-Link.

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Darryl Merkli, 22

Senior Marketing Vendor Executive

Ingram Micro 

Described by his colleagues as one of the brightest talents in the Channel today, Darryl’s creativity, energy and commitment to delivering exceptional work for the vendor community is a great asset to the team. He strives every day to bring new, creative and thought-provoking ideas to the table, supporting his colleagues and earning respect from everyone he works with.

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Fil Ivovic, 27

Technical Support Advisor

Synology

Fil joined Synology in the summer of 2016 and in a short space of time has trained up on Synology NAS and routers to an advanced level. Fil has become an integral part of the Synology team. His peers in the team describe him as a ‘human knowledge base with the memory of an elephant’. In his short time at Synology, Fil has not only excelled in the technical team but also assisted the sales and marketing departments at events including the Synology launch event in 2016 and PCR Boot Camp North.

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Jade Francis, 26

Senior Account Manager

Target Components

In the two years that Jade has worked with Target as an account manager, she has made an astounding impact on the business and the accounts that she looks after. Her natural ability to build relationships and tirelessly work in the best interest of the 200 or so customers has seen her become tremendously valuable to her account base. She is always keen to keep abreast of any new products or new technologies and makes sure she is best positioned to accurately advise on what is available. Recently promoted to senior account manager, she continues to forge what will undoubtedly be a very successful career in the industry.

James Clayton, 29

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Junior Buyer

Shop Direct

Alongside his team, James has almost single-handedly driven the PC gaming agenda within Shop Direct. He put the wheels in motion for a strategy that has seen the company move away from the perception of being a console-only retailer into an eSports retailer. Where many competitors follow old traditional methods, James can see that a different approach is required for the gaming PC market and he focuses on his customers buying patterns to ensure that he has a competitive range every quarter. 

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James Forbes, 22


Cloud Services and Website Manager

Edward Martin Computer Services 

James has transformed the Cloud Services offered by Edward Martin Computer Services, taken on Epson Print365 management, and has introduced the company to iPhone, iPad and Mac repair and maintenance. His enthusiasm for new projects is infectious, which rubs off on the other members of the team and keeps morale and standards above the expected. James is also building the foundation for the company to become an MSP, by building relationships with Continuum and other key vendors. James has also transformed the company from a paper-based ticketing system to an online PSA with AutoTask. He has continually managed change, taking the owners and staff with him on an exciting journey to secure and build the company for the future.

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Jamie Hope, 20

Product Manager

Exertis

Jamie began his career at Exertis under the apprenticeship scheme at the age of 16. Starting as a junior, he was quickly promoted to a product specialist and now after less than four years, he has become integral to the PC Components division of Exertis. Jamie is in charge of managing and driving key brands such as Corsair and EVGA, as well as top tier customers, in his latest role as product manager. Keen to develop and grow, always looking for that next opportunity and a pleasure to do business with Jamie is one to watch in UK distribution.

Jennifer Eltringham, 27

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Marketing Executive

CMS Distribution

Jennifer joined CMS Distribution last October, bringing with her a degree in creative advertising, over six years of marketing experience and a background in satellite communications. As the company’s Toshiba Marketing Executive, Jennifer works with retailers in the UK, Ireland and Nordics to raise Toshiba’s profile to ensure they’re among the leaders in the data storage industry. On top of a fantastic six months in her Toshiba role, Jennifer ran the first CMS Consumer TechXpo Event, which was attended by 42 customers and 18 vendors and heralded as a huge success. Jennifer has some serious plans in place for the next few months, working on some big vendor launches alongside adding some completely new marketing services for the B2C team.

Katie Pinnock, 24

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UK Marketing Specialist

Cooler Master

Having joined Aria Technology in 2013 as a sales account manager, Katie was promoted to purchasing manager in less than a year. Shortly after this move into purchasing, she found her love for the industry and went on to become commercial manager, helping Aria Technology and its sister company Gladiator Computers grow to where they are today. In May last year, Katie moved over to Cooler Master to fill the role of UK marketing specialist. She is now working hard to help Cooler Master showcase its new direction and products.

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Kieran Vineer, 28

Distribution Channel Manager

TP-Link 

Kieran has demonstrated time and again that he’s the go-to guy for all things distribution. Having worked at two of the UK’s largest distributors (TechData and Exertis) as well as various roles within TP-Link, he understands the industry drivers and processes from both sides of the fence. This valuable insight enables him to come up with win-win solutions for TP-Link and distributors enabling both organisations to reach their revenue and margin targets. His enthusiasm and professionalism are infectious, enabling him to motivate colleagues to surpass expectations and targets.

Lauren Richards, 20

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Purchase Ledger Assistant

Target Components

Lauren started at Target in September 2015 under the apprenticeship scheme which enabled her to gain work experience while still studying for a diploma in business administration. She passed with flying colours and one year later she was taken on full time with Target and promoted to purchase ledger assistant. Lauren’s primary role within the department is helping to run our accounts payable. This includes invoice inputting, sorting queries, preparing payments for both UK and international suppliers and reconciling supplier and bank accounts. Starting as an apprentice, Lauren is now an invaluable member of the Target team, often the first point of contact for customers and suppliers and is highly regarded by both.

Lucy O’Brien, 26

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Buyer

John Lewis

Lucy O’Brien has been in buying roles at John Lewis for over five years and is currently responsible for the smartphone, photographic and wearable products and positioning. The company has had a record year in all three of those categories in the last 12 months through a combination of strengthened partner relations, a passionate focus on product and an unrivalled commitment to deliver more for customers.

Luke Bland, 21

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Senior Account Manager

EVGA

Luke has worked for EVGA since the age of 19, and this year has been promoted to UK senior account manager. He has been integral to the continued growth of EVGA in the UK. He has led from the front as EVGA has risen into a major SI accounts in both VGA and PSU. In 2017 he now looks after all distribution along with a number of EVGA’s key resellers and system integrators.


Luke Spring, 25

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Social Media Manager 

Nvidia

Luke is one of the of the brightest young stars at Nvidia. Joining just under two years ago as the community manager for Northern Europe, Luke quickly took the lead on many regional projects, which soon turned into European projects and then into global campaigns. Luke is a gamer’s gamer, with total love of all genres across all platforms. And while his heart belongs to the PC, it’s his deep-seeded love of playing games that allows him to interact with Nvidia’s community in the way he does because he truly is part of it. Before Luke joined Nvidia he’d already made his mark on the world of gaming after setting up set up his own fan-forums for Call of Duty and Batman, one of which was purchased by the franchise and is still an extremely popular forum today. 

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Martin Byrne, 29

Co-Head of Technical Solutions

Sweethaven Computers

Martin has been a star contributor at Sweethaven Computers. He has been leading the charge with our hosted data centre solutions as well as leading on its IASME / CyberEssentials accreditation. His colleagues describe him as a pleasure to work with and a truly gifted individual. No task is too great or small for Martin. He embraces opportunities and new technology on a daily basis and would be a credit to any IT-related business. 

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Megan O’Neill, 26

Vendor Marketing Executive

Ingram Micro

Megan is an outstanding marketer and an asset to Ingram Micro. Her endless energy, passion and drive is infectious on a day-to-day basis. She has established strong relationships across her vendor partners and constantly brings fresh and creative ideas to vendors’ boardrooms and to the workplace in general.

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Priya Dayal, 26

Senior Marketing Vendor Executive

Ingram Micro 

Priya is a tremendous asset to the Channel and to Ingram Micro in particular. Her collaboration and engagement skills across the vendor community sets her apart from the pack. She is a natural leader, and always endeavours to provide support for her team in delivering exceptional demand generation programmes.

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Rebecca Williams, 27

Junior Buyer

John Lewis

Rebecca Williams leads the Windows computing, gaming and VR divisions at John Lewis. It has been an incredible 12 months where John Lewis has seen its biggest-ever year on Windows computing, winning a record amount of the market share. On top of that, John Lewis brought the very latest technology to customers with a fantastic launch of Oculus Rift at the end of 2016. The company’s gaming market share has doubled year-on-year attributed to a fresh approach to the category from Rebecca.

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Rene Gueth, 24

Account Manager

Terra Computer

Rene is an established account manager and highly regarded member of a growing sales team at Terra Computer UK. His undisputed strong work ethic and relentless drive to continuously learn and better himself has made a lasting impression on his team. Rene played a pivotal role in helping the sales team achieve the company’s best-ever month this past February. He always works hard to achieve and exceed his own personal targets and as an assistant team leader, Rene always steps up to the task and displays fantastic leadership skills. Always trying to keep his peers motivated to reach their maximum potential, Rene possesses all the attributes to become a leading professional in the UK IT Channel.

Scott Walker, 24

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UK Operations & Data Management

Hannspree

Bringing a range of technical and communication skills combined with key decision-making experience, Scott fills a gap in the Hannspree skillset. His main role is provide support for both customers and the rest of the Hanspree team. Scott is the most recent addition to the Hannspree UK team having only been at the company for three months. However, he has already become an invaluable member of the team and his future at the company is set to be a prominent one. Scott has shown leadership skills with confidence but takes his training very seriously, making sure he understands new information and doesn’t let his confidence cloud his ability to learn more. 

Shane Ward, 27

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Sales Executive

Platinum Components

Since joining the company in 2014, Shane has been an influential member of the UK sales team, significantly increasing Platinum’s coverage and sales. He has built strong relationships with existing accounts and brought in new business and products to the company. He has a passion for the industry and was voted Platinum’s People Champion for 2016.

Simon Buckingham, 29

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Retail Marketing Manager

TP-Link 

Simon is a very creative individual with an original take on retail marketing. His contagious enthusiasm rubs off on colleagues and customers to deliver measurable benefits to both. He works closely with suppliers to keep abreast of the latest trends and developments in retail marketing and adapts them to the networking and smart home sectors.Building relationships is a crucial skill in the sector and Simon does a great job in understanding the customers’ pressure points, recommending solutions and then delivering within the agreed deadlines. He coordinates with multiple external suppliers and internal colleagues to deliver point of sale and promotions that pack a punch in store and online.

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Sophia Meola, 24

Marketing Executive - Social & PR

Ingram Micro

Sophia started her role in the Cloud business unit at Ingram Micro in December 2014 as a marketing executive. She joined with extensive digital marketing knowledge as a well-known and extremely successful beauty blogger. Sophia joined the team in the first few months of the Cloud division forming and used her skills to develop the Ingram Micro Cloud brand online from scratch. In January 2017 Sophia progressed into the role of social media and PR lead for the full Ingram Micro UK business. In this time Sophia has raised the online presence of Ingram Micro through social media, our digital publication IM Advisor and launched a brand new blog. In the past two months, conversion rates from social media have increased dramatically. Sophia’s hard work and passion is making a huge difference for Ingram Micro. 

Verity Agababian, 23

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Marketing Executive

BT Business Direct / BT Shop

Verity joined BT Business Direct less than a year ago, initially as a temporary product marketing assistant in the HP and Microsoft teams. Within months she’d impressed hugely and secured a role in our corporate marketing team, writing copy for online, social media, emails and direct marketing. She also took the reigns of the campaign management of quarterly business magazine TechKnow sent to around 20,000 customers. Verity’s abilities and skills have seen her secure a role in the newly formed BT Shop team – the division that has been established to service consumers with complimentary technology products across a range of broadband, TV, sport and mobile products.

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