What has been your personal highlight of 2021?
There are actually a few things that contribute to this answer. But top of the pile has to be seeing our agency, Purechannels - The Channel Agency, grow so well and double in size. Welcoming on new clients and doing more with existing ones has been incredible. We have maintained our shortlist and winning record at the CRN Sales and Marketing Awards, having been involved every year since they started and we also took a big step and opened our brand-new US office, which is already welcoming new clients too.
We did not take part in the furlough scheme, we didn't cut hours and we made no redundancies. Instead we invested in our existing people and employed more.
Which tech figurehead has impressed you the most this year, and why?
I always find this question interesting. For me, there is not one, and it is not really a ‘figurehead' that has impressed me. More so, people in channel who continue to innovate, respond and drive new technology through the channel, seizing the new opportunities that have emerged during the last 18 months. For example, Ashley Speight at Channelyze who launched a brand-new approach to PRM; Rick Van Den Bosch at Channext looking to reassess through channel marketing; Joe Chang and the team at Impartner; Daniel Graff Radford at Allbound; and Heather Tenuto and the team at Zift. Then someone I believe always deserves a mention is Jay McBain who is constantly at the forefront of all things channel, ensuring that everyone is as up to date as they can be with his many pieces of amazing work from the annual Channel Tech Stack to the best channel podcasts available around the world.
Which one lockdown habit do you plan to keep going? Easy: remote working, without doubt.
We now employ more people remotely than we do locally - so this will definitely continue! We have grown bigger and faster than ever through remote recruiting and working, so this will definitely continue. So there's that and probably the shorts and tracksuit bottoms!
Which face-to-face industry event are you most excited to return to, and why?
I am actually looking forward to getting back together with clients and prospects, face to face. I like to attend the big events as they're always a great way to network and catch up. But I am not actually hanging my hat on all of them coming back in the way they were so prevalent pre-Covid. The interaction we have had over video calls this last 18 months has been great, but I am very excited about spending more time with clients/prospects face to face.
If you had the time to learn one new skill, what would it be?
Probably golf. I have never played and think I should start to get into it. That and piano. I would love to be able to just sit at a piano and play.
If you could go back in time and tell your childhood self one thing, what would you say?
Play the long game - and play it in the tech channel!
If you had to sing karaoke, what would be your song of choice?
Something by Bastille, or something country - Kenny Rogers or Rascal Flatts.
Sum 2021 up in three words.
Experience, learning, growth.