An all-star lineup helps raise a record-setting sum for an industry-specific cause.
What a night! Some 250 industry movers and shakers from all corners of the office technology industry traveled to Morristown, New Jersey, to The Madison Hotel for The Cannata Report’s 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala. Gala guests represented leading manufacturers; services, supplies and software companies; and office technology dealerships. This year’s event was something special with a celebrity guest, Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera.
Emcee Bob Goldberg breaks on through the Break on Through banner to kick off the 38th Annual Awards & Charities Gala.
This year’s theme, “Break on Through (to the Other Side)” is based on the 1967 song by The Doors. The inspiration for the theme is how the office technology industry is breaking on through and diversifying in order to keep pace with changing technologies and customer demands. It also reflects The Cannata Report’s Awards & Charities Gala’s evolution as it has broken on through by supporting a new charity that is particularly relevant to the office technology industry.
A Record-Setting Amount
A total of $233,500 was presented to The Mariano Rivera Foundation to support its initiative to educate young men and women for careers in the print technology industry. The Foundation’s Print Design and Packaging Development vocational program provides education and training for students to receive certifications in digital press technology, color management, workflow, and digital graphic design and prepare them for careers in the office technology and print technology industries.
A highlight of the evening was an auction of three autographed Mariano Rivera jerseys and three signed baseballs, as well as photo ops with Mariano Rivera. Auctioneer Frank G. Cannata ensured that bidding was brisk and the final tally for the three jerseys, balls, and photo ops was $26,000. The high bidders included Austin Vanchieri of Visual Edge IT, Doug Pitassi of Pacific Office Automation, and John Lowery of Applied Innovation.
A total of 13 Frank Awards were presented with GreatAmerica Financial Services, Kyocera Document Solutions America, Ricoh USA, and Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America earning multiple awards. Winners were determined by The Cannata Report’s Annual Dealer Survey conducted earlier in the year.
Best Diversification Partner: Intermedia Cloud Communications – Noel O’Dwyer (second from L) and Eric Tuttle, Intermedia, with presenters Jerry Blaine, LDI Connect (far L) and Danielle Wolowitz, Shore Business Solutions.
Diversification has been The Cannata Report’s mantra in 2023, and three of the awards recognized companies that have been instrumental in helping dealers diversify. The Best Diversification Partner award went to Intermedia Cloud Services, a provider of cloud-based communication systems. This company has been raising its profile in the channel the past two years, largely thanks to industry veteran Noel O’Dwyer who has forged long-term relationships with dealers coast-to-coast.
Best Production Print Manufacturer: Ricoh USA – Jennifer Healy, Ricoh USA, with presenters Jim Sheffield, UBEO Business Services (L), and Mike Lepper, Impact Networking.
Production print is another viable diversification opportunity, and this is typically a three-way competition between Canon, Konica Minolta, and Ricoh for Best Production Print Manufacturer. This year’s winner was Ricoh, a company with a broad production print portfolio. Managed IT and cybersecurity represent an equally credible diversification opportunity and the award for Best IT and Security Services Provider went to ConnectWise, the only company that has won this award since it was first introduced three years ago.
Best IT and Security Services Provider: ConnectWise – Jenna Miner, ConnectWise (center), with presenters Lindsay
Usherwood, Usherwood Office Technology (L), and Lauren Hanna, Blue Technologies.
Best A4 Manufacturer: Kyocera Document Solutions America – Jose Estebanez, Kyocera Document Solutions America, with presenters Scott Cullen (L) and Travis Sheffield, UBEO Business Services.
The Frank Awards don’t ignore traditional imaging technology, and the Frank Award for Best A4 Manufacturer was presented to Kyocera which edged out HP and Ricoh. Best Manufacturer, an award that recognizes the manufacturer with the best overall product line, went to Sharp as it has the last four years. Sharp also received the Frank Award for Best-in-Class, which honors the manufacturer with the best A3 and A4 product offerings. Because service is such an essential component with any technology offering, the Best Technical Service Provider—the company that provides the best support in this area—was Kyocera. Finally, Ricoh USA received the Frank Award for Best Marketing Strategy, the first year it ever received this honor.
Best Marketing Strategy: Ricoh USA – Lauren Sallata and Jennifer Healy (second and third from L), Ricoh USA, with presenters Tom McMahon, Milner, and Dawna McCabe, Century Business Technologies.
Best-in-Class: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – Shane Coffey, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America, with presenters Rick Bastinelli and Adrienne Bastinelli, Centric Business Systems.
Best Manufacturer: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – From L to R: Jeff Ashida, Shane Coffey, Moonsun Park, Mike Marusic, Ginamarie Cairone, Sharp; presenter Doug Albregts, Marco Technologies; Erica Calise, Sharp; presenter Joe Blatchford, Image 2000; and John Sheehan, Chris Johnson, Bob Madaio, and Tony Yoshimura, Sharp.
Best Technical Service Provider: Kyocera Document Solutions America – Oscar Sanchez and Frank Zupa (second and third from L), Kyocera Document Solutions America, with presenters David Ramos (L), and Brian Frank, Visual Edge IT.
As the office technology industry has evolved over the past two decades, software solutions have become increasingly important to many a dealer’s business. Until four years ago, The Cannata Report presented a single Frank Award in the software category.
Best Print Management Software Provider: ACDI and PaperCut – From L to R: Laura Rather and Deana Dearry,
PaperCut; and Josh Lane and Mark Hart, ACDI; with presenters Doug Pitassi, Pacific Office Automation, and
Jim George, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises.
However, what we saw in this category was a free-for-all of disparate software solutions, even though the majority of those were either print management or document management solutions. Because of that, two separate awards are now presented, one for Best Print Management Software Provider and one for Best ECM/Document Management Provider. The clearcut winner, as it has been since we’ve had a separate award for Best Print Management Provider, was ACDI and PaperCut, while the ECM/Document Management Provider Frank Award was presented to DocuWare for the third consecutive year.
Best ECM/Document Management Software Provider: DocuWare – From L to R: John Keenan and Alex Solliday, DocuWare;
presenter Susie Woodhull, Woodhull LLC; Michael Gale and Caleb Wolfe, DocuWare; and presenter Adam Weiss, Atlantic
One category that became more competitive this year was Best Leasing Company where GreatAmerica Financial Services continued its dominance, winning every year since this award has been presented. However, this year, GreatAmerica had some strong competition from LEAF Commercial Capital and U.S. Bank.
Best Leasing Company: GreatAmerica Financial Services – From L to R: David Pohlman, Kim Louden, Josie Heskje, Tawnya
Stone, Hannah O’Donnell, and Stacey Miller, GreatAmerica; presenter Claudia George, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises; Jennie Fisher, GreatAmerica; presenter Carson Stone, Stone’s Office Equipment; Key Kain and Brad Wolf, GreatAmerica.
Best Male Executive: Mike Marusic, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – Mike Marusic (center), with presenters Mariano Rivera (L) and CJ Cannata
Winning the Best Male Executive Frank Award for the third consecutive year was Sharp’s Mike Marusic over Toshiba’s Larry White and Ricoh’s Jim Coriddi. For Best Female Executive, GreatAmerica Financial Services’ Jennie Fisher was acknowledged for the first time. Fisher is arguably the female executive with the highest profile in the industry and was long overdue for being acknowledged.
Best Female Executive: Jennie Fisher, GreatAmerica Financial Services – Jennie Fisher (second from L), with presenters
(from L to R) Liz Sumner, SumnerOne; Chelsey Bode, Pearson-Kelly Technology; and Melissa Confalone, Fraser Advanced Information Systems.
In addition to the vendor awards, two special awards were also presented, including The Cannata Report’s Outstanding Veteran Award and the Frank G. Cannata Philanthropy Award.
Outstanding Veteran Award: Chris Johnson, Sharp – Chris Johnson, Sharp Imaging and Information Company
of America, with presenter and 2022 recipient, Mike Jones, First Citizens Bank.
Chris Johnson of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America received The Cannata Report’s Outstanding Veteran Award in recognition of his military service and dedication to helping promote the hiring of veterans like himself in the office technology industry. The award was presented by the 2022 recipient of the award, Mike Jones of First Citizens Bank Equipment Finance.
The Frank G. Cannata Philanthropy Award: Eric Auman, Hytec Dealer Services – Auman with presenter and 2022 recipient, Larry Weiss, Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office.
Eric Auman, president of Hytec Dealer Services, was recognized with the Frank G. Cannata Philanthropy Award for his support of an array of national charities, including the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and Wounded Warrior Project, as well as regional and local Orlando charitable organizations. Larry Weiss of Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, recipient of the award in 2022, presented Auman with his award.
More Than a Little Help from Our Friends
The event is not possible without the support of its sponsors, including lead sponsors Hytec Dealer Services and TD SYNNEX. Other sponsors include ConnectWise, HP, Polek & Polek, Static Control, and Xerox. Thanks to the generosity of these sponsors, 100% of the funds raised at the Gala went directly to The Mariano Rivera Foundation.
Mark Your Calendar
The 39th Annual Awards & Charities Gala and the charity which will take place on November 7, 2024, at The Madison Hotel in Morristown, New Jersey. We hope you can join us.
The auction of signed Mariano Rivera jerseys and baseballs as well as a photo op with the Hall of Famer exceeded expectations. Frank did a tremendous job as auctioneer and the bidding was brisk, raising an additional $26,000 for this year’s charity, The Mariano Rivera Foundation and its Print Design and Packaging Development vocational program. Congratulations to our three winners.
Auctioneer Frank G. Cannata points to the evening’s first auction winner.
Austin Vanchieri of Visual Edge IT was the first auction winner of the evening.
Doug Pitassi of Pacific Office Automation took home the second signed jersey and ball.
John Lowery and Kyle Lowery of Applied Innovation ended the auction on a high note with their winning bid.