Record-setting charitable donation and an expanded awards lineup elevate our annual event.
According to online resources and dictionaries, “Shake It Up,” the theme for our 37th Annual Awards & Charities Gala, among other things, means:
To do something different from one’s normal routine in order to make things feel new or interesting.
And that’s what we set out to do at the 37th Annual Awards & Charities Gala. We relish seeing friends and colleagues return each year while, at the same time, enjoying welcoming new guests for the first time. We can’t imagine hosting the Gala without having the inimitable Bob Goldberg once again serving as the emcee, but we were thrilled to have had more dealers than ever before serve as our Frank Award presenters. We are committed to acknowledging and celebrating “traditional” accomplishments but revel in spotlighting new and exciting innovations and developments, as evidenced by our expanded list of Frank Award categories. We salute the established iconic leaders who have forged the path for the industry over the years while being inspired by today’s trailblazers. There are, of course, a few things we don’t want to shake up. We take great pride in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie that is the Gala where the gloves are off and business competitors hang out together, underscored by a shared commitment to giving back.
This year’s Shake It Up theme also referred to exciting developments in the independent dealer channel today. We applaud the groundbreaking ventures and new areas of diversification and growth that expand the channel’s boundaries and lay the groundwork for the future.
And last but not least, this year’s Shake It Up theme, inspired by The Cars’ legendary hit, also meant partying and having a good time. Shake it up, oo yeah.
Held at The Madison Hotel in Morristown, New Jersey, The Cannata Report’s 37th Anniversary Awards & Charities Gala was again sponsored by Hytec Dealer Services and ConnectWise, to whom we are forever grateful. The event raised $215,000 to create the Marie Cusumano Endowed Scholarship at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine in memory of our founder Frank G. Cannata’s only sister and CEO CJ Cannata’s aunt. Said CJ Cannata at the Gala, “My Aunt Marie was my second mother – and a woman who lived to take care of others. While she wasn’t an MD or a nurse, she had a natural affinity for taking care of people when they were sick. There is no better way to remember her than with a scholarship at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine to assist a student pursuing a degree in her home state of New Jersey.”
Beginning in the spring of 2024, the Marie Cusumano Endowed Scholarship will provide funds to a student selected by the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine’s academic board. In recent years, the Gala has enabled The Cannata Report to collectively raise over $1.5 million through donations and matching funds for Hackensack Meridian Health/Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. Throughout its 37-year history, the Cannata Dinner has collectively raised well over $3 million for many regional and national charitable organizations.
After a cocktail reception, sponsored by HP, in the hotel’s Conservatory, we opened the dinner awards portion of the evening in the ballroom with a video highlights reel showcasing some of the event’s recent memorable moments. Our president and CEO, CJ Cannata, welcomed guests and then handed over the podium to Editor-in-Chief Scott Cullen, who grabbed his auctioneer’s gavel to sell several iconic albums from 1982 in tribute to The Cannata Report’s 40th anniversary.
Best Production Print Manufacturer: Ricoh USA – Accepted by Jim Coriddi, Ricoh (center), and presented by Richard Van Dyke, Advanced Office, and Mary Jo Johnson, EO Johnson Business Technologies.
Best A4 Manufacturer: Kyocera Document Solutions America – Accepted by Oscar Sanchez, Kyocera (center), and presented by AJ Baggott, RJ Young, and Jim George, Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises.
Best-in-Class: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – Accepted by Shane Coffey, Sharp (center), and presented by Bill Fraser and Melissa Confalone, Fraser Advanced Information Systems.
Best Diversification Partner: ConnectWise – Accepted by Jenna Stramaglio and Michael Amiri, ConnectWise (2nd from L & 2nd from R); and presented by CJ Cannata and Patrick Flesch, Gordon Flesch Company.
Sharp Imaging and Information Company led the night with four awards: Best Male Executive for Mike Marusic, marking four consecutive years for Sharp’s president and CEO; Best Marketing Strategy, which it won last year; Best-in-Class; and Best Manufacturer, another repeat win from last year. Ricoh USA won two Frank Awards: Best Production Print Manufacturer and Best Technical Service Provider, awards it also won in 2021. Five times was a charm for Kyocera Document Solutions America, recognized for a fifth consecutive year with the Frank Award for Best A4 Manufacturer. DocuWare was named Best ECM/Document Management Provider, a repeat from 2021. GreatAmerica Financial Services won the Frank Award for Best Leasing Company, its lucky 13th win. In the category for Best Print Management Software Provider, there were two winners as both ACDI and PaperCut, favorites in the category in recent years, were given Frank Awards. ConnectWise was honored with the Frank Award for Best IT Services and Security Provider and, to date, is the only winner in the category since it was introduced in 2019 (the category was expanded this year to include “security” given its growing importance in the industry). ConnectWise also won Best Diversification Partner, new to the Frank Awards in 2022. And it was lucky seven for Laura Blackmer, president, channel sales, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., who won Best Female Executive. We missed having Laura at the Gala in person but were happy to have her join us via video to accept her Frank Award.
Best Marketing Strategy: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – Accepted by Bob Madaio (center), Sharp, and presented by Chris and Danielle Wolowitz, Shore Business Solutions.
Best IT and Security Services Provider: ConnectWise – Accepted by Jenna Stramaglio and Michael Amiri, ConnectWise (2nd from L & 2nd from R); and presented by Luis Villa and Adam Weiss, Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office.
Best ECM/Document Management Software Provider: DocuWare – Presented by Aaron Dyck (4th from L) and Anthony Cucco (3rd from R) of Impact Networking, and accepted by Caleb Wolfe, Alex Solliday, Samina Sabir, Jim Roberts, John Keenan and Michael Gale of DocuWare.
Best Print Management Software Provider: ACDI and PaperCut – Presented by Carson Stone (2nd from L) and Sam Stone (3rd from R) and accepted by Jennifer O’Leary, PaperCut (2nd from R) and from ACDI, Summer Jones, Josh Lane, Mark Hart,
Laine Harper, and Chris McPheeters.
Best Leasing Company: GreatAmerica Financial Services – Presented by Blake Renegar (L) and Brice Renegar (4th from R) of
Kelly Office Solutions, and accepted by GreatAmerica’s Key Kain, David Pohlman, Tawnya Stone, Lindsay Bohon, Josie Heskje, Kim Louden, Jennie Fisher, Greg VanDeWalker of Collabrance, Sally Brause and Brad Wolf.
Best Technical Services Provider: Ricoh USA – Accepted by Chris DeMars, Jim Coriddi, Dan Picolli, and Dr. Marlene Kolodziej, Ricoh, and presented by Meg and Gerry Ryan, Emerald Document Imaging.
Best Female Executive: Laura Blackmer, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. (insert) – Accepted by Holly DeSantis of Konica Minolta on Blackmer’s behalf (3rd from R), and presented by Janene Aul, Jacqueline Smith, and Cara Spencer of Systel Business Equipment; and Scott Cullen and CJ Cannata.
Best Male Executive: Mike Marusic, Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – Presented by Jerry Blaine, LDI Connect (L) and Rick Bastinelli, Centric Business Systems.
Best Manufacturer: Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America – Accepted by John Sheehan, Sharp (center) and presented by CJ Cannata and Mark Miller, Eakes Office Solutions.
Frank Award Winners: Mike Marusic, Sharp; Oscar Sanchez, Kyocera; Jose Estébanez, Kyocera; Mark Hart, ACDI; Scott Cullen, The Cannata Report; Janene Aul, Systel Business Equipment; Jacqueline Smith, Systel Business Equipment; Jim Coriddi, Ricoh; Jennifer Healy, Ricoh; Jim Roberts, DocuWare; Cara Spencer, Systel Business Equipment; Jenna Stramaglio, ConnectWise; Jennie Fisher, GreatAmerica; CJ Cannata; David Pohlman, GreatAmerica Financial Services; Jennifer O’Leary, PaperCut; Michael Amiri, ConnectWise; Josh Lane, ACDI; John Sheehan, Sharp; and Bob Madaio, Sharp. *Aul, Smith and Spencer accepted on
behalf of Laura Blackmer, Konica Minolta.
See the sidebar below for a complete list of winners, presenters, and executives who accepted on behalf of each winning organization.
Celebrating The Cannata Report’s Special Veteran’s Award: Mike Stramaglio, Stramaglio Consulting; Frank G. Cannata; Jeremiah Shepard, Dove Technologies; and Bob Goldberg, BTA pay tribute to honoree Mike Jones of CIT Business Capital.
The Cannata Report’s audience is familiar with our devotion to veterans through fundraising efforts and our regularly featured Veteran’s Way column. It was our honor to present Mike Jones, president of vendor equipment finance, CIT Business Capital, a division of First Citizens Bank, with The Cannata Report’s Veteran’s Award in recognition of his military service and dedication to helping fellow veterans transition from military life to the workforce. Jones is devoted to many veterans’ initiatives, including Wounded Warrior Project and Operation New Uniform, where he serves as a board member. Jeremiah Shepard, general manager, technical services, Dove Technologies, and the recipient of The Cannata Report’s Veteran’s Award in 2021, made the announcement and accepted it on Jones’ behalf. Unfortunately, Jones, and many of our guests, couldn’t travel because of Hurricane Ian. We look forward to seeing Mike in person soon to congratulate him.
The Marie Cusumano Endowed Scholarship at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine: Frank G. Cannata; Nancy Karole Kennedy, Hackensack University Medical Center; CJ Cannata; Joseph Cusumano; and Carol C. Cannata.
The Frank G. Cannata Philanthropy Award: Frank G. Cannata presented Larry Weiss, Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office, with the Frank G. Cannata Philanthropy Award. Mariano Rivera congratulated Weiss via a video tribute.
A special highlight was the presentation of the Frank G. Cannata Philanthropy Award—by none other than Frank G. Cannata—to Larry Weiss, CEO of Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office. Created last year to honor our founder, the award is given to an individual in the business technology industry who emulates Frank and inspires others with their philanthropic endeavors and giving spirit. Weiss was honored with the award for supporting many charitable organizations, including The Mariano Rivera Foundation, the National Kidney Foundation, and the Jillian Fund. Weiss, a board member of The Mariano Rivera Foundation, was congratulated at the Gala by Baseball Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera via a video tribute.
We topped off the festivities by shaking it up on the dance floor at our After Party, sponsored this year by Xerox and Polek & Polek. Skyline Drive Orchestra played favorites from 1982, and guests enjoyed our first official Gala cocktail, the Cannata Shake, crafted by Carol C. Cannata to complement the dessert buffet bar.
Special thanks to Eric Auman, president and CEO, Hytec Dealer Services, and John Schweizer, vice president, office technology, ConnectWise, for their continued support of the Gala as official sponsors. We are also grateful to Tami Beach, head of MPS channel sales, HP, for sponsoring the Cocktail Party, and to Mike Pietrunti, senior vice president, US multi-brand dealer channel, Xerox, and Chris Polek, CEO, Polek & Polek, Inc., for co-sponsoring the After Party.
We are grateful to Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office for its contributions to our overall creative direction, allowing us to add even more large-format signage to the event this year. Special thanks go to Larry Weiss, Luis Villa, and their team for inspiration and support. We also want to thank LDI Color ToolBox, Jerry Blaine, and Brian Gertler for creating unique collateral for the Gala and our Women Influencers Brunch. Thanks to Kay Fernandez and David Clearman of Konica Minolta for providing water bottle labels for the event. We are indebted to the Sharp media production team led by James Campion for its tremendous support.
Lastly, we hope our guests heard Mariano Rivera say, “and I’ll see you next year,” at the end of his video tribute to Larry Weiss. We’re excited to announce next year’s Gala will benefit The Mariano Rivera Foundation and its “Print, Design and Packaging Development” training program. We know there is tremendous support throughout the industry for the program, and we are thrilled to contribute to its success through our Annual Awards & Charities Gala in 2023. Stay tuned for more details in the new year!