Who’s behind the Buzz? The ChannelBuzz.ca team includes dedicated staff and a wide variety of seasoned technology journalists, analysts and solution providers. Here’s who’s on the team:
Robert Dutt – Head Blogger
Robert has been covering the Canadian IT channel since he graduated from college in December 1997. Coming out of J-school in the height of the expansion of the Internet with a basic knowledge of HTML, Robert joined CRN Canada as its online editor and grew to love the community. Over the years, his role changed (CRN Canada became eChannelLine) and he changed roles (rejoining CRN Canada under different ownership as editor in 2007) but his focus on the channel and on online vehicles remained steady.
Since the beginning of his career, Robert has been a leader in developing electronic news and information platforms for the Canadian audience, leading the development of what was to become eChannelLine and then later overseeing a redesign and new strategy for CRN Canada’s online properties.
In October 2010, Robert launched ChannelBuzz.ca, the first news and analysis blog platform for the Canadian IT channel community with the stated goal of cutting through the noise for Canadian VARs and MSPs.
In the rare moments he’s not blogging about the Canadian channel, Robert enjoys good friends, good food, and good mixed martial arts. (Actually, even bad mixed martial arts will do in a pinch. To him, it’s kinda like the old saying about a bad day of golf…)
Part of the Channelnomics/2112 Network
In 2013, ChannelBuzz.ca joined forces with the 2112 Strategy Group and its Channelnomics network of channel news and and analysis sites, significantly expanding the depth and breadth of coverage we offer from both Canadian and worldwide perspectives.
Lawrence M. Walsh, President & CEO
Larry Walsh is one of the most recognizable figures in the IT channel and security communities, and is considered one of the more forward-thinking leaders in the industry. He personally oversees the development and implementation of research, collaboration and content programs at The 2112 Group, which he founded to advance the state of the art in the technology marketplace and channel community.
Larry is the founder and executive director of the Channel Vanguard Council, a collaborative group of technology channel executives formed in cooperation with the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA). CVC is dedicated to aiding the maturation of business models and partnership relationships in the channel community. It’s members include high-ranking vendor channel executives and solution provider leaders.
Prior to founding The 2112 Group, Larry was an award-winning technology journalist and publisher.
At Ziff Davis Enterprise, he service as vice president and market expert for channels and security, developing and guiding strategic engagement and research programs for IT vendors. He wasalso the publisher of Channel Insider, a leading online technology channel publication. And was the editor of Baseline Magazine, an award-winning journal of technology project management.
Larry was the editor of VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, leading strategic publications for the IT channel community. At VARBusiness, Larry personally oversaw the major research and awards programs, including the VARBusiness 500, the GovernmentVAR 100, the VARBusiness Annual Report Card, and the Technology Innovators Awards program.
Before entering the channel, Larry was editor of the award-winning and market-leading Information Security Magazine. During his tenure, he developed a reputation for driving new thinking to threat management and IT security issues. He earned national recognition for his exposes on Microsoft security issues.
Diana L. Mirakaj, Chief Operating Officer
Diana Mirakaj is a seasoned marketing, operations and business management professional with a steep history in financial services, business consulting and research. As 2112’s chief operating officer, she’s responsible for the oversight of operations, finance and business development.
Prior to joining 2112, Ms. Mirakaj was responsible for global marketing and corporate development at BTM Corporation, a management solutions provider whose products and services focus on innovation, growth and value-creation across the Fortune 500, midmarket and public sector. In that position, she focused on corporate messaging, branding, and design of an integrated corporate development strategy through their various partnerships and alliances.
Ms. Mirakaj was with UBS Investment Bank, where she worked in the International Equity Capital Markets Group and the Corporate Client Services Group. In both roles, she acted as a liaison between clients, corporate finance, other investment dealers, and the market. She was involved throughout the process from origination to execution, including oversight of road shows, investor feedback, demand management, and final pricing and allocation of the issue.
She gained start-up experience at Monarch Worldwide Investments, an exclusive fund that traded commodities for high net worth individuals and family funds. She focused on regulatory issues and investor relations, in addition to day-to-day operational aspects of the business. She developed marketing strategies to attract additional investors, while maintaining existing accounts with customized services tailored to each individual.
Ms. Mirakaj built a high-performing event management foundation while at Fujisankei Communications International, a member of The Fujisankei Group, one of the world’s largest media conglomerates. The events highlighted the arts, media and entertainment and were held worldwide. They ranged from premier exhibits at the Ueno Royal Museum in Tokyo and MoMA in New York, to opening ceremonies at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Ms. Mirakaj earned her degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. She is a co-author on The Power of Convergence: Linking Business Strategies and Technology Decisions to Create Sustainable Success (AMACOM, 2011).
Susan Kostbar, Vice President, Sales
Susan Kostbar is a channel sales veteran who oversees client engagements and business development for The 2112 Group’s professional services and media products. She has worked in technology and channel services, events and media sales for much of the past three decades. She most recently served as strategic account director at Channel Partners magazine, a publication of Virgo Publishing. Prior to Channel Partners, Kostbar was the channel sales manager of Channel Insider, formerly a Ziff Davis Enterprise publication. She also held other management and sales roles at UBM Channel, including associate publisher of VARBusiness magazine.
Ginger Stevenson, Vice President, Marketing
Ginger Stevenson is a marketing and creative services veteran, with extensive experience in branding, Web design and operations, graphic design and corporate marketing. At 2112, Ginger oversees the customer relationships, product development and fulfillment, and Web operations for Channelnomics and Web properties developed and managed by 2112. She has the rare combination of sound strategic thinking and exceptional design talent. She has a proven track record for delivering creative communication that breaks through the clutter, delivers powerful impact and inspires desired consumer reactions.
Over the years, she has helped unify the corporate image, strengthen product positioning and communicate differentiating personalities for many distinguished brands. Her client relationships include Abbott Laboratories, Ameriprise Financial, Bayer, Beam Industries, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Hy-Vee, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa State University, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Palisade Systems, Pioneer Hi-bred International, Time Warner Cable and UCB Pharma.
Ginger has received several honors for creative expertise, including national TELLY and NAMA awards; national and regional Addy Awards, including the 2003 Best of Show honors in the local competition; and local recognition from the Art Directors Association of Iowa (ADAI), the Iowa Motion Picture Association (IMPA) and the Central Iowa Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The Des Moines native has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Grand View College.
Chris Gonsalves, Vice President, Editorial
The 2112 Group’s Editorial Vice President Chris Gonsalves is an award-winning career business and tech journalist, most recently serving as executive editor of TechTarget’s CIO and IT Strategy Media Group, where he covered all matters of concern for today’s senior technology and business leaders. Chris has served in senior editorial positions at Ziff Davis’ PC Week, eWeek, Baseline and Channel Insider, and CMP’s VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR. His work includes reporting and newsroom management stints at Newsmax Media, the Providence (R.I.) Journal, and the Dow Jones-owned Standard-Times in New Bedford, Mass. He has also done content development work for major technology vendors including IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Chris is a graduate of Penn State University and a military veteran who served in South Korea and worked at the prestigious U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He’s authored two books on paranormal history.
Amber Plante, Managing Editor
Amber Plante is a content and communications expert with a decade of experience working in both print and digital media, with specialties in information security and social networking. Her experience includes work with Captivate Network, the leading digital place-based media company; and IT juggernaut Tech Target, where she managed the market-leading Information Security magazine. Amber’s education includes bachelor’s degrees in journalism and anthropology, and a stint working with the government of Belize as an archaeologist. She is also a novelist currently represented by Curtis Brown Ltd. in NYC, and really enjoyed writing this in the third-person.
Niki Matyok, Executive Project Manager
Niki Matyok oversees all project management and operational processes at 2112, in addition to supporting strategic research programs and customer relations. She is a seasoned project manager with extensive experience in software development, customer relationship management, finance and budget management, and professional services. In previous positions, Niki has built a track record of success in professional services and operations management, as well as training program development. Based in Miami, Niki is widely known for her skills in the local kickball league and is an avid fisherman.