Converge Celebrates Five Years of #BetterTogether

Shaun Maine
October 14, 2022
Blogs

As we celebrate the five-year anniversary of Converge’s first acquisition, it is with great pride that I reflect upon the amazing journey that has led to 35 acquisitions in five years and the creation of a world-leading software-enabled IT & Cloud Solutions Provider spanning North America and Europe with the focus on delivering industry-leading solutions and services. I often get asked by investors how Converge assembled this world-class management team that is driving towards our 2025 goals of over $5B in revenue and $500m in Adjusted EBITDA, so please indulge me as I share the journey that brought this remarkable group of people together. 

In October 2016, while I was serving as COO at Pivot Technologies, a provider of IT hardware and services to large enterprises, Pivot acquired TeraMach—a $100m VAR based in Ottawa. This is when I realized that partners of that size have mid-market customers and sales forces to support them, and these customers need help getting to the cloud. Pivot was large enterprise focused, with over half of its business coming from AT&T and Apple, and they didn’t need any help getting to the cloud. So, I decided that a better model for success would be to buy smaller regional VARs and turn them into cloud and managed service providers.

I left Pivot in January 2017 and founded Converge with two friends I’ve known since university, Gord McMillan, who became our Chairman, and Don Cuthbertson, CEO of Portage and originally our COO and CTO. In April 2017, we came up with the three-phase strategy of getting a broad geographical coverage in North America, developing the capabilities around hybrid IT, then integrating and scaling across all main regions in North America.

We bought our first regional VAR, Corus360, in October 2017. Negotiating the deal on behalf of Corus360 was Julianne Belaga, who became our Chief Legal Officer, and Rhonda Hanes, who became our VP of Human Resources. In November 2017, Don led our first Canadian acquisition, Northern Micro, which added Emily Martin, who leads sales for us across all of Canada.

In April 2018 we purchased Key Information Systems (KeyInfo), our fourth acquisition. On that day, Tommy Whatley, who led services for me at Pivot, and Cory Reid, who was CIO at Pivot and someone I’ve worked with since 1992, joined the company kick-off on Tommy’s first day working for Converge. Although we had never discussed it, Tommy didn’t miss a beat when I turned to him to present Converge’s services strategy. Tommy now leads professional services for us, and Cory is our COO.

Essextec joined the Converge family in October 2018, giving us our foundation in our Cyber and Analytics practice areas, and adding Sean Colicchio, Dr. Jonathan Gough, and David Luftig to the team. David now runs software and solutions for the organization. On December 1st, 2018, we added Lighthouse Computer Services to our portfolio. Greg Berard, who was President of Lighthouse, became President of Converge’s East Region. When IBM purchased Red Hat in the summer of 2018, I gave Greg my President title for the entire company as well, in recognition of his fabulous success in cross selling and creating the practice areas we focus on today: Advanced Analytics, Application Modernization, Cloud Platform, Cybersecurity, Digital Infrastructure, and Digital Workplace. And now, Greg is also our North American CEO, overseeing all North American operations. In October 2019, Datatrend Technologies became our 10th acquisition and we added Karie Timion to the executive team as our VP of Marketing. In December 2020, Converge’s 17th acquisition, Vicom, brought Vic Verola into the fold, who is now our head of US Sales.

In May 2021, Gord stepped aside as Chairman to allow Thomas Volk, former CEO of Cancom and former head of HPE’s worldwide sales, to take on the role. Thomas, who has acted as a mentor to me as a public company CEO, brings valuable industry experience to the Converge board. Thomas also brought relationships from Europe and managed services, resulting in Doris Albiez joining the team to lead our acquisitions in Europe. As well, in August 2021, Thomas brought in our 21st acquisition, ExactlyIT, with Michael Heuberger, Mohammad Ahmmad, and Kevin Diaz to lead our managed services efforts globally.

In March 2022, after a distinguished career at IBM where he ran worldwide channels and North American sales, John Teltsch joined us as our Chief Revenue Officer. Finally, Richard Lecoutre left Softcat PLC to become our CFO in September 2022. These executives make me appreciate how far Converge has come—on my early quarter earnings calls, I used to state that I wanted Converge to sell into mid-market like Softcat while providing managed services like Cancom. And I distinctly remember being thrilled that Greg Berard was able to arrange a one-hour meeting for me with John Teltsch at IBM’s Think partner conference in 2019, and now he is our CRO.

This impressive team is a combination of people who I’ve known for a long time, people from companies we have acquired, and people we have brought in from elite organizations. The common theme is that Converge is a meritocracy, and we look to promote and support the best and brightest as we aggressively grow.

People are our strength. This is exemplified by our world-class management team, our superior technical organization, and our hard-working employee population of over 3,000 employees that we have assembled in our five years at Converge. The past five years have seen significant growth, relentless effort, and exciting wins. I am proud of the industry accolades we have received and want to thank the entire Converge team, our partners, and our clients who have all been a part of our journey.  I am so proud of what this team has accomplished and look forward to continuing to execute on our 2025 strategy. #BetterTogether

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