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While everybody likes to talk about what the channel should be doing now or what they might do someday for the channel, not everyone actually follows the rhetoric with action. So it’s important to recognize and appreciate the people in any given year who actually put what they preach into practice.

With that in mind, The Channel Insider, the sister news site of eWEEK Strategic Partner, this month debuted a new feature. It is our first annual 12 Who Made a Difference list, and it recognizes the executives who put strategies in place that brought material benefits to the channel in the form of new programs or initiatives designed to help solution providers evolve their business models.

The people on the list aren’t necessarily channel chiefs or big-time CEOs, but rather individuals who have made a tangible difference in the channel.

Here are the list and brief profiles of the accomplishments that earned these individuals their place on the list:

Bill Botti, Alternative Technology

John Callies, IBM Global Finance

Justin Crotty, Ingram Micro

Mike Cullen, N-able Technologies

Gary Gillam, Xerox and CompTIA

Steve Houck, EMC

Taylor Macdonald, Sage Software

Edison Peres, Cisco Systems

Mike Ross, RSA Security

John Thompson, Hewlett-Packard

Shirley Turner, Intel

Charles Weaver, MSP Alliance