Who: Ron Schmelzer
Company: ChannelWave Software Inc.
Has held title for: 11 months
Previous title: CTO
Are your partners trying your patience? The folks at ChannelWave, a partner-loyalty network software developer, are positively messianic about good relationships. That's why Ron Schmelzer, Apostle of Partners, spends his days making sure that his customers are deriving full benefit from their relationships with their channel partners. Can I get an amen?
What's your mission?
The channel partners' biggest challenge is that they don't have a voice. A partnership is a two-way street, and, like any relationship, you have to give the partner a reason to stay. I serve as a middleman.
How do you spread the word?
Listen, learn, and communicate. I'm like a marriage counselor. I figure out how to change what might be a bad practice. I don't just listen to it and then throw it into the circular file.
Can I test your devotion to ChannelWave?
When I'm sharing our mission with others, I feel a bit like Apostle Paul. But no way will I ever be a martyr. Call me crazy, but I'd rather live.
A version of this article appeared in the November 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.