ACW Honor Members’ Achievements, Volunteers

The Alliance of Channel Women, (ACW) a not-for-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of female channel leaders in technology, presented its inaugural ACW Leadership Achievement Award to Angie Tocco, co-founder and past president of Telecom for Change. Since its inception, the nonprofit has brought the technology channel together to raise more than $1.25 million for grassroots community groups.

ACW also named its 2022 LEAD Awards and recognized volunteers with its annual ACT Awards during the ACWConnect Live event, “The Leader in You,” which took place Wednesday at the Caribe Royale Resort in Orlando.

“ACW is honoring Angie Tocco for her dedication and leadership in bringing the channel together to champion unsung local heroes and make a real impact in our communities,” said ACW President Cassie Jeppson, director of North America Channel Programs, Lenovo. “What’s more, she led this effort while growing a top-performing telecom agency to a successful sale. Angie is an inspiring channel leader both in business and philanthropy. Her commitment to making the world a better place legacy worth recognizing and supporting.”

Tocco is a 35-year-veteran of the telecom industry and the co-founder of LanYap Networks, which was acquired in 2021 by UPSTACK, where she now serves as Partner and Managing Director.

Before forming LanYap Networks in 2011, she served as Regional Sales Director at Mitel, Agency Manager at Inter-Tel Network Services and Telcom Director at G.E. Capital, among others. Tocco also is a member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and a former board member of Gabriel’s Angels, which provides therapy dogs to at-risk children.

Tocco was among the first recipients of the ACW LEAD Award for Exceptional Female Channel Leaders in 2017. This year, she was honored by ACW for her leadership and vision in co-founding and leading Telecom for Change as its President until her retirement from the nonprofit in 2022.

Along with her business partner, Laura Dashney, Partner and Managing Director at UPSTACK, Tocco recognized an opportunity for technology suppliers and channel partners to work together to raise funds for grassroots charities that are often underfunded. That idea was realized in 2014 when the two women founded Telecom for Change, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that leverages event-based fundraising to provide game-changing donations that go directly to causes rather than administrative costs.

This year’s LEAD Award winners are:

  • Gizzelle Akin, Partner Account Manager for Equinix
  • MeiLee Langley, Senior Director of Global Channel Marketing for LiveVox
  • Raquel Wiley, Vice President of Marketing for NetFortris

The ACW LEAD Award is presented annually to exceptional female leaders in the technology channel. It celebrates women who are courageous, creative, collaborative, connected and confident in advancing channel careers. It also seeks to inspire other channel women to follow their lead.

“The LEAD Award recognizes influential women leaders in the tech channel,” said Michelle Kadlacek, ACW Awards Committee Chair and Vice President of Channel Partners Sales, Spectrum Enterprise. “We celebrate these outstanding women with the LEAD Award for their inspiring leadership example within their companies, the channel and the community at large.”

Winners were selected by the ACW Board of Directors from nominations received in June via an online application. Nominations came from third parties or candidates themselves. All applicants were required to demonstrate leadership and innovation in the channel as well as support, advocacy and mentorship of women in the channel.

And the organization took time to honor its “outstanding volunteers” with the annual ACT Awards. The 2022 ACT Award winners are:

  • Ashley Cole Dahling, Senior Channel Sales Manager – Southeast at Fusion Connect and Member of the ACW Events Committee
  • Carla Fields, West Region Channel Sales Manager at Cox Communications and Member of the ACW Membership and Events Committees
  • Dylan Crawford, Client Success Manager at BuzzTheory and Co-chair of the ACW Sponsorship Committee
  • Katherine Desy, Senior Channel Marketing Manager at Black Kite and Co-chair of the ACW Technology Committee
  • Michelle Ragusa-McBain, Provider Elevate, Leader for the Global Partner Organization at Cisco and Co-chair of the ACW Local Chapters Committee and Moderator for the South Florida Chapter

“As a community-driven organization, ACW relies on member volunteers for ideas and energy to help drive our programs,” Kadlacek said. “We thank outstanding volunteers Ashley Cole Dahling, Carla Fields, Dylan Crawford, Katherine Desy and Michelle Ragusa-McBain for going above and beyond in supporting this organization and contributing to its success.”

ACT Award winners are selected by the ACW Board of Directors based on nominations from ACW Committee chairs.