Company Profile & Executive Leadership
Founded in 1992, PlanetOne served as a preferred business and technology sourcing partner to Trusted Advisors in the IT and telecom industry for 30 years prior to joining forces with AVANT in May 2022. Under the leadership of Founder and former-CEO Ted Schuman, PlanetOne became one of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies (Inc. Magazine) and earned a reputation for excellence as a top-performing growth partner for hundreds of telecom agents, channel partners and providers nationwide. PlanetOne’s Partner Program, which is anchored by its proprietary SENTIENT AI-powered, partner engagement platform, was the only master agent program to earn 5-Stars in the 2022 CRN Partner Program Guide. The program has also been celebrated in CRN’s Connectivity Solutions Partner Program Guide and Cloud Partner Program Guides. Over the years, PlanetOne’s leadership team earned many accolades including welcoming Ted Schuman into the Hall of Fame in 2022 and simultaneously recognizing PlanetOne’s former COO Chris Werpy as one of 2022’s Most Influential Channel Leaders.
Ian Kieninger, CEO and Co-Founder
Ian brings over two decades of experience building innovative technology practices with management roles at both AT&T and CDW. While at CDW, Ian built one of the largest carrier services, mobility and telephony practices in the country. His teams focused on designing a wide range of solutions spanning unified communication, mobility, IP telephony and telecommunication services. Kieninger also held various management roles within AT&T, which included enterprise and global sales, product management, and indirect channel experience. Ian serves on Comptia’s Telecom Advisory Council and is a cofounder of the Technology Channel Association (TCA), the indirect channel industry’s first trade association.
Drew Lydecker, President and Co-Founder
Drew comes from a family of entrepreneurs who have continually pushed the envelope in disrupting the status quo by focusing on high value and high touch solutions. Drew built AVANT to fill a void in the market created by the accelerating pace of change in IT. Prior to this, Drew worked as a Voice & Data specialist at CDW where he played a key part in helping CDW become one of the largest telecommunications agents in the world and the number one specialist on the team. To learn more about Drew, see him profiled on “Let go and Lead” – https://www.gagenmacdonald.com/lgl-print/drew-lydecker.
Alex Danyluk, Chief Strategy Officer
Alex drives AVANT’s corporate growth strategy leading marketing, business development and partner program. He has 25+ years of experience in service provider, hosting and managed business services, with a diverse background including Sales, Marketing, Channel Development, Product Management and Engineering.
Brendan Taylor, Chief Financial Officer
Brendan has more than 15 years of experience, holding various leadership positions in mid-market, B2B technology and professional services companies. Originally from London, England, Brendan joins AVANT from Chicago-based SaaS cloud technology business CVM Solutions, a Kroll Company, where he was responsible for rapidly scaling profits, and delivering predictable and repeatable earnings.
Ted Schuman, Chief eXperience Officer (CXO)
Ted’s “everything matters” mindset combined with his “success is best shared” approach to winning is what inspires his role as CXO for AVANT. Celebrated as an industry luminary, Hall of Fame recipient and the founder and former-CEO of PlanetOne, Ted’s on a mission to make it easier for Trusted Advisors to win bigger with AVANT and its ecosystem of providers. An advocate for doing the common things uncommonly well, Ted is elevating the AVANT employee and partner experience. He joined the team in 2022 as part of AVANT’s strategic acquisition of PlanetOne. Ted continues to serve as a member of CompTIA’s Channel Development Advisory Council, is a Founding Member of The Alliance, and sits on several advisory boards for many of the top global carriers. A patriot, Ted served honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1982-1986, and in 2021, was named Honorary Commander to the 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron.
Chris Werpy, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO)
As President of PlanetOne, Chris Werpy takes ownership of the strategic direction, plan and performance of PlanetOne’s overall operations. He also contributes greatly to the company’s competitive “work hard, play hard” culture, as well as the experience of PlanetOne’s rapidly expanding North America partner base and more than 250 providers. With 20+ years of experience in business development, operations, sales and technology, Chris oversees PlanetOne’s executive leadership team and works side-by-side with Founder and CEO, Ted Schuman.
Prior to joining PlanetOne, Werpy served as part of the Executive Leadership Team at Masergy Communications, a PlanetOne preferred provider and true pioneer in software-defined networking. Throughout his 13+ year career at Masergy, he held varying roles including most recently senior vice president of solutions and services, where he led multiple organizations including Client Services, Solutions Engineering and Emerging Markets. Recognized for his growth mindset and market and technology insights, Chris stands out as one of the industry’s sharpest minds. He has published numerous industry articles, spoken on dozens of expert panels and is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business.
Jennifer Gallego, Executive Vice President of Global Sales
Jen joined AVANT at the beginning in 2009 and is one of the original team members. She began her career at XO where she worked her way up from account executive to Director of Channel where her territory led the country in sales. In 2017, Jen was named to CRN’s Women in the Channel.
Shane McNamara, Executive Vice President of Engineering & Operations
Shane brings a wealth of experience and insight to his leadership role at AVANT. He previously served as the Senior Vice President of business services at Qology Direct. Before that, he was the Channel Partner Vice President at XO Communications and the General Manager for Carrier Sales at CDW.