The Journey – The Leadership Team

IBMSG & Canada Leadership Team

IBMSG & Canada Leadership Team

I would like to give a very special thanks to my leadership team, as they have risen to every challenge, turned them into opportunities, and led us during one of the most transformational times in our industry.  They are warriors and winners and the best in our industry!

Let me start off with how thankful I am to have the privilege to work with each of you.  Each of you is good hearted and has good intentions in your mind as you do the day to day thing we call work.  Over the many years we have been together I have seen you grow both professionally and personally.  I am extremely proud of each and every one of you at how much you have accomplished around the triple bottom line performance, which stands for people, planet and performance.  You have led as warriors and winners in even the most difficult circumstances, which we have experienced more than our fair share.  Yet, these experiences have been the foundation of growth, perseverance and adaptability.

I ask you to continue to provide an environment that creates and promotes profitable growth, meaningful opportunity and prosperity for our Partners, Suppliers, Employees and our Communities.

On a personal note, I leave you with this thought based on the balance we need in life.  “Live every day with a purpose.  To love your family and help someone in need.  Make a small difference in people’s lives.  Forgive yourself for past mistakes.  Know that you are striving to change and make a difference in your life and others.  Don’t be depressed for your blessings are many.  Make it a point to be happy and try to bring joy to all you come in contact with.  Happiness is a choice you can make every minute of everyday.”



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This post was written by FJ on November 20, 2014

The Journey – Happy Mother’s Day!

As we come to work everyday for Avnet on behalf of partners, suppliers, employees and shareholders, it always good to reflect why we do what we do and how far we’ve come.  Avnet has been a big part of my life for 18 years and has given my family and myself a great opportunity to thrive personally and professionally.  However, there are folks in the back ground who go beyond the call of duty to support us as we give our all for Avnet.

My biggest backer is my wife and this is a reflection of how our “teamwork” evolved and continues to change things for the better.  I don’t mean to say there are not difficult times too, which we have had to deal with, but life and business have a common theme of “change”.  Life like business can be “transformational” as the environment or things around us evolve.  Life like business can throw some curve balls at you and you have to be “Innovated” to adapt to the new realities to create a better business, life or you.  As an example, this is happening right before our eyes here at Avnet with new branding, new business models and investment in our employees as IT changes more rapidly than ever.

My reflection looking back is both personal and professional.  As they say, sometimes, you have to look back to see how far you’ve come in preparation for what’s in front of you.  My writing is not intended to offend, change or suggest anything to anyone regarding love, relationships or spiritual belief.  Its really intended to be a form of expression of the faith in people and in this case my wife who had managed to get the most out of me (sometimes painfully :) .  I did take the opportuntiy to use Mother’s Day as it is a day to celebrate all those mom’s who make life so much better for us all.

The Boy Loves the Girl

My life has gotten better with you in it.  A boy 21 and a girl 18 met on October 21, 1978.  For the boy, it changed the rest of his life.

Where it all Began

Where it all Began

The boy in blue knew only of a small world and did not venture far from what was his real world.  The girl took the boy by the hand and showed him that there was more to the land than the boy ever knew.  The boy became excited and wanted more of the wealth and fruits of the land.

The girl helped and educated the boy and he began to grow.  The boy in blue began to wear a tie and no more was there blue.  The tie turned to a suit and tie.  The boy in blue was no longer a worker in the field, but a manufacturing manager, a husband, a salesman, a father, a graduate, a sales manager, a business unit executive, a vice president and general manager, a vice president of sales and business development, a senior vice president and sales and today the boy who use to wear blue is a senior vice president and general manager.  All this happened because of the spirit and the girl.

The girl helps the boy see things more clearly and had him focus because she knew the boy could do wonderful things if he would try.  The boy has always been grateful that the girl has been there for him.  The boy asks forgiveness for the times the boy acted like a fool.  The boy prays to the spirit and asks for forgiveness as well.  The boy never forgets and hides his head in shame as he remembers the times of trouble.  The boy understands that being hard headed, mean, jealous and aloof are traits that a man of the spirit should not follow, especially with the one he loves.  The boy pledges, prays and works for daily improvement.

The girl is sweet and life giving.  She cares for all and has a heart of gold.  The girl is beautiful both inside and out.  The girl loves the boy.  Always will and always has.  The girl is proud of the boy and knows that he too has a good heart and good intentions.  The boy asks the girl to continue to support and guide him for she and the spirit have taken what was bad soil and turned it into fertile soil and blessed the land.  The girl is blessed by the spirit and he has given her the strength, wisdom, patience to guide and love the boy.  The boy is forever thankful. For the boy knows the spirit can give and he can take way too.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The boy is thankful for the girl.  The boy is committed to the girl until the day he turns to dust.  Even then should he die before the girl, he will wait for her in Heaven, so they can reunite and be together forever.  If the girl should go before the boy, the boy will love no other, for he will wait until he passes and reunite with her in Heaven.  The girl will be in his heart forever.  The spirit has blessed the boy with the girl and he is extremely thankful.  The boy loves the girl.  Always has and always will.

Thirty-six years later after the boy met the girl, he loves her more than ever.  The boy cherishes every moment with her.  The boy wishes the girl Happy Mother’s Day!  The boy loves the girl.  Always has and always will.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom’s of the World!

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This post was written by FJ on May 13, 2014

Avnet Technology Solutions Expands Its Cloud Service Portfolio in the U.S. and Canada with SoftLayer

Avnet Technology Solutions Expands Its Cloud Service Portfolio in the U.S. and Canada with SoftLayer

Avnet provides IBM business partners with the solutions, skills and resources needed to capitalize on the high-growth potential of the cloud

TEMPE, Ariz. – April 22, 2014 – Avnet Technology Solutions, the global IT solutions distribution leader and an operating group of Avnet, Inc. (NYSE: AVT), today announced that it expanded its nearly 30-year distribution relationship with IBM to include cloud services from SoftLayer, an IBM Company. SoftLayer joined IBM as a cloud infrastructure provider through an acquisition in July 2013, and it has since formed the foundation of IBM’s wide-ranging cloud portfolio. With a distribution agreement initially for the U.S. and Canada, Avnet will now be able to help business partners accelerate the development of their cloud portfolios with a scalable, secure base for the delivery of cloud services, spanning IBM’s middleware and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

“Avnet and IBM share a common passion for investing in market opportunities, such as the cloud, that will help business partners and their customers evolve to better meet the needs of an ever-changing world,” said Fred Cuen, senior vice president, general manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, IBM Solutions group. “Avnet is uniquely positioned to help business partners create, identify and capture SoftLayer opportunities based on our development of channel-friendly cloud offerings, and deep expertise in IBM software and technologies. Avnet’s team of more than 350 IBM-dedicated specialists in the U.S. and Canada, coupled with our extensive services team, is poised and ready to work side by side with our business partners to help them take their share of the tremendous cloud market opportunity.”

“At SoftLayer, we strongly believe that finding and implementing the cloud infrastructure solutions that businesses need should be easy, and we’re collaborating with Avnet to help realize this vision,” said Lance Crosby, chief executive officer, SoftLayer. “Avnet has a proven track record in developing integrated, packaged cloud offerings that are designed around the specific needs of the channel, which will accelerate IBM business partners’ ability to bring our solutions to customers. Also, Avnet’s market education efforts related to the cloud have created a highly-skilled business partner community that understands the nuances of cloud initiatives and implementations, and will be able to expertly guide our customers through deployments of our cloud infrastructure solutions.”

SoftLayer will enhance Avnet’s portfolio and delivery of high-performance services. The combination of SoftLayer’s distributed local data centers and global network allows partners to place their customers’ data where and when it is required, as well as enable them to consolidate or aggregate data as needed. SoftLayer’s network architecture further allows partners to optimize global performance for their customers by using a private network and not subjecting them to public networks and the Internet.

“Cloud services are an elemental force driving the growth and innovation the technology industry is experiencing as part of the third platform,” said Darren Bibby, program vice president, Channels and Alliances Research for IDC. “The decision to engage the channel through a distributor, such as Avnet, will help SoftLayer capitalize on third platform related opportunities and increase its routes to market. Avnet has an intriguing approach to the cloud computing market that aligns with IBM’s strategy and can enable channel partners to quickly deploy cloud services and solutions to end-users.”

Business partners will benefit from Avnet CloudReadyTM, the company’s approach to helping the channel community move their customers’ businesses to the cloud, as well as the extensive experience and knowledge base of the Avnet Cloud Solutions and Avnet Services teams. Avnet has proven technical expertise to assess and deliver optimal public, private or hybrid cloud solutions that best suit business partners’ and their customers’ needs.

“We look forward to taking SoftLayer to market through our strong alliance with Avnet and IBM,” said Kathy Jirak, owner of QueBit, an Avnet channel partner. “Avnet has a proven record of bringing solutions built on software, services and hardware to the business partner channel that solve our customers’ needs. With the addition of SoftLayer to Avnet’s portfolio, we will be able to provide an end-to-end cloud implementation. Avnet’s enablement, marketing, sales and services support will accelerate our success in the cloud market.”

Business partners interested in learning more about how Avnet can help them profitably capitalize on cloud market opportunities with IBM can visit the Avnet Cloud Solutions website – – or contact their Avnet IBM account development manager.

For more information about Avnet’s cloud solutions, visit
Learn more about Avnet’s cloud solutions through the Avnet Cloud Solutions Blog.
Watch Avnet’s videos on the cloud: Follow Avnet Technology Solutions, North America, on Twitter: @AvnetIBM, @AvnetAdvantage and @AvnetTSChannels.

Click to tweet: Avnet grows IBM and #cloud business by adding IBM’s SoftLayer cloud services in the U.S. and Canada

All brands and trade names are trademarks or registered trademarks, and are the properties of their respective owners. Avnet disclaims any proprietary interest in marks other than its own.

About Avnet Technology Solutions

As a global IT solutions distributor, Avnet Technology Solutions collaborates with its customers and suppliers to create and deliver services, software and hardware solutions that address the business needs of their end-user customers locally and around the world. The group serves customers and suppliers in North America, Latin America and Caribbean, Asia Pacific, and Europe, Middle East and Africa. It generated US $10.36 billion in annual revenue for fiscal year 2013. Avnet Technology Solutions is an operating group of Avnet, Inc. For more information, visit

About Avnet

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Marcia Chapman
Brodeur Partners, for Avnet Technology Solutions 480-308-0284

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This post was written by FJ on May 12, 2014

The Journey – New Location for Avnet San Antonio Office August 2014

On January 13th of 2014, the Avnet location broke ground on the site of the new facility.  We were joined by government officials, Ryan Companies the builder and a lot of Avnet employees.  It was a grand day in that in August we will say goodbye to our home of 16 years and transition to our new state of the art building.  Here is the speech I gave at the groundbreaking yesterday.

Site of New Home of Avnet San Antonio Location

Site of New Home of Avnet San Antonio Location

I’m proud and humbled to be a part of our Avnet San Antonio office where we sell, support and distribute information technology products for one of Avnet’s largest manufacturers – IBM.  We distribute the full line of IBM offerings of computer hardware, software, services and financing. The Avnet Technology, IBM Solutions Group generates approximately $2B in sales annually.  To put it into perspective, we’ve been in our current facility for 16 years and have generated $21B in sales over that time.

We serve over 800 customers across the United States and Canada. Our value add of Solutions Distribution focuses on technology sales, vertical markets, marketing, logistics, financing, technical support and services.  Our commitment to our customers is to accelerate their success through our customer service, creating new demand and deploying our sales and technical resources in the field.

I want to emphasize that our business success is based on the talented and committed people we have. It’s our employees that make the real difference, with 350 reporting into the local office and 225 of those living right here in San Antonio.  They are certainly the brightest in our industry and we will continue to invest in our employees creating opportunities for their personal growth and development. This talented group of people not only serves our customers but the community as well. Over the last few years, our local Avnet Cares committee has supported local organizations such as San Antonio Children’s Shelter, Morgan’s Wonderland, San Antonio Food Bank, and United Way to name a few. Thousands of hours and donations have been collected and distributed throughout San Antonio and I’m very proud that Avnet has programs that support and encourage community involvement.

As we look to the future, this new high-tech facility being built by the Ryan Companies represents the transformation of our business

Breaking Ground in San Antonio January 2014

Breaking Ground in San Antonio January 2014

from the good old days of the AS400 to the leading and future technologies of converged infrastructure, big data, business analytics, mobility and cloud. It has been our ability to adapt to market changes combined with our resiliency that has contributed to our growth, setting the stage for the next chapter of our story.

Over the last 16 years in our current facility we’ve grown in the good times and weathered through some of the challenging times too. This new facility will create a competitive advantage that positions Avnet to increase our sales, increase our customers, increase our employees and increase our contribution to San Antonio. Avnet is committed to accelerating the success and creating an environment that fosters growth, opportunity and prosperity for our customers, suppliers, employees and community.  Thank You

Arthur Erickson once wrote, “Great buildings that move the spirit have always been rare. In every case they are unique, poetic and products of the heart.” Now I’d like to bring up Bob Gracz, Vice President, Corporate Real Estate at Avnet to tell you more about the specifics of the building.

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This post was written by FJ on January 14, 2014

Mental Toughness in Challenging Times

I’ve been told that I am in very good shape (for my age) and I can say that I do work out 5 or 6 times a week.  I do cardio, lift weights and do a lot of sit ups.  I try to eat right most of the time but every once in a while a hamburger or ice cream creep in as a snack.

Today was a day of testing.  By that I mean I worked out 4 days in preparation for working out with my trainer, Jeremy.  During the four days I went through my normal routine that I mentioned above.  At 3:40am the alarm goes off,  I get up and get ready as when I workout with Jeremy I am never sure what the routine will be.

I get there 10 minutes early so I can stretch out (a bit), so no matter what gets thrown at me, my body is limber (for my age).  We start with back and core and we always do three sets of the exercise.  We do seated lateral raises, bench press, leg lifts and 60 pound weighted seat-ups (50 at a time).  We move to squats, jump squats and a different lateral raise.  Did I mentioned we do 3 sets of each at 15 to 20 reps?  Yes, I am breathing a little heavy and we walk over to the treadmill.

I am thinking ok a fast pace jaunt on the treadmill, ok I am good with that and he says “hop on”.  Jeremy starts it up and hits the incline 6, 7, 8….15 and then the speed to 5.5 and as the machine is adjusting to the settings, which I am thinking, what the …..  he says 2 minutes.  Now I’m sure there are a few of you who have done this and think “what’s the problem”.

I am wearing my Brooks shoes, my knee is feeling good and I am thinking I can do this. Well about 30 seconds into it, my thighs begin to burn, at 50 seconds my back is feeling pain from the angle and at 60 seconds my breathing starts to accelerate.  I know what your thinking only a minute to go and it should be no sweat.  Well, I am sweating for sure, put the grind is beginning.  As you know a treadmill has a handle you can grab onto and its right in front of me.  My mind is telling me grab it, grab it, come on grab it.  From 60 seconds to 10 all the pain and suffering continue to escalate and worst of all my mind is my biggest enemy (grab the bar).  I hear Jeremy counting down 10, 9, 8….3, 2, 1 and done.  To add insult to injury we head over (immediately) and do a set of leg extensions.  All this in 30 minutes.

As I caught my breath and my heart begin to slow, it dawned on me the importance of the training session.  In my own comfortable world, I train and although I feel I’m pushing it and I am, but not to the extent that its really stretching me.  When you have someone else pushing you, your limits are extended further than you would do on your own.  I can’t say I have ever been in a workout session by my where I was ready to quit, give up or grab the treadmill bar (I am old so maybe there was a time I can’t remeber :) .

Harris and Fred Celebrate Summit of Kilimanjaro

In life there are many paths to success, complacency and failure.  I think failure is the best teacher as it’s a learning opportunity.  Even if I had grabbed the bar, that would have provided me with what I needed to do to improve and make a choice to do it or not.  That I believe creates a better me and puts me on the path of success.  I think the biggest issue we all face is complacency where we feel we are good enough.  We don’t periodically test ourselves to see how we really stand up to our true potential.  This revelation isn’t just for training or competing, but for life in general, for family & work, for your own mind, body and soul.

Are you just good enough, coasting, taking the easy way out as my dad used to say or are you out to make a difference to all those around you?  It’s in you, it’s a gift and the question is are you using it? For me, its an easy choice as improving means life and when you’re climbing to the top or going back down a mountain she will throw everything in your way to stop you.  Are you really ready and the best you can be?  Really?

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This post was written by FJ on August 29, 2013