Charla Bunton-Johnson and Ken Grohe of WekaIO Recognized as 2021 CRN Channel Chiefs

CAMPBELL, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–WekaIO™ (Weka), the fastest-growing data platform for artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML), life sciences research, and high-performance data analytics (HPDA), today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Charla Bunton-Johnson, global director, partner sales, development, and marketing; and Ken Grohe, President and Chief Revenue Officer, to its 2021 list of Channel Chiefs. The prestigious CRN Channel Chiefs list, released annually, recognizes leading IT channel vendor executives who continually demonstrate outstanding leadership, influence, innovation, and growth.

The 2021 Channel Chiefs are prominent leaders who have influenced the IT channel with cutting-edge strategies, programs, and partnerships. All honorees are selected by CRN’s editorial staff based on their dedication, industry prestige, and exceptional accomplishments as channel advocates.

With more than three decades in the SaaS, Security, and storage industries, Grohe has deep experience and possesses a rare dedication and passion for winning that is based on a channel-centric perspective. Grohe launched the Weka Within™ validation and certification program for server partners, a program that shortens time to market and delivery of reference architectures (RAs) and sales tools that accelerate pipeline and revenue. His current focus is partner recruiting, sales enablement, and increasing partner profitability. Grohe also had an impressive 25-year career at Dell EMC, having helped build their software and overall channel program and finishing as VP & GM with a focus on the global flash business.

Bunton-Johnson has more than 25 years of experience in channels working with OEMs, alliances, CSPs and reseller partners across enterprise storage, AI/ML, graphics/GPUs, security, networking, and software. She launched the Weka Innovation Network™ (WIN), a best-in-class global partner program, built out the WIN partner portal and its channel enablement platform, and launched the WIN Sales and Marketing Accreditation and Technical Certification program. Her current focus is on producing RAs with server vendors and multi-channel sales development programs to deliver net new sales during the challenging time of “shelter-in-place” and on customer/partner success stories to tell the Weka story.

“Weka’s success is directly achieved from the success of those in our partner ecosystem,” said Liran Zvibel, co-founder and CEO of WekaIO. “As a company dedicated to selling our solutions directly through the channel, 100% of our business is fulfilled in the channel via VARs using server vendor SKUs. Talented individuals like Charla and Ken continue to develop our global channel program, working with go-to-market partners to enable our joint success. We look forward to their continued efforts and expanding Weka’s footprint in the enterprise technical computing and HPC markets.”

“This recognition is indicative of the strength of the Weka Innovation Network and the value that Ken and Charla bring to the channel program,” said Addison Snell, CEO of Intersect360 Research.

Launched in November 2019, WIN is a comprehensive program that delivers the resources partners need to be successful in delivering validated and trusted solutions that meet the performance demands of next-generation applications. Among the keys to WIN’s success is the enablement training for accreditation and technical certification bestowed to partners who successfully complete Weka’s targeted education programs in areas such as AI, financial services, and genomics. By creating an environment where partners can further grow their competencies in these fast-growing industries, WIN partners have all the tools necessary to quickly and easily close sales with customers dealing with inefficiencies from their existing NAS, NVME-oF and parallel file systems.

“Our participation in the Weka WIN Sales/Marketing Accreditation and Technical Certification program has had a positive impact on our top line. We leverage the badge to convey our expertise and competency in helping our customers solve their big storage problems,” offered Frederic Van Haren, CTO of High Fens, a WIN Catalyst Partner. “This is a well-deserved honor bestowed upon Charla and Ken, who have created a program that provides us with the tools necessary to quickly and easily close opportunities.”

“Weka’s next-generation storage platform is built for today’s data-intensive requirements around cloud, speed and performance needed to solve some of the world’s most important problems,” said Mike Vencel, president of Comport Technology Solutions, a WIN Leader Partner. “Weka’s channel program is well-supported and rewards our investment in AI and Machine Learning use cases in our key verticals, Life Sciences and Finance. We are proud to be a member of the select elite group of Weka resellers and we applaud Ken and Charla’s well-deserved recognition as 2021 CRN Channel Chiefs.”

“We are glad to see these channel chiefs being recognized for driving Weka’s channel strategy and programs. Weka is offering to partners a channel program that creates value for their partners and customers in key vertical markets,” said John Barnes, vice president of sales at Groupware, a Trace3 Company, and a WIN Leader Partner.

“CRN’s 2021 Channel Chiefs list includes the industry’s biggest channel evangelists, a group of individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of their partners and drive growth through the development of strong partner programs and innovative business strategies that help bring business-critical solutions to market,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “The Channel Company is proud to recognize these channel influencers and looks forward to following their continued success.”

CRN’s 2021 Channel Chiefs list will be featured in the February 2021 issue of CRN® Magazine and online at

Additional resources:

About WekaIO

WekaIO (Weka) is used by eight of the Fortune 50 enterprise organizations to uniquely solve the newest, biggest problems holding back innovation and discovery. Weka solutions are purpose-built to future-ready the accelerated and agile data center. Optimized for NVMe-flash and the hybrid cloud, its advanced architecture handles the most demanding storage challenges in the most data-intensive technical computing environments, delivering truly epic performance at any scale, enabling organizations to maximize the full value of their data center investments. Weka helps the enterprise solve big IT infrastructure problems to accelerate business outcomes and speed productivity. For more information, go to

Follow WekaIO: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook

About The Channel Company

The Channel Company enables breakthrough IT channel performance with our dominant media, engaging events, expert consulting and education, and innovative marketing services and platforms. As the channel catalyst, we connect and empower technology suppliers, solution providers and end users. Backed by more than 30 years of unequalled channel experience, we draw from our deep knowledge to envision innovative new solutions for ever-evolving challenges in the technology marketplace.

Follow The Channel Company: Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

© 2021. CRN is a registered trademark of The Channel Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

WekaIO, WekaFS, Weka AI, Weka Innovation Network, Weka Within, Weka AI logo, WIN logo, Weka Within logo, and the WekaIO logo are trademarks of WekaIO, Inc.


WekaIO Media Contact:
JPR Communications

Judy Smith

The Channel Company Contact:
The Channel Company

Jennifer Hogan

error: Content is protected !!