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.
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.
Chief Experience Officer
Ted possesses an “everything matters” mindset and believes “success is best shared”. As the former Founder and CEO of PlanetOne, Ted's mission as CXO at AVANT is to make it easier for Trusted Advisors to grow stronger and at scale. An advocate for doing the common things uncommonly well, Ted is focused on elevating the partner experience. Ted is a member of CompTIA’s Channel Development Advisory Council, 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.
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 in companies ranging from Microsoft, AT&T, and Qwest (now Lumen), to startups including Odin (now Ingram Micro Blue) and Dantis, a cloud MSP.
Chief Innovation Officer
Chris is responsible for AVANT’s growth and development of strategic initiatives, alliances and potential mergers and acquisition targets. Recognized as one of the “Most Influential” executives by Channel Futures, Chris brings a relentless energy for excellence and 20+ years of experience in business development, strategy, operations, sales, and technology leadership. Previously, Chris served as President and COO of PlanetOne as well as Masergy’s Executive Leadership Team for more than 13 years. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business and resides in Northern California with his family.
Chief Financial Officer
Matt joined Avant in 2023 as Chief Financial Officer. Prior to Avant, Matt was on the senior leadership team of Zywave, a large private equity backed insurance software company, where he ran corporate strategy, finance, and corporate development. While at Zywave, the company completed 10 acquisitions and more than doubled in size. Matt has spent more than 15 years in private equity and investment banking with a focus on tech-enabled services and software at Sterling Partners and Thoma Bravo. He earned his MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Illinois.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Matt Merrick joined Avant in September 2022 as Chief Human Resources Officer. An accomplished human capital leader and culture warrior, Matt has a history of successes in people-intensive, industry-leading organizations in the technology, private equity, outsourcing, and education sectors. Matt’s strengths lie particularly in high-stakes environments, having worked in organizations such as Cerberus Capital, IAC, Tribute Technology, and the Kellogg School of Management, where he is skillful in relentlessly reinforcing culture, developing teams and teamwork, architecting differentiated employee experiences, and recruiting. Steeped in working with Millennials/Gen Zers, Matt has a unique combination of human capital and ‘line’ management experience in both early-stage and mature businesses, which allows him to partner effectively with senior business and operating leaders. Matt earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and his undergraduate degree from Brown University.
Executive Vice President of Global Sales
Jen Gallego joined AVANT in 2009 and is one of the company’s founding members. During her tenure with the company, Jen has played a fundamental role in leading AVANT to achieve exceptional sales growth both in the US and internationally. Jen established and expanded AVANT’s relationships with the channel’s largest VARs and System Integrators (SIs), which has helped to further drive the mutual growth and success for AVANT, its Trusted Advisors, and its vendor partners. Just over five years ago, Jen also spearheaded AVANT’s expansion into the UK market and since that time, the company has become a channel market leader in the region. Jen began her career in 2000 at XO Communications (now Verizon), where she eventually led the Central Region Channel Team, which achieved the company’s highest sales in the U.S. under her leadership.
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.
Executive Vice President of Strategic Partners
Erin began his career at MCI Communications where he started as an Account Executive and within 18 months of being a top producer was promoted to a Regional Sales Manager. Erin is a native of Chicago, and when he isn’t focusing growing his strategic partners success, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids, coaching youth sports, playing golf, and is a certified rescue scuba diver.