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Canadian IT printing leader passes away

Channel Strategy

At one time during his career Jerry Diakow was the longest serving leader of a Canadian-based IT vendor when he ran OKI Data Canada for the better part of a decade.

It is with great sadness that CDN reports the passing of Jerry Diakow. Diakow passed on Sunday, March 15. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 45 years Mary, his daughters Stephanie and Anastasia.

Jerry Diakow

Jerry Diakow

Diakow also has the distinction of being the general manager of three high tech vendors during his career: Control Data Corp. in 1973, OKI Data in 1987 and Raritan Canada in 2004. Control Data was a supercomputer vendor based in Minneapolis. It was later broken up and the remaining operation is controlled by Ceridian. Raritan is a vendor of KVM switches and IT infrastructure management solutions based in New Jersey.

He also founded the IT Channel Group, a sales and marketing outsourcing and channel development company that brought Buffalo Technology to the Canadian channel.

David Eisenstadt, the president of Toronto-based public relations firm The Communications Group, worked with Diakow for many years and had this to say about his colleague:  “The late Jerry Diakow was this PR Consultant’s ideal client. Tough but fair, kind and knowledgeable. Over the years, he frequently demonstrated the courage of his convictions on many business and personal issues. As President, he hired TCGPR (The Communications Group) as OKI’s Canadian PR firm explaining  to his boss that managing Canadian PR from the U.S. would ‘cost lots more and OKI Data would get much less.’ It was a privilege working with/for Jerry, who above all, was a decent human being. We’ll miss his warm smile and friendly demeanour.”

Larry Shulman, a partner of Diakow’s, called his passing a loss for the entire channel.

“It’s hard to put into words. Jerry was always approachable and a good friend and partner to many. He was even a mentor to me. I knew that if I had any question I could go to him. He was very knowledge about business and the channel from the ground level,” Shulman said.

Shulman remembered a time at the last CES show in Las Vegas they both attended. He told CDN that he knew Diakow was suffering from cancer and on medication. This medication, according to Shulman, dragged the energy out of him. But Diakow was undeterred and “slugged it out for three days at CES.”

“He did not even say a word. I knew he was struggling but he still went forward.”

Shulman added that Diakow always smiled and had a positive attitude. Even when the Buffalo Technology business went away he felt distraught but not Diakow. “Jerry was upbeat and began looking at other product lines,” he said.

“He was always upbeat and approachable regardless of the situation. He always had time for people.”

Funeral Service will be held at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church (300 River Oaks Blvd. E., Oakville, ON) on Thursday, March 19th at 11 a.m. If desired, memorial donations may be made to Myeloma Canada.

Diakow was interviewed many times in CDN. Here are a few of the stories he was quoted in.