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The Top 25 Newsmakers of 2006 – Number 22: Skydata Howard Goldberg

He pioneered value-added distribution in Canada for more than a decade, then sold Skydata to Arrow

Howard Goldberg and his partner Ray Reel of Skydata Corp. have been mainstays in the Canadian IT channel for more than a decade. The two built Skydata into one of the best value-added distributors in Canada, with sales of $43 million this year alone

Earlier this year, after celebrating its 10-year anniversary Arrow Electronics Inc. of Melville, N.Y. acquired the Mississauga, Ont.-based company for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.

During his time at Skydata, Goldberg opened sales offices in Ottawa, Calgary and Laval, Que. trying to make the firm a national presence. Goldberg was the first to bring EMC, a long-time direct vendor, into the channel fold in this country.

“We evaluated our position in the marketplace, prospects for the future, and the risk with our ongoing enterprise and in the final analysis we determined that the Arrow proposition would ensure that our business would not only prosper, in my estimation, but flourish in the coming years,” Goldberg said in an interview earlier this year.

Goldberg’s character showed when he insisted the deal be hinged on all Skydata staff being retained and that the company’s business model would stay in place.