Riva Rock Star: Ken Lorenz, Director of Sales and Alliances, Americas
Tell us a little about yourself
Buffalo, NY, will always be “home” for me. There is something about getting three feet of snow overnight and rising to a bright sunny sky the next morning with everything covered in white. Growing up, my extended family ran a heavy construction business that they started back in the ’40s. Every summer I had the great fortune to work in the family business. While my “professional” construction days are over, the lessons learned and work ethic instilled were both practical and priceless.
As a computer science major at Canisius College, my dream was to become an artificial intelligence researcher at UC Berkeley. Fate, it seems, has a funny sense of humor however. I moved to Austin, Texas, in 1990 to pursue love and a career in the accounting software world. More on AI later.
I entered the industry as a developer, but quickly realized I wanted to work with customers directly. Imagine trying to learn accounting from the database and code side up! In college, I never took an accounting course as business and computer science were in the same area. But my advantage was that I knew how the applications really worked under the hood and could explain how we could solve the problems both technically and from a business perspective. During the next 25 years I held business development and leadership positions within partner organizations as well as software companies such as SAP, SugarCRM, and Acumatica. Thanks to SAP, I traveled the world and got to live in Philadelphia for 10 years before settling in Charlotte. My wife Laura and I have been married 25 years and we have two grown daughters.
I was first introduced to Riva while I worked at SugarCRM and later at a Riva reseller, Ticomix. In June 2016, through some interesting circumstances and serendipity, the Riva team gave me the opportunity to help look after our Channel Programs and Alliance relationships. My hope is that the Riva partners have appreciated my love for channels and passion for helping them be successful. I am looking forward to leading our North American Sales Team to new levels of success. It is also personally satisfying to see artificial intelligence coming out of its 25-year “winter” and permeating the business application space. We have great things coming our way, and nothing will be the same again.
Give us a little more insight into Ken…
- If you had to be trapped in a television show for a month, which show would you choose?
- If you could have any one skill or talent that you don’t already possess, what would it be and why?
- If you could do any job in the world for one day, what would it be?
- If you could live in any period of history, when would it be and why?
- What’s rocking your world this month?
As a science fiction fan, I would love to be trapped in Dr. Who. With time travel, I could be there much longer than a month and no one would know!
I would be a chef. I am a big-time foodie, and yes a wine snob too, but I would love to be able to bring my creativity to the kitchen.
Hands down, I would be a Formula 1 driver for Mercedes or Ferrari. But that day would have to be a Sunday, on a race day!
Now is such a great time, it is hard to consider something else, but maybe the late 1800’s when the world was transitioning from agrarian to industrial. Toffler’s second wave.
Formula 1 is back and I’m home for a few weeks.