Microsoft Hires Prominent Partner for Community Connections Post

Melanie Gass, a high-profile partner and author who cultivated an Internet radio identity as "The Microsoft Princess," is joining Microsoft as a senior business development manager for Microsoft Community Connections.

Gass said in an e-mail that she's moving cross-country to Redmond, Wash., where she'll focus on helping Microsoft improve engagement with small and medium-sized business (SMB) customers.

As president of New York-based CenterPoint Solution, Gass has offered SharePoint consulting services and Office 365 implementation services. Gass also became visible in the Microsoft partner community through her role with the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP), where she held various roles, most recently president of the New York chapter.

This past spring, Gass joined several partners and Microsoft executives on a trip to China. Last year, she helped gather partners to attend a Microsoft-sponsored trip to the New York state capitol in Albany with Voices for Innovation in which partners met with elected officials.

Gass said July 6 is her start date at Microsoft. According to her LinkedIn profile, Gass will "focus on the strategic selection and recruitment of key influencers[,] a managed influencer portfolio and help shape Microsoft Community Connections (MCC) to deliver strong value to customers and influencers engaged in the program while negotiating new scalable methods to engage with more SMBs."

In addition, Gass said she will "align with U.S. National Plan and Citizenship teams to help SMBs realize their dreams using Microsoft technologies [that] aligns with our National Plan narratives on economic development and job creation."

Debra Pfundstein, former president of the IAMCP's New York chapter, will take over for Gass until the group can elect a new president.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.