Accelerate 2016 - May 9 - 11, 2016 - Swan and Dolphin, Orlando, FL


Thank You For Attending Accelerate 2016!

Thanks again to all of our attendees and sponsors who made Accelerate 2016 a huge success! The feedback we received from our partners will help us improve your experience with Lenovo to make you be more successful.

The 2016 event highlights reel is available to the right and you can find presentations from the breakout sesssion below.

We will be back at the Swan and Dolphin in Orlando in 2017. Be sure to save the dates - April 24 - 26, 2017.





Monday, May 9

12pm - 5pm - Registration

12pm - 2pm - Lunch

1pm - 2pm – Breakout Session 1

2pm - 3pm - Breakout Session 2

3pm - 4pm - Breakout Session 3

4pm - 5pm - Breakout Session 4

6:30-9:30pm - Evening Event

9:30-11:30pm – Accelerate After Hours


Tuesday, May 10

7am - 8am - Breakfast

8am – 10:30am - General Session

10:30am - 11am - Break

11:00 am - 11:45am – Breakout Session 5

11:50am – 12:35 pm - Breakout Session 6

12:35pm – 1:30pm - Lunch

1:30-2:15pm - Breakout Session 7

2:30-3:15pm - Breakout Session 8

3:15-3:45pm - Break

3:45-4:30pm - Breakout Session 9

4:45-5:30pm - Breakout Session 10

6:30-11:00pm - Evening Event


Wednesday, May 11

7am - 8:30am - Breakfast

8:30am – 9:15am – Breakout Session 11

9:30-10:15am - Breakout Session 12

10:15am - 10:45am - Break

10:45am - 12pm - General Session with Special Guest Speaker, Robert Herjavec


*Agenda subject to change.



Monday Sessions

We will kick off the conference on Monday afternoon with breakout sessions before our evening welcome reception at the Swan and Dolphin Resort. These breakout sessions will also be offered again on Tuesday and/or Wednesday. When you register to attend Accelerate 2016 you can select which sessions you would like to attend. 


Monday's Welcome Reception

Accelerate will officially kickoff at our welcome reception at the Swan and Dolphin Resort causeway on Monday evening. It's a great opportunity to mix with the 1,600+ attendees including Lenovo executives, distributors, vendors and other resellers from across North America, Latin America and Brazil.


Tuesday's General Session

Get ready for a stellar line-up of key Lenovo Executives to share with you exciting news around product innovations and announcements, channel strategy and programs, and industry trends. All presentations are designed to educate and prepare you to grow and expand your business and sales.


Tuesday's Evening Reception

For our closing evening reception, Lenovo has reserved a portion of Universal Studios for our guests.  You will have the chance to network with your peers, Lenovo executives and subject matter experts at City Walk prior to entering the park where Accelerate attendees will have exclusive access to the park, including the new Harry Potter and Transformers attractions.


Wednesday's General Session

Don't miss Wednesday's general session where you will hear from special guest speaker, Robert Herjavec, a former reseller. We will also recap what you’ve heard from Lenovo executives in this high-energy closing general session.


Accelerate 2016 is designed to equip you with the tools and education to grow your business. You will be able to select the breakouts you wish to attend when you register for the event. Space is limited for each session so register early to reserve your spot for your preferred date and time.

Breakout Sessions

Throughout the event you will have the opportunity to participate in twelve breakout sessions, 45-minute breakouts selected to give you the information you need to grow your business with Lenovo, including product roadmaps, channel programs and Lenovo's key strategic focus areas for 2016.

New this year we will offer five, 90 minute server technical breakout sessions.

When you register to attend Accelerate you will be able to fully customize your training based on your area of interest and focus.

  • ThinkPad Product Deep Dive and Strategic Roadmap
  • ThinkCentre Product Deep Dive and Strategic Roadmap
  • Lenovo EBG - ThinkServer & System x Product Deep Dive and Strategic Roadmap
  • Why Lenovo Servers in Enterprise
  • Client and Server Competitive Deep Dive
  • Lenovo Channel Programs
  • What to Sell - Aligning Lenovo's Portfolio
  • Leveraging Lenovo Services
  • 2 in 1 - Detachable and Attachable Yoga with Skylake
  • Utilizing Lenovo Tools to Maximize Profit
  • Positioning Yourself to Win with Intel and Lenovo
  • Positioning Yourself to Win with Microsoft and Lenovo
  • SMB Market Trends and Growth Opportunities
  • Lenovo in Healthcare
  • ThinkStation Product Deep Dive and Strategic Roadmap
  • Lenovo in Education
  • Leveraging Lenovo Financing
  • Delivering on Superior Customer Experience
  • Lenovo's Security StrategyLenovo System x Integration Enhancements
  • Lenovo Marketing Resources
  • Lenovo Mobile Update - Tablets and Phones
  • Hyperconverged Market Trends, Nutanix and HX Series
  • EBG ISV Partnerships & XClarity
  • Leveraging Commercial End-User Programs
  • New X1 Product Family Overview
  • EBG Converged vs. Hyperconverged Markets
  • EBG Sales Introduction
  • Lenovo in Public Sector
  • Lenovo Storage and Networking
  • 4P Product Portfolio
  • Lenovo New MSP Program Changes
  • Lenovo Options and Accessories
  • New Customer Bonus and Deal Registration
  • Lenovo in Retail
  • Leveraging the Lenovo Server Configurator
  • Lenovo Xclarity Integration into VMWare Data Center Management Tools
  • Lenovo HX Series Technical Overview and Competitive Advantages
  • Lenovo and RedHat Cloud Solutions for the Datacenter of the Future
  • Lenovo and SAP Tackle Big Data
  • Hands-On with Lenovo's Flex System


*Speakers subject to change.

Emilio GhilardiEmilio Ghilardi

Lenovo North America

As Lenovo’s President of North America, Emilio Ghilardi is responsible for North America sales, daily operations, growth and profitability of the region -- encompassing the United States and Canada. Prior to assuming this position in April 2016, Emilio was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Lenovo North America. He had overall P&L responsibility for consumer, commercial and enterprise products for the North America region.

Emilio’s vast technology experience spans across sales and marketing, product development, supply chain, distribution and channel management. Having lived and worked on several continents, Emilio brings to Lenovo a unique global mindset and understanding of the best technology practices around the world.

He joined Lenovo in July 2015 after a 30+ year career in the Semiconductor and in the Personal Computing and Printing sectors. He worked for Hewlett-Packard for 28 years in various positions including VP and GM of Personal Systems for the Americas, VP and GM of Consumer for EMEA and VP and GM of Commercial Imaging and Printing for EMEA. He worked at AMD for three years as SVP and Chief Sales Officer and was later named President of AMD International and AMD China.

Emilio has a Master’s Degree in Electronic Engineering from Polytechnic of Turin, Italy.



Sammy KinlawSammy Kinlaw

North America Channel Chief
Lenovo Channel Sales

Sammy currently serves as the North American Channel Chief, presiding over the PC and System X Channel teams. Prior to this role, in October 2014, he was appointed as Executive Director of Channel Sales for the System X team in Lenovo’s Enterprise Systems Group following the acquisition of IBM’s x86 server team.

Formerly, Sammy held a variety of leadership positions with IBM and Lenovo. From 2012 to 2014 he served as Executive Director of VAR & Distribution sales for Lenovo in the US, Caribbean, and Central America.

A cornerstone role for Sammy included launching Lenovo’s new consumer product line, the “IdeaPad notebook and IdeaCentre desktop” into the retail space for both the US and Canada. In a time frame of just 2 years under his leadership, Lenovo built a firm presence in this channel.

From 2003 to 2005 Sammy managed IBM’s value added reseller organization for the Eastern Region of the US. This organization had channel responsibility for IBM PC’s, Software, and x86 Servers.

While working for IBM in Dallas, Texas he was the Business Unit Executive covering Large Enterprise, Mid-Market, and Public Sector end user accounts for the Southwest.

Sammy was recognized by CRN in June of 2011 as one of the 100 people you should know in the channel. He holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife Andra, and their two children, Olivia, and Chapman. He is an active tennis player and runner.



Chris FreyChris Frey

VP & GM NA Commercial Sales

Chris Frey is the Vice President of the North America Commercial organization. In this capacity, he is responsible for large enterprise and channel strategy. He leads the sales and operations functions within the corporate and commercial channels, including distribution, mail order, corporate resellers and tiered resellers. Chris is also responsible for Lenovo’s SMB business. This responsibility includes managing the high velocity topseller product line which includes: P&L management, inventory management, programs and pricing.

Prior to this position he was the Executive Director for Large Enterprise and Global Sales, where he was responsible for sales of North America’s largest business unit. While in this role, his organization drove profitable growth and increased Lenovo’s market share immediately following their entrance into the North American market.

Before joining Lenovo, Chris held several management and leadership roles in 12 years at IBM. His final role prior to joining Lenovo was the Business Unit Executive for the Southeast Region of the United States for IBM’s Personal Computer Division.

During his career he has been recognized numerous times for his focus and commitment to customer and partner satisfaction, creative thinking and relationship building.

Chris is originally from Horseheads, New York. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Delaware and his MBA in Marketing from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He currently resides in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, with his wife, Lisa and son, Nicholas. He enjoys attending his son’s sporting events, the beach and spending time with his family.




Robert Herjavec

Robert Herjavec is one of North America's most recognizable business leaders. Born in Eastern Europe, he arrived to North America on a boat with his parents after escaping Communism in the former Yugoslavia. From delivering newspapers and waiting tables, to launching a computer company from his basement, his drive to achieve has led him to the fulfillment of a better life for himself and his family.

A dynamic entrepreneur, Robert has built and sold several IT companies to major players such as AT&T. In 2003 Robert founded Herjavec Group, and it quickly became one of North America’s fastest growing technology companies, scaling from $400K in sales to a run rate of $150 million. Today, Herjavec Group is recognized as a global leader in information security specializing in managed security services, compliance, incident response and remediation efforts for enterprise level organizations.

His inspiring books, “Driven” and “The Will to Win”, were simultaneously Top 10 Bestsellers that earned him the title of “Best Selling Author”. Robert’s motivational business advice has received millions of impressions through TV, print, radio and digital media. He shares his expertise with other entrepreneurs each week as a leading Shark on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit Shark Tank and will be showing his dancing prowess as he competes for the coveted mirror ball on the popular show, Dancing with the Stars.

To Robert, running a business is a lot like one of his greatest passions, racing cars. He believes, “You have to stay laser-focused when driving a car over 200 miles an hour, and the same approach is required when growing a business in today’s world of rapidly changing technology.” For the past three years, Robert has competed as Ferrari #007 for Herjavec Group Racing in the North American Ferrari Challenge Series, achieving multiple podiums and winning Rookie of The Year in 2011.



If you are interested in being a sponsor of Accelerate 2016 please contact Ann Panaro at Lenovo would especially like to thank Microsoft and Intel for their assistance in putting on this event.

Click here to download this year's sponsorship kit >




Overall Event

Accelerate is Lenovo's annual North America Channel Partner Forum. This year’s event is being held May 9-11, 2016 at Walt Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL. This three day conference is focused on providing our Channel Partners with an up-close and personal presentation of our newest products, strategies and programs.
  • Walt Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort
  • 1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
  • Orlando, FL 38230
  • (407) 934-4000
  • Monday, May 9, 2016-Wednesday, May 11, 2016
For the most recent updates, check out the Accelerate website, check on Lenovo Partner Network ( or follow us on Twitter @LenovoChannelNA.


Presentations and Speakers

Breakout sessions will begin on Monday afternoon at 1 pm. Each breakout session will be 45 minutes and will be offered at different times on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. You will have the ability to customize your agenda when you register to attend Accelerate.

This year we will also be offering 90 minute server technical breakouts.


Logistics & Onsite Information

No, ground transportation to and from the airport is not provided. Once you arrive in Orlando, there are a few options you can utilize.

For transportation options from the airport to the hotel, please see for transportation options below. To book, you can contact the Swan and Dolphin resort at (407) 934-4000.

From airport to hotel (approximate one-way fee*):

  • $85.00 - Sedan (up to 4 people)
  • $103.00 - SUV (up to 5 people) or VAN (up to 8 people)
  • $75.00 - Taxi Service
  • $232.30 - Limousine (up to 8 people - includes 15% gratuity)

From hotel to airport (approximate one-way fee*):

  • $70.00 - Sedan (up to 4 people)
  • $70.00 - SUV (up to 5 people) or VAN (up to 8 people)
  • $63.00 - Taxi Service
  • $195.50 - Limousine (up to 8 people - includes 15% gratuity)

Note: While our limousines hold 8 passengers, large amounts of luggage may require an additional vehicle.

Mears Transportation
Shuttle Services to/from Orlando International Airport (approximate):

  • Per Adult
    • $22.00 (one-way)
    • $36.00 (round trip)
  • Per Child (ages 4-11)
    • $17.00 (one-way)
    • $27.00 (round trip)

Mears is the preferred service provider for transportation for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. To make your transportation reservations, click here.


  • Yes, meals throughout the event are provided as part of your event registration.
  • Monday: Lunch and an evening reception at the Swan and Dolphin
  • Tuesday: Breakfast, lunch and a dinner reception at Universal Studios
  • Wednesday: Breakfast and an optional lunch are provided
Conference registration will be open 12pm until 5pm on Monday, May 9. Standard hotel room check-in is 3pm but early check-in can be requested on-site and will be granted by the hotel upon availability. Event registration will also be open on Tuesday, May 10 from 7am until 5pm and Wednesday, May 11 from 7am until 10am.
You can purchase an event guest pass for $300, which will provide access to Monday and Tuesday night's evening receptions. If you would like to purchase an event pass and did not do so during the registration process, please contact Guests are not, however, permitted to attend the training sessions. If they wish to register to attend the breakout and general sessions, they will need to register for the event.



Early Bird Registration (available through March 18, 2016)

  • Without a hotel room: $649
  • With a hotel room at Swan and Dolphin resort: $899

Standard Registration

  • Without a hotel room: $849
  • With a hotel room at Swan and Dolphin resort: $1,049

*Includes a hotel room for Monday and Tuesday nights. You can also register to attend Accelerate, but provide your own lodging. If you wish to attend Accelerate and pay for your own lodging, please refer to the without a hotel room pricing above.

Kindly notify us by email at Refunds on registration fees will be 50% if cancelled before March 18th and 25% if cancelled between March 18th and April 15th. No refunds can be made if cancelled after April 15th however attendee substitutions can be made with no penalty.
Registration opens at 12pm Monday, May 9 and the welcome reception begins at 6:30pm. Breakout tracks will also be offered beginning at 1pm on Monday, May 9. If you're flying into Orlando International Airport you'll want to allow approximately 45 minutes-1 hour to collect your luggage and secure ground transportation to the hotel.

If you are interested in extending your stay at Swan and Dolphin before or after the conference dates of Accelerate, please contact the hotel directly at (407) 934-4000. You may take advantage of our discounted event room rates of $209 per night plus applicable taxes and resort fees.

Yes, we do offer an event only rate that will provide you access to the event, but does not include a hotel room for Monday and Tuesday nights. Fees for this option are:

  • Early Bird Registration: $649 (through March 18, 2016)
  • Standard Registration: $849 (after March 18, 2016)


Don’t miss this year’s event, which will give you the tools you need to win.

Click here for the Roll for A Million Official Rules.

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