Management Team

A passionate and dedicated team across the world.

Christian Primeau - Global CEO

Prior to joining Syntax, Chris was President & COO at Dialogic, a Novacap company. He oversaw R&D, operations, marketing, product management, finance, and administration. Chris has over 25 years industry experience, much of it in executive roles with public and private growth-oriented companies in operations, engineering, delivery, sales, and general management roles. Chris spent the early part of his career at Sun Microsystems where he initially joined as a Pre-Sales Engineer. In his thirteen years with the company, he held a number of key management positions in Montreal, Toronto, and Menlo Park California where he served as VP Partner and Alliances, Sales Director, Client Executive and Business Development Manager for ERP and E-Commerce solutions.

Chris then joined Bell Canada where he spent six years in various executive roles. He joined as General Manager of Infrastructure Services and subsequently held the roles of Vice President of Client Service Delivery, and Vice President of Sales with Bell Canada. He then took on the role of President and COO of iWeb Technologies, a leading provider in cloud solutions. Chris supported the team in the development and execution of next generation cloud and managed services delivering double-digit revenue and ebitda growth.

He holds a Bachelor Degree in Management Information Systems and a Masters of Business Administration(MBA) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Michael Etinson - Principal & Founder

Michael Etinson is the founder and Principal of Syntax, which was established in 1972. Over the last four decades, Michael has been instrumental in the evolution of the company and growth of its diverse customer base. A major industry milestone for Syntax, thanks to Michael, was the company’s introduction of Syntax Distribution Management (iSDM) software in 1983. After becoming a high-value Oracle JD Edwards partner in 1997, Michael has helped Syntax expand its North American footprint with offices in Toronto, New York, and Boston. Michael continues to help Syntax expand the scope of its strategic capabilities with outstanding technology industry leadership and vast industry knowledge. Michael has a Bachelor of Science from McGill University, and has done tireless work as a Community Leader.

Tony Veilleux - Global CFO

As the Global CFO at Syntax, Tony leads worldwide strategic and operational finances, including Risk management, Treasury and Tax. He partners with the CEO and key contributors from all regions to create value and sustain a thriving, rewarding business.

“I genuinely enjoy working with such smart people, they inspire me to go the extra mile every day and to always reach for the highest performance. I like being pushed out my comfort zone, that’s where the magic happens!” says Tony. “I’m very passionate about developing people. I give them the space they need to learn and grow, and I guide them through it, keeping my focus on the long-term vision.”

With more than 25 years of experience in financial accounting, risk management, treasury, acquisitions and integration, he has managed growth throughout his career, strengthening his expertise in navigating the different phases of expansion and change in large organizations.

Before joining Syntax in 2017, Tony spent many years at WSP. He started as regional Corporate Controller and took on increasingly strategic roles including Global VP of Finance & Treasury and CFO for Canada, acting as a key business partner to the CEO and the leadership team. He was deeply involved in the planning and execution of the corporate strategy and in close to 50 important acquisition processes, making his mark by driving thorough transaction analysis, due diligence, and integration projects.

Tony holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a licence in Accounting from the Laval University in Quebec City as well as a CPA and CMA designation.

Marcelo Tamassia - Global CTO

As the Global CTO at Syntax, Marcelo leads all technology and innovation strategies, including software engineering, DevOps, monitoring, public cloud, product management, Cloud Engineering and Security areas. He joined Syntax through the acquisition of EmeraldCube Solutions, which he co-founded in 2013.

“I believe that Syntax is an amazing organization for anyone who truly wants to push boundaries, learn, and grow. We move fast and we are passionate about finding innovative ways to solve our customer pain points,” says Marcelo. “We work hard for our customers and set high expectations for ourselves. We value entrepreneurial spirit, ownership, simplicity and we only hire the best.”

A respected technology executive, Marcelo is frequently invited to speak at OpenWorld, Collaborate, and Infocus conferences as well as OAUG and Quest user group meetings.

With over 20 years of experience in the technology industry, Marcelo established and led EmeraldCube’s AWS cloud practice and its software R&D team, creating innovative solutions that propelled the company to a prominent position in the Oracle JD Edwards ecosystem. Prior to founding EmeraldCube, Marcelo led a technical consulting organization and actively participated as a technical expert and authority in more than 90 ERP projects worldwide.

Marcelo holds advanced AWS, Oracle, and Microsoft certifications in addition to an MBA from the University of Florida and postgraduate education courses from Stanford University.

Dessalen Wood - Global CPO

Dessalen Wood, CHRP, is a seasoned HR executive, facilitator and leadership coach who has specialized in passionately leading People and Culture teams within blue-chip Canadian and US organizations. Dessalen has 25 years’ experience in mid-size and large size Canadian and US organizations, such as Reitman’s Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company, The Children’s Place & The Disney Stores.

Prior to joining Syntax, Dessalen started her career in retail store management, making the move to corporate roles in the field of recruitment and training. She soon developed an interest the entire employee life cycle and moved HR management roles at major both Canadian and US based retail chains. In 2009 Dessalen and her family re-located to Toronto, where she was hired by Cineplex Entertainment initially as the director of Talent Development, later being promoted to Vice President, Talent Development, after relocating back to her hometown of Montreal, Quebec. In her 10-year tenure at Cineplex, Dessalen created multiple programs and support systems designed to create engaging corporate cultures, developing high performing leaders at all levels.

In 2019 Dessalen made the move from the service industry to the tech industry, in the role Chief People Officer at ThoughtExchange, a BC based tech start up that empowers leaders to bring people together and solve problems with their employees, community and customers through crowdsourcing.

Dessalen holds the CHRP designation, in addition to a Psychology degree from McGill University, where she also completed the mini-MBA program in 2016. In 2018 she also completed the Adler Professional Coaching program. She is a 3-time winner of the Waterstone Top 10 Most Admired Corporate Culture award, in addition to having been recognized by the Retail Council of Canada, with their award for Talent Development.

Ralf Sürken - CEO Europe

As CEO and Geschäftsführer (Managing Director) of the German and Slovakian entity, Ralf leads the European region for Syntax, focusing both on strategy and execution and overseeing all functions from Go-to-market to delivery. He joined the organization in July 2016 and came to Syntax through the FIT acquisition.

“Our ability to drive end-to-end solutions for our customers is unrivaled. Putting mission critical systems in the cloud, implementing and supporting them functionally and delivering real digital innovation both on the top floor as well as on the shop floor sets us and our people apart,” says Ralf. “It is always a joy seeing our customers thrive because of the good work of our people.”

An accomplished leader and motivator with lots of international experience, Ralf spent many years of his career doing business in North and South America, Europe as well as Asia. His entrepreneurial approach and his natural leadership skills give him the ideal profile to be able to drive change and excitement while managing a strong business for Syntax in Europe. He is Mr. Customer with much of his focus on customer success and satisfaction, and he expects the same from his organization.

Ralf started his career at Claas, a large agricultural manufacturer where he became a manufacturing expert and a first time SAP user. After completing his studies, he joined Itelligence and eventually founded their US practice, which he ran as CEO in the earlier stages of his career. He then moved to Silicon Valley to join SAP in supply chain optimization and spent several years in senior executive positions at various SAP partners, including Softbrands and Velocity.

Ralf completed his studies as an Applied Computer Scientist in Paderborn, Germany. An avid football (soccer) fan, Ralf lives outside Frankfurt, Germany, and is married with two kids in college.

Dawn McNabb - CFO Europe

As CFO Europe, Dawn works with the entire European team as well as colleagues throughout the world to drive growth, business development and customer satisfaction. She came to Syntax through the FIT acquisition where she was CFO for FIT in the United States.

“What I like most about the people at Syntax is their commitment to excellence and their motivation to work together to find solutions,” says Dawn. “My focus is on the strength and prosperity of our business and customers while ensuring that our teams keep the pace in terms of efficiency, processes and compliance. I believe that when leaders are engaged and teams are aligned, businesses can thrive and achieve great things.”

Dawn spent over 11 years leading people and projects through a period of major growth as the CFO for FIT US. Since her move to Europe, she has been working with the region to drive development and expansion of the business. In her early career, she worked in audit at KPMG and taught Management, Finance and Accounting courses at local colleges in the US.

Dawn holds CPA and CMA titles, a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters in International Business from Schiller International University.

Jesus Martinez - VP Operations

As Vice President Operations at Syntax, Jesus Martinez is responsible for the smooth running of all service and operational activities in Europe.

“Syntax has an excellent reputation, and rightly so, because all employees attach great importance to high service quality and customer satisfaction. I would like to set a good example and encourage all my colleagues to adopt this attitude so that we can exceed our customers’ expectations every day. Because people don’t just believe what they hear, but what they see and experience directly. ”

Jesus Martinez places a special focus on continuously adapting Syntax’s product and service strategy to changing market and customer requirements. As an accomplished expert in post-merger integrations, he also focuses on integrating and expanding the know-how acquired through strategic takeovers into the globally oriented growth course at Syntax using appropriate processes.

Jesus Martinez has more than 20 years of experience in the international IT and ICT industry and has worked for British Telecom, Global Telesystems, Ebone and most recently KPN International as Vice President Operations International, General Manager Germany and Managing Director for UK, France and Hong Kong.

Jesus Martinez has a degree in communications engineering, is married and has two adult children.

Björn Bartheidel - VP Intelligent Industry Services

As VP Intelligent Industry Services at Syntax, Björn leads the SAP Consulting & AMS services Business Unit at Syntax Europe supporting our Manufacturing Industry Customers in their Digital Transformation journey.

“What I like most about the people at Syntax is their unparalleled ability to always use creativity to find solutions for our customers, making the most of their broad experience and technical knowledge,” says Björn. “I am an open enthusiast and I thoroughly enjoy working with our people to drive innovative ideas and translate them into pragmatic solutions.”

Since joining the company in 2013, Björn has pushed the boundaries of Digital Manufacturing, advanced analytics and Industrial IoT. He was a key contributor to the transformation of Syntax’s Adicom Software Suite solution to a SAP-based Digital Manufacturing portfolio and is now a leading SAP consulting and implementation partner in Europe.

In his earlier career, Björn worked as a Principal Consultant at Dell Services implementing SAP solutions in the manufacturing industry. He also gained valuable experience at Siemens as a Business Consultant where he focused on business transformation and processes for manufacturing customers and as an IT Consultant and Solution Architect delivering integrated Shop-Floor-to-Top-Floor solutions.

In addition to a detailed knowledge of Design Thinking, Business Process Management and Agile Project Management, Björn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Systems from the University of Applied Sciences in Ingolstadt.

Dirk Schawag - VP Legal & Strategy

As VP Legal & Strategy, Dirk is responsible for Corporate Governance including Data Privacy and leads the Legal and Strategy units for Europe. He came to Syntax through the FIT acquisition.

“What is most inspiring at Syntax is the constant positive energy my colleagues and teams put into providing real value to customers,” says Dirk. “We have a clear vision of what our future looks like, we rally and take action, and we see our hard work turn into continuous growth for the company.” A strong communicator, he is a strategic thinker and likes to optimize his people’s contribution to Syntax’s leading initiatives.

Dirk has over 15 years’ experience in the IT industry including sales, legal affairs, project management and consulting and a proven expertise in creating and leading business units. Since joining the company in 2014, he developed and established the purchasing organization in Europe, achieving significant savings and increases in efficiency as Head of Supply Chain, and built the legal department as Head of Global Contract Management. He also took the Facility Management, and Health, Safety and Environmental Management (HSE) functions to a new level in the past years.

He also put his strategic skills to work in the M&A Management Core Team with the former Freudenberg IT.

Dirk holds a degree in Business Law from Mainz University of Applied Sciences, Germany. He also studied Business Administration and Economics at the University of Gävle in Sweden.

Dirk loves activities in the nature. He lives in Mainz near Frankfurt, Germany, and is married with two kids.

Uwe Jürgens - VP Sales Europe

As Vice President Sales, Uwe Jürgens is responsible for sales at Syntax Europe. He heads the areas of Sales, Presales, Sales Backoffice, Partner Management and Business Development Public Cloud.

“What excites me most about Syntax are our customers and our wide range. It gives me a good feeling when we make an important contribution to the added value of our customers and when we contribute positively to costs, revenue and risk targets with our offer. With our teams we manage to inspire our customers and to constantly win new customers. My motto: “For us, a customer is a living part of our business. We are not doing him a favor by serving him, but he is doing us a favor when he gives us the opportunity to do it. ”

Uwe Jürgens has more than 30 years of experience in the IT and consulting industry, including in the areas of sales, business development and consulting. During his positions before Syntax, including at KPMG and SAS Institute, he had management responsibility for various industry sales, which he built up and expanded. Since joining the company in 2019, he has realigned sales – from the organizational structure and processes to target and compensation systems.

Uwe Jürgens has a degree in business administration from the University of Mannheim with a focus on finance, marketing and psychology.

Kevin Dattolico - CEO Americas

Kevin Dattolico joined as the company’s Chief Revenue Officer of the Americas in April 2020.

Kevin previously held roles at VMWare and Novell and most recently served at Virtustream as Senior Vice President of Sales, where he led global growth strategies and market leadership by delivering and supporting the full range of Cloud Services and Software solutions. He has over 15 years of expertise in IT infrastructure sales, a deep background in cloud solutions for enterprise, and extensive experience developing market-focused strategic plans that deliver measurable business growth. He holds a degree in Business Administration, Marketing from Hofstra University.

Pierre-Luc Toupin - CFO Americas

As CFO for the Americas, Pierre-Luc leads a team that focuses on being a pillar for growth and for customer satisfaction, creating financial solutions that fit our customers’ needs. With over 15 years of experience in financial leadership including two years at Syntax, he drives a strong financial performance for the region and oversees internal financial systems and procurement as well as Governance, risk and compliance.

“The best thing at Syntax is the ingenuity of our people; I am especially inspired by the desire of our Finance team to put in the extra effort every day to support our Sales and Operations colleagues,” says Pierre-Luc. “I like to challenge the status quo and our team is always ready and motivated to continuously improve our processes and efficiency.”

In the earlier part of his career, Pierre-Luc was Director at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton (RCGT), a worldwide accounting firm specializing in financial and tax audit. He then acquired extensive expertise in Information and Communication Technologies in a public company as the CFO for iWeb Technologies Inc. and then expanded his knowledge of financial leadership in context of international corporations and of listed public companies in the US stock exchange as the Vice President of Finance at Internap Corporation, a division of web hosting services and Cloud Computing. Before joining Syntax, Pierre-Luc was Vice President of Finances at T Investment Corporation, a Family Office Fund invested in several industries, where he made his mark by accelerating the growth and the financial performance of various assets.

Pierre-Luc holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a DESS in Accounting from HEC Montréal, as well as the CPA, CA title.

Mike Evans - COO Americas

As the Chief Operating Officer of the Americas, Mike oversees Syntax’s operations in the Americas regions, which includes the development and execution of the company’s vision, strategic plans, budget, business development, customer engagement and succession planning. He joined Syntax June 2020 with over 25 years of experience in IT, service, and support delivery.

“My commitment is delivering customer value, all my interactions with my clients and my team reflects a culture around our customers and their needs. I play a great role in overseeing engagements and improving customers overall experience, enabling them to realize business value.” Hand-in hand with his team he continuously fosters improvement to ensure Syntax is delivering what our customers expect.

Before Syntax, Mike worked at Virtustream as Senior Vice President Global Operations where he oversaw the execution of delivery and support for all cloud offerings and in key customer engagements and relationships. Prior to that, Mike served in a variety of roles at Dell EMC, including Senior Vice President Global Specialty Presales, Vice President Backup and Recovery Systems and Global Director Services, and many positions at IBM.

Mike honorably served in the United States Marine Corps.

Xin Haihong - CEO Asia

As the CEO for Asia at Syntax, Haihong focuses only on one thing which is growth in China and Asia! Leading the team to continuously expand the service portfolio to broader areas from both solution and industry/geographic points of view, he believes in leveraging all local and global innovated solutions to offer best-in-class customer experience and business values to customers with long-term relationships.

“I am obsessed with bringing customers powerful business solutions and I feel like I can really push the boundaries to accomplish just that at Syntax,” says Haihong. “I am truly fascinated by the values of Syntax which are fully aligned with my personal value system. We have modern IT solutions and services based on the best combination of software, infrastructure and cloud technologies. I am confident in our team’s ability to work with all types of customers in the new digitalized environment where IT can not only support but also provide unique value to their business.”

An accomplished business leader with 23+ years industry experience in the Asia Market, Haihong spent 11+ years at SAP in development, consulting, managed services and Service Delivery roles before joining EDS-HP as an IT outsourcing executive. He also led the CDK Global APAC business from Sales to Delivery as the Vice President and Managing Director, achieving continuous profitable growth for over 10 years.

Haihong holds multiple degrees including a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering, Masters in Science & Technology (with a focus in Computer Integrated Manufacturing), and a Ph. D. of Engineering in Industrial Systems and Engineering.

Shi Rongfeng - COO Asia

Shi Rongfeng is regional COO, working with Syntax China (formerly FIT China) since 2006.

Over the past 12 years, Rongfeng has developed an exceptional Managed Services delivery team in China for SAP and Microsoft applications with solid performance and unparalleled customer support. He excels at managing business critical applications while successfully exceeding the needs of the customer.

Beginning his career as a technology consultant, Rongfeng has worked in multiple fields including project management, customer engagement, product management and quality management, resulting in extensive technical knowledge and hands-on experience.

Rongfeng holds a Master’s degree in Communications Engineering from the Tongji University, and is a certified SAP technology consultant, PMP® and ITIL.

Microsoft Solutions Partner, Palatin Cloud Computing Insider Award