Our Team

Sue Kozak, CEO and Co-Founder

Before Susan Kozak founded MNJ Technologies Direct, Inc. with her husband, Paul Kozak, in January 2002, she graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and continued on to earn her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Roosevelt University. Susan was a Kindergarten teacher from June 1986 to August 1988. She then continued on her career with AB Distributing from 1988-1997 with her last position being Director of Operations. Susan has 3 sons, Max, Nick and Jake creating the name MNJ from each one of their initials.

Sue is the Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes number 1 fan!

“Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flow charts. It is about one life influencing another.” – John C. Maxwell

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Paul Kozak, President and Co-Founder

Alongside his wife, Susan, Paul Kozak co-founded MNJ Technologies Direct, Inc. in January 2002. At MNJ, his main responsibilities focus on designing and implementing IT infrastructure, accounting systems and business operations, promoting the family culture that was established when the doors first opened and overseeing daily operations. Prior to MNJ, Paul was employed by CDW Corp. He started as a Sales Account Manager in 1987 and worked his way up the leadership ladder when he eventually left the company in 2001 as the Executive Vice President of Operations. Kozak is a graduate of the University of Iowa, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.

Paul enjoys RV’ing and attending Iowa Hawkeye football games.

“People do business with people they like.” – Unknown

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Ben Niernberg, Chief Operating Officer

Ben currently oversees all sales, marketing, services and vendor management relations for MNJ Technologies. Before joining MNJ, he spent a decade at Canon Solutions America, a subsidiary of Canon USA Company, where he was in a variety of management and executive roles. At MNJ, Ben remains focused on working with new and existing customers to solve their technology and services business issues that they deal with every day. Ben is thrilled about the future of MNJ Technologies and the exciting growth that has already been realized.

Ben is an avid wine connoisseur and is working toward Sommelier status.

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill

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Andy Ballema, Vice President of Sales

Andy arrived at MNJ in 2020 from CDW where he was a highly successful Sales and Cloud executive leader with proven track record of managing high growth productive sales teams and building effective internal/external partner strategies that deliver sustained material revenue growth. Before joining MNJ, Andy led the Aggregation, Infrastructure & Managed Services team at CDW. He was responsible for delivering consistent growth in agency brokerage services, cloud, colocation and managed services sales where he led the solutions portfolio, sales enablement, operational fulfillment, and partner relationships for the team. 

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do” – Henry Ford

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Albany Zeno, VP of Services

Albany Zeno has a strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record of more than 20 years of hands-on experience in Network, Wireless and Transport communications, strategic planning, business unit development, project and product management, and system engineering strategies. Prior to joining to MNJ, Albany spent over a decade at AT&T and also is a Veteran of the U.S. Army. He received his MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. At MNJ, his main responsibilities include providing a highly reliable infrastructure for all end user and computing environments and supporting operation growth.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein

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Jamie Porter, Sr. Director of Marketing

Jamie has been a well-respected member of the channel community since 2000. She started her career at HP working her way up through various channel roles, including a Partner Business Manager in Chicago for 14 years, where she collaborated with dozens of VAR’s on their sales and marketing growth initiatives. Jamie joined MNJ in 2015 where she heads up the Marketing department and is heavily focused on increasing brand awareness, aligning sales and marketing efforts, evolving company culture and enabling double digit growth. She earned her MBA from Roosevelt University and is honored to be on CRN’s Women of the Channel Elite Power 30 List.

Jamie loves going on adventures with her husband and two daughters, reading, and anything to do with nature.

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

Connect with Jamie on LinkedIn