Director of Sales
Marlene Gonzales is the Director of Sales at Better Direct. With 20+ years in managing customer relationships, with both Better Direct and her prior role in banking, she encourages the staff to work closely with their clients. She is responsible for the training and the development of our sales teams including Commercial, SLED and Federal Contract teams to improve overall sales and maximize profits for the company. Marlene works closely with the Account Executives to identify top accounts, target skill sets, key market segments, and to assess each clients’ requirements. She has substantial experience in strategic planning, implementation, and leadership of critical sales programs. She consistently exceeds in a highly competitive environments and excels in building strong customer relationships with providing a total solution. When Marlene is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and discovering new places in their travels.
Executive Account Manager
Jackie Ochoa is Better Directs project manager. She began working with Better Direct in 2015 as a GSA buyer and then shifted into an outbound sales rep. In July of 2018, she started working directly with Mark on special accounts. She helps maintain close relationships with the VIP customers who have had a long-standing relationship with Better Direct. She also manages the solutions architect team, and she is hands on in the Better Direct computer lab to provide equipment to meet the specific needs of DOD customers. Jackie has supervised in testing and shipping over 2 million dollars’ worth of end of life IBM equipment and continues to successfully provide solutions to all VIP accounts accordingly to their specified needs. When she is not at Better Direct, she likes to spend time with her family, work out, and travel.
Director of Operations and Finance
Diana Zhong joined Better Direct in 2018. As Director of Operations and Finance, she works directly with Better Direct’s owner, Mark Evans. In this position, she handles all personnel, accounts receivable, payables, and day to day operations. Diana leverages her excellent teamwork and leadership skills to ensure that objective is completed on the time for delivery to our client. Additionally, she holds daily and weekly employee meetings to give information and take feedback for future improvement. Diana holds a Master of Science in finance from Arizona State University. She is a SAS Certified Base Programmer for SAS 9 and SAS Certified Advanced Programmer for SAS 9. Outside of work, she loves being a new mother and enjoys hitting new milestones every day.
GSA and ADMC-3 Contract Manager
Khatu Nguyen is the GSA and 2GIT Contract Manager at Better Direct where she manages the contracts and makes certain Better Direct follows all federal regulations. She is very focused and detail-oriented when it comes to her work. She has spent 3 years working closely with large accounts such as Department of Energy, Department of the Treasury, NASA, etc. Khatu is trained to find solutions for our customers on Federal Contracts, such as SEWP V, GSA Schedule 70, and ADMC-3. All her efforts have built strong relationships with our vendors and customers, and she has sold over 5, million dollars worth of products since she started working at the company in late 2017. When Khatu is not in the office, she can be found at home watching horror movies with her friends or collecting colored vinyls.
Chase Cai serves as the Purchasing Manager at Better Direct. Prior to her time with the purchasing department, she served as a Data Administrator responsible for the data analysis and administration of GSA and SEWP V contracts. With the current role, Chase is responsible for overall purchasing activities, vendor negotiation, quality assurance, providing guidance in procedural decisions, and numerous other managerial responsibilities. She specializes in implementing cost-effective procurements, maintaining effective relationships with vendors, and regularly attending training sessions to learn new market trends. Chase has gained solid knowledge of the governmental rules of procurement to fulfill flexible purchasing needs. She is skilled in organizational management, logistics, and efficiency planning. Chase is a detail-oriented team player and a strong believer in the power of positivity. She is an amateur foodie who loves to admire different cultures by being adventurous and traveling to see the world. Going on road trips and exploring new experiences with friends are her fresh doses of needed oxygen in the leisure time.
Sales Director Assistant
Reela Ali is the Sales Director Assistant at Better Direct. She started a Better Direct right after graduating from the University of Arizona with a double major in Criminal Justice and Public Management & Policy. Her greatest accomplishment was working at the Pima County Jail and the Pima County Pretrial Services in Tucson, Arizona. In the span of the two years that she has been working at Better Direct she started off as a data entry clerk, then as an Account Executive and recently to a Sales Manager Assistant. She works beside Marlene Gonzales who is Director of Sales. Reela helps Marlene by assisting her with any important tasks that needs to be done on our four government contracts. She also works closely with our sales team with any questions they have regarding our contracts and quoting. Reela works directly with large manufactures by obtaining Deal Registration and Special Pricing as that will give us competitive pricing to compete with our competitors. While she is not at work, she is either traveling around the world or studying for her long-term career goal as a Criminal Lawyer.
Outbound Sales Manager
Scott Kane is our Commercial/SLED Sales Manager/Facilities Manager and he gives everything 100 percent of his effort and wants to help everyone succeed, since it is all about team effort. To Scott it is always important to remember that the it is all a state of mind and we must always remain positive. If we think we can do something we set out to do, we can move mountains. Scott has been Married for 25 years to his Beautiful Wife, Monica who has supported his efforts and has been his rock. He also has over 30 years of sales experience varying from outside to inside sales. Industries include: Electronic component distribution and Computer / Server Distribution and Real Estate Sales. Scott held Presidents Club Status in 2004 from his previous employer. Scott loves to help people in need and also like to always leaves a positive lasting impression wherever he goes.
ADMC-3 Contract Manager
Vera Patterson is //. Vera has worked with Better Direct since 2013, she was a part of the team that acquired the SEWP V Contract, a multi-award Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC). She has successfully implemented and optimized the process of managing all contracts. While managing the GSA contract, Vera played an integral part in increasing federal sales to over $26 million per year. She is responsible for achieving contract renewals and has renewed contracts for Better Direct. Vera enjoys spending time with family and horses in Northern Arizona.
KaTo Wong is one of our many amazing account executives. KaTo’s role is doing quotes for our customers. This is his first job and has been with Better Direct since 2018. his goal is to learn the American culture and to learn more about the global market. His top accomplishment would be that he graduated with his Bachelor and Master in Finance degrees at Arizona State University. Outside of the work he loves collecting rare shoes and clothes. The rare pieces makes him excited as they hold investment value.
Christina Wu is an Account Executive. At Better Direct, Christina assists her customers by helping with any of their IT needs. Before joining Better Direct, Christina completed her Master program with a Finance Major from W. P. Carey School of Business. Christina has also created new relationships with many manufacturers for Better Direct. In her spare time Christina enjoys cooking and exploring new recipes to try with her friends and family.
Ivy Jiang is a self-motivated Account Executive. She loves to help everyone with their needs for IT both hardware and software. Ivy received a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information System & Business Data Analytics from W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Ivy has previously worked as an assistant to the CEO to a large manufacturing company. With Ivy’s free time you can find her in the pool. She also enjoys playing basketball with her brother and boyfriend.
As an Account Executive, Shirley Zhang works as a bridge between customers and manufacturers by preparing quotes. She strives to provide the best customer experience as well as bring in big orders for Better Direct with her hard work. Shirley is our little sunshine in the office who makes sure everyone in the office has a positive attitude and is always excited to help the team to achieve their goals. Shirley has vast experience in introducing new manufacturers to Better Direct in order for us to provide additional products and solutions for customers. With all her efforts she was able to obtain multiple Letters of Authorization and Letters of Supply to add additional products to our line car and catalog. She is described by everyone in the office as the tall one. She cannot live without her milk tea, chocolate and ice cream for even for one day as she’s a self-described foodie.
Hazel Yang is an Account Executive at Better Direct, who is mainly responsible for GSA’s customers, conducting data profiles from distributors and vendors. She proposes the best solutions to our customer’s needs and maximize profits for the company. She tries to build relationships with customers every time they encounter by staying friendly and being helpful. Hazel’s greatest personal achievements were when she was awarded the Honor Award for Urban Design 2019 at the American Institute of Architects and when she earned a full scholarship from the Erasmus Mundus European program. She also has a Master in Tourism Management and has traveled to 19 countries. Hazel is a planner, a foodie and a master at cooking spicy Chinese food.
Lala Lane is one of our Purchasing Agents at Better Direct. Since starting in 2018 Lala has held many positions starting as a Data Entry Clerk, Account Executive for both SEWP V & GSA and has moved to her current position. Lala is responsible for processing customer orders and monitoring shipments, making sure they arrive at the correct destination. Along with her purchasing position, Lala also trains new employees on two of our biggest contracts, GSA and SEWP V. She never hesitates to learn something new and her dedication is expressed through her hard work and commitment. Lala enjoys spending time on the Navajo reservation with her extended family as she resides in Tempe with her 6 siblings. Lala is excited to see where all her accomplishments will bring.
Solutions Architect and IT Services
As our Lead Solutions Architect and IT Services, Joe Holt is responsible for technical support for Better Direct Sales opportunities. He also provides billable design, configuration, installation and consulting services for Better Direct Customers. Joe is a primary source for support and maintenance for Better Direct internal systems. He enjoys solving engineering problems and anything that requires lots of thinking. Joe has over 38 years of computer industry experience including 25 years in sales at Fortune 100 companies and a successful transition to becoming a technical specialist while at IBM. Some of Joe’s accomplishments include numerous awards and trips as a sales representative and numerous past and current technical certifications from many manufacturers including IBM, HPE, Cisco, VMware and Lenovo. In Joe’s free time he enjoys spending time with his family.
Patrick Xu is a Service Administrator at Better Direct. Patrick is mainly in charge of associating with the engineer side of works including hardware testing, packaging, and personal system repair. When necessary, Patrick also helps with handling SEWP quotes submission and CLINs. His goal is to gain more experience in this field to understand not only more about hardware testing and repairing, but also increase customer satisfaction as a service technician. One of his great accomplishments was graduating with an approved practical design. Patrick finished his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at Arizona State University. He was selected to work with Phoenix Children Hospital to design a pressure redistribution bed for brain trauma patients. This project helped Patrick to build up his confidence in his capacity of problem solving and design. After he joined Better Direct, he has gained a lot of knowledge of personal system repairing and became a certified service technician. In Patrick’s personal life, he likes to drive out to try different kinds of food and duplicate them again. He loves cooking for his family and friends whenever he has interesting cooking ideas.
Solutions Architect and IT Services
Randy Johnson is one of our Solutions Architect & IT Servicer. He assists with reviewing, inspecting testing, upgrading and certifying refurbished equipment. Randy has diversified and experienced in many business partner aspects including sales, technical and multi-facility/office operations. He has a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a MBA in IT Management with many minors. Randy has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry and 19 years of that was with IBM. Randy’s goal is to live life to the fullest, to travel and visit many of the National Parks and experience the various offerings of nature.
New Business Specialist
Lou Torres serves as the New Business Development Specialist for Better Direct. Critical to our success is being able to acquire, attract and retain new business relationships with vendors. His responsibilities in this role include developing solid business relationships with emerging new companies and establishing goals to drive new service offers. Lou works with the vendor’s designated product team, field sales teams and marketing teams to ensure we are prepared for ongoing changes to customer needs. He brings to his position a well-established background in Information Technology. In his spare time Lou likes to watch movies with his wife.
William Arevalo, also known as Billy, is our Marketing specialist. As a first-generation high school and college graduate, Billy hopes to pave a new way of thinking to his younger siblings, Carolynn and Gigi, that anything is possible if you just apply yourself. Billy has a Bachelors in Science with an emphasis of Informational Design. He’s in charge of modernizing the companies face without sacrificing our individuality that we hold so highly. He also is in charge of making pitches to sell our company to new vendors. He’s a young man with a lot to prove and gives every design he makes the fullest amount of effort. Billy also tries to make everything he does fun and exciting. He has built this website with the help of our Service Administrator, Patrick, which he is very proud of and does his part to bring Better Direct to the top as the best choice for your IT needs. Billy likes to put his creative mind on paper by creating personal art.
Deputy SEWP Program Manager
Prestina Yazzie is a dedicated member of Better Direct as the Deputy SEWP Program Manager. She began with the company in 2015 as an Administrator and was appointed Deputy SEWP Program Manager in 2018. She is responsible for monitoring the SEWP program by preparing and submitting our products onto our SEWP V contract. Prestina is the administer liaison for the NASA SEWP program by submitting all reports. She assures a timely and accurate dispatch of all program activities, sensitive issues, and successes. In providing this information and documentation, it helps to predetermine objectives and meet future requirements. Prestina grew up on the Navajo reservation, but currently resides in Tempe, AZ with her husband and their seven children. Between balancing family, life and her position here, she likes to attend social events such as concerts, museums, and writing engagements.
Robert has been practicing law since 1993, and primarily focused on debtor/creditor relations and commercial litigation. In 2013 he opened his own firm, and has expanded his practice to include assisting Better Direct on business matters, particularly with respect to obtaining and complying with GWACs (Government Wide Acquisition Contracts). Over the years he has worked a number of appeals, including reported decisions: Hullett v. Cousin, 204 Ariz. 292 (2003) (involving the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act); Stauffer v. US Bank N.A., 233 Ariz. 22 (App. 2013) (Protecting homeowners with A.R.S. § 33-420). An Arizona native, he fled to Tennessee for an undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, cum laude in Honors History, and returned to Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law for a J.D., also cum laude. He is interested in historic preservation, infrequently is involved in land use matters on behalf of existing neighborhoods, is President of Phoenix Historic Districts, and is Vice President of Phoenix Historic Neighborhood Coalition.
GSA Contract Admin
Shuhan’s position is a GSA Administrator in which she deals with data such as manufacturer product listings and pricing. She prepares information, for two of our contracts to ensure that our customers are always obtaining the best possible price. Shuhan graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor in Science Accountancy and a Master degree in Accountancy. Outside of work, she likes playing basketball, and also likes watching different types of television shows. She also likes
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GSA Contract Admin
Zixu (Lee) Li is the GSA Administrator at Better Direct. He is responsible for inputting updated information on our GSA Advantage! company profile, including our contract policy and the existing products’ latest pricing. In addition to updating our product listings, Lee also researches the added products to to ensure our customer’s have the best pricing available. Lee studied at Arizona State University, and graduated in 2019 with a Masters of Science in Global Logistics. As his master’s program’s final project, he led his team with an analysis project for Knight Transportation and presented in front of their senior management team, who were very satisfied with their analysis. Before starting at Better Direct, he had an internship with Hormel Foods and OTS Forwarding. Kindness is what Lee values the most. Many people in his life have showed their kindness and it truly changes the way he sees the world. Kindness makes him feel very confident, positive, and useful. When Lee isnt in the office, you can find him playing soccer or building custom PC and keyboards.