Global Forum 2013

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Global Forum 2013

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Start date: 3 November 2013

End date: 5 November 2013

Location: The Langham, Chicago, USA

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I was exceptionally pleased to have been invited to attend the OPI Global Forum. The open and collaborative nature of the group talking about the industry and how we all grow and prosper was very pleasing. The forum also gave me some very valuable insights and ideas about how Officeworks can serve customers better and develop stronger partnerships with suppliers
Mark Ward, Managing Director, Officeworks

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 A message from the Global Forum Chairman:


In May 2009 OPI launched the first CEO Forum for the business products industry. This was an international gathering for senior executive leaders and provided a rare opportunity to discuss the state of the office products industry and to examine together our universal challenges. This event was incredibly successful and the attendees derived great value from meeting with their peers and discussing openly the challenges we all face.

The program was world class. The time and investment was well worth it. I was able to network with many industry leaders that proved to be extremly valuable.
Mike Gentile, President/CEO,

OPI will host the fourth Global CEO Forum in November 2013 in Chicago and we plan to again bring together an exceptional audience and an outstanding programme. We hope this forum will provide you with the opportunity to discuss the unique challenges of the office products industry's with the people who understand the uniqueness of our sector and who recognise the importance of working together as an industry. 

This is not a large conference but a small, invitation-only forum with invites sent strictly to CEO/Chairman-level executives at leading resellers, manufacturers and wholesalers of office products, including "non-traditional" retailers and vendors from the increasingly important EOS and consumer electronics categories.

Not just talking heads!
We will provide a number of speakers and moderators of an extremely high quality to stimulate thought and debate.

We understand that networking and free time is important, enabling you to spend quality time with fellow office products leaders from all over the world. There will be both structured groups to give you an opportunity to meet new people and discuss ideas as well as plenty of informal times for more private discussions. To ensure this can be accomplished in an appropriate environment, this will be a private meeting operating under Chatham House rules.

We are always keen to hear your feedback. If you have any comments then do let me know. If you would like to be considered for an invitation please email me.

Steve Hilleard  

Tel: + 44 20 7841 2940




Document Download Global Forum Programme

The programme is aimed at CEOs in the office products market. The content will consist of industry experts and relevant contributions from outside the sector. With a professional moderator we will be aiming to bring a high level of interaction and debate.

This programme will be based on research with our intended audience and aims to reflect the critical issues faced by the industry and explore the trends that will shape its future.

If you would like to let us know any areas of interest that you would be interested in hearing more about, or you would like to join the speaker panel then please contact



3rd – 5th November 2013, The Langham Hotel, Chicago

Sunday 3rd November 2013

5.30pm Registration

7pm       Welcome reception and dinner

Monday 4th November 2013

7.15am Group Breakfast

8.15am Welcome to the Global Forum 2013

8.20am Opening remarks from the Chair

Jeff Hayzlett, The Hayzlett Group

8.30am Attracting and retaining talent – what can we do to make the sector more attractive to innovative and dynamic (young) people?

Driving growth is directly influenced by having the best people.  Jeffrey Hayzlett will examine the good, the bad and the ugly of how to hire and keep the right talent. We will take a first-hand look with behind the scenes footage from customers on their perception of working in the sector. Hayzlett will take a fresh look at hiring strategy with a third party perspective. 

Jeff Hayzlett, The Hayzlett Group

9am       Status report: Economic analysis

  • High debt and sluggish growth: what does it mean, how should we respond?
  • Examining the on-going Euro crisis, and devising practical strategies to deal with the fall-out
  • Financial sector reform to decrease risk and vulnerability in the financial system
  • China: market-orientated structural reforms and rebalancing the economy towards greater private consumption

David Oppedahl, Business Economist, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank

9.30am Analysts and investors – Current challenges, future prospects

  • Forecasts and trends – growth and markets
  • Update on the Max-Depot merger.  What further M&A will we see?
  • Investment challenges (what’s attractive, what’s not, and why?)
  • Attracting and negotiating new investment

David Strasser, MD – Equity Research (Retail Sector), Janney Montgomery Scott

10am     Morning refreshments & networking

10.45am Rising to the challenge of the multi-generational workforce

  • Identifying the gaps and synergies in your organisations’ human capital
  • Values vs. ethics vs. workplace priorities
  • How can we attract young people to our industry?  And how can we keep them?
  • Embedding a common language within the organisation
  • Providing training and communication to underpin better generational working relations

Kimberly Lear, Generations Consultant, BridgeWorks

11.45am PANEL:  The rise of the independents

  • What do the independents/mega-independents offer that the power channel doesn’t/can’t?
  • Identifying what underpins the growth of the independents
  • Maintaining a focus on customer service, responsiveness,  sales team management and excellent customer relations
  • Innovative marketing strategies for independent resellers


Luke Chapman, Managing Director, The Business Performance Group
Steve Harrop, Managing Director, Office Friendly
Jan Van Belleghem, Managing Director, InterACTION
Ian Wist, General Manager, Wist Office Products 


12.30pm Group Lunch: Cambridge Room

1.45pm Roundtable Session 1
Please select one of the following discussion groups. Each roundtable will run again at 3.15pm so you will have the chance to attend two sessions. The emphasis will be on best practice. Please prepare to contribute as much as possible – the greater the level of interaction, the greater the value for all. 

1. How strong is your brand?  Is it time to reinvent?

Are you different? Can you make a difference? The perceptions and buying practices of your customers are changing rapidly. Are you keeping your finger on the pulse? Branding is about differentiation, driving growth, and driving change. Do you look like the company of the future or are you stuck in the past?  Are you progressive and innovative?  Do your website, trucks, catalogues, and marketing material demonstrate best practices?  Is your brand clearly separate, tied directly to sales in the trenches and resilient enough to seize future opportunities? Is the market declining or is marketing vision declining? With significant strategic advantages at hand, could brand complacency be our largest obstacle? Do you suffer from a branding gap? Retailers, what is invisible branding? This roundtable will pose questions that will force you to look at your company from a distinctly different vantage point.

Moderators: Andy Cleary, CEO & Cody Cleary, President, Orbit Design & John Givens, CEO, Source Office & Technology

2. Making data work for you (and your partners in the supply chain)
Data is king and becoming more important in the businesses and industries we serve.  It is critical throughout the supply chain and is more than just getting reports on what has happened.  Those using data now are doing it to allow them to make educated assessments on what is going to happen.  This data starts with information about the end consumer.  What are the characteristics of that buyer?  What are their likes and dislikes?  If they are buying one thing, what is the most logical thing that they are going to shop for or buy next?  Amazon, Target, Google, Netflix, Facebook, etc are masters at aggregating the data and then utilizing it to maximize their business opportunities.  Every product you view or purchase you make or information you search for, creates a clearer picture of who you are and what you like. How are the key stakeholders in this industry addressing the opportunity? With Amazon and others taking share within the industry we serve, how important is the competitive response? 
Moderator: Ron Books, CEO, ECI Solutions

3. Online reputation management
A negative post or association can outweigh multiple positive associations with a company or person. Reputation management aims to drive down unwanted and negative results in Google. This session will look at the basics of Google indexing, consider how to remove damaging content and create positive content, and how to use various media platforms to eliminate negative content. 
Moderator: Brent Payne, CEO, Loud Interactive

 4. Achieving successful change management within your sales team

In an ever more demanding world, the need for sales people to be more dynamic and proactive is key to driving your business forward. Now with technology playing a key part in the lives of everyone in business through CRM systems, LinkedIn and social media etc, how can businesses with older, more reactive, sales ‘farmers’ and not ‘hunters’ reshape their teams to support the businesses needs today without creating pain and pandemonium? During this session we will explore ways in which the above can be achieved within the existing sales teams through effective change management strategy and execution.

Moderator: Luke Chapman, Managing Director, The Business Performance Group

 5.   Retail is dead.  Discuss. 
Can retail OP stores survive in our marketplace given the increasing penetration of online allied to continued "cherry-picking" of the generalists (Walmart, Tesco) in a declining market? Soggy results globally from both major players and independents suggest that retailing will become increasingly challenging, not least in the OP space. Yet all channels recognise the importance of retail in driving consumer awareness of brand. Is there hope? What do retailers need to do to not just survive, but thrive, and how best should brand owners support that channel over others? Are there lessons to be learned from the white goods industry, or fashion retailing? This roundtable aims to enable you to share ideas and best practice to drive brands and put cash in the tills.
Moderator: Mark Austen, CEO, Office Club

6. Mobile device management and BYOD strategies
Moderator: Tony Ellison, Founder, CEO & Chairman,

2.45pm Afternoon break for refreshments & networking

3.15pm Roundtable 2

4.15pm Comfort Break

4.25pm PANEL: Exploring new opportunities for OP players

This session will examine and evaluate the opportunities for OP companies (and especially resellers) to move into new markets, for example jan/san, industrial safety, workwear, furniture, packaging, and MRO. What are the challenges that can be expected? What do we have that existing service providers don’t? And do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Ron Books, CEO, ECi Solutions
John Givens, CEO, Source Office & Technology
Kevin Johnson, Chairman & CEO, Warehouse Direct
Cody Phipps, President & CEO, United Stationers

5.25pm Closing remarks from the Chair

7pm       Networking Reception and Dinner

Tuesday 5th November 2013

7.30am Group Breakfast

8.30am Opening remarks from the Chair             

8.35am PANEL: Evolution of the channel

Featuring perspectives from independents, big box, wholesalers, manufacturers and web retailers, this session will examine how to remove cost from the supply chain, new models for co-operation, use and ownership of customer and market data and identifying opportunities for greater efficiency.  Each speaker will deliver a short presentation. Delegates will then break into roundtables for 30 minutes of discussion. We’ll then return to the panel for 30 minutes of debate, encouraging maximum audience interaction.

Alan Ball, CEO, Spicers
Mike Gentile, President & CEO, Independent Stationers Group
David Guernsey, CEO, Guernsey Office Products
Steve Schmidt, President – International, Office Depot
Beth Wright, Vice President, Bi-silque Americas

10.35am Morning refreshments & networking

11.05am PANEL: Mobile commerce and responding to the challenge of pure-play e-retailers

  • Support and security perspectives on BYOD
  • Setting new standards in customer service – what can we learn?
  • Preparing for and responding to same-day delivery by the big e-retailers
  • Achieving top line growth in digital OP retailing – driving up traffic and improving website conversion rates

Tom Compernolle, Principal, Retail, Deloitte Consulting              
Tim Toews, Managing Partner, Motion Creek Consulting & previously CIO, Office Depot
Shannon Wu-Lebron, Retail eCommerce Expert, IBM & previously Director, Global eCommerce, Office Depot 

11.55am THE BIG INTERVIEW with Ron Sargent, CEO, Staples

12.45pm Closing remarks from the Chair 

1pm       Buffet Lunch

2pm       Close of Global Forum 2013

Invitation Information

If you would like to be considered for an invitation please Steve Hilleard at or call + 44 20 7841 2940.

Booking Information

Registrations for the Global Forum can be made online

Global Forum 2013 Booking Prices

For the first attendee from your company:

  • Bookings made between 1 July and 1 September 2013 are charged at the discounted rate of £1950 (approximately $3020).
  • Bookings after 1 September 2013 are charged at the full rate of £2300 (approximately $3565).
(Please note that payments will be processed in Pounds Sterling so the amounts quoted in US$  will be subject to exchange rate fluctuations)

Booking for a second attendee:
If you have booked to attend at the full rate, a second delegate from your company may be eligible to attend at a 30% discounted rate. Please email for more information.



The Global Forum 2013 will be held in the brand new Langham Hotel in Chicago.

Opening this year, The Langham, Chicago is housed within one of the city's most famous downtown riverfront landmarks, the Mies van der Rohe building. Just steps from the Magnificent Mile and Millennium Park, this brand new hotel is the perfect venue for this exclusive event. 

Langham Chicago

Rooms at The Langham, Chicago are available at the following rates:

Grand King - $310 per night + taxes 

Junior Suite - $420 per night + taxes

One bedroom suite - $750 per night + taxes

Make a reservation

You can make a reservation directly with the hotel using the following link:

Langham Online Reservations

The special rates for OPI Global Forum attendees will automatically be applied.

Alternatively, please contact the hotel directly using the information below, quoting "OPI Global Forum" when making your reservation:

Ms Franziska Raum
Telephone:++1- 312-923-7014

The hotel wil require credit card details to guarantee your booking.




Delegates currently registered to attend the Global Forum include:

Don Branch  3M

Terry Marquardt   3M

Jay Mitchell  ACCO Europe

Liz Moseley ACCO Europe

Walter Johnsen  Acme United

Mark Duva  Aster Graphics

Mark Cooper  Avery

Jonathan Smith   Avery

Jim Sellors  Avery North America

Bjarne Mindested  Bi-silque

André Vasconcelos  Bi-silque

Beth Wright  Bi-silque - America's

Michael Gardner  BOSS Federation

Barrie Hayes  BPGI

Kimberly Lear  BridgeWorks

David Oppedahl  Chicago Federal Reserve Bank

Ernst Faber  COLOP

Rene Nuñez  DC Mayorista

Tom Compernolle  Deloitte Consulting

Mike James   Dundale Associates

Ron Books   ECi Solutions

Trevor  Gruenewald  ECi Solutions

Tom Kapp  ECi Solutions

Gilbert Walter  eQuality Internet Services

Gary Brooks  Esselte

Nigel Gunn  Esselte

Cezary Monko   Esselte

John Fellowes  Fellowes

James Fellowes  Fellowes

Jean-Pierre Cayer  First Base Group

Janet Collins  Ghent

Harry E Gould, Jr   Gould Paper Corporation

Peter Tilearcio   Gould Paper Corporation

David Guernsey   Guernsey Office Products

Steve Sakumoto   Hewlett-Packard

Michael Brown  HiTouch Business Services

Robert Ouellette   HSM of America

Shannon Wu-Lebron   IBM

Michael Gentile   Independent Stationers

Jan Van Belleghem  InterACTION

David Strasser  Janney Montgomery Scott

Gunnar Kleinmann   Kleinmann

Brent Payne   Loud Interactive

Samuel Avenel   Lyreco

Steve Law   Lyreco

Tim Toews  Motion Creek Consulting

Stephane Bisson  Novexco

Erin Brassard   Novexco

Paul Toohey  Office Brands

Gavin Ward   Office Brands

Brad O'Brien  Office Choice

Mark Austen  Office Club

Steve Schmidt  Office Depot

Steve Harrop  Office Friendly

Siddhar Nambiar India

Arvind Sidvas India

Janet Bell   OPI

Andy Braithwaite  OPI

Steve Hilleard  OPI

Cody Cleary  Orbit Design

Andy Cleary  Orbit Design

Richard Scharmann   PBS Holding

Steve Kouroupas  Quality Park Products

Mike Pickles  Really Useful Products

Andrew Morgan  Red Cheetah Software

Tomas  Bergström   Scandinavian Office Group

Tony Ellison

Sharon Avent  Smead

John Givens  Source Office & Technology

Steve Dipasqualie  Sourcing Partner

Phil Leckinger  Sourcing Partner

Rick Toppin  SP Richards

Alan Ball  Spicers

Ron Sargent  Staples

Geoffrey Betts  Stewart Superior

Chris Collinson  Superstat

Luke Chapman  The Business Performance Group  

Jeffrey Hayzlett   The Hayzlett Group

Patrick Spear  The Highlands Group

Bob O'Gara  The Highlands Group

Sid Lerman  The Weeks-Lerman Group

Thomas Schinkel    Thomas Schinkel and Associates

Harry Dochelli   United Stationers

Cody Phipps  United Stationers

Kevin Johnson  Warehouse Direct

Todd Shelton  United Stationers

Ian Wist  Wist Office Products

David Langdown  XPD

Clem Restaino  Zebra Pen Corp




Congratulations and many thanks to you and your staff for the best OPI Conference yet.
The first Global Forum was interesting, informative and very helpful. Everything from the blue chip attendance to the well thought through topics for discussion and presentation as well as the impeccable service and venue made it a delight. I learned a lot, felt privileged to be invited and had a great time to boot.
Mark Baccash, President/CEO, Office 1 Superstore

While I will admit that I was a bit skeptical and wondering if this conference would be a good return on the time and investment, I must say that both from a networking and information sharing standpoint I am very pleased I attended. The group that gathered was all key industry players and the mix of industry specific and broad based business topics were relevant and well presented.
Wayne Beacham, Chairman/CEO, SP Richards

The OPI Global Forum continues year after year to be THE event to attend for industry knowledge and networking. The open discussion on a broad range of topics is extremely relevant, always includes the key players in the industry and is moderated with great speakers on substantive topics. It is a truly unique opportunity.
Andrew Morgan, CEO, Red Cheetah Software

The OPI global forum provided an outstanding opportunity to meet with the leaders of the industry.  The formal presentations and breakouts were excellent with very timely content. And the interaction, both during questions and answer after the formal presentations and in the informal networking time, was the best part of the conference.
Mike Miles, former President/COO, Staples

I think the conference was terrific. I hope you continue to conduct this conference annually and I promise Office Depot support. I think it's very important that the industry get together in this type of neutral forum. It positions OPI as a true opinion leader in the industry.
Steve Odland, former Chairman/CEO, Office Depot

This event had an informative agenda with a great chance to network. I feel it was beneficial in attending.
Mike Pickles, Director, Really useful Products

I recently attended the OPI conference for CEO’s in Chicago and found it to be outstanding quality and value. The mix of suppliers, wholesalers and dealers; domestic and foreign; office products and other sectors made the presentations and networking opportunities to be first rate. I will undoubtedly return to future conferences using this format.
Jim Preston, former CEO, BPGI

I think the conference in Chicago was by far the best OPI conference I have ever been. You had a choice of excellent speakers talking about relevant issues. The subjects were also well-balanced for American and European attendees. The choice of the moderator was of course a lucky punch! This woman was really brilliant and an extremely fast thinker. Her interactive style has substantially enhanced the value of the various presentations. I also appreciated the size of the event which gave very good opportunities for networking. Furthermore, I was very pleased that the role of independent players in our industry has regained a relevant position. For some time it looked as if we were a dying species.
Peter Basci, former Chairman, EOSA

Kudos and thanks for the recent OPI Global Forum. I can't think of any day and a half program where I experienced more substance and relevance to operating a company on the OP space. The networking was invaluable and the programming was both forward looking, in a macro economic sense, and industry centric. You promised a senior level management focus and you delivered! I hope OPI found the event to be financially viable and will therefore consider a program of similar ilk in the future.
David Guernsey, President/CEO, Guernsey Office Products

I was very pleased to attend the OPI Forum in Chicago on May this year. I found it the most interesting and concrete event I have ever attended since 14 years ago when I joined the OP industry. The reasons are pretty clear to explain:
1          A properly limited number of Top level attendees showing a real high quality and competence.
2          A unique opportunity to pick up fresh ideas and share strategic visions about our Industry future worldwide with the market leaders.
3          I’ve been exposed to very high quality speakers dealing with some of the most interesting topics that will affect our business in the next 5 years (new technologies, new consumers, new legal requirements).
4          Timing and location of the event have been very well organised to exploit at the best time and energy dedicated by attendees to the event.
5          I seriously think I will attend again the event next year.
Francesco Villa, Vice General Manager, Gruppo Buffetti

I truly enjoyed the event and even with a busy schedule felt that the time spent was extremely valuable.  You all did a great job organizing the event and I walked away with several great ideas and strategies.  The networking time was also valuable.
Thanks again for having us.  Barring any scheduling conflicts, we will participate in the future as well.
Ron Books, President/COO, ECi2

The speakers were all extremely interesting and the topics were very well presented. The Forum was a great opportunity for networking. Personally it was a great honour to be invited for such an outstanding event, all was extremely well organised and I am sure you all worked exceptionally hard to make it the success it was.
António Redondo, Executive Director, grupo Portucel Soporcel

I found the conference to be terrific. I learned a great deal. I met a number of people who will become friends and perhaps customers. I also had a chance to think about some scary futurist views, which I do not believe for a second.
Many thanks for organizing such a strong event. I can not even imagine how you do it.
Walter Johnsen, Chairman/CEO, Acme United Corporation

I talked to some of the participants after the Global Forum and we all agreed that this was first of all a fantastic idea to get together in such a smaller group of excecutives. It was one the best events ever taken place with OPI. Apart from the concrete and open presentations and discussions which have given a lot of new insights and know how to me, it was very valuable to talk to old friends and to meet new friends and build up new relationships. I am looking forward to join your next event.
Arno Alberty, former Executive Vice President, Pelikan Europe

I think this was easily one of the best OPI conferences I have attended. The participants were top decision makers, it was a truly international audience and the topics were all relevant.
Tom Schinkel, Managing Partner, Thomas Schinkel and Associates

The program was world class .The time and investement t was well worth it. I was able  to network with many industry leaders that  proved to be extremly valuable.
Mike Gentile, President/CEO,