40 under 40

OPI's 40 under 40

40 under 40 personalities who have impressed the business and workplace supplies sector with their work ethic and achievements.

Cameron Ables

Sales Manager Office Products, Ables-Land

Cameron Ables is one of three sons of second-generation Ables-Land owner and CEO Gary Ables. He helps run the dealership in Texas, US, with his twin brothers Chris and Cody (who, for ‘age reasons’, aren’t featured more prominently in these pages). Ables has been working full-time in the company – realistically you always start much earlier in a family business, he admits – for over a decade, straight after full-time education. He is currently in charge of sales in the Office Products division, a role he loves due to the close customer involvement it brings. OP is one of three core competencies at Ables-Land. While Ables is quick to point out that all-round knowledge of and expertise in all aspects of running the organisation is essential, especially with succession in mind, he adds that a diversified and ‘parallel’ job share with his brothers has been working well so far.

Julien Barabant

Digital & Brand Manager, Pilot Corporation of Europe

After joining Pilot France’s marketing department as an intern in September 2008, Julien Barabant’s career went on a journey that took him from a number of local and national roles to fully-fledged European responsibilities. For the first ten years, he worked for the company’s French subsidiary, serving as the Marketing Manager for customers in stationery stores as well as the office equipment, e-commerce and fine-writing channels. In October 2020, he became Digital & Brand Manager of Pilot Corporation of Europe. His responsibilities include digitising the company’s operations by implementing a range of core solutions – a product information management system, for instance, and B2B ordering platforms. His role also includes harmonising Pilot’s overall brand image.

Daniel Benjamin

President, Benjamin Office Supply

Before taking over as President in 2019, Daniel Benjamin learned the ropes of the US family business in a number of roles, first as Director of Business Development and then as VP. Over the past nine years at Benjamin Office Supply, he has worked to create a new go-to-market strategy, open new company headquarters and passionately serve customers. As Benjamin’s second President, his vision for his leadership is to maintain a highly customer-centric dealership – it’s more than just selling pens and paper – fuelled by a strong employee culture. Creating a warm and respectful culture is something Benjamin feels strongly about: “I believe the people who work for Benjamin make it the company it is today and will be tomorrow. My greatest joy is being part of each employee’s journey to see them realising their full potential.”

Alex Bonarius

Global Sales Director, Pukka Pads

Rooted firmly in the business supplies manufacturing community where he’s been for the past eight years, Alex Bonarius has embraced all aspects of our sector wholeheartedly. Sales is his passion, from the first meeting to signing on the dotted line, followed perhaps by a round of golf where he enthusiastically networks with his peers – with sales still in mind! Bonarius started his OP career at UK vendor Rapesco where his previously learned skills of speaking fluent German stood him in excellent stead to develop the brand in key European markets – Germany being one of them – and beyond. In his current role as Global Sales Director of fellow British vendor Pukka Pads, he is responsible for all sales channels and markets across the business and its multiple brands.

Gemma Bush

Account Manager, GNS Wholesale Stationers

A 15-year sales expert, Gemma Bush has vast experience across the wholesale, retail and convenience sectors, currently as Account Manager of GNS Wholesale Stationers in Australia. Having joined the organisation in 2014 as a Business Development Representative servicing newsagents, her sales knowledge and training skills helped her territory’s revenue grow consistently across all major seasonal retail promotions. Five years ago, Bush took on a wider sales remit to also include GNS’ commercial reseller customers. According to company Managing Director Paul Yardley, she has brilliantly adapted to and excelled at everything thrown at her, always going “above and beyond”. Bush’s latest challenge happened in 2022 when she successfully took on managing GNS’s national multisite retail chain customer Spotlight.

Scott Castle

Head of Campaign Marketing, EVO Group

Scott Castle joined the business supplies space in 2013 as Marketing Manager of VOW Retail. Over the past decade, he’s enjoyed a variety of positions within EVO Group, excelling in all of them. As Product Marketing Manager for VOW Wholesale, for instance, he won the Young Executive of the Year at the 2019 European Office Products Awards (EOPA) while in the same year also scooping the BOSS Emerging Professional of the Year award. Just over a year ago, Castle was promoted to Head of Campaign Marketing for EVO Group, responsible for managing the product marketing team, building relationships with suppliers, and planning and activating all product marketing activities across EVO’s businesses. Castle has also displayed a wide-ranging commitment to the industry as a whole. He chaired the BOSS Leaders of the Future Committee between 2020 and 2022, for instance.

Tyler Condry

President, Sundance Office

Tyler Condry grew up with and in Sundance Office and, following graduation, joined the family business as Marketing Director. He has been President since 2021. Condry has explored a variety of different avenues at Sundance. In 2012, for instance, he launched UrbanGirl – an internet start-up that was focused on the sale of fashionable office products. After struggling to scale the business, he changed tack, using the talent on the team to instead create – very successfully – a custom print and promotional products division, known as Sundance Promos. In addition to constantly seeking to make the dealership bigger and better, Condry is also deeply involved in community projects. He’s been instrumental in developing Sundance Cares, for example, a programme which gives back to Oklahoma communities.

Kristian Danielson

Key Account Manager, BIC World

Kristian Danielson is a Key Account Manager at BIC World. Having started his career working for McCain Foods, he quickly realised account management was the career path for him. He subsequently moved to Henkel and then Comvita in similar account management positions, experiences that allowed him to learn new methods and approaches to succeed. The opportunity to work at BIC in the UK arose in 2019. As Key Account Manager, he works closely with all the main wholesalers and dealer groups. No two days are the same, Danielson enthuses, saying he might find himself negotiating pricing, delivering sales training, evaluating promotional effectiveness or meeting end users at trade shows. Working collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders is another aspect of the job he enjoys plus – and he’s not the first one to say this – the friendliness of the people in the industry.

James Day

Sales & Marketing Director, Durable UK

Among incredibly tough competition, James Day was this year’s EOPA winner in the Young Executive of the Year category. Day joined Durable UK in 2018 and has impressed ever since with his outstanding work ethic and talent for building trust with channel partners. He began his career at the vendor as Senior National Account Manager, progressed to Head of Commercial and, most recently, Sales & Marketing Director. In his current role, Day has more opportunities to guide the strategic direction of the business as he oversees Durable UK’s complete sales and marketing functions. He has a clear vision of how Durable can grow with its resellers and has made a real impact at the vendor. He is also a keen advocate of bringing young talent into our sector and has served on the BOSS Leaders of the Future Committee since 2021.

Marc Deu Grota & Camila Riveros Jaramillo

Co-owners & CEOs, Office24

The only ‘joint’ team in our list, husband and wife team Marc Deu Grota and Camila Riveros Jaramillo are Co-owners and CEOs of Spanish reseller Office24. With Deu Grota having grown up in the office supplies industry through family connections, he carried on the tradition when he joined Office24 in 2009; his wife joined him four years later. Both individuals ascended through the organisation, reaching management level, with Deu Grota being COO and Riveros Jaramillo CMO. In 2021, when the company was close to shutting its doors as a result of the COVID-19 challenges, they had the opportunity to buy Office24 and its partner wholesale company, Distribution of Supplies for Offices (DSO). The couple worked hard to introduce a wide range of new business ideas, entering the office and school supplies market, and launching various e-commerce projects.

Scott Ellis

Head of Corporate Accounts, Banner (EVO Group)

Scott Ellis has been in the business supplies industry for over 15 years. He’s worked at Banner, now part of EVO Group, for all this time, being a core contributor to its success. He was recently asked to join the senior leadership team as Head of Corporate Accounts. Ellis began his career in 2008 as a Customer Service Advisor in Banner’s government team. Two years later, during the acquisition of Accord, he was instrumental in transitioning accounts between the two organisations. Moving further up the ranks in various roles, he became Sales Manager in 2022. Ellis credits his success to Banner’s unwavering support – in terms of both personal and professional development. This, coupled with plenty of ambition and an ability to adapt, has served him well so far and, no doubt, will continue to do so in the future.

Kelly Ennis

Chief Revenue Officer, JAM BNC

For almost ten years, Kelly Ennis has been the force behind growing JAM Paper & Envelope’s – now JAM BNC – product sales. She joined the e-commerce focused operator – a subsidiary of Hudson Envelope Corporation – straight out of college in 2013. In 2021, JAM Paper merged with BIGNAME Commerce, with all of the latter’s office supply channel relationships falling under her remit. She currently manages a team of more than two dozen people as Chief Revenue Officer and is responsible for e-commerce sales. Ennis has led the development of numerous custom business intelligence reports and interactive dashboards that now drive informed decision-making at all levels of the organisation. These have included the design of a proprietary forecasting algorithm that has proven to be a game changer for efficient inventory management.

Adam Fox

VP of Marketing, S.P. Richards

Currently VP of Marketing at S.P. Richards (SPR), Adam Fox came to the wholesaler with an already distinguished career in marketing through various positions in the foodservice and jan/san industries. When he joined SPR in 2019 as Channel Marketing Manager, he rapidly developed his knowledge of the OP side of the business and was soon identified as a high-potential candidate who could overhaul the company’s marketing activities. Named Director of Marketing in 2020, he built a creative team that has enabled SPR’s customers to expand into the digital marketing and social media spaces, allowing them to better compete in today’s online world. He was promoted to his current role earlier this year. Away from SPR, Fox is working alongside industry colleagues on the Emerging Leaders Council at City of Hope.

Beth Freeman

EVP, FSIoffice

EVP of FSIoffice, Beth Freeman is the daughter of company CEO Kim Leazer, following in the giant footsteps of her mother, grandmother and aunt as an emerging female leader in our industry. She has already had a broad impact on the dealership through her efforts in sales, marketing and procurement, while also being the driving force behind comprehensively modernising the family business. After graduating in 2006, Freeman joined FSI full-time as Corporate Administration and Pricing Specialist, before being promoted to Assistant VP of Sales and then becoming EVP in 2018. Her passion for advancing her own company and the industry she works in – she is also President of the board of directors at AOPD – was recognised when she won the Young Executive of the Year at the North American Office Products Awards (NAOPA) 2019.

John Friedrich

Senior Account Manager, Fellowes Brands

John Friedrich’s journey in the OP industry has been shaped, he says, by the guidance of many remarkable leaders and mentors, who helped make him the manager he is today. Prior to joining Fellowes Brands in 2020, he honed his skills as a National Account Manager at The HON Company. Using his customer service experience, he helped train team members, while managing a dedicated market and fulfilment channel, solidifying his reputation as a trusted professional within the industry. Friedrich currently serves as a Senior Account Manager at Fellowes Brands. In this role, he oversees the independent dealer, wholesale and IT channels, as well as key accounts. An active member of industry organisations, he contributes to the BSA Executive Board, the AOPD Business Partner Advisory Board, and the City of Hope Emerging Leaders Council.

Lindsay Gibbons

VP of Supply Chain, S.P. Richards

Lindsay Gibbons joined S.P. Richards (SPR) as Customer Supply Chain Director in 2018. A year on, she became Senior Director, with a further promotion in 2020 to VP of Supply Chain. Gibbons brings to the SPR table not only an Ivy League undergraduate degree, but also two Masters’ degrees. She balances that impressive educational background with a personal, caring touch that allows her to build a strong team. With an immaculate record of driving operational excellence and achieving substantial cost savings for the wholesaler, Gibbons’ strong focus on inventory management, demand planning and supplier relationships has meant her team consistently exceeds SPR’s expectations. Her colleagues also specifically highlight her outstanding leadership and resourcefulness – in supply chain terms – during the intensely difficult COVID-19 period.

Christopher Götz

Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, Avery Zweckform

Christopher Götz was appointed Director of Marketing & E-Commerce at Avery Zweckform in Germany earlier this year, another step up the ladder in his 14-year career at the manufacturer which he began as an industrial placement during his university studies. Götz’s knowledge and expertise is comprehensive and has been accumulated during years of learning his craft, from product management and trade marketing to business development and digital know-how. Most recently, his remit has been to set up and expand Avery’s presence in the e-commerce channel. A thorough appreciation of where customers are and how they want to buy has been key to Götz’s success. Indeed, technologically savvy and forward-thinking is how he is described by his peers – both in his own market of Germany, but also by his colleagues globally.

Elizabeth Hawver

VP Wholesale & Office Distribution, Essity

As VP of Essity’s Wholesale and Office Distribution team, Elizabeth Hawver is in charge of the strategy and execution of the company’s growth plans in this channel. She leads a seasoned team of over 30 sales and marketing professionals and is responsible for some of the company’s key strategic distribution partners, while focused on driving sales for the Tork brand of professional hygiene products. Hawver began her career at Essity in 2009 as a Strategic Analyst. Her talent was quickly recognised and resulted in rapid career progression, culminating in her becoming the youngest director in the company. Since then, she has demonstrated continued success with roles across finance, global strategic planning, competitive intelligence and commercial sales leadership.

Emily Hiner

Shopper Marketing Leader Office Channel, 3M

Emily Hiner is currently 3M’s Shopper Marketing Leader responsible for account-specific activations within the office, grocery and craft channels. She began her consumer career in 2011 where she gained valuable knowledge in sales, analytics and shopper marketing. Although she has worked in multiple channels over the years, Hiner argues that the office channel has been the most remarkable experience for her due to the people and also the important work the industry does in the community. Hiner is a proud member of the Emerging Leaders Council for City of Hope, again an opportunity that wouldn’t have been possible outside the office channel. In terms of her priorities, Hiner wants to continue to stay close to the customer and loves building 3M solutions for the end user based on insights.

Jean-Francois Houle

National Customer Service Director, Novexco

Jean-Francois Houle was appointed National Customer Service Director for Novexco’s three sales channels – wholesale, Hamster commercial customers and Hamster dealers – in 2019. He has worked in a variety of roles at the Canadian operator for the past 11 years. Houle’s current position involves working with a team of 40 customer service representatives, meeting the needs of Novexco’s 65,000 customers. He implemented ‘The One Call Resolution’ that allowed his team to resolve all types of customer requests on the first call. Another example of Houle’s commitment to building positive relationships is his presence on the Novexco Customer Experience Committee which focuses on “delighting” more people every time they contact the operator. Novexco CEO Denis Mathieu credits Houle with being a key player in the organisation, regularly maintaining above 95% in customer retention figures.

Jordan Hoxie

Commercial Account Manager, Beatties (Staples Professional Canada)

Some people are born into this industry and Jordan Hoxie is an excellent example of this. Hoxie is part of family business Beatties which dates back to 1860 (but, incidentally, was bought by Staples Professional Canada in August in another big-box dealer buyout). Over the past 16 years, he’s been on a steady progression course, dipping his toes into many parts of the business, including warehousing and logistics, purchasing and retail. Commercial Account Manager for the past ten years, he oversees Beatties’ sales in south-western Ontario. In this role – and still operating in a separate entity from Staples – Hoxie assists clients in managing and optimising their procurement spend. On a wider industry scale, Hoxie has been serving on the board of the Canadian Office Products Association for the past two years.

Hunter Jordan

Director of Sales, Herald Office Solutions

This and the next entry are further proof of just how important family-run dealerships are in our industry, especially in North America. Hunter Jordan, a Young Executive of the Year NAOPA winner in 2021, needs little introduction. Son of company owner and President Thomas Jordan and brother of Myers (below), his skill set firmly lies in sales. Starting straight after college in the furniture segment of the company where he worked on government contracts, Jordan quickly progressed to run the whole Interiors division, posting record revenue increases. This has since been further extended to include the Business Products and Office Equipment verticals. Since 2020, he’s held the title of Director of Sales. Jordan previously served on the Furniture Purchasing Committee for Independent Suppliers Group and is currently Chairman of its NEXT Committee.

Myers Jordan

Team Member, Herald Office Solutions

Like his brother, Myers Jordan took a deep dive into the business supplies space from an early age, working at Herald Office Solutions after completing his first degree – and then during his Master’s in Business Administration studies which he completed at the University of South Carolina in 2016. A can-do attitude, bags of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn have sent Jordan up the company ladder in a relatively short time. His specific product knowledge revolves around the breakroom and jan/san categories which he’s been hugely successful in moving forward for Herald. He has combined his dealer-specific knowledge with a keen interest in getting immersed in the broader industry, serving on a wide range of committees and forums.

Falko Köhler,

Director of Business Innovation & Development, Lyreco Germany

Falko Köhler won the Young Executive of the Year accolade at the 2022 EOPA and it’s easy to see why. His current position is Director of Business Innovation & Development (and Marketing & E-Commerce) at Lyreco Germany. This is another step up from his previous position of Director Customer Experience which changed in 2021 when Lyreco acquired parts of Staples Solutions’ European businesses. Köhler, who joined the reseller in 2016, has steadily moved up through the ranks and brings with him an infectious and determined enthusiasm to, quite simply, enhance the customer experience. His job, he says, gives him the opportunity to add sustainable value to the entire business, while moving Lyreco from its transactional product and service offerings to becoming a true partner. There’s no doubt that his last promotion wasn’t the final one.

Alicia Kolbus

Analytics Specialist, Stinson’s

Alicia Kolbus is an almost rare example of a young successful professional in the US side of our industry who is not related to the owners of her business. She initially worked in San Francisco pursuing a career in art institutions but, deciding to move to be closer to her family, found a position at Stinson’s through a job fair ten years ago. Starting in sales, she quickly developed interests in analytics and marketing – areas where a full-time position didn’t really exist at the time. However, as Kolbus explains: “It was Stinson’s willingness and encouragement to let me pursue my interests and acquire new skills that really enticed me to stay. Together, we created a department focused on data analytics.” In her current role as Analytics Specialist, she develops new marketing initiatives, while managing contracts and pricing programmes to support the sales and purchasing teams.

Margaux Lefaucheux

European Brand Manager, AF International

Margaux Lefaucheux has been a part of the AF International team for over a decade. Her journey started as Major Account Coordinator before being promoted to Key Account Manager. In 2021, she was named European Account Manager, followed by AF Brand Manager in 2022. In this latest role, Lefaucheux embodies the image of AF International, presenting it enthusiastically in everything she does – within the company and in all external interactions, both in the OP industry and the wider B2C market. After ten years, Lefaucheux eagerly anticipates further opportunities to contribute to AF International’s growth. Her dedication to the vendor, she explains, is rooted in its “dedication to excellence” which she shares a passion for.

Rachael Lewis

Sales Operations Director, OT Group

With a background in retail, Rachael Lewis hasn’t been in our industry for that long, but she’s excelled in everything she’s done so far and is certainly one to watch in the future. Lewis started as Head of Commercial Finance and Pricing for Spicers in 2019, before becoming the Head of Pricing and Margin for OT Group. After 18 months in this position, she was promoted to Sales Operations Director at the beginning of last year, where she now works closely with the group’s experienced sales team to drive growth and margin optimisation. A crucial part of her role is to work alongside other departments on business-critical projects, all to ensure the group maximises the customer experience. With her natural leadership ability, Lewis is also keen to develop young talent in our sector. She became Co-Chair of the BOSS Leaders of the Future Committee in 2022.

HB Macey

President, Perry Office Plus

HB Macey is another ‘40 under 40’ candidate who has learned the trade from the ground up. He started his career at Perry Office Plus in 2011 as a delivery driver and warehouse worker before becoming a sales rep. Here, he earned the respect of his peers due to his hard work, plus his dedication to the company and the wider industry. He became Sales Manager in 2014; since then sales have grown over 100%, with significant expansion particularly in the dealer’s jan/san category. Macey was named President in 2021, adding a laundry/warewash and floor equipment division during the same year. In 2022, together with his wife Lynnsay, he purchased the family business from his retiring parents. He is part of the Independent Suppliers Group NEXT Committee and won last year’s NAOPA Young Executive of the Year accolade.

Jake Mages

VP of Sales, Guernsey

Jake Mages turned 16 the day his father – who recently retired from the US dealership after 26 years – called to offer him a job working in the warehouse. During these high school years, holidays were spent at the main distribution centre serving as receiving clerk, picking and packing orders, and occasionally filling in as a route driver. After graduating, Mages took a job in outside sales, apprenticing in Guernsey’s largest contract account. He’s since held positions in category and mid-level sales management, before achieving his current position of VP of Sales. He says: “No two days are the same and I love that. One day I may be working on a project for a school, the next I could be in an office demonstrating a high-end bean-to-cup coffee machine. I love problem-solving and coming up with creative solutions.”

Andrew McKenna

Marketing Director, ACCO Brands Australia & New Zealand

Andrew McKenna has been with ACCO Brands Australia for about 13 years, in roles of ever-increasing responsibility – from Junior Product Manager over Senior Brand Manager to his current position of Marketing Director. McKenna, according to his peers, has the skill to combine creative thinking with the commercial discipline required in his present role which he’s held for the past two years. An outstanding work ethic, great management style and an ability to generate a positive culture are other character traits associated with him. Working for an organisation like ACCO, which has seen so many changes, has been, in McKenna’s words “fantastic”. “From innovation across multiple product portfolios to the way we communicate with our consumers, it’s great to work in an industry so adaptive to change.”

Jiří Novotný

Head of Contract Sales, OFFICEO

Jiří Novotný joined Czech Republic-based OFFICEO in 2014 – then still under Office Depot Europe ownership – quickly climbing the career ladder to his current position as Head of Contract Sales which he assumed in 2021. He is well known in his organisation and beyond for his hard work, dedication and eagerness to succeed. Parent company PBS Holding, which bought the Czech and Slovakian subsidiaries of Office Depot Europe in 2019, recognised Novotný’s potential early on, placing him on its high potential training programme which is designed to prepare those with key skills and talent for future leadership roles. Novotný was also instrumental in the company‘s rebranding process – from Office Depot to OFFICEO – and the merger with PBS Holding’s Büroprofi.

Rasmus Olsen

Product Manager & Team Lead, Lomax

Rasmus Olsen has spent the majority of his career at Danish reseller Lomax – 15 years so far. He began working in the technology products department while still being a student. After completion of his formal education, he began working as a Product Manager, in charge of office supplies, packaging and creative products – a portfolio of more than 10,000 SKUs. In addition to this role, Olsen is also the Team Lead of Lomax’s online product specialists, which create all the content visible on the e-commerce websites in Denmark and Sweden. He has long been involved in industry organisation KONPA and earlier this year was elected as a board member. He clearly loves what he does: “I’m constantly challenged in my job, but feel that the decisions I make and the development I help create directly contribute to driving the company forward. That’s a good place to be.”

Jérôme Perhaut

Key Account Manager, Fellowes Brands

When Jérôme Perhaut joined Fellowes Brands in 2015, he was an intern with a Master’s degree from the EM Normandy International Business School. He had previously worked at Henkel, Staedtler and Deflecto and, in fact, had been “raised” in the business supplies industry as his father had managed Staedtler France. It was certainly enough to make him want to stay in our space and give it a go. And this he did very successfully. During his internship, Perhaut’s first responsibility was to participate in the commercial development of its air purification range in 2015. By 2017, he was an Account Manager and three years later he was promoted to Key Account Manager. He’s now responsible for the Amazon and Bureau Vallée accounts while also coordinating sales rep activities for the vendor’s expansive product portfolio in the OP, office furniture and IT categories.

Andy Richter

President, Richter Total Office

Having grown up in the family business, Andy Richter began his career at a young age working in the warehouse. In his high school days, he moved on to deliveries, before then taking on a sales role during college summer holidays. Following graduation, he was initially employed as an admissions counsellor at his alma mater, before taking the decision to move back to Pennsylvania and work for Richter Total Office full-time. His initial role was Sales Manager before being promoted to VP in 2017 and subsequently President in 2022. His current job is hugely diverse: he oversees the sales team and customer service department; handles equipment sales; monitors vendor relationships and manages key accounts. Despite these all-encompassing tasks, Richter wouldn’t have it any other way and is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the family business.

Claudia Roberti

Trade Marketing & Supply Chain Control Specialist, Avery

With a degree in management engineering, Italian Claudia Roberti began her professional career as an intern at Avery. In that role, she had the opportunity to learn and gain experience in different departments at the manufacturer – customer service, marketing and supply chain perspectives, for instance. Roberti is currently Trade Marketing & Supply Chain Control Specialist for Avery in Italy from where she liaises with customers in both Italy and Spain, and links sales needs to marketing objectives. She is regarded as a highly intelligent multi-tasker who, coupled with her excellent communication skills, is widely billed as a business leader of the future. And she relishes the challenge: “My job gives me the chance to combine processes and data analysis with creative and strategic solutions. And who doesn’t love stationery?”

Oliver Rowles

Customer Services Manager, Prima Software UK & Ireland

Software companies don’t often get a shout-out for individual achievement and excellence. Oliver Rowles at Prima Software very much deserves one, however. He joined the firm in 2014 as an 18-year-old apprentice. Since then, he has worked his way up to become UK & Ireland Customer Services Manager, reporting directly to the board. Over the past nine years and embracing ongoing training and professional development, Rowles has developed a rich understanding of the logistics and strategies of commercial stationers and the office products supply chain in general. Rowles is responsible for eight agents as part of the customer services team. His department not only troubleshoots users’ software issues, but also seeks to enhance their system usage through coaching and consultation.

Sam Rylands

Head of Marketing, Durable UK

Having worked in the education and defence sectors prior to joining the office products industry six years ago, Sam Rylands is currently Head of Marketing at Durable UK – a position she has held since 2022. As an experienced marketing leader, change manager and team builder, her primary role is to bring Durable’s wide range of workplace solutions to the UK market. In addition, she is a key contributor to leading change within both the business and the wider industry. This, she finds, is one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of her job. Rylands admits that prior to joining Durable, she didn’t know much about our sector, but quickly realised it was undergoing rapid transformation to meet new customer demands. Plenty of opportunity to implement ideas – exactly what she intends to do.

Bridget Smith

Director of Sales & Marketing, Innovative Office Solutions

As the Director of Sales & Marketing at Innovative Office Solutions, Bridget Smith has become a charismatic influencer who thrives on connecting people, ideas and resources to create maximum productivity. Smith – married to Max Smith (profiled below), son of company CEO Brooks Smith and the late Jennifer Smith – brings contagious energy to any dynamic environment and leads teams with a forward-thinking approach. Her passion extends beyond the business realm and into philanthropic endeavours, among them the InSports Foundation which encourages and helps children to participate in sports. She has also been involved with Essendant’s Young Professionals Group for several years. Smith is currently on maternity leave, having had her third child recently.

Max Smith

Account Executive, Innovative Office Solutions

Max Smith grew up in our industry and is part of the third generation of the Innovative Office Solutions family business. Starting with an internship back in 2010, Smith has over the past 13 years become one of Innovative’s top account executives. He thrives in a sales environment where he can use his in-depth knowledge of cross-category solutions to uncover client pain points and ultimately make them more successful. Smith, along with his wife Bridget, has also long been involved in philanthropic community efforts. Indeed, in 2013, while at Concordia College, he founded the InSports Foundation, a non-profit organisation that has since impacted many thousands of underprivileged children throughout the Midwest by providing free camps and financial assistance.

Alex Stone

Sales Director, Office Friendly

Alex Stone has shot through the ranks at Office Friendly over the past decade, from a junior marketeer to his current role as Sales Director. He first experienced the UK dealer group during his industrial placement as part of his degree before joining full-time in 2013. Over the next few years, he took every opportunity he could to learn and enhance his skills, transitioning into a business development role for the north-east of England. He steadily took on more responsibilities, with his remit always expanding to cover wider regional areas, plus several key accounts. He was promoted to Head of Sales before starting his current directorship role this year. And now he can’t imagine not being in our industry. “I’ve naturally gravitated to a position where I can collaborate and work with fantastic individuals and create real value,” he says.