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Janet Bell has been working in the office products sector for 22 years. She joined OPI in 2000, running its international events across Europe, Asia and the US. She became Director in 2006 following a management buyout and, along with the events, she now oversees OPI’s membership and marketing activities. In addition, she is a member of OPWIL (Office Products Women in Leadership) and is keen to support the role of women in the business supplies sector.
In 2017, Dave Bent became President of ES Tech Group, one of the fastest growing providers of B2B eCommerce solutions for distributors and manufacturers in North America and Europe.
Bent is a leader in driving B2B eCommerce enabled business change in both multi-billion dollar and SMB manufacturing and distribution companies. He has held CIO and Digital leadership roles spanning businesses that were early-stage manufacturing companies, wholesalers like Essendant, Fortune 100 companies like AVNET (the world’s largest distributor of sophisticated electronic components) and Ford Motor Company.
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Andy Braithwaite has been writing about the office products/business supplies industry for almost 20 years, first with France-based IS Guide/Sourcing Days and, since 2008, for OPI.
Born in the UK, Andy has been living abroad for more than 30 years, firstly in the Middle East – where he worked for the British Council – and then in France, where he has been based since 2000.
When not looking for the latest office products stories, Andy can be found walking in the Provence region, hacking his way round his local golf course or trying out new recipes on his Weber kettle BBQ.
John D’Agostino was formerly a partner with a boutique consulting firm focused on cultural development, leadership and operational excellence – and has been using that experience to further enhance GMi’s brands, channels, products and organisational agility in his role as company President.
As President & CEO, Harry has a responsibility to develop a growth strategy that drives an exceptional customer experience and a winning culture within Essendant, culminating in strong financial results. Harry brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in sales and operations in the distribution industry to Essendant. His extensive background also includes sales, marketing and operations leadership roles in the office products and industrial marketplace and experience with independent resellers, big box retail, e-commerce and business-to-business environments.
Prior to joining Essendant, he was EVP and COO of Lawson Products, responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations, including sales, marketing, customer service, operations, supply chain management, IT and human resources.
Previous to this, Harry spent more than 20 years in various management positions in sales and operations at Boise Cascade Corporation (now known as Office Depot/OfficeMax), including EVP of North America Contract Sales.
Boris Elisman is currently the Chairman, President and CEO of ACCO Brands. He joined the company in 2004 and held several regional and global leadership positions at the company before being named President and CEO in 2013. Prior to ACCO Brands, Boris spent 15 years at Hewlett-Packard, with increasing responsibility in senior management positions in the Printing and Imaging, Embedded Products and PC businesses.
Boris earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Brown University and an MBA from Stanford University. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Glenwood Academy and serves on the National Business Products Council for City of Hope.
Jordan Feiger is CEO of Victor Technology, a branded manufacturer of desk accessories, standing desks, clips, clipboards, calculators and desktop organization products. Victor’s primary brands, Officemate, Sharp calculators and Victor, are distributed throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.
Prior to acquiring Victor in 2006, Jordan was an executive at Navistar International Corporation for 21 years.
John Fellowes joined Fellowes Brands in 2001 and has managed various divisions of the manufacturer’s US and International business over the years. In 2012, John became President and in 2014 he assumed the role of President and CEO. He represents the fourth generation of the Fellowes family to lead the Chicago-based company. John builds upon a 100-year foundation and tradition with keen determination to keep its product offering refreshed and relevant for the ever-changing global market.
Chris Finn joined Schoen and Associates in 2007. He attended DePaul University in Chicago where he studied Business Management and Entrepreneurship. In his current role as VP Sales, Chris provides direction and support to the Schoen field sales team, as well as manages national/key accounts. His determination to make an impact on the office products industry is evident through his dedication and enthusiasm for the business.
Beth Freeman is EVP at independent office supplies dealer FSIoffice (Forms & Supply). Founded in 1962, Beth is a third generation owner at the privately-held company, where her focus is sales and marketing. Beth’s efforts are concentrated on growth of new product categories, as well as the use of technology to engage and acquire new customers.
Prior to joining ISG, Mike Gentile spent 17 years at Boise Cascade Office Products (now OfficeMax/Office Depot) where he held the positions of General Manager – New England, Director of Marketing and Director of Boise Technology. Mike is past Chairman of BPGI (Business Products Group International), the business products buying group. He also is a former member of the Board of Governors of NOPA (National Office Products Association).
He is graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Northwestern University. He resides with his wife Laura and three sons in Chicago, Illinois.
Gerardi-Schmid, Mary Victoria
Mary Victoria Gerardi-Schmid is VP International of German online and mail order business Printus Group.
David Guernsey is President & CEO of Guernsey, a multi-category reseller serving the mid-Atlantic states.
David has previously served as Chairman of Independent Suppliers Group, Chairman of Independent Stationers, NOPA/IOPFD, BPGI and Pinnacle Affiliates.
Nigel Gunn has been in the office products industry for more than 30 years, starting out as a sales representative for Nobo Presentation Products in the UK. Nigel then moved to Esselte and held various roles, including VP for Global Accounts and Regional VP UK and France.
In 2005, he took the role of Senior VP Sales Europe and International, responsible for Esselte’s 23 subsidiaries across Europe, as well as international sales in Asia Pacific, Africa, South America and the Middle East. After ACCO acquired Esselte in 2017, Nigel became SVP Sales EMEA for ACCO Brands.
Steve Haworth began his career in the office products industry at ISA in 1991, selling telex and fax rolls. Throughout his entire career, he has either been an employee, supplier or customer of one of the EVO Group companies.
After various roles at ISA, Kodak and Pitney Bowes, Steve accepted a position in the enlarged Vasanta Group as Managing Director of Supplies Team in 2009. He gradually widened his role to include responsibility for all of Vasanta’s trading channels and joined the Vasanta Board in 2012. After the acquisition and merger of the Vasanta and o2o businesses in 2014, Steve assumed the role of EVO Group’s Sales & Marketing Director. He was appointed Group CEO in 2016.
Steve Hilleard is CEO of leading trade media company OPI and is a 35-year veteran of the industry. Having established OPI as the industry’s most trusted media player, his focus is on the transformation of the company into the premier independent global provider of world-class integrated packages of print and digital media, marketing and sales resources, industry information, research and consulting as well as events in office products and adjacent categories.
Walter Johnsen is Chairman & CEO of Acme United. He was President & CEO from 1995 until 2007, before taking his current role. Over time, Acme has been transformed from an old-line manufacturer of scissors into a leading supplier of innovative cutting, measuring and safety products. Earlier in his career, Walter was the principal owner of Marshall Products, one of the largest global suppliers of blood pressure units, stethoscopes and other medical supplies.
Kevin Johnson is CEO of leading workplace solutions company, Warehouse Direct. He spent over ten years in the OP industry before leaving to join management consulting firm Bain & Company. After working in a wide variety of industries while at Bain, he returned to Warehouse Direct. Since then, Kevin has worked to transform the company from a mostly office supplies distributor into the most diverse provider of equipment, services, products and interiors for the workplace.
Clive Katz is CFO of Office Central, located near Toronto, Canada. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1966 and emigrated to Canada in 1977. Clive graduated from York University with degrees in Psychology and Business and received his CPA, CA designation in 1994. After a ten-year career as an auditor at KPMG, Clive joined the family business following the passing of his father. Office Central has grown to become one of the largest independent office products companies in Canada.
Eamon Kelly is a Senior Research Analyst for Edgewater Researcb and has spent over 17 years working in the industry covering consumer and e-commerce. Eamon started at FTN Midwest Research and then worked for Cleveland Research Company. His coverage in the past has included the automotive aftermarket, consumer electronics, footwear, health & beauty, home goods & furnishings, office supplies, recreation & power sports and sporting goods sectors.
Barry started his career in the commercial office products industry in 1978.
Since he joined Avery Dennison in 1983, he has held a variety of sales leadership roles in multiple channels throughout North America.
Jeff Lattanzio is VP of Sales for Avery Products Corporation. During his 17 years with Avery, Jeff has held several sales and channel management positions with increasing responsibility, and most recently was GM for the Asia-Pacific region based in Sydney, Australia. Prior to joining Avery, Jeff worked for Plantronics, Xerox, and Bausch & Lomb in sales management, marketing, and finance.
Mark Leazer has been in the office products industry for 35 years, the first 30 at AOPD dealer FSIoffice. After three years as a chemist with Rexham Corporation, he began with FSI, managing the IT department before moving into sales technology and sales management at its Office Products Division. In that role, he was heavily involved with AOPD as a dealer, having served on the AOPD board of directors for 15 years. In 2016, he assumed the role of AOPD Executive Director.
Mike Maggio has 40 years’ experience working in every channel of the industry, having started in 1978 working with his family, an independent dealer in southern New Jersey in the US.
He currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of S.P. Richards, having acquired the US wholesaler from Genuine Parts Company with Yancey Jones in June 2020.
Denis Mathieu is President and CEO of Novexco, a distributor of office supplies and equipment with five distribution centres across Canada. Prior to Novexco, Denis held the position of EVP of Corporate Services and CFO of Uni-Select, a publicly traded company active throughout North America in the distribution of automobile parts and accessories.
In 2011, he received the award of CFO of the year (category publicly traded company) from the Financial Executive Institute. He was also VP Acquisition at Groupe Transcontinental. Denis is a member and President of the board of directors of various foundations.
Cezary Monko joined global office supplies manufacturer Esselte in 1992 as Country Manager Poland. He then held various positions in the company’s international positions. Cezary was in charge of Esselte’s European Sales from 2002 to 2005, was appointed President of European and International in 2005 and then President & CEO of Esselte in 2014. After ACCO acquired Esselte in 2017, Cezary became ACCO Brands EVP and President ACCO Brands EMEA.
Clem Restaino has spent over 37 years in the office products industry, 32 of them at writing instrument manufacturer Zebra Pen. Clem began his tenure at Zebra in 1985 as a sales manager and was later promoted to VP Sales. In 2002, he was named President.
Clem has been an integral part of Zebra Pen’s growth and commitment to produce innovative and high quality stationery products. In recognition of this, in 2022, he was named an Executive Officer of the company’s global operations, the first time Zebra has bestowed this job title on an employee from a non-Japan-based subsidiary.
Since 2006, John Ringlein has been President and co-owner of Victor Technology, a branded manufacturer of desk accessories, standing desks, clips, clipboards, calculators, and desktop organization products. Victor’s primary brands, Officemate, Sharp calculators and Victor, are distributed throughout the US, Canada, and Latin America.
Richard Scharmann has been CEO of PBS Holding since 2008. PBS Holding is one of the leading distributors in Central Europe, providing services in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Italy. With headquarters in Austria, PBS Holding currently has 1,415 employees and achieved sales of €359 million in 2021.
His previous positions include VP Aircraft Engines at Bombardier Recreational Products.
Hans Schmid is owner and President of German online and mail order business Printus Group.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Fred Schoen, who founded the business in 1956, Kevin Schoen grew up in the business products industry. After studying business at the University of Southern Colorado, he returned to join the company in 1973. In 1978, when the company incorporated, he became VP, and when his father officially retired in 1992, Kevin became President and CEO. Since then, he has followed through with his mission to keep Schoen and Associates at the cutting edge of the industry.
Peter Tilearcio, a 30-year veteran in the pulp and paper industry, has held various sales and management positions in the envelope converting, paper manufacturing and merchant distribution channel. In April 2019, he joined Central National Business Products Group in a sales position working with the independent dealer community.
André Vasconcelos is CEO of global visual communications specialist Bi-silque. He started his career at Bi-silque at a young age, obtaining experience of every sector of the business, including production, sales and marketing. André has seen the company become a modern, world-leading business, based on modern management models. The entire business is underpinned with a strong emphasis on social and environmental responsibilities, together with innovative product development.
Dan Wagner is VP of Sales at The Smead Manufacturing Company. Dan has over 38 years of experience with Smead and is a well-respected expert in the industry, recognised for his sales and category management expertise.
Having started his career in 1980 at Smead headquarters in Hastings (MN), Dan has held a variety of positions over the years and held sales territory positions in Northern California and New England.
Beth Wright is a high energy, results-driven senior executive who currently serves as Chief Commercial Officer at Fellowes Brands. She is responsible for all market-facing aspects of Fellowes channels of business, including Business Products, Jan/San and Contract Furniture in the Americas.
As a 20+ year business products veteran, Beth is known as a people connector and growth driver of entrepreneurial initiatives. Business products and solutions is in her DNA! She began her career interning at her parents’ independent office products and furniture dealership in southern Virginia. Then, after graduating from East Carolina University, she began her career in sales as a key member of the National Accounts team at Daisytek International. By the age of 24, Beth had developed the company’s first outside sales force and grown her division to over $224 million. After her time with Daisytek, Beth spent five years as Director of Sales for Neoris, a business consulting division of CEMEX, followed by three years directing national accounts for binder, filing and forms manufacturer Cardinal Brands.
From 2007 until 2018, Beth served as Chief Commercial Officer, leading the global sales, marketing and customer service organisations for Bi-silque, the Portuguese visual communication manufacturer. During her time there, she was named Professional of the Year at the prestigious European Office Products Awards in 2017.
Beth is a past board member of OPWIL (Office Product Women in Leadership) and member of the National Association for Female Executives. Her achievements have been featured in the Dallas Business Journal and OPI magazine.
Beth currently splits her time between Boca Raton, Florida and Chicago, Illinois. She is married to husband Jonathan with two beautiful children, son Cameron (16) and daughter Caroline (12). Her passion for business development and women’s leadership has made her an asset to the office products industry, and invaluable to the organisations that have benefitted from her leadership. Her outside interests include travel, boating, pickle ball and wine tasting with friends.
Paul Yardley was appointed CEO of GNS Wholesale in October 2016, having previously been Chief Executive of news, books and convenience retailer WH Smith’s Australian operations. He has worked in the Australian retail sector since 2009, with a particular specialisation in business turnaround and performance improvement. Prior to relocating to Sydney, Paul worked in corporate finance in London with Deutsche Bank. He has a BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge.
Geoffrey Betts is the founder and owner of Stewart Superior, which began in 1995. The business supplies resellers of office supplies with niche and innovative products for today’s workplace. Stewart Superior recently opened a new warehouse in the US.
Guha Bhagavan specialises in embedding predictive insights into tools and processes used for day to day decision making by large groups of employees and customers. Over the past 15 years, he has developed and deployed 43 customised predictive solutions in six Fortune 500 companies across CPG, retail, hospitality, manufacturing and financial services.
As President of Global Distribution and NET1 Divisions, Brian Bowerfind is ECI’s catalyst. He passionately applies the knowledge he has acquired in his 25+ years of experience to drive positive change in products and functional teams.
In this role, Brian ensures that the Distribution Division’s operational activities support its customers and its strategic business goals. The Acsellerate, Britannia, DDMS, DDMSPLUS, Red Falcon and TeamDesign software products and surround solutions fall under his responsibility.
Marc Bürkle is Managing Partner at oddity group and CEO of Commerce Connector. He started his career in the office products industry as a product manager and e-commerce specialist. After several years, he decided to build his own company and joined his two current business partners about 12 years ago.
He has a clear picture of how brands and retailers need to reinvent their collaboration in the digital age and which digital trends will come to the Western world from China. Today the oddity group is an independent service provider for brands and retailers in the digital age with more than 250 specialists in Stuttgart, Berlin, Cologne, Belgrade, Taipei, and Atlanta. Clients include 3M, dm-drogerie markt, Disney, Beiersdorf, Bosch Powertools, Mammut, Mercedes, L´Oréal, Groupe SEB, Porsche, Red Bull, Trumpf, Scott and many more.
With a focus on growing online and offline sales through digital marketing and e-commerce projects across the globe, oddity group is known for constantly breaking new ground and continually challenging itself as well as existing approaches and process models.
Jim Cerkleski is Chairman for Clover Holdings, the industry leader in providing sustainable environmental solutions and high-quality imaging products. Jim is responsible for providing strategic vision and leadership for the company, as well as overseeing sales, business development and strategic alliance initiatives.
Jim has been instrumental in the record growth of three multi-million dollar businesses – all of which began at or near zero revenue. Shortly after graduating from Northern Illinois University, Jim founded Superior Office Products, which surpassed $15 million in sales within its first five years of operation. He subsequently sold Superior Office Products to US Office Products and became a divisional President. Soon after, Jim launched Superior Wireless to focus on the growing wireless market.
In 2000, he purchased 60% of Clover’s stock. Since taking the helm, Jim has led the company from a local imaging supplies remanufacturer to the global leader in aftermarket imaging supplies and recycling services. In 2006, Jim was awarded Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Manufacturing and Distribution for the Lake Michigan Area.
Sophie Carus is responsible for the conference programmes for OPI Events. Sophie has been working in a freelance capacity for OPI since 2008. Trading as Boston Events, Sophie is an event production specialist, with clients in the UK, Europe, North America and Japan. She has over 16 years’ experience in commercial research, event management, production and marketing, and has tackled a wide range of industry areas, including HR, finance, IT, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, manufacturing, education, healthcare and the environment.
At the beginning of 2018, Mark Cooper took up the role of President at Avery Products Corporation. Prior to this position he was VP/GM Europe & Asia Pacific. Mark had a six-year stint at envelope and packaging company Bong from 2007-2013. Before taking up the Managing Director position at Bong, Mark had spent 16 years at Avery in a variety of marketing and general management roles, before re-joining the company following its acquisition by CCL industries.
Gordon Christiansen is an Australian who was born in Denmark, lived in the UK for 27 years, and now lives in Atlanta. After leaving the family business in Fremantle, Australia, Gordon embarked on a career in sales and marketing with Pitney Bowes and Canon before investing in and running an office products and graphic arts dealership in London called London Graphic Centre.
He is passionate about getting corporate messaging 100% clear and how alignment between marketing strategy, execution and sales effort will enhance and accelerate market penetration. As a partner at Highlands he is responsible for the effective organisation of the business, as well as their strategic marketing and marketing services business.
de la Fuente, Isaac
Current founder and CEO of Supply Chimp, Isaac de la Fuente is a former K-6 teacher and Peace Corps volunteer. He established SupplyChimp.com as a side project in 2006 and has made the Inc 500 fastest growing companies list twice in the past decade. His e-commerce company is powered by work-from-home professionals across the globe.
Simon Drakeford is CEO of EO Group, incorporating Euroffice UK, Euroffice Italy, Euroffice Germany, UK Office Direct and Office Power. Since his appointment in 2007, Simon has led a change programme resulting in group sales increasing from £18 million to £40 million.
He also founded Office Power in 2013, a technology-led sales service solution designed and built specifically to support multichannel office products dealers, helping them to cut overheads and increase profitability. In 2015, Simon was awarded the Professional of the Year at the European Office Products Awards.
Ernst Faber has been CEO of COLOP since 1991. Based in Austria, COLOP is one of the leading manufacturers of modern stamps and marking devices. Earlier this year COLOP introduced a world first: the COLOP e-mark, an electronic-digital marking device for mobile printing.
With over 500 employees worldwide, COLOP has a sales presence in more than 120 countries and an export rate of more than 98%. The worldwide distribution network is strengthened by several COLOP-owned distribution branches or involvement in main markets.
James Fellowes is Chairman of the board of Fellowes Brands, one of Chicago’s oldest and largest family-owned businesses. He served 31 years as CEO and 45 years in executive capacity before 2014 when his son John succeeded him. He was a charter member of the National Business Products Council for City of Hope from 1982 and served as its Chairman.
Tia Frapolli is President, US Office Supplies at The NPD Group. The NPD Group can help you see what others cannot – the current realities and future possibilities for your industry, customers, and business. Through its unique data assets, industry expertise, and analytic solutions, NPD help you get the right products in the right places for the right people, giving you a winning advantage.
John Givens is founder and CEO of Source Office & Technology, who specialise in workflow solutions, workspace design, office supplies and office coffee solutions. Source Office & Technology supports clients with in-person services and expertise, leveraging strategic alliance partnerships with SP Richards, Hon, HP, Canon and Xerox. Source will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020.
Steven Glass currently serves as Managing Partner of Midwest Resource Group. Midwest Resource Group is a second-generation business that has expanded over the past decade from a regional sales company to a national service organisation.
Today, Midwest Resource Group provides sales, administrative, showroom and consulting services to their valued resellers and manufacturing partners. Its affiliate company, Incomar Services, provides content Strategy-Creation-Integration for today’s merchandising resellers. Partnering with his two brothers, an exceptionally dedicated and talented team provides great personal and professional enjoyment as Midwest Resource Group continues to thrive.
After working at The Clorox Company in a variety of marketing and general management roles, in 2013 Bob Hodan joined Hilroy, a leading manufacturer and distributor of school and office products in Canada, as President. After its merger with ACCO Brands in 2012, he served as President of the combined Canadian operation for five years.
At the beginning of this year, Bob joined Basics Office Products as its new President. Basics Office Products is a buying and marketing group that represents over 100 independent office supply dealers located across Canada.
Together with his brother, Tim Horton founded OfficeSupply.com in 2003 with the goal of offering customers a large selection, the lowest prices and top notch customer service. Sales volume has doubled every year since then to make the company one of the largest online office supply companies in the US. In 2009, Officesupply.com became one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest-growing privately held companies. Tim has served as a board member of NOPA since 2013.
Edward (Ted) Hoxie is President of Beatties Business Products, a company located in Ontario, Canada. The company has been in business since 1860 and sells a comprehensive range of business supplies including office products, technology, facilities supplies, cleaning and breakroom, office furniture and design. Beatties is MPS dealer for Canon and HP. Ted is currently Chair of the Basics Office Products board, Canada’s largest independent buying group.
Perry James has been President of the Hardlines Sector at NPD Group since 2013. The NPD Group helps clients see what other cannot – the current realities and future possibilities for their industry, their customers and their business. Through its unique data assets, industry expertise and analytic solutions, NPD helps get the right products in the right places for the right people, giving a winning advantage.
Christine Johnson spent seven years at Sara Lee before joining JM Smucker in 2016. In her current role as Regional Sales Manager Midwest Division Office Supply – OCS she has responsibility for:
- Managing and training Broker sales reps in key projects and initiatives
- Developing and executing office supply strategy
- Working within region to grow profitable segments of the business
- Spearheading development of a product information and attribute database specific to e-commerce
Christine was the group recipient of Smucker’s Founder’s Award for Outstanding Performance 2017-2018.
Kim Leazer has worked in her family-owned company since school and has experience in all aspects of the business. Kim took over sales and customer service in 1990 and worked to develop the sales technology side of the business as well as the customer service department. Growing and diversifying the product offerings of the organisation over the past ten years has also been a large focus. She now works alongside her brother, sister and daughter in the day-to-day management.
As Head of Americas Supplies Sales, David Lary is responsible for leading and managing all aspects of HP’s supplies sales across the US and providing supplies sales consultation in Canada and Latin America. David’s focus is to lead and develop continued growth in the printing and supplies category.
During his 25-year tenure at HP, David has served in a variety of leadership positions in sales, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing and business management, including separate international assignments in Ireland and Switzerland. Most recently, he served as VP, Americas Partner Development and Programs.
Todd Lipson has been involved in the office products industry for over 16 years. He joined HSM in early 2007 and has held the position of VP of Sales & Marketing since 2008, responsible for the US and Canada. Prior to joining HSM, he held a variety of management, strategic and sales positions with both Corporate Express and Office Depot.
Aidan McDonough is CEO of Integra Business Solutions, a leading dealer group in the UK’s Office and IT supplies industry. Aidan is responsible for the overall financial performance and budget planning process for Integra. Working alongside dealers and suppliers, he ensures a consistent focus on key stakeholders and the strategic direction of the organisation in conjunction with the board and executive team. Aidan is also chairman of Business Products Groups International (BPGI), of which Integra is a member.
An award-winning veteran of the office-products industry, with three decades of experience, Jay Mutschler provides ESG clients with the practical leadership and accountability they need to propel forward.
He is an outstanding networker and impact-driven professional, who is sought after on a global scale for his precision in high-growth markets. Organic revenue growth and rightsizing infrastructures are among Jay’s many strategic specialties. Investor relations is another, as is platform integration, high-profile acquisitions, and B2B, sales and e-commerce. And perhaps most importantly, giving the people and companies he works with the perspective required to fuel transformative change in operations, process, technology and culture.
Before joining ESG, Jay spent 15 years with Corporate Express/Staples, most recently as VP of International Businesses and President of Staples Australia/New Zealand. Jay served as the President of US Office Products as well as EVP for Office Depot.
Mark Newhall is founder and CEO of US-based management consultancy ESG. Mark has worked continuously in the office products space since 1986, and served for 14 years as a senior strategy executive with Corporate Express, leading the integration in both North America and Europe of CE’s extensive portfolio of acquired companies.
Since 2008, ESG has engaged with the senior executive teams of Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Target, Gordon Food Service, Caesars Entertainment and SP Richards.
Marc Nijhof has been active in the industry for over 27 years, having joined Despec in 1991. In 2002, Marc was appointed Commercial Director at Dexxon Data & Media Storage, before joining Ahrend Office Products as Sales Director two years later. In 2006, he moved to Alpha International, starting as Commercial Director before being promoted to Managing Director in 2010. After ALSO Holding acquired Alpha International in 2014, Marc was also appointed as SVP for ALSO CoC (Center of Competence Print & Supplies).
René Nuñez heads DC Mayorista, an office and IT products wholesaler based in Mexico. Under his leadership, the company has experienced continued growth and has expanded its product line to include jan/san, furniture and electronics. 80% of sales are made through a B2B website and the company gives logistical support to major Mexican value-added resellers. The group has successfully launched Pedidos.com, which is aimed at the SOHO market to compete with major retail stores.
Brad O’Brien is CEO of Office Choice, Australia’s leading and longest-established office products dealer group. Since joining the business in late 2012, he has used his business prowess and vision to drive the group to six consecutive years of growth.
More recently, he oversaw the recruitment of newsagent dealer group Officesmart and the finalisation of exclusive private label ranges Stat, an entry level commodity product offering, and Bibbulmun, an Indigenous-branded workplace supplies range where part of the proceeds are channelled to the Bibbulmun Charitable Fund. In August, in conjunction with wholesale partner GNS, they facilitated the launch of OPIX, a combined conference and supplier expo programme for independent stationers and newsagents.
On an international scale, Brad was instrumental in the 2018 formation of International Office Products Alliance (iOPA), a coming together of leading dealer groups in the USA, Canada, UK, South Africa and Australia, who share a focus on best practice, product sourcing and business modelling.
Jim O’Brien began his career at Champion/McKesson Office Products in 1973, before joining SP Richards Company in 1987 as General Manager. He held various positions during his 30 years at the company, including Division VP, VP of Dealer Development, SVP of Marketing, and ultimately EVP of Operations. Jim retired from SP Richards earlier this year.
In 2017, Ric Phillips was appointed President & CEO of Essendant, having begun his career at the company in 2013. Previously he served as Group President of Industrial Essentials and President of ORS Nasco. In this role, he was responsible for the oversight of the ORS Nasco Industrial, Medco Automotive and CPO Commerce businesses.
Prior to that, he served as President, Online & New Channels for Essendant, where he had responsibility for the company’s e-commerce business, and for building the company’s online capabilities across the enterprise. Before joining Essendant, Ric spent 14 years at McKinsey & Company in Chicago and six years at Baxter Healthcare.
Jim Porter is President and majority owner of Office Essentials. Office Essentials was founded in 2001 by a small group of individuals spinning off from BT/Corporate Express. The company has locations in St Louis, Kansas City, and Columbia Missouri, and primarily services Missouri, south Illinois, and Kansas.
Matt Petersen is an industry leader who has spent 30 years in the software sector, with a laser focus for the last 15 years on wholesale distribution management and business processes. Matt has held senior industry roles in the US and Latin America at SAP and Microsoft defining enterprise solutions to help wholesale distributors with their digital transformation journey.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Illinois and a Certificate of Distribution Management from Texas A&M University. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and being a wrestling referee for USA Wrestling.
Colin Puckett is Head of Seller Marketing for Amazon Business, responsible for strategy and programmes that help prospective, new and existing sellers take advantage of the tools, features, and sales opportunities stemming from Amazon’s expansion into B2B and the growing population of business buyers on the marketplace.
A member of the original launch team, he leads the strategic direction of all seller-facing marketing channels, and is especially focused on increasing programme awareness through demand generation, field marketing and industry engagement opportunities. Prior to joining Amazon, Colin spent over a decade in the industrial manufacturing and distribution spaces, most recently in the global engine and power generation industry.
Sam Richardson is VP & GM for the Americas Channel at Fellowes Brands. He joined Fellowes in 2016 and manages the Americas business comprising of Canada, US, Mexico and South America countries. His responsibilities include full strategic channel design and P&L management for all sales and subsidiaries in the Americas, direct ownership of Fellowes go-to-market strategy, channel partnerships and financial strength.
Prior to joining Fellowes Brands, Sam held various positions at HP, including VP & Head of Inside Sales and VP of Sales for HP’s US supplies organisation. Prior to joining HP, Sam worked at Lexmark International for three years and International Paper for eight years.
John Rouse has over 30 years of experience in the office products industry. Most recently, he has been leading the North America MasterVision unit of Bi-silque Visual Communication Products.
John started his office products career in business development with the Hammermill Paper division of International Paper, eventually becoming VP and GM of The Legacy Division. John is best known in the office products industry for his nearly 20 years with the GMI Companies. His positions at GMI included SVP of Ghent Manufacturing visual communication products, and also Group President of the furniture products division.
In addition to his management positions in the industry, John has also counselled companies in the office and education products industries during his consulting roles with Risdon Associates and PRO Advisory. He has served on several association boards including as President of the Office Products Manufacturers Association when it was a unit of the Business Products Industry Association.
Biagio Sarich is a Senior Business Development Manager with Amazon Business. Amazon Business is a new marketplace on Amazon.com with features that bring Amazon’s selection, convenience and value to businesses. Specifically, Biagio looks after the office category by developing supplier relationships that improve the customer experience and create new growth channels for selling partners.
Joe Schaefer has spent over a decade in e-commerce. During that time, he has built up online advertising and sales for both Fortune 500 and Internet Retailer Top 500 companies, including Microsoft, Sears, and now OfficeSupply.com.
Since joining OfficeSupply.com in 2011, it has rebranded (formally DiscountOfficeItems.com), expanded its assortments, re-platformed, and introduced data modelling strategies. This all has been accomplished while still maintaining double-digit growth each year.
Thomas Schinkel is an internationally recognised business adviser who works with large and medium-size businesses on strategic issues that include cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and international business development. He has helped establish and co-found several companies and he has served on the board of companies in the software industry, the business products industry and in the medical device industry.
Kenneth Schroeder began working in the office products industry in 1987 when he joined Evans Office Equipment. He purchased the copier division from Evans in August 1991 and later purchased Friends Office Products in December 1994. The two companies were combined in 1995 to become FriendsOffice, which has grown to five locations covering most of Ohio.
Schulman, Jennifer Rae
Jennifer Rae Schulman, President of Fortune Web Marketing, wears many hats, including mother, mentor, dynamic entrepreneur and community advocate. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary, her company Fortune Web Marketing, an online marketing agency, employs over 15 people between their headquarters in Asbury Park, NJ and their west coast location in Los Angeles, CA. Often sought out for speaking engagements worldwide, Jennifer is passionate about educating others regarding online marketing, entrepreneurship and community advocacy. She has also recently had the honour of being named one of the Top Women in Business for 2018 in New Jersey (United States) and was recently interviewed for Oprah and Entrepreneur magazines.
Joe Templet was recruited right out of college in 1968, by Procter and Gamble, to work in the Consumer Paper Products business. He joined Polaroid Corporation in 1973 before moving to the Parker Pen Company in 1982. United Stationers Supply Company recruited Joe in 1985 to serve as VP of Sales, Johnson & Staley, a large writing instrument, art supplies and college bookstore products supplier. Through the years, he held various positions at United Stationers, which rebranded as Essendant. Joe’s current role is SVP, Trade Development.
During his career at United Stationers/Essendant, he has been actively involved in industry associations and has been involved with the City of Hope for 30 years. In 2013, he was the recipient of the first City of Hope Hall of Fame Award, in 2016, he received the prestigious Spirit of Life Award, and earlier this year he was awarded the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from the BSA.
Kevin Toale currently serves as VP, National Distribution for the GP Professional business. Kevin has been with GP for 21 years and has held previous leadership roles in several channels in the Professional Division as well as National Sales Manager for the Communication Papers business. Prior to joining GP, Kevin spent 17 years in various roles at International Paper, with the most recent assignment as GM of a corrugated container facility in Cincinnati.
Rick Toppin has a long, extended career in the office products industry. He spent the first 19 years with Moore Corporation in the printing and print management side of the industry. In 1999, Rick joined Corporate Express as a Division President, responsible for its business in the upper Midwest.
In 2005, he was promoted to President of Corporate Express Canada before returning to the US in 2007 as its Region President. He joined SP Richards in late 2008 as EVP, Sales & Marketing, and was promoted to President & COO in 2010. In January 2017, he became CEO. Toppin was the 2018 Spirit of Life Honouree for the City of Hope.
After a ten year career as GM with electronics company Akai, Gavin Ward moved to enter franchised buying groups supporting independent retailers as CEO, growing from electronics to a diverse range of 14 industries including music, books, video, computers, jewellery and more.
In 2012, after 22 years, he left and joined Office Brands, supporting 170 franchised members across Australia with turnover of A$360 million. Office Brands operates under Office National, Office Products Depot, Office Power and O’Net. Stores vary in size and skill and the purpose is to support and grow profitable and sustainable independent members with the best technology and marketing solutions.
Crystal Washington works with organisations that want to leverage technology to increase profits and productivity. As a technology strategist and certified futurist, Crystal takes complex social media, app and web topics and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people.
Crystal’s clients comprise Fortune 500 companies including Google, Microsoft and GE. As a sought-after keynote speaker she has entertained and educated audiences around the globe. Crystal has appeared in numerous publications including Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek and Forbes and is regularly called on by major television networks as a tech expert.
Crystal is the author of the books One Tech Action: An Efficiency Guide for Busy Non-techie Professionals to get More Done, Build Better Relationships, and Enjoy More Free time and The Social Media Why: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business.
With almost 30 years of industry experience, Greg Welchans has served in senior management positions throughout the supply chain in both the office products and distribution industries. With retail, B2B and software experience, Greg joined Distribution Management in 2001 as the Director of Marketing.
Through the years he has progressed through senior management and in 2005 was promoted to President and CMO. Distribution Management is a recognised leader in their industry and is well known for excellence in service while utilising technology to keep a competitive position.
Dolph Westerbos has over 15 years of CEO and executive management experience. He held various executive management positions at large multinational-listed companies around the world, with a focus on B2B sales and services such as supply chain, technology and asset management. Prior to joining Staples Solutions, he was CEO of Westcon Group (trading as Westcon-Comstor), a global technology distributor providing solutions in cyber security, networking and communications. He has also held executive management positions at Brambles-CHEP, Dell, and ModusLink.
Jim Wheeler spent eight years at the cutting edge of cyber security for the UK Government and to date, he is the only person to qualify and work as a security specialist in cybersecurity, electronic security, digital forensics and data acquisition.
Working in counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and counter-proliferation of WMDs, Jim has a unique understanding of cybercrime. He helped launch and run the first Cyber Academy in the UK and co-wrote and delivered the first executive cyber awareness course certified by GCHQ and was a GCHQ-certified trainer.
Jim has briefed and trained many C-level executives including over 350 executives of FTSE 100 companies and has managed fast-paced responses to international cyber incidents. He left Deloitte as its Head of Cyber Culture and Behaviour to become the founder and CEO of ReSolve Cyber, which delivers discreet cybersecurity services to businesses and private clients.