To assist with your preparations for the Global Forum please see below profiles of your fellow attendees. Or you can download a pdf of the profiles here: GF2019 Profiles
Download a copy of the Global Forum 2019 programme.
Ric Andersen is Vice President and General Manager of Sales for the HON Company, the largest operating company within HNI Corporation’s Commercial Furniture Group. Throughout his career at HNI, Ric has served in various market-facing leadership roles across the HNI Corporation.
Ric has also lived and worked domestically and internationally for Maytag, Delta Faucet and True Temper in executive leadership positions.
He is active in his community and currently serves on the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Management & Entrepreneurship Advisory Council, the University of Iowa’s School of Marketing Board Advisory Board and on advisory boards for several industry trade organizations.
Ric graduated from from University Iowa with a Bachelor of Political Science and a Certificate in International Business. He has an MBA from the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Business and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the University of Chicago. Ric is a Veteran, having served as an Intelligence Analyst and Cryptographic Warfare Specialist with the United States Army’s 10th Special Forces Group.
Casey Avent is President of The Smead Manufacturing Company and the fourth family member to lead the firm during its 110 years. Casey began his career at Smead Manufacturing in 1996 and has held a variety of positions over the years. After starting his career in marketing, he moved into the sales department as a territory sales representative in the North Texas area. In 2007, he accepted a position on the operations side of the business as Director of Supply Chain and then spent several years as National Account Manager for the company’s S&W Manufacturing division in Florence, South Carolina.
In 2013, Casey returned to Smead headquarters in Minnesota as VP of Sales and was subsequently promoted to VP of Sales & Marketing. In 2016, he succeeded Sharon Avent as President of Smead Manufacturing.
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.
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.
Brad Beckman recently joined the Smead organisation as COO and EVP having served on its board for five years. His role is focused on business transformation, including leveraging the recent acquisition of U Brands and expanding the traditional Smead brand.
Brad is an experienced global finance executive. He is also an accomplished and versatile senior leader with extensive domestic and international experience in the manufacturing, retail, and direct marketing industries. He has a history of solving complex business problems while focusing on growing enterprise value.
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.
Chris Exner joined OPI in August 2018 as Chief Commercial Officer and has responsibility for delivering growth in several key areas of the OPI business.
Aside from a three-year spell working in wealth management, Chris has spent almost his entire career in sales and market development within the OP sector, including 17 years at Esselte, now part of ACCO Brands, where his most recent position was VP Sales Asia. Prior to that he held a number of roles at Esselte, including VP Sales Europe, VP Western Europe & Managing Director UK, and VP European Accounts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tom Tedford is currently the President and Chief Operating Officer of ACCO Brands.
Tom joined the company in 2010 as Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Product Development, became Executive Vice President and President of ACCO Brands US Office and Consumer Products in 2013 and was named Executive Vice President and President, North America in 2018. In September 2021, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer.
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.
Denise Vivas is responsible for expanding Essity Professional Hygiene’s multi-million dollar e-commerce business across North America and Europe, leading the company’s digital transformation and ultimately advancing the Tork brand position on the digital shelf.
Denise is a visionary e-commerce executive, providing decisive and transformational leadership to top-performing organisations for nearly 20 years. She is at her best with business challenges that require an entrepreneurial approach, disruptive change and disciplined execution. Before joining Essity, she held positions with Wilton Brands, The Hershey Company, Woodstream Corp and Ryder Logistics.
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.
Robert Baldrey has worked in the business supplies industry for over 25 years.
He has held many leadership roles in finance and general management, including CFO of Spicers, where he was instrumental in building a £750 million pan-European wholesale business. He was CEO of EVO Group for six years and led the creation of the UK’s largest multichannel distributor through the merger of Vasanta and office2office.
After leaving EVO in 2016, Robert set up his own consulting company, Prism Advisory and now works on an interim basis in general management and turnaround. He was Managing Director of Staples UK and Ireland for 18 months and has just started a new role assisting Office Depot with its EU7 Contract Division.
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.
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.
Sarah joined Supplies Network in 2001 and has held several positions over the years; advancing within the sales team before taking on the role of MPS Program Advisor where her expertise and leadership were key to accelerating MPS growth.
In 2012, Sarah was promoted to MPS Solutions Manager leading a team of solutions advisors responsible for MPS engagements and ultimately equipment sales and related services. Currently serving as Director of Services and Solutions, Sarah leads a team of MPS solutions advisors, equipment advisors, contract coordinators, fulfilment analysts and a technical operations team focused on break-fix service and software solutions. Additional responsibilities include providing critical direction and design of program enhancements and vendor integrations.
Sandy Douglas joined Staples Inc as CEO in April 2018. Prior to taking this position, he had been with Coca-Cola for 30 years with the last 12 as President of the company’s $10 billion North American division.
During his time at Staples, Sandy has already overseen several significant acquisitions, the biggest of which was OP wholesaler Essendant earlier this year. Other deals have included the purchase of document imaging technology dealer DEX Imaging and one of the largest independents in the US, HiTouch Business Services.
Marshall Eubanks began his 30-year career in business with Schleicher & Co of America working within the engineering side of the company, overseeing the service and technical support teams. He then moved into sales, including management, effectively growing sales in his given territories.
In 2004, Marshall joined HSM of America, managing industrial and internet sales. He eventually moved into product management working with both sales and engineering departments to grow sales and bring innovative products to market. He also has sales management responsibilities for several key accounts.
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.
Mike Goetz is a senior associate and Senior Project Designer with HOK. With a decade’s worth of design experience in the corporate workspace, hospitality and higher education, he excels at creating highly functional and efficient environments that are also unique, colourful and inspirational.
Mike’s interiors work has been featured in several publications, most notably in Interior Design magazine with the May 2016 cover story showcasing the Pritzker Group’s Los Angeles Headquarters; the November 2018 issue with California Institute of Technology’s Ronald and Maxine Linde Hall of Mathematics and Physics; and the May 2017 issue with Alibaba Pictures. Other notable projects include The Trade Desk in Los Angeles and Irvine, Beachbody Technology in Santa Monica and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion in Los Angeles.
As a thought leader, MIke has been quoted in several publications and spoken on panels to discuss workplace design and employee engagement. He earned a Batchelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University and a Master of Architecture degree from Parsons.
Toni Green has worked in the office products industry and Essendant for over 22 years. Beginning her career in IT, she leverages her deep technical expertise and strategic firepower to lead all things digital within Essendant’s marketing team. She is responsible for the following key components of Essendant’s digital solutions:
• Digital services: Develops and drives the roadmap of services to create a seamless online buying experience our resellers are able to adopt on their ecommerce websites.
• Rich content: Manages the rich content for Essendant’s broad assortment; marketing copy, images, videos, attributes, categorisation and more.
• Content and pricing syndication: Creates monthly content syndications for our customers and 3PVs via monthly files or custom price files via ICAPS.
• Publishing: Works with print production to create publishing files for our catalogues, flyers and other print materials.
• MarCom technology stack management: Researches, evaluates and manages the technology stack relationships to power Essendant’s digital services.
• 3PV Integrations: Manages the business relationships with strategic eCommerce and ERP technology partners that serve Essendant’s reseller customer base.
Toni is passionate about enabling technology to help businesses succeed in an ever-changing industry and looks forward to bringing innovative solutions to enable continued customer success.
Mark Harper started his business career with Canon UK, first in fax and then copier sales covering several London territories before moving into sales management.
Over 20 years with Canon other positions included marketing and sales training and four years running a systems integration division before becoming General Manager for London and finally Operations Director.
Following a move to the North of England, Mark became Managing Director of Trotec UK, a subsidiary of Austrian laser cutting and engraving systems manufacturer. After a brief foray into renewable energy, he now runs UK Office Technology Sales for HSM and is currently seconded to HSM of America, based in Pennsylvania.
Simone Hindmarch went into business with her brother Arthur and his university friend Alastair in 1991. Previously, Simone and Arthur’s father ran a thriving stationery and office equipment group, but sadly, just as it was gearing up for growth, the recession of the late 80s hit.
The company was put into receivership in 1991, so Simone, Arthur and Alastair stepped up to the challenge and relaunched as Commercial Group. At that time, they focused exclusively on B2B stationery, copiers and office furniture, starting life in a one-room, one-phone office.
Fast-forward to 2019, and the business now employs almost 300 people across three locations and offers a broad portfolio including IT services, managed print services, print, workwear, interiors and technology as well as office supplies. Simone is responsible for steering the business ethos towards a more sustainable stance following her ‘Al Gore moment’ in 2006. In 2018 the business won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development.
Simone competed as an international swimmer from the age of 15, winning two gold medals in the World Student Games and another for the UK at the 1986 Commonwealth Games.
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.
Tonya Horn entered the office products industry in 2011 when she purchased Rogards from her father. Since that time, she has become highly involved in the industry, including serving as the Chairman of the board of directors for Independent Suppliers Group in 2018-2019, and continuing as a board member of the cooperative today.
At Rogards, Tonya’s focus is on setting the strategic direction for the company, creating a cohesive leadership team, and making sure the company’s vision and core values are shared and understood by all employees throughout the organisation. Prior to acquiring Rogards, Tonya had experience in marketing, sales, and merchandising in the publishing, hobby, and advertising industries. She is a 2001 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
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.
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.
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.
Brendan Lane is the President of Highlands’ Canadian division and founder of Lane Sales and LS Logistics.
Brendan has 30 years of industry experience and his time is spent leading the joint team at the three companies, and growing the business of the manufacturers they represent in Canada.
David has more than 25 years of experience in the OP sector having created and managed leading dealer groups in the UK. He now utilises his skills and experience across a number of industry sectors as Sales and Marketing Director of Focus7 International, the branding and digital marketing agency he co-founded in 2015. David is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, has been a non-Executive Director of the BOSS Federation for more than ten years, is a Liveryman of the Stationers’ Company and a past President of the Society of Old Friends.
Michael Lasser is a Managing Director and a Senior Research Analyst following the Hardline/Broadline and Food Retail sectors at UBS. He has been ranked in the top three of the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team surveys since 2014.
Earlier in his career, Michael worked at Lehman Brothers/Barclays Capital where he focused on the Specialty Chemical and Education Services sectors. Prior to that, he worked in management consulting at Deloitte for three years. Michael holds an MBA degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a BS degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a CFA charterholder.
Andrew Mawson is one of Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) founding directors and holds the executive position of Managing Director. He’s a leading pioneer, thinker and speaker on matters ‘work and place’. He has the extraordinary ability to span the worlds of business strategy, organisational design, workplace strategy, workplace design and change management.
In his consulting work, he has led workplace change management programmes with respected clients including Invesco, Unicef UK, Willis Towers Watson, Direct Line Group, National Rail, Royal Bank of Scotland, Merrill Lynch, BUPA and Interserve.
In 2014, Andrew worked with the UK Cabinet Office as an adviser, participating in a review of 13 government departments’ performance in implementing ‘agile working’ as part of the government’s Civil Service Reform programme. This programme has been instrumental in reducing the UK Governments property portfolio by 20%.
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.
As Director of Interiors, Sarah Oppenhuizen oversees conceptual design, programming, space planning, finish and furniture selection, design and detail development, site inspections and construction administration for HOK Chicago’s interior design projects.
She has over ten years of expertise in managing the design, documentation and implementation processes for corporate office projects. Sarah excels as a project manager with outstanding communication skills, and is committed to exceeding client expectations.
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.
Jon Rossman has been with Chuckals since 2010, where he started as a salesperson with the company. He has since served as Sales Manager, VP and is now the current owner and President.
Jon currently oversees all facets of the business, including supporting his employees and providing customers with world class service and products. Paired alongside of his passion for Chuckals is his desire to partner with small businesses to create a better South Sound region.
Jon sits on many boards that support his interests for making the South Sound the best place to work and play and has served as Treasurer for the Emergency Food Network of Pierce County since 2016. He also serves as chair of the South County branch of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce along with co-chair of the Chambers leadership imperative.
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.
Jonathan Smith has held the position of VP Sales Europe at Avery since 2001. Prior to this, he was Sales Director at Avery Office Products UK for nine years. Jonathan’s career in office products began in 1981, when he joined 3M Office Products in the UK. He worked at 3M for ten years where he held various sales and marketing roles.
Ken Smith has worked at Deflecto Consumer Products for five years and is currently VP and General Manager. He has been in the office products industry for over 17 years, 11 of which were spent at United Stationers (now Essendant) where he progressed through the ranks to Group VP Western Division.
Ken also spent time as an independent dealer with Sun Office Products and is an active participant with City of Hope.
Tim Stanislaus is a senior business development leader at Amazon Business. Before this role, he led vendor and product management teams focusing on Amazon’s industrial chemicals and professional healthcare categories.
Prior to Amazon, Tim worked as the VP of Business Development at ChemPoint, a Univar company focusing on e-commerce solutions for chemicals manufacturers. Tim holds a MBA from the University of Washington and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Colorado.
Ray Stasieczko has called the imaging channel home for nearly 30 years. In that time, he has owned and operated dealerships, served in senior leadership roles and offered consulting services to dealers looking to transition. He is now CEO of TEASRA, The Innovation Channel.
Ray was a pioneer in both the managed print and the managed IT services deliverables and is well known in the imaging industry. He has contributed nearly 100 articles to the industry’s publications and spoken at the RT Media Summits in Cairo, South America and China.
Recently at ITEX, he spoke to a standing room only crowd regarding his thoughts on the Staples-DEX acquisition, a deal type Ray predicted a year earlier. He continues to challenge the status quo with his End of the Day with Ray video series posted daily on YouTube and LinkedIn where he has over 18,000 followers.
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.
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.
Fiona Zwinkels has worked in various sales and marketing disciplines in the IT and consumer electronics sectors. She now leads sales and marketing at Safescan in the role of Commercial Director, having moved into the office products industry three years ago when joining Safescan as European Sales Director.
Safescan is a global company committed to providing businesses with secure cash handling and employee time management. Dedicated to helping businesses increase their efficiency and profit, its full range of money and time solutions are designed with exacting standards providing the highest level of proficiency, quality and trust.