5 minutes with…

Wendy Pike, President, Twist Office Products

Describe what you do in about 20 words. 

I help people succeed – customers in their businesses, buyers to be effective and my employees to be their best.

What was you first full-time job?

Working in the stationery department of Dayton’s department store in Minnesota. It was destiny.  

What was your worst job?

Working food service in college – but I did get to save on groceries.

Best moment in your career?

Retiring at 37 was pretty awesome, but I believe the best is yet to come.

Worst moment in your career?

I refuse to dwell on them. You can’t have success without a failure here or there.

Which industry figure do you admire?

Sharon Avent, President and CEO of Smead. She and her mother Ebba Hoffman forged a way for women in an industry that was male dominated.

Your favourite office product?

Neon post-it notes – although the Zenergy chair is a close second.

What do you like best about the OP industry?

The people. We have made such great friends throughout the industry from dealers to wholesalers, manufacturers and more – not just across the US but also overseas.  

What advice would you give to someone who has joined the OP industry?  

The industry is like the Eagles song Hotel California – “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave”. On a serious note – don’t be afraid to take chances and think outside the box.

What is your scariest travel experience?

My husband Chip blew out an eardrum scuba diving in the Virgin Islands. They thought he had the bends and almost put him in the decompression chamber. Luckily, there was a dive master at the hospital who diagnosed the ear right before they put him in.

What is your favourite event?

The SP Richards ABC convention is always a highlight in my year.

What is the biggest single factor affecting the OP industry?

In the independent channel it’s keeping up with technology such as e-commerce and back-end operations.

Which two famous people would you invite to dinner?

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandburg – who is a great inspiration as a woman leader – and TV host Ellen DeGeneres. I don’t agree with DeGeneres on everything, but I admire how she has not conformed and been successful. Plus, she makes me laugh and we could dance.

If you had to sing karaoke next weekend, which song would you choose?

Stuck like glue by Sugarland. I’m all about office supplies.

Your favourite TV Show?

Shark Tank. I love seeing the entrepreneurs and their ideas. My favourite is when they do an update and you can see where they have taken their businesses.