Event Review: Fellowes 100 years

As iconic OP manufacturer Fellowes Brands marks a whole century in business, OPI was one of many guests that joined the celebrations in September.

Founded in Chicago in 1917, Fellowes has evolved from being a small speciality manufacturer of file boxes for the banking sector to a leading global vendor of business products. Operating out of Itasca (IL), the company continues to be a privately-owned business and is now run by the fourth generation of the Fellowes family. 

Customers and business partners came from all over the world to join the festivities, with guests from as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, including Office Depot-owned stationery wholesaler Croxley. A broad selection of European partners also made the trip, including some familiar faces from the likes of SPOT Group, Staples Solutions, ADVEO and Hedera.

The next chapter 

CEO of Fellowes Brands, John Fellowes, paid tribute to the firm’s dedicated customers and business partners. He said: “Our Centennial Summit was a wonderful opportunity to thank our business partners who have helped us achieve this milestone. It also provided us with a unique opportunity to share our innovation and branding strategy to kick off the next 100 years.” 

John Fellowes delivered a strategic vision presentation where he detailed the company’s history and unveiled significant new product categories. 

Fellowes has already made a name for itself as a thought leader in the wellness category and the audience was given a sneak preview of some of the new lines expected to be launched in the next 18 months or so.

The CEO also talked about a significant upcoming investment in the company’s branding and image, as Fellowes Brands sets itself up to increase its market leadership and reposition the brand for the future. 

On the final day of the event, attendees were invited on a tour of Fellowes Brands’ corporate headquarters where they had the chance to experience an Innovation Open House, which featured hands-on interaction with newly introduced models and prototypes of noteworthy 2018 product launches. Strategic customer and vendor breakout meetings also occurred throughout the morning. 

Giving back

Framing the more business-oriented side of the celebrations were some fabulous leisure activities, all designed with a higher-purpose objective. One of the highlights was the golf day at the world-famous Medinah Country Club. Around 220 guests participated in the Centennial Summit Golf Outing, held to raise money for cancer treatment and research centre City of Hope. Two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson offered an hour-long group golf demonstration followed by a Q&A.

The festivities culminated in a dinner at the Medinah Country Club for 350 attendees. The evening featured a moving presentation by former COO Peter Fellowes and a touching speech by Chairman James Fellowes himself. All round, there was a lot of energy and goodwill in the room from customers, partners and colleagues alike. It was a pleasant and fitting end to the celebrations, and a memorable way to see in a new century for Fellowes.