We Created This Summit For Distributors… Like You

Looking for that catalyst of change?

UnleashWD inspires you to think differently, and provides a framework to push boundaries and try new things.



Speakers printprint

A great diversity of storytellers who deliver a wealth of new ideas and show what innovation really looks like

Andrew Berlin
Andrew Berlin

South Bend Silver Hawks

Anything Is Possible is the motto by which Andrew leads both his companies and his life....Read more >

Jay Rogers
Jay Rogers

CEO & Co-Founder
Local Motors

Jay has created a business that harnesses an online community of enthusiasts who act as . . .Read more >

Shama Hyder
Shama Hyder

Marketing Zen Group

Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age. . . . .Read more >

Lynn Casey
Lynn Casey


Lynn Casey sees how creativity, collaboration and culture re-energizes today’s global economy, and your business. Read more >

Gary Shapiro
Gary Shapiro

President & CEO
Consumer Electronics Association

Gary Shapiro is on the forefront of innovation....Read more >

Dr. Jay Parkinson
Dr. Jay Parkinson

Co-founder and CEO

Dr. Jay Parkinson re-imagines a business model of the future....Read more >

David Houle
David Houle

Author, Entering The Shift Age

David Houle is considered one of the pre-eminent futurists in the world today...Read more >

Barbara Trautlein
Barbara Trautlein

PhD, Principal
Change Catalysts

Barbara knows change is both a mindset and a behavioral issue. . . . .Read more >

Steve Steinhilber
Steve Steinhilber

VP Strategic Alliances and Corporate Consulting Engineering
Cisco Systems

If there is one company on the planet that has a vision of the future and what businesses will need to become to remain relevant, it is Cisco Systems, and at the center is . . .Read more >

Steve Riddell
Steve Riddell

Chief Sales Officer, Blinds.com
Customer Experience Innovator

Steve Riddell is an award winning innovator leading Blinds.com sales and operations...Read more >

Dr. William Putsis
Dr. William Putsis

Professor of Marketing, Economics and Business Strategy
UNC at Chapel Hill

Dr. William Putsis focuses on innovation-led growth....Read more >

Dru Dalton
Dru Dalton

Real Thread

Dru is one of those Millennials that distributors have been talking about . . .Read more >

Lisa Swarbick
Lisa Swarbick

Consultant and Visual Ethnographer
Main Captiva

Lisa Swarbrick delivers a fresh ethnographic perspective of possibilities through her understanding of corporate culture, individual potential and her camera lens. . . .Read more >

George Kennedy
George Kennedy

One of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders:
Fortune Magazine

George Kennedy coaches swimming champions....Read more >

Agenda | Oct 29th & 30th, 2014

07 The innovative Distributor07 The innovative Distributor



UnleashWD provides two unprecedented days designed to unleash the innovative genius in you and your team.
Our storytellers are purposefully curated to inspire you to look at your business in new ways as we explore each component of The Innovative Distributor model.
Opening Challenge: Transforming The Business
Oct 29 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

07 The innovative Distributor07 The innovative Distributor

Speaker: Andrew Berlin

Andrew’s keynote will shed million dollar insights into how one of the best leaders in all of distribution, lifted the lessons of an innovative distributor and shifted them into baseball to resurrect a failing franchise.

Networking Break
Oct 29 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Vision’s Role In Innovation
Oct 29 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

07-The-innovative-Distributor-VC07-The-innovative-Distributor-VCDavid Houle, Futurist, Author of Entering The Shift Age

  • ENTERING THE SHIFT AGE: David will explain the dynamics and forces that have shaped our world and will continue to reshape it for the next 20 years.  The Innovative Distributor™ must peer into the future to develop value propositions, products, services and business models that insure relevancy in that future.   David will show us the way.

Steve Steinhilber, Cisco Systems

  • RESHAPING YOUR VISION TO BECOME INVALUABLE: If there is one company on the planet that has a vision of the future and what businesses will need to become to remain relevant, it is Cisco Systems. At the center of helping c-suite leaders understand this future is Steve Steinhilber. “We are at the very beginning of a super-interconnected world,” Steve says. Steve will show us how to look into the future by examining how we compete in a world of digital enabled “things” that measure, monitor and control the physical world – and talk to digital apps more than we talk with other humans.

  • Storyteller #3


Lift & Shift Q&A

Oct 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Creating a Culture of Innovation
Oct 29 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm


  • Storyteller #1


  • Gary Shapiro, President & CEO, Consumer Electronics Association

    NINJA INNOVATION: The game plan of successful and innovative companies include mission-oriented strategy, agility, creativity, decisiveness, and reinvention.  The Innovative Distributor™ will creates a culture in which these essential strategies are unleashed and Gary will provide these leadership secrets you can bring to your business.

  • Dru Dalton, Founder, Real Thread

    It’s OK TO START WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING: Dru is one of these Millennials that distributors have been talking about the last few years. He is also the passionate and innovative entrepreneur who founded Real Thread which is setting new standards and expectations in apparel screen printing. Dru has created a digital company (in an analog industry) and a unique culture that attracts great talent and inspires innovation by looking at the business as a craft and leading from core values.

Lift & Shift Q&A

Networking Break
Oct 29 @ 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Innovating Value Propositions
Oct 29 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


  • Lynn Casey, CEO, Noesis

    UNDERSTANDING YOUR CUSTOMERS IN THE IMAGINATION ECONOMY. Lynn Casey sees how creativity, collaboration and culture will re-energize today’s global economy – and your business. She makes her clients smart and nimble in a fragmented world. She and her team are insight hunters, insatiably curious and have a unique way of getting to the why. As businesses look to escape the trap of non-differentiation and sameness, Lynn shows us how creativity and imagination are quickly becoming the driving force behind business success today.

  • Storyteller #2


  • Steve Riddell, Chief Sales Officer, Blinds.com

    INNOVATING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Steve will share the Blinds.com innovation secret sauce – how they created a differentiated value proposition while competing in a world of sameness as well as the innovative customer experience they deliver with each customer interaction, winning Blinds.com a numerous innovation awards.

Lift & Shift Q&A

Innovating Through & With The Voice of the Customer
Oct 30 @ 8:30 am – 10:00 am

07 The innovative Distributor07 The innovative Distributor

  • Jay Rogers, CEO & Co-Founder, Local Motors

    A WORLD OF VEHICLE INNOVATIONS: Jay Rogers is CEO and co-founder of the next-generation car company: Local Motors. Identifying that traditional car companies have lost the ability to innovate based on what people want, Jay has created an innovative business model that harnesses an online community of enthusiasts who act as idea generators, designers, and early customers. Jay will share his radical new business approach that is also seeding wider experimentation among suppliers and starting to percolate up into the thinking of more established companies. This is cool stuff! You’ll never look at your business the same after Jay’s story.

Networking Break
Oct 30 @ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Business Model Innovation
Oct 30 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm


  • Shama Hyder, CEO, Marketing Zen Group

    GROWTH HACKING: HOW TO BUILD A THRIVING BUSINESS IN THE DIGITAL AGE: Known as the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by Fast Company, Shama Hyder is a visionary strategist for the digital age. Shama will help us understand how to build a thriving business in the digital era examining the digital trends that will shape your company’s future.

  • Dr. Bill Putsis, Marketing, Economics, & Business Strategy Professor, Kenan-Flager Business School at UNC

    COMPETE SMARTER, NOT HARDER: Relationship.  It is a key differentiator for many distributors. The the internet, mobile technology, and the ubiquity of information however is quickly changing the foundation of which many distributor’s relationships were built. Bill will provide deep insight into the changing definition of relationship and a framework for success.

  • Dr. Jay Parkinson, MD, Co-Founder and CEO, Sherpaa, The Doctor of the Future

    RE-IMAGINING YOUR BUSINESS MODEL OF THE FUTURE: Jay Parkinson is transforming healthcare – a very important, yet broken industry, he is fundamentally making it better. Through his start-up Sherpaa, he is tackling the most profound part of healthcare that is broken and ripe for disruption – the delivery of healthcare. At Sherppa, Jay and his growing team prevent 70% of office visits from happening at all – a fundamentally massive change. Jay will share his story of Shrepaa’s transformative business model and inspire new thinking as to how you can re-imagine your business model of the future.

       Lift & Shift Q&A

Oct 30 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Transformative Leadership for Innovation
Oct 30 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

07 The innovative Distributor07 The innovative Distributor

  • George Kennedy, Head Swim Coach, John Hopkins University

    WE CAN DO BETTER: Fortune Magazine name George one of the worlds 50 greatest leaders. He’ll share how self directed continuous change can create championship results.

  • Barbara Trautlein, PhD, Principal, Change Catalysts

    INNOVATORS ARE CHANGE CATALYSTS: Barbara Trautlein knows that change is both a mindset and a behavior. It is a matter of rather than doing things to them, change occurs when you do things with and for them. To lead change, Barbara provides the insight and tools to engage the brain, inspire the heart and help the hands to get people moving in new ways.

  • Lisa Swarbrick, Consultant and Visual Ethnographer, Main Captiva

    THE LEADERS LENS – YOU CAN DO THIS!: Legacy. As a leader in distribution you find yourself in a once-in-a-career opportunity to create a culture of change, transformation and innovation. The choices you make leaving UnleashWD will begin to cement your legacy. Lisa Swarbrick delivers a fresh ethnographic perspective of possibilities through her understanding of corporate culture, individual potential and her camera lens. She’ll remind you of your awesome ability to take the lessons learned from our two days together, return to your business, and to create a new future and a legacy you will be proud of.

Networking Break
Oct 30 @ 2:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Lift and Shift
Oct 30 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm


Join Other Forward Thinking Distributors – To Be Inspired and Take Action

Unlike any other industry conference you’ll leave thinking about your business in new ways



Absolutely! I would do it again, and I would bring more people too.”

- Ryan Polk, VP Business Unit Strategy, and Performance, LDI Ltd


“It was unquestionably one of the best professional events I've ever attended.”

Ben Brown
Branch Operations Manager, The Chas. E. Phipps Company

“...this was money well spent... we could tell right away that it was going to be worthwhile.”

Tim Gupton
Carswell Distribution Industries

“We found something from every speaker's story.”

Jack Hippen
Former General Manager, ABS North America

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Dirk Beveridge,
Founder of UnleashWD