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The Premier Gathering For Innovative Distribution Leaders

November 6 –7, 2019 • Downtown Chicago

Get connected, gain inspiration, be challenged, and take action – all to prepare your business for the future. Watch what it’s all about now.

Welcome Innovative Leaders

Unleash is the only innovation summit for distributors that focuses on preparing your business for the future by helping you get better today.

This November I will host the most driven leaders throughout distribution – from almost every imaginable line of trade – with the purpose of providing the inspiration, education, and connections needed to transform their business in this age of disruption. I design this one-of-a-kind conference to provide roadmaps, frameworks, case studies, tools, and resources … all of which answer the question “How do I do this?”

Through my focused curation of inspiring speakers, our innovative storytelling format, the intimate sessions with our speakers that answer your specific questions, and a plethora of purposeful networking opportunities, you will experience how the Unleash Innovation Summit, based on our Innovative Distributor™ model, is truly transformational. Your participation will leave you excited, charged, and prepared to return to your work with the vision and energy needed to lead your business to a profitable, sustainable, and relevant future.

Come spend two days away from the business with us to strategically think, unleash professional growth, and become an Innovative Distributor™ yourself.  I can’t wait to see you at the summit this fall and watch your transformation begin.

Dirk Beveridge | Founder, UnleashWD

From the attendees to the presenters, there is an energy in the room from start to finish. Everywhere you turned, people were talking about how to look at their business from a different lens – you aren’t often in that type of environment, where there are masses talking about change.  That is inspiring – it pushed me to think differently.  – Unleash Multi-Year Attendee

The Innovative Distributor™ Model

At the foundation of the Unleash Innovation Summit lies the Innovative Distributor™ Model.  Distribution leaders are finding themselves in a once-in-a-career opportunity to create a culture of change, transformation and innovation within their company.  We center our speakers and curriculum around this proven model to help inspire these leaders to take action and embrace this opportunity in front of them.

The Innovative Distributor™ Model

Now more than ever, leaders in distribution need to step away from the tyranny of the urgent to stop, pause, and think. We need to peer into the future and begin to make sense of the disruptive trends. We need to break free from the incestuous nature of the industry and start colliding with others – from outside our normal industry circles – to bring new perspectives and ideas back to our business.

We need to immerse ourselves into the business practices of The Innovative Distributor™ to begin formulating that coherent vision, culture, value proposition, and business model that will lead our customers to a better future, for which they are willing and capable of rewarding us.

Those distributors who win the future will be innovative distributors. They will be led by individuals who build the business practices of The Innovative Distributor™ into their strategic plans. The model consists of five integrated business practices that must be at the core of every future-focused business:


In a world of uncertainty, one thing business leaders can count on is that their market, customers, technology—the world—will look very different 10 years from today. This demands that they peer into the future and craft their vision. Leaders must articulate and communicate a compelling and inspiring vision that demonstrates the gap between where they are today and what their business will become in the future. Without this vision, leaders will be continually ensnared by what we call “the gravitational pull of the status quo.”


Your future will be defined by your culture. Businesses either have a culture that attracts and retains industry-leading talent or they don’t. That culture either rewards the status quo or encourages experimentation without fear of failure. It either supports a set of behaviors and beliefs that foster change, transformation and innovation, or it rewards non-value-adding activity. It’s that simple.

Value Proposition

Those companies that win the future will commit to breaking the “sameness” trap in which many are stuck. They will get closer to customers than any of their competitors do to more fully understand their needs, pains, and desired gains. They understand that those who know the customer best, win.

Business Model

The relevant companies of the future will innovate their business models. Their focus on specific customer segments will intensify, as will the innovative solutions they create and deliver. Their business model will include non-traditional partners with adjacent capabilities and solutions that enhance their own. Looking at distributors in particular, the relevant companies of the future will create more value than simply getting the right product to the right place at the right time.

Transformative Leadership

The relevant companies will be those who are most successful at developing their talent and leadership. A changing world requires talented individuals who can create alignment, inspire extraordinary effort, strategically make the big calls, and execute with precision.

“Every distributor that wins the future, will be an innovative distributor.”
Dirk Beveridge | Founder, UnleashWD

Our 2019 Speaker Lineup

Unleash Innovation Summit is your opportunity to learn from and interact with unparalleled innovators, disruptors and leaders who will provide insights and solutions for these unprecedented times. 

This is only the start of our incredible line up. We’ll announce new speakers each week. Stay tuned!

Keni Thomas

Retired Army Sergeant
Author, Get It On: What It Means To Lead

Wendy Whiteash

Executive Vice President of Culture
US LBM Holdings, LLC

Ed Eason

Speaker & Lead Guitarist For
Carrie Underwood

Nicholas Johnson

Principal, Applico
Co-Author, Modern Monopolies

Anne Vranicic

Vice President of Marketing
Valin Corporation

David Nettemeyer

Director, Business Planning & Analytics
Valin Corporation

Cory Calderon

Director, Organizational Development
Valin Corporation

Devon Hyatt

Regional Sales Manager
Valin Corporation

Michael Werner

Founder & CEO

Simon Weaver

Co-Founder & Chief Scientist

Vincent Payen

Co-Founder & President

Joe McNamara

Founder & President
Impact The Pace

John McDonald

President, Chairman & CEO

Lara Lee

Founder & CEO
Creative Renewal

William L. Sparks, Ph.D.

Dennis Thompson Chair & Prof. of Leadership
McColl School of Business,
Queens University of Charlotte

Beth Ladd

VP of Innovation
American Supply Association

UnleashWD provides a forum to think differently and test new possibilities for guiding our company successfully into the future. The program has challenged my thinking each year I’ve attended by providing a broad perspective outside of our industry. I always come away with new ideas for reaching our big goals.  – Don Polletta, VP of Sales & Marketing,  Torrco

Who Attends Unleash Innovation Summit

At Unleash you’ll be surrounded by other optimistic distribution leaders who believe that change generates opportunity.

You’ll make new connections and develop game-changing relationships with those outside your normal circle.  You’ll interact with others who have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.  You’ll share stories, ideas, and collaborate with smart and driven leaders who don’t just embrace change, they push it. They know they are leading in unprecedented times … and embrace the future with a healthy constructive paranoia. They are the progressive and proactive.  They are the students of the business with an unrelenting ambition to make their mark in this world.

And they want to experience Unleash 2019 with you this November 6–7.

Summer Registration Now Open – Secure Your Spot Today

Unleash 2019  •  November 6–7  •  Chicago, Illinois

Looking to register using a Promotional Code?  Click here now!

**Don’t miss your chance to create the mindset, urgency, and alignment with your entire leadership team.  The most repeated comment during breaks is “I wish ___ was here with me.”  Exponentially improve your experience during – and most importantly after – when you attend as a team. From an attendee, “Taking everything we’ve learned back as a team will lead to real action.”

Plan Your Trip November 5–7, 2019

We put as much thought into the venue and host hotel as we do the Unleash Innovation Summit itself.

Unleash is returning to Venue Six10 on Michigan Avenue in Chicago for the seventh consecutive year.  Year after year, attendees tell us the atmosphere inspires new thinking and new connections.  And it will for you in 2019!

We are also returning to our host hotel the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago.  In historic Grant Park, the Renaissance Blackstone is just a 90 second walk to Venue Six10. The hotel is set in the restored grounds of one of the city’s most famous addresses where Katherine Hepburn, Al Capone, and numerous U.S. presidents have been captivated by the building’s charm.  It’s not just a beautiful place to stay, it’s also perfectly comfortable for UnleashWD attendees.

Quick Agenda

Tuesday, November 5

  • 6:30:  Informal Pre-Summit Reception Hosted By Dirk Beveridge

Wednesday, November 6

  • 7:30:  Registration & Breakfast
  • 8:30–5:00:  Unleash Summit
  • 5:00–6:30:  Networking Reception
  • Evening:  Dinner With Other Attendees And Speakers

Thursday, November 7

  • 7:30:  Breakfast
  • 8:30–3:00:  Unleash Summit
  • 3:00:  Depart

8th Annual Unleash Innovation Summit
November 6–7, 2019 • Downtown Chicago

8th Annual Unleash Innovation Summit
November 6–7, 2019 • Downtown Chicago

Invite Dirk To Speak


How can I help make your meeting great?

Drop me a quick note – and we’ll start the discussion. Thanks for reaching out!


Thank you for submitting information about your upcoming meeting. Dirk and his team will get back to you very soon.

Invite Dirk To Speak


How can I help make your meeting great?

Drop me a quick note – and we’ll start the discussion. Thanks for reaching out!


Thank you for submitting information about your upcoming meeting. Dirk and his team will get back to you very soon.

Invite Dirk To Speak


How can I help make your meeting great?

Drop me a quick note – and we’ll start the discussion. Thanks for reaching out!


Thank you for submitting information about your upcoming meeting. Dirk and his team will get back to you very soon.

If you're a distribution leader who is focused on building a better future, than this program is for you. Be the first to learn more about what's to come this July.

Thank you for your interest! We're excited about this brand new, innovative program coming soon. We'll keep you updated as everything comes together.