UnleashWD Innovation Summit Underway in Chicago

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The only innovation summit for the wholesale distribution industry, UnleashWD is in its second year. Dirk Beveridge and 17 business leaders will discuss topics including business model design, innovation, company culture and leadership.

'When I started this summit the one rule that I had was no industry speakers,' Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD says.

It's finally here.

After a year of waiting the most inspiring summit in the wholesale distribution industry is underway. The second annual UnleashWD the only innovation summit for wholesale distributors and their channel partners begins today.

“UnleashWD has grown from an idea to promote innovation within wholesale distribution to an inspirational gathering of some of the best business minds in the country,” Dirk Beveridge, founder of UnleashWD says. “I know that after the next two days everyone of the attendees and the speakers will leave with ideas to experiment with at their businesses.”

This year’s UnleashWD features 17 storytellers from outside of the wholesale distribution industry. In a TED inspired format the speakers take the stage for 18-minute sessions. The speakers are placed in groups based on the core values of UnleashWD: innovation, company culture, business model design and thought leadership. Following each group of speakers the attendees will apply the lessons learned during the session during the “Lift and Shift” sessions. Lift and Shift is the UnleashWD concept of taking the best ideas from other industries and applying them to wholesale distribution.

“When I started this summit the one rule that I had was no industry speakers,” Beveridge says. “I wanted something totally different to show the wholesale distribution industry that merely tweaking their practices is not enough. We need to focus on next practices not best practices.”

Jay Steinfeld the CEO of Blinds.com will serve as the keynote speaker on the first day of the summit. He will speak on his career as an innovator. Steinfeld defines success as continuous improvement. After his presentation, Steinfeld will lead a lift and shift session.

Storytellers focusing on the subject of innovation will follow Steinfeld’s lift and shift session. The speakers will be Deb Mills-Scofield, the owner of Mills-Scofield LLC, Rogier Van Der Hiede chief design officer of Phillips Lighting and Ken Hey, managing partner of Inferential Focus.

The afternoon session will focus on leadership with presentations by Curt Hill, vice president at Cisco, Alexandra Levit, CEO of Innovation at Work and Brad Lomenick. President of Catalyst.

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Christopher Troksa
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