Local business employees attend Industry Week ‘21

For the first time since 2019, Independent Suppliers Group held its annual meeting for members and suppliers in Orlando, Florida.

Industry Week ‘21, which was Nov. 8 to 12, included several panels, educational seminars and more.

Among the attendees were Robert Bowman, Susan Bowman and Karen Koester from The Office Center in Seymour.

It kicked off with Pinnacle one-on-one member/supplier meetings, peer exchanges and a giveback event. The charitable occasion gave those in attendance the opportunity to support several local nonprofit organizations. Attendees designed tote bags, canvas murals, cuddle buddies and superhero capes, benefiting local children and veterans.

The general session highlighted the current state of the industry from ISG President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Gentile. It also featured a panel discussion and the North American Office Products Awards led by Office Products International CEO Steve Hilleard and OPI Director Janet Bell, respectively.

ISG members met for their private member-only meeting, where they heard from Mike Gentile and ISG board of directors Chairman Jordan Kudler. The pair gave their own respective thoughts into the operations of the group during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles Foreman, ISG executive vice president of sales and marketing, presented, “Our Co-Op, Our Success,” which featured an overview of ISG programs. Janet Collins of TurningPoint Strategy led a member panel discussion, “The Art of the Pivot,” which focused on how businesses shifted and adapted to the current business climate.

A welcome reception was held, featuring music, food and networking. It provided fundraising opportunities for City of Hope with interactive activities, including cornhole and miniature golf.

S.P. Richards and Essendant held their own general sessions focused on new initiatives, insights and updates.

Business Solutions Association conducted a forum that featured a members-only meeting and open sessions regarding what the future holds for the industry.

Matt Dodd presented on behalf of City of Hope, outlining its mission and organization. ISG presented its supplier awards, and BSA presented its industry awards, followed by the trade show, offering exhibitors the chance to display all of the latest and most innovative industry-leading products.

The week concluded with the “A Night in Havana” party. The celebration of the week displayed all of the tastes and sounds of Cuba, along with awarding prizes from the trade show raffles and $5,000 to a Tickets to Treasure grand prize winner.

Founded in 1977, Independent Suppliers Group is a global organization providing sales, marketing support and purchasing power for the community-based independent office products dealer. Members are located throughout the United States and in six foreign countries.