AmberClausi

Amber Clausi Joins Highland as an Account Manager in the Western Region

November 13, 2018

Highlands is happy to announce Amber Clausi as the new account manager for Southern California, Arizona and Las Vegas Markets. Amber’s prior experience includes an extensive background at Office Depot/Max as a Major Accounts and Vertical Market Manager. Amber managed a $6 million book of business and has experience selling Highlands Manufacture Partners in both the Office Products and Jan/San Category.

“Along with enthusiasm, Amber brings over 15 years of diverse experience to this role,” said Joe Victoriano, District Manager, Western Region. “She is poised to make an immediate impact on our business in the Western Market.”

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Highlands Adds Two New Account Managers To Field Sales Team

Highlands welcomes the addition of two Account Managers in Texas: Rachel Croll and John Richardson. Collectively they bring over 35 years of experience in account growth to the Highlands Field Sales team.

 

Rachel’s vast experience with OfficeMax, Grainger and Uline, along with her outstanding reputation in the industry, makes her an excellent fit for this role. Her wealth of knowledge in Office Products and Facility Supplies will allow for further development of the territory.

 

John has an immense sales background which began in pharmaceutical sales and leadership roles, and he most recently served in a management role for a large independent dealer in the OP industry.

 

“We are excited to have Rachel on our team, and as she lives in Houston, she’ll be based in one of the fastest growing cities in the US,” said June Schmidt, Vice President Field Sales, Northeast and South Regions. “Out of Dallas, John’s background and experience make him a great addition to the Highlands team. John will play a key role in providing high quality solutions and support for our customers and vendor partners.”

 

“The investment in highly skilled people plays a key role in helping accelerate sales for our clients,” said Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands. “It’s also imperative that we bring in people with experience both inside and outside the Office Channel so we can provide a greater breadth to our overall value proposition.” 

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Kristin Stevens Promoted to Vice President, eCommerce

Highlands is pleased to announce the promotion of Kristin Stevens to Vice President, eCommerce. She will have the primary responsibility of overseeing all operations for the eCommerce team.


“We are happy to recognize Kristin’s invaluable contribution to our company. She has proven to be an effective leader and her hard work and dedication will continue to enhance the strategic direction, growth, and profitability of Highlands’ eCommerce offering,” said Gordon Christiansen, Chief Operating Officer and Senior VP of Marketing at Highlands.


For over nine years, the eCommerce team has been pivotal to the success of Highlands’ clients. The team works alongside clients to create personalized eCommerce strategies that maximize sales and deliver easily measurable results. This comprehensive and holistic approach creates consistent and best-in-class online retail experiences for our clients and their customers.

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Darren Laycock Joins Highlands as Territory Sales Manager for Western Canada

July 3, 2018


Highlands is pleased to announce Darren Laycock as Territory Sales Manager for Western Canada. Darren has more than 30 years of sales account management experience, specializing in Office Products/Furniture, and Educational institutions.

 

“We are delighted to have Darren join our team and help us with the growth of our business. His years of industry experience in the Canadian market provides our business with the right person to continue growing sales for our clients, “said Brendan Lane, President and General Manager of Highlands Canada. “I am looking forward to working with him.”

 

Before joining Highlands, Darren was President of Dynamic Marketing Inc., and will continue to represent those same manufacturers in Western Canada.

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Mickey Sandor Joins Highlands As Business Development Manager

May 29, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce Michelle (Mickey) Sandor as Business Development Manager, responsible for building relationships within the Multi-Family and Hospitality channels in the United States.  Mickey’s background as a Hospitality Specialist at HD Supply gives her great insight and knowledge to accelerate sales for Highlands’ clients. 


"Mickey's prior experience working in sales for HD Supply and on the manufacturer side - calling on the Hospitality vertical - make her a great fit for Highlands as we move to support our partners and grow market share in these key business sectors," said Mike Douglas, VP Sales for the Central and West.

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Highlands Announces an Expanded Partnership with KFI Seating

April 6, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce they will now be representing KFI Seating in the Office Products Channel. KFI is a manufacturer of tables and chairs, which fit the needs of many institutions: commercial, hospitality, education, government and healthcare. Located in Louisville, Kentucky, all KFI products are assembled in the USA. KFI invests their efforts in speed, service, and design, with a heavy emphasis on the need for a great customer experience and community involvement. 

“KFI has had great success working with Highlands on strategic e-commerce accounts. We have been impressed with the professional sales approach, strategic thinking, marketing and most importantly, relationships with key accounts. That being said, we are excited to now work with the entire Highlands family,” says Chris Smith, President and Owner of KFI Seating.

Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands, adds “We have been very impressed by the repositioning of KFI by Chris Smith and Scott Williamson, COO and Owner of KFI Seating. Their emphasis on affordable design is what many customer segments require today. This is the perfect time to extend our relationship.” 

For more information on KFI Seating, please visit KFI.com.
Maura Penna

Maura Penna Joins Highlands as Director, Strategic Accounts

March 22, 2018

Highlands announces that Maura Penna has joined the Highlands team as Director, Strategic Accounts.  She will be responsible for managing our relationship with Staples.  Most recently, Maura worked as a National Account Manager at Newell Brands - Rubbermaid and served the company for almost 30 years.  She managed the Staples account for the majority of her time spent at Newell.

Shannon Blake, Partner and Senior VP of Strategic Accounts adds, “Maura’s extensive sales experience and relationships at Staples will be a tremendous addition to the Highlands team.  Maura is great at finding creative solutions for the buyers and sellers to maximize category results.  We look forward to introducing her to our partners and building stronger partnerships between our suppliers and Staples.”

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It is with Sad Regret that Highlands Announces the Loss of Kevin O'Gara

March 19, 2018

On March 11th, at the age of 82, Kevin O’Gara passed away in Ponte Vedra, Florida. A fixture in the office products industry for over 30 years, Kevin was the founder of KOGCO, the precursor to what is today called Highlands, and retired in 1995. 

“Any success Highlands has achieved would not have happened without the foundational work my father did over thirty years from 1962 until 1995.  He was a great business person but also a great mentor to many.  All of us who were lucky enough to work with him will carry some part of him with us for the rest of our lives.  For many, this will be the best part,” says Bob O’Gara.

Kevin’s funeral will be held on March 24, 2018 at 10:00 am, at the Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates contributions to City of Hope in his remembrance. 

City of Hope donations can be directed to:

City of Hope - NBPI
C/O Kevin O'Gara Memorial
1500 E. Duarte Road
Duarte, CA 91010
Attn: Matt Dodd

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Bridget Kress Joins Highlands as Account Manager for Central US

March 14, 2018

Highlands is pleased to announce that Bridget Kress, the newest addition to the Highlands team, has joined the Central Region as Account Manager covering the Illinois and Wisconsin markets.


“Bridget brings to Highlands valuable, high level sales experience in the Business Products and Jan San industries,” says Mike Douglas, VP of Sales for the Central and West, at Highlands. “Previous positions with R3 and Newell Brands as Business Development Director and Key Accounts Manager, along with a well-earned reputation as one of the top professionals in the marketplace make her a great addition to the Highlands team.”



Bill Hammond

Bill Hammond Recently Joined Highlands as Account Manager in the Northeast Region

March 9, 2018

Highlands is very pleased to announce that Bill Hammond has joined the Northeast Region team as Account Manager covering the DC, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia territory. 

“Bill comes to us with nearly ten years of experience in the Office Products industry,” says Chris Merkel, District Manager for the Northeast, at Highlands. “He has served in a variety of B2B, B2C and Omni-channel capacities, including managing Office Product rep agencies and dealers in the Northeast; direct HQ responsibility for Staples Contract/Commercial, Delivery/.Com and Quill business; as well as serving in Office Product related trade marketing, digital marketing and e-commerce capacities. Possessing a unique blend of direct sales experience, combined with a proven background in e-commerce, Bill makes an outstanding addition to our organization.”

EOPA Award

Krug & Priester wins European Office Products Award, Product Video Produced by Highlands

March 7, 2018

German manufacturer Krug & Priester was one of the winners of the 17th European Office Products Awards (EOPA) which were announced during a glittering presentation dinner at the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam on March 6, 2018.

The EOPA 2018 presentation dinner, hosted by OPI CEO Steve Hilleard and OPI Director Janet Bell, was attended by leading industry figures from across Europe. It was a fun evening of fine food and wine, and a chance to celebrate some great products, initiatives, companies and individuals from the business supplies industry.  

Krug & Priester won the prestigious Video of the Year award with its “IDEAL Shredders: Quality” video. The winner of this relatively new EOPA category went to a company in a very mature product category. It certainly managed to produce a video that hands-down beat all the competition with its light touch and engaging content. Gordon Christiansen, SVP Marketing for Highlands said, “We were tasked with creating videos that highlighted the key value propositions for the Ideal range of shredders but keeping it simple, short and fun.  This presented creative challenges however I’m proud of the way the team overcame these and delivered a great video.  Credit too, to MBM Corporation, the US-based distributor who inspired the project and allowed us to roll it out on both sides of the pond.”

Commenting on this year’s EOPA, Hilleard, who is also the Chairman of the EOPA judging panel, said: “Once again, the judges were extremely impressed by the quality of the entries we received and are great endorsement for an industry that is tackling head-on the many and varied challenges thrown at it.”

For more information about the EOPA and the judging process, see opi.net/EOPA2018

About Krug & Priester

Founded in 1951, Krug & Priester based in Balingen, Germany is now one of the leading manufacturers of document shredders, cutting machines and paper finishing products.  Recently it has expanded its range to include air purifiers, following the tradition of high quality, best in class manufacturing.

For more information about Krug & Priester, please visit https://www.ideal.de.

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Highlands Announces a Partnership with The Bugatti Group

March 6, 2018

For over 75 years, The Bugatti Group has been offering hand-crafted, high quality, durable goods. Their product line includes suitcases, travel bags, computer bags, briefcases, and handbags. The Bugatti Group manufactures and distributes goods under multiple brand names: Celine Dion, Joanel, Mouflon, Stebco, Bond Street, and Bugatti. 

Gordon Christiansen, COO and SVP of Marketing at Highlands says, “Bugatti Group has some fantastic brands and is a great partner for Highlands.  The combination of Bugatti’s innovation and Highlands’ sales and marketing infrastructure is very powerful.  Not only will Highlands be able to strengthen Bugatti’s presence in the office channel but we look forward to working with them online and in other channels as opportunities arise.”

“Business is the delicate balance between execution, innovation, and fun, you have to love what you do.  The fit between Highlands and Bugatti group is seamless, we consider them our business partners and are very excited for all future projects and our continued mutual growth,” adds Andrew Hattem, CEO at The Bugatti Group Inc.

For more information on the Bugatti Group, please visit http://www.bugattigrp.com.

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Highlands to Support City of Hope’s Efforts through “Run for Hope” Sponsorships and Donations

February 26, 2018

Join us for “Run for Hope”, presented by Highlands, in honor of S.P. Richards Company President and CEO, Rick Toppin. Our combined efforts will raise funds for City of Hope - the comprehensive research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. “Run for Hope” will be held at Georgia International Horse Park, a former Olympic venue, April 13 - 14, 2018.  

“Run for Hope” is a 123-mile race where each member of an eight-person team will run 3 five-mile segments (15 miles total per team member).  The 24-hour race includes camping and running through rugged terrain, pine forests, flowing streams, and wildlife.  Alongside Highlands, FireKing, Georgia Pacific, GMi Companies, ideal, ShurTech Brands, Static Control, and Zep will be co-sponsoring the event. 

Shannon Blake, Partner and Senior VP of Strategic Accounts at Highlands says, “Highlands is grateful for the opportunity to support City of Hope and Rick Toppin’s 2018 campaign. We appreciate all the generous support we have received from our co-sponsors for this event.  We are excited about this athletic challenge while engaging in a fun team building experience”.  

For more information on how to register and for sponsorship opportunities, please email [email protected]


About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as one of only 49 comprehensive cancer centers, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the world. City of Hope is located in Duarte, California, just northeast of Los Angeles, with community clinics throughout Southern California. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation, diabetes and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs based on technology developed at the institution.

For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Instagram

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Highlands and Zep Inc. to Expand Their Relationship Into the Hospitality and Multifamily Channel

February 12, 2018

Founded in 1937, Zep Inc. is a chemical goods company, which focuses on high-performance cleaning products. Their products are sold through distribution partners, along with the DIY and DIFM retail channels, to both consumers and professionals.

 “Over the past five years, Highlands has become a trusted partner for ZEP working in the office channel.  We, at Zep, believe that extending the partnership to include the Hospitality and Multifamily channels makes our partnership with Highlands even stronger and more strategic,” says Seth Raley, SVP and GM, Distribution and Sales Support at Zep.

CEO at Highlands, Bob O’Gara, says, “Adding Zep to the portfolio of brands Highlands represents to the Hospitality and Multifamily channels is a significant milestone in the establishment of Highlands as the premier national sales and marketing agency in these channels.”

 

For more information on Zep, Inc., please visit http://www.zepinc.com


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OPMA Partners with Blippar, the Leading International Augmented Reality (AR) Specialists

February 5, 2018

In 2018, more than ever, businesses are using advanced tools, like AR, to boost success. With this ever-growing technology use, visual collaboration tools, such as augmented reality, have simplified processes that were previously more complex, and delivered more engaging user experiences. 

Mike Metchikoff, President at OPMA, says "Creating differentiation and getting more eyeballs on marketing collateral is an increasingly challenging task in a highly competitive landscape. OPMA recognizes the need to offer more intriguing and sophisticated solutions for clients and augmented reality will be at the forefront of our constantly evolving solution set.  We have experience working with Blippar subsidiary, Layar, and we are excited to utilize Blippar’s more robust technology platform to provide enhanced consumer experiences for our clients and their customers."

"Augmented reality can help visualize the features and quality of a product in a highly engaging way. This enhances and streamlines the sales and conversion process by equipping customers with everything they need to confidently purchase. Given OPMA's history of innovative marketing solutions for their clients, we are thrilled to partner with them to bring AR to the office products industry," adds Alana Kalin, Commercial Head US. 

For more information about OPMA, visit opma.com.
For more information about Blippar, visit blippar.com.

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Highlands to Represent Clarke, a Nilfisk brand, in the Janitorial/Sanitary Markets within the US

January 29, 2018

“Nilfisk is extremely excited to enter this new relationship with Highlands.  This partnership will allow Nilfisk to expand its reach to a broader market, providing access to our industry leading cleaning products for customers in segments where we have not had a strong presence in the past.  Highlands has enjoyed tremendous success and has a strong focus on the office product and hospitality markets, two segments that Nilfisk is targeting for growth.  We are committed to providing customers access to our products through the channels that best suit their business needs. We are confident that the Nilfisk/Highlands partnership affords customers in the office product and hospitality markets a unique solution to meet their facility cleaning needs,” says Jeff Van Essen, Strategic Account Director at Nilfisk.

Perry Luperini, Business Development Director at Highlands, adds, “We are excited to announce that Highlands has been awarded the contract to become the exclusive national representatives of Clarke Equipment for the Office Products and Hospitality Channels as of January 1, 2018. Clarke, part of the Nilfisk family, the world’s largest manufacturer of cleaning equipment sold in over 100 countries, provides solutions based products and services that enable sustainable cleaning worldwide to improve quality of life. We look forward to working with Clarke as a primary vendor in this important new category for the years to come.”

For a century, Clarke’s desire has been to offer and be the leading brand of floor cleaners, for the commercial, industrial, retail, education, hospitality and DIY markets. Clarke’s core features that distinguish them from the competition:
- Comprehensive offer
- Tailor-made solutions
- Market knowledge
- Value analysis, Product development
- Product and service reliability
- Brand 

Another meaningful offering of Clarke’s is their leading industry innovation. In 1956, Clarke developed the first battery powered walk-behind scrubber, followed by the first drum sander for the rental market in 1959, and in 1968, Clarke created the first ever carpet extractor. 

For more important information on Clarke, visit www.clarkeus.com

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Mark Naughton Promoted to Strategic Account Manager

January 24, 2018

“We are very excited for Mark to join the Strategic Accounts team.  He has been with Highlands for over 10 years and has a solid understanding of these accounts. Mark should be able to engage quickly in making an immediate sales impact for our partners,”, says Shannon Blake, Partner and SVP, Strategic Accounts, at Highlands.  

Mark will be responsible for Essendant, Quill, Tri-Mega, and Pinnacle Buying Groups. With his prior experience handling these accounts, we know that Mark will continue to be a valuable asset in his new role. 

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Highlands to Represent ShurTech Brands, LLC in the US and Canadian Office Products Channels

January 15, 2018

Highlands, the multinational sales and marketing services agency, has announced they will be representing ShurTech Brands, a global marketer of (DIY) do-it-yourself and home & office professional and consumer products, in the United States and Canadian office products channels. For decades, the professionals at ShurTech have put their focus on creating brands which are highly respected in terms of quality, innovation, and marketing, by consumers and professionals.

In 2009, ShurTech Brands became a subsidiary of Shurtape Technologies, LLC, an industry leading producer of innovative adhesive tape products. This collaboration combined the well-known consumer brands: Duck®, T-Rex Tape®, FrogTape®, and Painter’s Mate Green® brands with Shurtape’s professional brands.
 
“ShurTech Brands is excited to have established a relationship with Highlands. Changes in the market require new approaches; consolidating representation across the US and Canada with Highlands drives significant efficiencies for ShurTech and allows for a much more strategic collaboration with our channel partners,” says Peter Fahrenkopf, Vice President of Household/Stationery & Canada Sales at ShurTech Brands.

Highlands VP of Sales, Mike Douglas added, “ShurTech is committed to growing market share with their leading, world class brands. This new partnership helps strengthen our presence and provide innovative solutions to our customers across the US and Canada”. 


Gordon High Res

Gordon Christiansen promoted to COO of Highlands and makes his move across the pond to the U.S.

January 5, 2018

In the early weeks of 2018, Gordon Christiansen, Senior VP of Marketing and newly appointed C.O.O., has moved from his home in the U.K. to the home of Highlands’ corporate headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Bob O’Gara, C.E.O. at Highlands, commented “Gordon’s move to Atlanta and assumption of the C.O.O. role will allow him to become even more intimate with the entire business.  Since joining our European operation 3 years ago, Gordon has made a positive impact on the business providing leadership and operational rigor.  I look forward to working with Gordon and all of our associates as Highlands continues to grow through the addition of new services, geographies and market segments,”  

For over 55 years, Highlands has delivered greater sales for clients by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs. Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe and Canada, supporting manufacturers and brands in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces.  

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EOPA 2018 shortlist reveals two IDEAL shredder videos as nominees for “Video of the Year” award.

December 15, 2017

The EOPA (European Office Products Awards) 2018 shortlist has been revealed, and among the shortlist, IDEAL has two videos eligible for “Video of the Year” category. Highlands produced these videos for Krug & Priester’s IDEAL shredders. The videos highlight the simplicity and quality of the shredders.

Senior executives gathered last Thursday for the EOPA judge’s meeting. Judges are composed of industry experts, who spent the day condensing a record number of nominees into the 2018 EOPA shortlist. 

For the past 17 years, EOPA has been established as the ultimate distinction for businesses that operate in Europe. It’s a way of celebrating outstanding individuals and companies from the office/business supplies sector. The award ceremony will be held on March 6, 2018 

“We were really excited when asked by the team at Krug & Priester to produce videos that presented key benefits of their products but in an interesting and engaging way.  Shredders is a very well-established category and it’s challenging to come up with innovative ways of telling stories to prospective clients.  The videos are really impactful and it’s great to be recognized by the European Office Products Awards committee and be shortlisted for Video of the Year.  The shortlist has other great videos from great companies so we’re honoured to be bracketed with them and, you never know, we might just win,” Says Gordon Christiansen, C.O.O. and SVP, Marketing at Highlands.

Below are the links for the IDEAL shredder product videos, which have been nominated for video of the year award. 




For over 55 years, Highlands has delivered greater sales for clients by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs. Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe and Canada, supporting manufacturers and brands in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces.  

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Highlands to Represent XP Distribution and OttLite in the Office and Stationery Markets

November 30, 2017


Highlands, the multinational sales and marketing services agency, has announced they will be representing XP Distribution, the exclusive European distributor of OttLite, an innovative LED light technology brand from the US.  Highlands will be managing sales of OttLite’s new Wellness and Workwell ranges into the specialist office and stationery markets.

 

For over 25 years, OttLite has focused on developing natural daylight lighting for home, office and business.  OttLite’s expertly engineered natural daylight lighting helps people see more clearly and comfortably.  Their range of lamps delivers high colour accuracy and greatly reduces eye fatigue when compared to competitive lighting brands, and is popular in the office, home and craft market.

 

Highlands will begin representing XP Distribution by optimising their channel presence in the office market, with OttLite’s Wellness and Workwell ranges. Scientifically developed by OttLite Technologies Inc., OttLite has created an exclusive, proprietary LED formulation that delivers the closest thing to natural daylight available indoors, and helps reduce eyestrain by 51%.    

 

With a score of 95 out of 100 on the Color Rendering Index, the OttLite Workwell and Wellness ranges are the best on the market, with the average LED scoring 83.

 

“We look forward to working with Highlands, a company with a great track record in representing manufacturers of all types. We trust in their ability to introduce the highly innovative OttLite Workwell and Wellness ranges to new channels, and look forward to a long, successful relationship”, says Managing Director of XP Distribution, Geoffrey Clements.

 

Jade Wilson, MD at Highlands commented, “The OttLite technology fits clearly within the channel focus areas, offering a differentiated exclusive technology that focuses on health, wellness and wellbeing. We’re proud to represent XP Distribution and OttLite in the office and stationery markets.”

 

 

 

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Highlands announces strategic agreement with Static Control

November 27, 2017

Atlanta, GA (November 27, 2017) - Highlands announces strategic agreement with Static Control.

Static Control has appointed Highlands as its exclusive sales and marketing agency for the USA and Canada, to lead their growth in the office products channel.

Static Control is the world's largest manufacturer and global distributor of parts and supplies supporting the ink and toner remanufacturing industry. At the core of the business is a commitment to R&D, high quality and IP compliance, which has fueled the impressive growth in cartridge sales over the last several years.

“Highlands has a wealth of experience and a great track record representing manufacturers of all types. We trust in their ability to introduce Static Control and our company values of innovation and quality to new channels,” says Bryan Bonacum, VP, North American Sales for Static Control. “We look forward to a successful long-term relationship.” 

“We are excited to work with a cartridge manufacturer that is committed to R&D, education, and serving their customers with the highest level of service and quality,” says Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands. “Static Control is committed to growing their market share. This allows Highlands to strengthen our presence with customers across the US and Canada by exploring new opportunities and increasing customer awareness; it’s a win-win for everyone.”


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Highlands promotes Jade Wilson to Managing Director, Europe

August 8, 2017

Highlands, announces the promotion of Jade Wilson to Managing Director, Europe. He will have the primary responsibility for all business operations in Europe.

“Jade’s aptitude and contributions have been invaluable and he embodies so many of the wonderful traits of our company. His innovative thinking and vision will continue to enhance the strategic direction, growth, and profitability of Highlands in Europe” said Gordon Christiansen, partner at Highlands. Jade has been with Highlands for more than 6 years. Prior to his appointment, he led the sales team as Sales Director. In his new position, he will be responsible for leading all client programs in Europe maximizing their effectiveness through all reseller, retail and eCommerce partners. “I am delighted to take on this role for Highlands Europe,” says Jade.  “It is a great opportunity for me personally especially at this exciting time in the evolution of Highlands Europe.”

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies. For over 55 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.

Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe, and Canada.  Highlands is proud to combine the most effective and efficient multi-channel brand advocacy strategies with world-class tactics to ensure product sales are maximized throughout the supply chain and across the globe.


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Highlands Announces a Partnership with the MBM Corporation

July 31, 2017

Atlanta GA, July 31, 2017 - Highlands (in partnership with LS Logistics), has assumed the Sales and Distribution roles for IDEAL-MBM Corporation in the Canadian marketplace.  As well as consolidating MBM’s strengths in traditional markets this arrangement will launch the IDEAL.MBM brands into the office supplies industry in Canada, where currently they are not as well known.
MBM Corporation is a leading manufacturer and distributor of Destroyit® paper shredders, ideal paper shredders and air purifiers, Triumph™ paper cutters and trimmers, along with other state-of-the-art finishing equipment for the graphics and printing industries.  MBM is well known for superior quality, engineering innovation, and high levels of customer satisfaction.

Ned Ginsburg, President of MBM Corporation, states, “The relationship with Highlands in Canada is really exciting for us.  We have great customers already and know they will continue to be very well looked after.  Alongside this, the opportunity to expand into new markets and grow sales for our excellent product range is very appealing.”

“We are excited to represent the first manufacturer of the cross-cut shredder technology,” says Brendan Lane, President & GM of Highlands Canada.  “They are committed to growing their market share, and this allows Highlands to strengthen our presence with customers across Canada by uncovering new opportunities and increasing consumer connections; it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Highlands, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies.  For over 55 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.

Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe, and Canada.  Highlands is proud to combine the most effective and efficient multi-channel brand advocacy strategies with world-class tactics to ensure product sales are maximized throughout the supply chain and across the globe.

LS Logistics, of Ontario Canada, provides third party distribution to all Canadian customers, along with flexible options in warehousing, inventory management, as well as customer service. 
MBM Corporation’s parent company, Krug & Priester GmbH of Germany, is a global leader in the manufacturering of paper shredders, air purifiers and small format paper cutters.


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Peter Brady joins Highlands as Strategic Accounts Manager

February 27, 2017

Highlands, announces the hiring of Peter Brady as Strategic Account Manager. In his role, Peter will be responsible for the day-to-day brand management within WB Mason for all Highlands clients.

Peter brings a wealth of industry experience with him to Highlands. In his most recent position, Peter was the Director of Sales for the Away-from-Home product line of Sofidel. There, he developed business opportunities, channel strategies, and growth initiatives for Staples and WB Mason. During Peter’s ten years at Newell Rubbermaid he managed multiple brands within WB Mason, and cultivated the daily relationship between WB Mason and ORS Nasco - a division of Essendant and Newell Rubbermaid's Customer Development Office and a key partner for all Newell Rubbermaid Business Segments.  
“Peter adds a unique blend of category management, sales training, and product placement experience to Highlands” says Shannon Blake, SVP of Strategic Accounts. “We are excited to have Peter on our team, and look forward to him developing a stronger partnership between our Manufacturers and WB Mason.”

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies. For over 55 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.

Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe, and Canada.  Highlands is proud to combine the most effective and efficient multi-channel brand advocacy strategies with world-class tactics to ensure product sales are maximized throughout the supply chain and across the globe.


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Shannon Blake Joins Highlands as Partner and Senior Vice President of Strategic Accounts

February 2, 2017

Highlands, announces that Shannon Blake is joining the Highlands team as Partner and Senior Vice President of Strategic Accounts. Shannon brings more than 20 years of leadership and experience in both the commercial and retail sales arena to the Highlands team.

“Based out of our Atlanta headquarters, Shannon will be focused on developing new and innovative solutions that meet the challenges faced by our clients selling into the increasingly volatile OP channel,” says Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands. Adding her deep and broad strategic account experience to our team allows us to further enhance our service portfolio for our clients, both in North America, and around the globe.


Before joining Highlands, Shannon was President and Owner of So-mine, where she will continue as a partner and leader. So-mine, a supplier of housewares and other retail driven products to the mass and office channels, will leverage the Highlands Strategic Accounts team and other support to drive more rapid product development and product launches.  

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies. For over 55 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.

Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe and Canada.  Highlands is proud to combine the most effective and efficient multi-channel brand advocacy strategies with world-class tactics to ensure product sales are maximized throughout the supply chain and across the globe.

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What lies ahead in 2017?

January 24, 2017

The tenure of President Trump and the process of the UK leaving the European Union are just some of the events we know will definitely happen this year, both against the odds 12 months ago.
But what can the office imaging industry expect if we cast our minds forward this year?

According to US-based research firm Actionable Intelligence, in a recent webinar ‘2016 Year In Review: The Office Imaging Industry’s Most Transformative Year And What’s To Come in 2017’, there were all kinds of acquisitions and strategic alliances formed last year and 2017 will be no different.

Last year, after months of rumours, a consortium of Chinese investors acquired Lexmark, Foxconn acquired a majority stake in Sharp, Ninestar and Hubei Dinglong made key acquisitions in China, and Xerox split its business.

According to Actionable Intelligence President Charles Brewer, 2016 was “wildly dynamic”, with consolidation across the industry. He predicted more M&A activity this year, with plenty of attractive acquisition targets as there are too many firms fighting for a piece of the action. Brewer said the third-party supplies industry in China will continue to consolidate, while more foreign investment in US businesses seems likely.

He added: “The competitive landscape started to change as we saw acquisitions and new alliances being formed.”

Volatility of exchange rates have also impacted the market, particularly in the UK, where the pound hit a 30-year low against the dollar after the Brexit vote. The Japanese market has also been affected.

“We’re still seeing some emerging markets are feeling a lot of stress,” said Brewer. “Specifically I’m thinking about Russia, Brazil. Those economies are now in recession and have been for a little while and are expected to remain so this year. China continues to grow but not at a rate that we once saw so some of the opportunities there have been turned down.”

There is also perceived uncertainty in the developed markets, with the implications of Brexit set to add to the mix.

But for the year ahead, the firm does not anticipate any big changes in the US market.

Brewer said: “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the US now with our new President, and people are wondering what’s going to happen with the economy, but it really appears strong.”

He referenced a recent survey of 11,000 US employers by Manpower which said they either plan to maintain staffing levels or add to them: “If you look at some of the segments that are going to be hiring, it’s professional services, finance. These are all industries that do a lot of printing, so good news for us.” 

Looking at the industry’s hardware outlook, the trend now is for smaller machines with expanded feature sets, according to Christina Bonadio, Executive Editor of Actionable Intelligence. Meanwhile the demand for consumables has fallen.

She said: “We have seen vendors in most markets launch cartridges and drums that have higher yields and lower costs per page.” 

Bonadio added: “Looking at sectors of the market which are not doing well, consumer cartridges are a big shining example. Also monochrome printer markets have been declining for some time.” 

The ramifications of a key legal case for the industry "Lexmark vs Impression Products" over whether patented products first sold outside the US can be subsequently imported into the country is set to have a big impact this year, with a decision expected in June. 

“Whatever the Supreme Court decides is going to be very significant for the remanufacturing industry in the US,” said Bonadio. “If the court opposes both the federal circuit’s decisions, it’s going to mean that patent holders retain US patent rights, while for products held overseas, they can retain patent rights for products sold with a lawful what they call ‘single-use only restriction’.

“If the Supreme Court overturns the decision, it will make life a lot easier for remanufacturers. We could also see a mixed decision with the Supreme Court overturning one patent exhaustion rule but not the other.”

In conclusion, Brewer said that for 2017, one constant is likely to remain: “There will always be a battle between third-party supplies vendors and OEMs.”

Maybe some things never change. 

(Thanks to opi.net for the summary.)

Franklin (MA), USA
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Brexit survey reveals market fears

January 19, 2017

A poll on the effect of the Brexit vote on the UK office products industry by the BOSS Federation has found a negative impact for the vast majority of businesses.

The BOSS Brexit Impact survey was completed at the end of 2016. The BOSS Federation is the trade association which serves the UK office supplies and services industry. 

Overall, the study from the UK office supplies trade association found that 85% of companies felt the vote had impacted slightly negatively (52%) or significantly negatively (33%) on their business. Only 9% felt there had been a positive upturn.

The hit on product costs was greater, with 94% of respondents indicating a significantly negative (72%) or slightly negative (22%) impact.

Coventry, UK
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Profits up at UK retailer Ryman

January 17, 2017

UK stationery and office products retailer Ryman based in Crewe, UK has reported flat like-for-like sales in its last financial year ending March 2016.  

While sales on a comparable store basis were unchanged, total revenues were down 2.5% to £127.7 million ($153 million), in part due to the loss of two stores from its network.  
In the company’s strategic report, Chairman Theo Paphitis said improved margins from trading activities as well as improved cost management lifted pre-tax profits to £8 million versus £7.5 million in 2014/15.  

Other positives were an 8.8% growth in e-commerce sales and success from its stores being used as click and collect locations for fellow Theo Paphitis Retail Group companies Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue.  

Paphitis concluded: “Despite the widely reported challenges facing retail, particularly in ‘bricks and mortar’, Ryman is a resilient business, as demonstrated by its performance over many years, building on our financial strength and ability of our colleagues across the board.”  

At the time the accounts were filed, Ryman had 218 stores nationwide, marginally down from 220 a year previous.  

Article courtesy of opi.net
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Doug Ramsdale Joins Highlands as Global Growth Leader

November 1, 2016

Doug Ramsdale joins Highlands as Global Growth Leader to broaden Highlands’s expertise and effectiveness in consumer products and international markets, effective November 1 2016.

“Doug is passionate about international opportunities and growth,” says Bob O’Gara, CEO Highlands.  “Since 2007, Doug has been providing business services to both large and independently owned businesses.  We are very excited for him to join the team.”

Doug has had extensive experience in the business products channel, serving in leadership and consulting roles at ACCO, Fellowes, Office Depot/Viking, Staples, Nelson, and Home Products.  His professional talents include facilitating market-entry, improving product performance, and increasing revenue growth in numerous international markets: the USA, UK, Germany, France, Mexico, Australia, and more. 

“We have established Highlands as the go-to agency for international expansion in the US, UK, and Canada", and with Doug’s guidance, we can provide even more international accessibility,” commented Bob.  “He has proven global performance, and an energy and character that is what we at Highlands represent.”

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies.  For over 54 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.  
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Highlands Announces Partnership with Turbon USA

October 3, 2016 

The Turbon Group is a worldwide leader in the manufacture and distribution of compatible laser toner supplies, including the IBM, Evergreen, and ILG brands. Turbon is well known for superior quality, engineering innovation, environmental stewardship, and customer satisfaction.

“We are really excited to partner with a toner remanufacturer with such financial and structural stability,” says Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands. “They are committed to grow their market share, and we both agree that the market is ready for a new leader.”

Highlands has committed to act as Turbon’s Sales and Marketing arm to increase their visibility, distribution, and availability. Al DeLuca, CEO of Turbon Worldwide commented, “Highlands is a great complement to our business as we continue to focus on our core competency: producing the highest quality products for the Independent Dealer Channel and our strategic business partners. Our precision color technology is leading the market as an OEM alternative, and we look forward to Highlands delivering that message of our superior quality products.”

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies. For over 54 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.

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Reuben Bradshaw Joins Highlands Europe as Head of PBS Network, UK

September 1st 2016.

Reuben has had extensive experience in the UK business products channel, serving in Marketing, Sales, and Operations roles within the largest wholesaler and several resellers. Reuben will be using his project-planning strengths and business products experience to help establish the PBS Network within the UK business products channel.

Gordon Christiansen, Highlands’s Managing Director for Europe explains, “We wanted to bring PBS to the UK and we have formed a joint venture with them to make it happen. Having someone of Reuben’s skills, experience, and knowledge will facilitate a fast paced entry to the benefit of all stakeholders in the channel.”

PBS Network was started in 1996 by four German manufacturers of office supplies as a not-for-profit company, and is now firmly established as the de facto data service provider in continental Europe. Through continuous innovation, the PBSeasy® product portfolio has expanded to four categories: Marketplace, Data, EDI, and Mobile.

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies. For over 54 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.
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June Schmidt promoted to VP, Field Sales

August 23, 2016 

Highlands has announced that June Schmidt has been promoted to Vice President, Field Sales Northeast and South Regions, with immediate effect.

June has been an integral part of Highlands for over three and a half years, first serving as the Business Development Director, Western Region and then Business Development Director, South Region.

Prior to joining Highlands, June spent over 13 years at Henkel of America, in Sales and National Account Management roles, including acting as Regional Manager for the Home Improvement Channel.

“The majority of June’s time at Henkel was spent in Commercial Markets, managing five rep groups in an 11-state Sales region,” says Rick Morgan, President, at Highlands. “She’s been a great asset here from the start, and we are excited to align her experience with our Field initiatives and develop even stronger partnerships with our manufacturers.”

“This position is all about driving growth for our partners,” says June. “I’m looking forward to developing stronger cohesion between our teams and our Marketing programs and platforms.”

Highlands is the only multinational sales and marketing services agency supporting manufacturers and resellers in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces with custom product, sales, and marketing strategies. For over 54 years, Highlands has focused on engineering greater sales for its partners by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs, brand resources, and technologies for entire channels.
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