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Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit

Moving the Needle: Where to Grow, What to Risk

Date: February 27 - 28, 2018

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Why This Summit is Important to You

One of the toughest challenges facing executives today – especially in large, established firms – is deciding where to grow and which new opportunities to pursue while simultaneously building the core. Growth depends on the artful balance of current products and processes with potentially bigger, future-focused yet often riskier activities.

Getting it right has never been more difficult – or more vital.

This is particularly true in fast-moving industries such as consumer packaged goods (CPG) and food & beverage (F&B) where intense pressure on margins requires more than cost control and incremental innovation. Bottom line results aren’t enough. It’s the top line that moves the needle. You must be bold and decisive, launch ‘must-have’ products before your competitors, and serve/delight your customers in new ways. No risk, no reward -- though risk for large companies often errs too much on the side of caution.

So, how do you balance big bets with bread-and-butter?

It starts with an outside-in view; understanding the macro trends and external economic, social, political, and technological factors that drive competition. It then means choosing the right endeavors for your organization and ramping up accordingly. Finally, it means leading people to move ahead boldly, changing mindsets that no longer work.

What are others doing and what works best?

The Second Annual Innovation & Growth Leadership Summit (IGL), to be held February 27-28, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona, will focus on how to map and execute your best course of action. Building on the deep, candid idea-sharing and action planning of the first Summit, it will again bring together top innovation and strategy leaders to share experiences, struggles, solutions, and plans. What’s said in the room will stay in the room – you can talk openly about challenges and receive true support.

Chaired and facilitated by Cheryl Perkins, President and founder of Innovationedge, the Summit kicks off with an evening reception and special presentations on February 27 – designed to introduce you to your colleagues from other companies as well as potential collaboration and acquisition opportunities. The next day will be an immersive discussion, filled with panel sessions, table exercises, keynote presentations, luncheon roundtables, and plenty of networking.

The agenda progresses from the outside (external factors and macro trends) to inside (strategy, culture, processes, and capabilities), and will cover such topics as:

  • Macro Trends Driving Growth and Innovation Across Industries
  • Finding the Right Problem(s) to Solve
  • Uncovering Untapped Needs and Translating to a Solid Business Proposition
  • Critical Enablers That Must Be Carefully Managed – Process and Culture
  • Achieving Higher Revenue and Greater Sales in the Age of Amazon

Conference Chairperson

Cheryl Perkins, President and Founder, Innovationedge


  • Rebecca Chesney, Research Director, Institute for the Future, Food Futures Lab
  • Karen Stanton, Director Global Marketing & Branding, International Flavors & Fragrances 
  • Dennis Reimer, President, Midwest Specialty Products
  • Rohan Thambrahalli, President and Managing Partner, The Upstart Group
  • Herman So, Vice President, Kent Corporation 
  • Patrick Clusman, Chief Operating Officer, Innovationedge
  • Anna Husk, Global Insights Director, Professional Products Division, The Clorox Company
  • Steph Barry, Managing Director, Global Market Development, Solatube International, Inc. 
  • Jen Faigel, Executive Director and Co-Founder, CommonWealth Kitchen 
  • Mary E. Witte, Regional Sales/National Accounts Manager, Surpless Dunn & Co. Inc.


3 Key Deliverables

By participating, you will receive:

  1. Strategies, capabilities and tactics to boost top line growth, market leadership, agility and speed.
  2. Decision making insights about mega trends and future directions as well as under-the-radar opportunities. Learn to identify opportunities, launch new ventures, and lead necessary organizational changes to strengthen or revitalize your organization’s market position.
  3. New peer network, business contacts, potential partners – meet the right people in a focused, non-commercial and collegial setting.

What You Will Learn

Specifically you will come away knowing:

  1. What futurists are defining as the mega trends that will impact your business today and tomorrow
  2. How to determine if the problem(s) you are focused on are worth solving and will make a meaningful difference
  3. Key questions you must ask to determine where you have the ‘right to win’ versus just the ‘right to play.’
  4. How to define brand sufficiency and capability needs to deliver on growth.
  5. What role partnerships and acquisitions play in defining your right to win in new spaces.
  6. How to move faster into new markets while the opportunity window is open; getting to customers first. 
  7. How internet buying and home delivery are changing the game, what steps you should take to advance your technology capabilities and ecosystem.
  8. What global market shifts lie ahead? How to capitalize on emerging pockets of opportunity.
  9. How to assess new opportunities in less regulated markets (pet food, supplements, food with pharma/nutraceutical/health benefits, etc.) – what is your likelihood of success?
  10. How to simultaneously take new risks while growing the core – allocating resources, experimenting at lower cost, using launchpads, working with partners, and validating as you go.
  11. How to encourage both upper management and your team to take more - and bigger - chances.

Preliminary Agenda

Tuesday, February 27 – Kickoff & Networking Reception 

3:30-4:00 pm                 Registration/ Refreshments

4:00-5:00 pm                 Welcome & Overview: Perspective on Summit topics to be covered; participants share goals and challenges; Cheryl Perkins, Summit Chair

5:00-6:00 pm                 Keynote/Featured Presentation: Rebecca Chesney, Research Director, Institute for the Future, Food Futures Lab

6:00-7:30 pm                 Networking Reception featuring Fireside Chat with Jen Faigel, CommonWealth Kitchen 

7:30-                             Optional dinner (to be arranged)


Wednesday, February 28 – Summit

7:30-8:00 am                Continental Breakfast

8:00-8:15 am                Overview of the Day: Cheryl Perkins, Summit Chair

8:15-9:15 am                Keynote: Macro Trends Driving Growth and Innovation Across Industries; Karen Stanton, International Flavors & Fragrances

9:15-10:00 am              Presentation: Leadership Before Innovation - Four Key Ingredients, Steph Barry, Solatube International, Inc.

10:00-10:30 am            Networking & Refreshment Break

10:30-11:15 am            Panel: Critical Enablers That Must Be Carefully Managed – Process and Culture; Herman So, Kent Corporation and Dennis Reimer, Midwest Specialty Products

11:15-12:00 pm            Table Exercise: – Table exercise, discussion, coaching

12:00-1:30 pm               Luncheon Roundtables

1:30-2:15 pm                Presentation: How to Create Insight-Led Growth Opportunities; Anna Husk, The Clorox Company   

2:15-2:45 pm                Presentation: Generating More Value from R&D

2:45-3:00 pm                Networking & Refreshment Break

3:00-3:45 pm                Table Exercise: – Table exercise, discussion, coaching

3:45-4:00 pm                Summit Wrap-Up: Cheryl Perkins


Session Descriptions

Food Innovation: Recipes for Change  Rebecca Chesney, Research Director, Institute for the Future (IFTF), Food Futures Lab

Rebecca Chesney will share IFTF’s groundbreaking Food Innovation: Recipes for the Next Decade. She’ll discuss how technology and social innovations will shape food, wellbeing, and resilience in the next decade, including such topics as:

·       New technologies that will support food choices, and the implications for trust and loyalty

·       Emerging approaches for engagement with food, food companies, and food systems

·       What today’s leading-edge eaters tell us about tomorrow’s new markets and offerings

·       How eaters will make tradeoffs between price, convenience, taste, and need for food system transformation

·       How social media influencers, shopping bots and new tastemakers such as algorithms and chefs—will shape food choices and define food experiences


Collaborating with Food Entrepreneurs: A New Model for Starting and Scaling Up Business  Jen Faigel, Executive Director and Co-Founder, CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK)

At an exclusive Fireside Chat with Cheryl Perkins, Jen Faigel will discuss a comprehensive model for starting and scaling up food companies— providing shared kitchens combined with integrated business and technical training, connections with buyers and distributors, connections with capital providers, and small-batch manufacturing. She’ll cover:

·       Change management— how to innovate within the construct of large institutions and corporations that are not able to be nimble and respond to the rapid changes happening in the market.

·       Experimentation and quick wins.

·       The rise of food incubators and accelerators– like Chobani, Barilla, ACCEL Foods, FOOD-X, and the proliferation of investment funds for new brands.

·       Building diverse networks across the supply chain–including farms, aggregators, distributors, buyers, etc.

·       Understanding demand and market gaps.

·       Specific opportunities to collaborate with CWK food entrepreneurs


Keynote: Macro-Trends and Multisensorial Experiences Driving Innovation Across Industries  Karen Stanton, Director, Global Marketing & Branding, International Flavors & Fragrances

“Can you smell what I see?” This interactive session will reveal some of today’s most exciting macro-trends including how scent and taste experiences are reinventing future products. As Global Marketing & Branding Director for IFF Flavors group, Karen Stanton plays an instrumental role in identifying new growth opportunities, designing innovation pathways, and partnering with industry leaders in the development of future foresights.

She will share:

·       Examples of 5-senses brand engagement from wearables, Agritech, and AI

·       Future health, wellness, and multisensorial experiences

·       Global case studies of disruptive innovation

She will then lead an interactive brainstorming activity to help you translate these trends into strategic, sustainable innovation in action for your company.

Leadership Before Innovation – Four Key Ingredients  Steph Barry, Managing Director, Global Market Development, Solatube International, Inc.

Everyone agrees that successful innovation goes beyond new ideas. It is the ability to continuously generate growth in a fast-changing, dispersed, competitive, and complex global marketplace. Studies show that only 10-15% of ‘innovation’ programs are effective long term – instead we see one-hit wonders, base hits, the occasional home run.  Innovation Leadership doesn’t just manage; they foster sustainable and successful innovation by creating a culture in which new ideas thrive and people deliver.

This talk will focus on four key ingredients of Innovation Leadership and how to cultivate them. They differ from those of leadership with innovation as follows:

1.     Visionary vs. Sharing A Vision: Innovation leaders create a vision with purpose where people feel secure, confident, see themselves in where you are going and their creativity comes out.

2.     Diversity vs. Inclusion: Beyond words, the Innovation Leader creates an environment that respects and harnesses the richness of different perspectives and experiences bringing about the best possible outcome.

3.     Them vs Us: They rely on collaboration, trust and openness to develop products that change the world

4.     ‘In’ vs Integrity: Innovation leadership leaves ego, arrogance and short-term results at the door favoring honor, duty and sustainable organizational objectives to yield higher returns.

Steph Barry will draw on her own experience as an impactful leader in large, complex organizations. She will share insights, case examples, and how-to’s as well as answer your questions. 

Panel: Critical Enablers That Must Be Carefully Managed – Process and Culture Herman So, Vice President, Kent Corporation and Dennis Reimer, CEO, Midwest Specialty Products

You can develop the best innovation strategy in the world, and it will fail if people aren’t on board. At the same time, buy-in takes more than just telling folks what to do. Resistance and fear must be eased, incentives and support must be offered. Dennis Reimer believes in empowering employees to be engaged so they provide highly responsive, relationship-oriented customer care. Herman So guides corporate-wide innovation efforts and resource allocation recommendations to accelerate growth across all Kent subsidiaries. In this interactive Q&A session, Dennis and Herman will share what works (and what does not) to motivate and get the best from people. Bring your questions – and your headaches; Dennis and Herman will advise.




This Summit is designed specifically for Chief Innovation Officers, Chief Strategy Officers, EVPs and VPs of Growth, Innovation, Product Development, R&D, Marketing, Operations, Business Unit Heads, and cross-functional teams from industries including consumer goods, food and beverage, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, appliances, biotech, oil & gas, electronics, defense/aerospace, and service industries. It will be invaluable to any executive responsible for spearheading growth through new product development, business development, partnerships, and/or geographic expansion.

Attendance is capped to ensure each participant receives personal guidance; bringing others from your organization is encouraged to gain traction and jump-start implementation. T

Logistics & Fees

Schedule: Registration begins at 3:30 pm on Tuesday, February 27; session begins at 4 pm, followed by reception from 6-7:30 pm. On Wednesday, February 28, breakfast is at 7:30 am, session begins at 8 am and concludes at 4 pm.

Fees*: $1195 per person, $1095 pp for groups of 3+ from same company. Fee includes program materials, luncheon, continental breakfast, refreshment/networking breaks, and kick-off welcome reception. Seating is very limited, advance payment is required and early registration is advised.

* plus nominal registration processing fee. 

Venue: Summit will be held at Black Canyon Conference Center, 9440 North 25th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ. Phone: (602) 944-0569  Web: 

Accommodations:  Hotel reservations may be made at

All three are within walking distance of conference center. 

Seats limited, reserve yours today!


Cancellations/Substitutions: Due to limited seating availability, registration fees for the Summit are non-refundable. You may send a substitute in your place with no penalty if your plans change; please inform us at least 2 days in advance.  (* See additional policy notes below.)

Questions, Special Requests:  Please email Jackie Cooper, Conference Director, at 



The sale of Summit tickets or credits is not permitted. We reserve the right to cancel or postpone a Summit or related event(s) at our sole discretion. If we cancel or postpone Summit, we will use reasonable efforts to reschedule the cancelled or postponed event to within twelve (12) months from its original start date.  Registration fees paid by registrants for a cancelled or postponed Summit shall be applicable to the rescheduled Summit on a dollar for dollar basis only. In the event we elect not to reschedule the cancelled Summit or event, registrant will be offered a refund. If this occurs, our responsibility is limited to a refund of any registration fee(s) already paid. Innovationedge/ Management Roundtable is not responsible for airline tickets, hotels costs, other tickets or payments, or any similar fee penalties or related or unrelated losses, costs and/or expenses registrant may incur or have incurred as a result of any trip cancellations or changes. Please allow thirty (30) days for us to process any refunds or credit changes. Summit dates and locations are subject to change without prior notice. Innovationedge/ Management Roundtable reserves the right to change any speakers for each Summit or event without notice.







How to register

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Call 1-800-338-2223 or 781-891-8080 (9:00am - 5:30pm EDT)

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