Some people say I have a real knack for building and expanding consumer businesses, but it is really my ability to apply a unique formula of best practices assembled from my experience working with some of the most known and successful consumer brands in the U.S. during formative years.
What’s it like to work with Benno?
1. Engineer/analyst by nurture
2. Innovator/creator by nature
3. Engaged/high energy
I spent the first twenty years of my career on both the buying side and selling side of the desk, as a merchant & marketer or CEO of consumer product companies (global retailers and private equity-owned distributors and manufacturers).
I challenge leadership. I’m not the right choice for a company that wants to be cautious and incremental. The market punishes companies that choose that path. Customers (and employees) are drawn to companies that show courage, commitment and vision. I learned early on that personal leadership is key to engaging employees and getting them aligned with the brand promise.
If you had told me I would design and implement a Sherpa communication platform and client showrooms and work on other brand assets after law school, I would not have believed it. Yet here we are, I am an analytical lawyer by training and a creative integrator by nature. I understand how organization and visual elements effect a brand’s perception and a product’s value. I developed an uncanny understanding how to adjust one to elevate the other.
What’s it like to work with Hilda?
I have worked to shape and build the (re)ALIGN brand over the years, to articulate its unique standing at the intersection of innovation and execution. I love to contribute with outside perspective or hands-on help on projects.
I am a creative director who literally goes to sleep at night thinking of my work. I dream about problem
solving until I wake up scribbling all the solutions down. I can be emotional, even controversial to get a
message across. I like to take measured risks but take them nonetheless, so my clients thrive. Creativity
should be exciting and ultimately profitable.
What’s it like to work with Carter?
3. Engaged/high energy
My expertise includes research, creative direction, product development, graphic design and brand strategy. I worked as a manager designing textiles for Pottery Barn, then launched my own company, India
Rose where I designed, imported, and distributed home textiles for 14 years, for companies like Quince,
Williams Sonoma brands, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, and others. I love solving brand- and product
challenges for consumer brands looking for a fresh approach in design and marketing.
I have passionately explored the globe searching for wonderful product and bringing people and companies together. I love to listen and learn everywhere I go.
What’s it like to work with David?
Strategic Sourcing Expert
I have developed and directed product in almost every category of Home Furnishings in over 50 different countries while working with some of the top retail companies in the USA - as Buyer or Vice President for Bloomingdale's, Pier 1, Ross, Williams-Sonoma. My passion for the home industry is infectious and I enjoy inspiring teams to reach for new opportunities. Collaborative interaction is essential in all aspects of business that I conduct.
Strategic planning and analysis coupled with my expert financial acumen have helped me to drive aggressive growth for numerous retail companies, vendors and overseas resources.
I understand markets and people. I analyze your business from product presentation to global supply chain, and I develop/execute commercial strategies that maximize your strengths and play on your competitors’ weaknesses. I engage with people and navigate challenges easily by building trust and focusing on win-win outcomes.
What’s it like to work with Lynn?
1. Product development/sourcing expert
3. People connector
I make it my business to thoroughly understand yours. I execute solutions that increase your commercial success, and I teach your team how to replicate that success time and again.
Nothing starts with results, everything starts with people.
My hands-on management style enables cross-functional and often global teams to develop innovative thinking, in order to improve the organization's ability to meet today’s challenging retail environment. I continuously encourage executives to adopt a “meet-and-greet” business approach - to switch out the conference room experience for the hands-on approach of the floor - and successfully achieve a more level playing field between corporate and the customer.
What’s it like to work with Nils?
1. Curious, lots of questions
2. Challenging, lots of whys
3. Straight talker, lots of honesty (with a pinch of humor)
With over 30 years of working with major retailers such as IKEA, Home Depot, Office Depot, Walmart and many others - on both sides of the buying desk, as corporate retail leader or selling to big retailers - I have a unique and broad knowledge of global product sourcing, project management, quality assurance, and manufacturing operations.
My curiosity, knowledge and knack for challenging myself and others have led me to work with or visit over 700 manufacturing facilities around the globe: furniture, glass, textiles, ceramic, metal and plastic extrusion, pallet - the list goes on.
Yogi Berra once said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”
I love being a merchant, tracking global food and product trends. I am passionate about sourcing and developing new and unique display products and programs, and I am highly proficient at working with multiple stakeholders to determine market focus and develop assortment strategies that increase sales and grow profits.
What’s it like to work with Cathy?
1. Product development/sourcing expert, GS1 US Standards
2. Skilled in Design Thinking and Six Sigma Black Belt
3. People connector
My professional and personal travels around the world (Europe, Asia, and the Americas) have increased my cultural IQ. Travel, for me, is not a responsibility or reward, but an opportunity to experience new and different people, places and products. Curiositylets me be a ‘sponge’ when traveling and attending major industry trade shows, seminars or visiting retail markets. I am continuously learning and gathering product inspiration while cultivating and maintaining a reliable global network of manufacturing contacts and factories.
After 35+ years in the business of owning, marketing and operating successful retail-oriented businesses I understand what it takes to lead and win in today’s environment. Communication, mentoring personnel and delivering world class service to each client I work with is my motivation to win and continue to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
What’s it like to work with Tom?
3. Creative Thinker
I’m passionate about and skilled at assisting retailers market their store through effective advertising and promotion.Experience goes a long way and I have the drive and desire to bring this knowledge to you and your team.
I am an accomplished Sales Executive with 25+ years of achievement growing revenue, client base & market share for leading companies across “multiple” industries. I have an uncanny gift for distilling complex business problems into palatable solutions for others.
What's it like to work with Rock?
1. Servant leader
I spent the first 20 years of my career with McGraw-Hill learning and working my way up through seven different sales roles, culminating in the role of VP Sales for North America. As VP Sales for two mid-sized companies, I helped position both for F500 acquisitions. Experience primarily in B2B sales and variety of industry types.
I set myself apart from others by being extremely passionate, organized and accountable…all with a “steady” demeanor even in stressful times. Empowering others & seeing their results is simply breathtaking.
As executive director for national trade associations, I had a unique perspective of how certain companies flourish and others make poor decisions, which lead to unfortunate consequences. I have met thousands of company owners and senior executives, retailers, and consumers, and collaborated with industry leaders to create unique programs. I learned from my late mother and the University of Michigan to serve creatively and with humility, no matter the opportunity.
What's it like to work with Diane?
1. Resourceful + Creative
2. High Energy + Collaborative
3. Team Builder + Connector
During my 30 years as owner of a PR and Marketing agency, we provided the best service, and raised the bar with unique programs and services. We represented eBay, Consumer Goods, Manufacturers, Artists and Authors – and more. I loved serving as the host of a TV show for Lifetime Channel.
I’m passionate about helping companies grow and flourish using positive business practices. My husband and I sponsor a speakers series for the Center for Positive Business at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. Passion, Purpose and Culture – Onboarding, Servant Leadership, Customer Service – you name it, we can start a dialogue about how to collaborate with Benno and reALIGN to maximize your business growth.
The Sherpa stories are familiar; Sherpas, elite mountaineers, experts in their local areas in hazardous elevations, guide teams of climbers to reach unobtainable summits.
Our process is similar; (re)ALIGN uses experienced business Sherpas who are familiar with unknown business territories, to expand your market footprint.
They are elite guides, experts in foreign terrain, native to business and product innovation. Guides who are genetically predisposed to work with you to reach new heights for your business expansion and profitable growth. (It’s not just some consultant’s business plan. You’ve seen the photos of climbers with backpacks. Sherpas also carry the load).
We guide your business, help you expand into new categories, new channels, or grow in old categories/channels but with a better go-to-market process. We provide market insights and brand frameworks that open new retail and B2B segments, geographic markets, and e-commerce opportunities, improve assortments, deepen supply chain access, improve internal processes, sharpen marketing collateral, and dramatically improve profitability.
We understand building business. It’s our territory.
I was born and schooled overseas and grew up as teenager on an organic venison farm in America. My family instilled a growth mindset in me. I had watched my father crash from financial success in the early 1970’s, then live painfully stuck for years without revenue generating clients. When I was 16, he uprooted us to a farm on a new continent, literally 12 miles from the next traffic light, where he got unstuck: he learned to create a premium-priced organic product and to sell it to 5-star restaurants in Manhattan, more than four hours by car from the farm.
This journey ignited my passion for delivering the extraordinary (or just the ordinary, extraordinarily well) to build more profitable revenue streams.
I climbed from intrapreneur/corporate rebel to CEO. I learnt the ropes as merchant & marketer at IKEA and Pottery Barn, travelled far in search of products and factories, and we grew our employers’ revenues. My future wife and I met on an airplane, we married at a hacienda and raised two awesome daughters in Cincinnati, OH. I started to take on turn-around challenges of PE-owned companies. I travelled all over this and 35 other countries on 4 continents, and worked on factory floors in China, Mexico, or India for long stretches of time, if that’s what it took.
My story has always been about growing and expanding horizons. In 2009 I started (re)ALIGN – at the “intersection of Innovation & Execution” – and collaborated with others to help owners and executives of mid-sized companies expand their market footprint. I love that our projects improve our clients’ metrics and significantly increase our clients’ net worth. Now I want to learn about your journey. My Sherpa collaborators and I want to guide you on your journey to new markets, new channels, new categories, and bigger horizons.