Pitch Panel Moderator
WARREN TUTTLE (PRESIDENT, UNITED INVENTORS ASSOCIATION)
For those familiar with the mega-hit kitchenware product called Smart Spin, Warren Tuttle was the person behind the scenes helping to orchestrate its direct-response, overnight success. Teaming up with a Boston based inventor, Warren has sold more than 10 million Smart Spin units. Warren has also partnered in the initial market launch of several other innovative housewares products including MISTO, The Gourmet Olive Oil Sprayer, which has sold more than 5 million units worldwide, and The Toss and Turn Pan, one of the decade’s best-selling cookware fry pans in the US. Currently, Warren works with the Open Innovation programs for Techtronic Industries NA of Anderson, South Carolina and Lifetime Brands of Garden City, NY. He screens and serves as a liaison for innovative external product submissions for the mutual benefit of both the companies and inventors. As the largest manufacturer of power tools in the US, TTI Group distributes products under the RYOBI, Ridgid and Milwaukee brands, as well as other OEM arrangements. Additionally, TTI owns Homelite, Hoover vacuums and Dirt Devil. Lifetime Brands is the world’s largest manufacturer of kitchen utensils and a major supplier of food prep and tabletop products to America’s major retailers. They market over 18,000 products under multiple brand names including Farberware, Kitchen Aid, Cuisinart, Pedrini, Mikasa, Towle and Pfaltzgraff. In the past four years, Warren has initiated more than 40 of the company’s new product licensing agreements. Currently, Warren serves as the President of the United Inventors Association, a national non-profit dedicated to educating aspiring inventors, patent holders and product developers.
CHARIS MARQUEZ (HEAD OF ECOMMERCE MERCHANDISING, LEVI STRAUSS & CO.)
Charis Marquez is the Head of Ecommerce Merchandising for the Americas Region at Levi Strauss & Co. Charis Marquez has over 16 years in retail in positions in Human Resources, Supply Chain Operations and, for the past 8 years, Ecommerce. Charis spent 16 years with Sears Holdings, Charis’ prior experience includes over 16 years at Sears Holdings Corporation as Head of Ecommerce and Digital for Craftsman, Kenmore and DieHard brands and being responsible for the general management and P&L for Kenmore.com and Craftsman.com, along with managing the Brand presence and marketing online for Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands. Charis has spoken at several conferences on branding and ecommerce technology and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from University of Maryland, College Park, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
CHARLES FERRER (CEO & PRESIDENT CMS WORLD SPORT GROUP)
Mr. Ferrer has extensive experience in the design, manufacturing, marketing and sales of sporting goods, footwear, apparel, combat sports, medical and orthopedic products, as well as other consumer products. He has been CEO, President or Director of Sportsotron Inc., Everlast World Boxing, IKON, Macho Products, NAPMA, NDL Sports, and CS World Group, CMS Sports Inc. and CMS WorldGroup Consulting. Mr. Ferrer is and has been a consultant to many Organizing Committees of the Olympic, Pan American, Central American and Caribbean Games and various sports World Championships. Creator of the CFC Design Studio, designers of many branded products including the complete product lines of Fred Perry Sportswear, Main Event, Safety Sweats, Linea H, Little Ninjas, Hitman, Ikon, Hysport, Flyte, as well as many products for Brooks, Etonic, Pony, Everlast, Liberty, Hugo, Bushido, Obie, and many other companies. As of 2003 the CFC Design Studio and R.E.D.D. division of CMS engineering team has provided its design and manufacturing services to leading medical and orthopedic companies worldwide like DeRoyal, Don Joy, Corflex, BSN, SAI, Trulife and many others. In the past six years more than 200 inventors have retained CMS to develop their inventions.
Steve Silbiger started Plymouth Direct in 1997, as a result of years of experience in the TV direct response industry. Today, he has joined with NPI, Inc. to form Top Dog Direct. His previous experience includes analyzing marketing data at Nutri/System Inc. and acting as new product director at National Media, where he discovered and developed new products for infomercials. At Top Dog Direct, his talent is quickly bringing consumer products to market. “As Seen on TV” products are Steve’s specialty, with Hutton-Miller handling television production for dozens of TV blockbuster products. Silbiger earned his MBA in Marketing at the University of Virginia, Darden School, and his undergraduate degree in accounting and CPA at the University of Kansas. He is the author of the book, The Ten-Day MBA (4th Edition), an international bestseller with more than 400,000 copies.
SCOTT HYND (PRODUCT EXPERT & SENIOR DIRECTOR)
Scott is a Senior Director of Brand Innovations and is responsible for product sourcing as well as overall selling strategies. He appears regularly as a product expert on QVC and in infomercials. Scott has personally presented over 200 different products on television, including fifteen Today’s Special Values, totaling thousands of appearances and over a quarter of a billion dollars in retail sales. Scott is a Board Member of the United Inventors Association of America and speaks at national trade shows and inventor education forums across the country. Scott is a graduate of both Clemson University and the Villanova University School of Law.