Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET
A Virtual Conference

What is commonsku University Plus?

Want to become a pro at using commonsku? Are you one of those who uses a few features but you know there’s a lot more to master?

commonsku University Plus is for commonsku distributor customers who are serious about becoming pros on the platform. With three main stage sessions plus multiple highly tactical breakout sessions for different functional areas, your team will learn how to maximize productivity while learning how other pros use commonsku to grow their sales.

The strongest benefit of attending commonsku University Plus is that you get a masterclass level of learning concentrated into a short few hours. Built for teams, it’s a minimum investment and maximum impact!

How is this event different than commonsku University?

We will focus on specific features, discuss strategy and tactics for implementation, and also hear from power users who excel on the platform through breakout electives.

Who should attend from my team?

Anyone on your team who uses commonsku in any capacity! Remember: Cross-training your team, even in areas that are not their expertise, promotes growth!

Join Aaron Kucherawy, Joe Kemple, Bre Redmond, and Erin Burley as we kick off CSU+ with a quick recap of features released in 2020. Plus, we’ll provide a quick overview of commonsku’s power features and tips on how to make the most of your learning time with us!

2:10pm - 2:35pm -
Marketing is the New Sales

The sales game has changed forever and it’s no longer analog: buyers now live behind screens which means our marketing is the #1 driver behind sales growth. And once you have all the right marketing tools working in harmony, your ability to attract and inspire sales amplifies tenfold! In this kick off session, we’re going to share why marketing is the new sales and the vital tools you need in your marketing toolkit.

You’ll learn:

  • Why an active marketing strategy is now the new sales driver
  • The primary tools you need to create a streamlined sales + marketing machine
  • How to use tools like CRM’s for intelligent selling that leads to growth

2:35pm - 2:55pm -
Elective Breakouts

Choose from one of our breakout sessions. Can’t decide? All sessions will be recorded and available in the platform after the event.

commonsku Hacks
We are constantly working on new developments, and in this session, we’ll provide an overview of the newest features and power hacks that help you improve your workflow, give you back more time, and free you to focus on sales. In this session, you’ll learn the commonsku community’s favorite features and hacks, the small surprises that make workflow simple, and the secret shortcuts to success hiding right in front of you!
There are so many versatile ways to use shops! In this session, we’ll look at the various ways that people are using shops and highlight some of the most creative shop experiences being used today, plus, we’ll look at ways to quickly grow your sales with pop-up shops, company shops, and marketing shops. You’ll learn new and novel ways to use shops to connect with customers, how to master the art of curation through shops experiences, and tips from Bre on quick set-ups, short-cuts, and power moves!
How to Automate Your Production Workflow
Order follow-up driving you crazy? Overwhelmed with too many details in production? It’s possible you’re not using all the features available to reign in and tame all that wild chaos. Join us for this session as we’ll look at ways to simplify your production workflow and maximize your peace of mind.
Connected Supplier Session: Collections and Cross-Platform Strategies for Success
Collections are a fast and elegant way to curate ideas for distributors, it’s a shortcut in the ideation process, making it easier for them to find and share your ideas with their customers. In this session, we’ll talk through the creation of collections, how to make them hyper-actionable for distributors, and how to create timely collections that sell, as well as ways you can leverage collections in your email marketing to commonsku distributors as a quick and easy call to action.

2:55pm - 3:20pm -
Smart Scaling: How High Tech + Lean Teams = Fast Growth

commonsku allows you to scale sales growth faster and leaner than ever before. But for those that are not using it to its full potential, it is an underleveraged powertool that at full potential drives speed and efficiency. In this session, we’ll demonstrate how to utilize the power at your fingertips to fast-track growth including how the reporting challenges, unites, and simplifies teamwork, the new promostandards integration, opportunity creation, closing orders, collections and collaborations, projects, and more.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use reporting to challenge, unite, and simplify teamwork
  • How the democratization of the sales team can be optimized for growth
  • How market leaders will lead with both engagement + commerce

3:20 - 3:40 pm -
Elective Breakouts

Choose from one of our breakout sessions. Can’t decide? All sessions will be recorded and available in the platform after the event.

Working Smarter with commonsku
Are you aware of the resources at your fingertips on growing your sales, working together as a team, and mastering the platform? The pace of innovation is faster than ever and continually learning is the only way to thrive in today’s complex environment. In this session, Erin and Kate will share not only where the best resources for learning can be found (for both the new person in the industry as well as the seasoned pro) but they will also suggest ways in which you can bake teaching moments into the rhythm of your team’s crazy-hectic schedule. Join us as we talk about how today’s opportunity to learn is both a connecting moment with your team and a way to catalyze growth!
Death, Taxes, and Chocolate
Okay, well, we had to throw chocolate in there because you know, we’re talking about taxes, and who wants to talk about taxes? Fortunately for you, we do! Join us as we walk through an overview of how the Avalara integration will help demystify taxes, simplify the complex, and keep your world in order!
Connected Supplier Session: Insights & Analytics Deep Dive - Know Your Numbers
As a commonsku Connected Supplier you now have a wealth of actionable data at your fingertips. In this session we'll walk you through the commonsku Insights component and the all-new supplier reporting dashboard and show you how to leverage the power of data to drive sales and success with the commonsku community.

3:40pm - 4:05pm -
How to Manage your Team When You Can’t See Them

To both managers and employees, the new virtual office has challenged many of us, but now that the whole world has adjusted to a virtual environment, it’s time to maximize our impact and learn how to lead, inspire, and encourage our teams. In this session, Bre and Bobby will cover the essential aspects of commonsku that help you manage your team remotely.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use commonsku to establish and enhance transparency in an encouraging environment
  • Why and how reporting gives insight which leads to foresight, plus the KPI’s that help manage a remote team
  • How other teams are maximizing the new virtual as the only way to grow!

4:05pm - 4:15pm -
Closing Remarks: The Road Ahead

In our closing session, Catherine Graham and Aaron Kucherawy will share what to look forward to through our exciting developments for 2021!

4:15pm - 4:30pm -
1-to-1 Networking

Just like at our conferences IRL, we want to provide an opportunity to connect, face-to-face, for real-time engagement and the sharing of ideas! Over the course of 15 minutes, you’ll be matched with 5 different commonsku users and given the opportunity to swap commonsku hacks, tips, and tricks. It will be fast, fun, and dynamic!

Brandi Johnson

Brandi Johnson is the Director of Order Operations at ScreenBroidery overseeing roughly 400+ purchase orders, on average, at all times, working with multiple order managers and six sales reps. An expert in supply chain management and production efficiencies, Brandi has been with ScreenBroidery for six years and was the company’s first Order Manager. A vital part of ScreenBroidery’s growth, Brandi has been a pivotal person guiding their production and their company to multi-million dollar annual revenue.

Winston Lo

Winston Lo is the Founder and President of Creative Boulevard, a West Coast-based promotional merchandise agency in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Winston first stumbled into a custom T-shirt printing gig in university. His logistics class project was about how to maximize the carrying load in his little hatchback, so, he ended up playing liaison between the school and the school’s t-shirt suppliers and decorators -a job that no one understood or wanted- hustling printed t-shirts between classes, phoning in orders, and picking orders up during his breaks. This experience sparked his entrepreneurial spirit as he grew the business beyond what anyone imagined and used it to pay for his education.

Entrepreneurship runs deep in the family, from running restaurants, building homes, fashion design, retail, and promotional products, the Lo’s have done it all, including starting an ad specialty company in 1997. Today, Creative Boulevard is a much sought-after design and creative-focused promotional merchandise agency, with thoughtfully designed products and strategies, often landing in the pages of best-in-class suppliers catalogs.

Karie Cowden

Karie Cowden, MAS accidentally fell into the promo world in 1996. Promo Journey: Support person for Holt Marketing Group, LLC now Geiger. Regional Sales Manager for AZ, CA, WA, OR, NV for Barlow, now Bic Graphic…I think. Regional Sales Manager for Vantage Custom Classics, now Vantage Apparel covering AZ and So Cal. Account Executive for Team Shop Premiums, now HDS and finally…founded Connect the Dots Promotions, LLC in 2008. Connect the Dots was just named #6 in fastest growing promotional products distributors by Promo Marketing Magazine for 2019.

In the 23+ years Karie has experienced this industry she has served as AZPPA president, RAC president and in 2008 the PPAI Board of Directors. All the volunteering, all of the fun, all of the people and all of the changes!

Mitch Silver

On the heels of receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the University of Illinois, Mitch joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a change management consultant. After growing weary of crisscrossing the country developing employee communications and sales materials for Fortune 500® companies, Mitch joined his brother Scott at Printable Promotions in 1997.

In 2001, Mitch was named to Counselor magazine’s “40 under 40” list of people to watch in the Promotional Products industry and in 2017 was recognized as a finalist for Advantages Magazine Sales Rep of the Year. Today, he oversees the marketing function at Printable Promotions which includes the role of Chief Architect for the company’s two-time award-winning website and nurturing it’s Best Places to Work award workplace for 3 years running. Mitch also works in inside sales to ‘wow’ a select group of clients by creating effective, impactful promotions. And while personal accolades are great, Mitch is most proud of his company consistently being listed on Counselor Magazine’s Best Places to work, coming in at #10 on the 2018 list.

Sarah Whitaker

Sarah Whitaker is the Owner and Client Success Manager for Williams Advertising and the founder of its newly launched Branded division. Sarah is passionate about business growth - her own and her clients’. Sarah’s favorite thing about the promotional products industry is the endless opportunity for creativity.

Before heading down her current path, Sarah worked in corporate marketing. Sarah earned a Master in Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in marketing from Murray State University. Sarah serves as a Board member for the Hopkinsville-Christian County Convention & Visitors Bureau and is President-Elect for the Pennyroyal Arts Council. Sarah’s favorite titles include mom to daughter Ellery and wife to husband Phillip.

Elizabeth Wimbush

With her versatile background, Elizabeth brings new perspectives and ideas to the operational side of the distribution. Her experience in logistics management at CN Rail helped lay the foundation that she later built upon by starting and running a successful fair-trade and organic cafe & bakery in Toronto. She is the co-creator of Babes Ride n Rage, a womxn’s only off-grid motorcycle camp out with a focus on inclusivity, now in its 7th year.

She’s currently shaping the production and vendor management processes as Director for Rightsleeve and Genumark, working to prioritize sustainability and ensuring their strong values are reflected in every buying decision. She still makes a mean cup of coffee and rips all the motorbikes she can get her hands on.

Jason Davis

Jason has been with Avalara for over 6 years and has worn several hats during that time. He specializes in sales of Avalara’s core sales tax products as well as assisting new partners and their clients automate their sales tax compliance needs. Jason has experience and expertise in educating customers on sales tax compliance requirements and finding the correct Avalara product to fit sale tax needs. Jason is headquartered out of his home on Bainbridge Island, which is a short ferry boat ride from Seattle. In his free time, Jason enjoys skiing, hiking, running, and spending time with his family.

Catherine Graham

Catherine Graham is the CEO of commonsku. Catherine has been named to the Counselor Power 50 list, PPB’s Best Boss, and an ASI Rising Star. Before co-founding commonsku, Catherine was the President of RIGHTSLEEVE. Under her leadership, RIGHTSLEEVE received numerous industry awards including ASI Distributor Entrepreneur of the Year, PPAI Web Award, and Counselor’s Best Places to Work. RIGHTSLEEVE received the Dell Small Business Excellence Award in 2009 for its technological innovations, the foundation of which became commonsku in 2011.

Bobby Lehew

Bobby Lehew is the Chief Content Officer at commonsku. A 25-year industry veteran, Bobby was formerly the CEO at Robyn, a branded product fulfillment company that specialized in private-label, e-commerce company stores. Bobby is a national speaker on topics related to B2B marketing, company stores, productivity, and storytelling. Featured in ASI’s Counselor magazine as one of “41 people who are shaking up the market with new and innovative approaches” (2010) and in OKC Biz magazine’s “Forty Under 40″ (2009), Bobby is an ardent bibliophile and loves working at the intersection of art and commerce.

Aaron Kucherawy

Recognized by PPAI’s PPB Magazine in 2016 as one of the industry’s most Powerful Partners and by PPB Magazine as a 2018 Rising Star, Aaron Kucherawy’s grace under pressure is legendary. As the Manager of Customer Success at commonsku, he’s always there when you need him. Aaron began with commonsku in the early days and with the platform’s rise and success, Aaron remains one of the most admired team members by customers. An expert in platform proficiency and systems integration, Aaron thrives on guiding new users and advising the pros on how to scale and grow their business using the commonsku platform.

Joe Kemple

Joe Kemple is a Senior Customer Success Specialist at commonsku. He is a newly minted Canadian but hails from Derby, England. He loves Harry Potter, his shiny Gyarados Pokemon Card, and his pup Nova - not necessarily in that order. While Joe enjoys training new people, what he loves most about his role is following up with those people in the future and seeing how far they’ve come or hearing how much the platform has improved their life.

Bre Redmond

Bre Redmond is a Senior Customer Success Specialist at commonsku. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, and loves being surrounded by so many natural wonders. She is one of the friendliest voices on the commonsku team (and that's saying a lot!). Her favorite part of her job is the customer interactions, anybody who has trained with her knows she could talk to them for days.

Erin Burley

Erin Burley is a member of our Customer Success team and works out of the home office in Toronto; you've come to know her as the friendly voice on the end of your calls and support chats. Erin is new to the industry, but is a customer support veteran. She is a former actor with a background in the arts and loves seeing live theatre and going to film festivals. She is a coffee lover, an occasional playwright, and an avid reader who hosts a monthly book club.

David Shultz

David is the VP of Supplier Partnerships for commonsku. With 20 years of industry experience, David enjoys collaborating with his industry peers to address technical challenges affecting our industry with a focus on workflow connectivity. Prior to joining commonsku David served as the VP of Operations for industry service provider, DistributorCentral. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Promotional Products Association Midwest (PPAM), the PromoCares Board, PPAI's Regional Strategic Foresight Committee and PPAI's Awards & Recognition Committee.

Kate Masewich

As commonsku’s Marketing Director, Kate is passionate about community, a detail-fanatic, and possesses an incredible agility, navigating commonsku toward future-focused branding while delivering on fast, target-rich marketing execution. 2020 PPB Rising Star, Pyramid Award winner, and avid traveler, when she’s not planning a new place to explore, you can find her cooking meals for friends, playing board games, and spending time outdoors.

We've partnered with S&S Activewear to create limited edition merch for commonsku University Plus. All attendees will receive an Independent Co. Premium Heavyweight Crewneck in the color of their choice: Classic Navy, Bone, Maroon, or Dusty Rose.