Meet the Team
Distribution Strategy Group’s thought leadership, research and consulting services are led by a team with decades of experience as senior operators in the distribution industry. They have since worked with more than 70 distribution companies to build a solid foundation to win in today’s changing market.
Ian G. Heller
Founder & Senior Partner
Ian Heller is Founder & Senior Partner at Distribution Strategy Group, and has more than 30 years of experience executing marketing and e-business strategy in the wholesale distribution industry. He has written and spoken extensively on the impact of digital disruption on distributors.
Ian entered the distribution industry as a truck unloader at a Grainger branch while in college. He eventually became Vice President of Marketing there and has since held senior executive roles at GE Capital, Corporate Express, Newark Electronics and HD Supply. Ian most recently served as President and COO for Modern Distribution Management, a specialized information and analytics firm serving the wholesale distribution industry.
Ian earned a BA in History from Roosevelt University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was elected commencement speaker by his classmates and won the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award.
Jonathan Bein, Ph.D. has worked with many distributors to make their marketing a profit center. He has developed and applied analytic approaches for customer segmentation, customer lifecycle management, positioning and messaging, pricing, and channel strategy for distributors.
Prior to Distribution Strategy Group, Bein has successfully led and been part of executive management for software product and services companies in information technology, healthcare, and communications. Bein has been CEO of several companies including:
SkyeTek — grew revenues and valuation four-fold of RFID manufacturer in seven months.
IGS, Inc. — delivered 100 software solutions for companies such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, and Lucent.
Bolder Heuristics, Inc. — achieved Inc 500 ranking with software services for telecommunications, healthcare, and IT.
As VP Engineering at Informed Access, a provider of phone based healthcare triage, he drove development of core products and services and the company was subsequently sold for $300M. As VP, Engineering at Telwatch, Bein drove development of network management software that became the core platform for Objective Systems. At Martin Marietta, he applied artificial intelligence to perform automatic real-time fault handling of spacecraft hardware.
Bein earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Colorado with a focus in Data Intensive Expert Systems and a BA in Computer Science at Indiana University.
Dean has more than 30 years experience in sales and marketing, including several senior-level positions in marketing and technology leadership, in both public and private equity organizations. Using market research, Dean has a deep understanding of distributor customer needs.
He has rich ecommerce experience, driving distribution customer engagement, leading to millions of dollars in additional revenue and gross profit. Strategies employed include: marketing automation, Salesforce.com CRM, Content Management Systems, ratings & reviews, ask & answer, SEO, and SEM, among others. Additionally, Dean has selected and employed distributor ecommerce solutions driving significant shift to online sales, improving profitability, and customer satisfaction. He is certified in Google AdWords.
Using market research, Dean has a deep understanding of distributor customer needs. He led early mobile-optimized distributor website and app development, resulting in a shift from 18% to 30% of website visitors using mobile devices in less than two years. He was also responsible for leading development of an innovative quick-order application for Apple iOS and Android devices that resulted in new large customer acquisitions and a lower cost to serve for repeat orders.
Dean earned his MBA, with an emphasis in eBusiness, from University of Phoenix while working full time. His undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science from Iowa State University.
Debbie Paul has a rich background in developing and growing revenue streams with inside sales and direct marketing. As VP of Contact Centers at Newark Electronics, Debbie created two call centers supporting inside sales, customer service, website support and product technical support.
She oversaw the growth of small- to medium-sized high-potential customers with results of over 10% growth year one of consolidation. Growth continued in subsequent years at a rate of 15 – 20%.
Prior to Newark, she managed the Chicago Sears Catalog Call Center, overseeing 75 employees performing outbound sales, inbound appointment management and catalog sales and subscription management operations. Her experience in direct marketing was in the consumer segment where she created direct marketing catalogs and direct mailers targeted at various segments within the Sears customer list. At Allstate Insurance Company, Debbie created and ran all aspects of call centers and operations for a division of membership services.
Debbie has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA.
Robert A. Kelley, CFA
Robert Kelley has had an extensive career with high-growth companies from venture-capital backed high-technology startups to large public corporations. He has been the founding Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and VP Engineering for Pyramid Technology — one of the leading computer manufacturers now part of Fujitsu Siemens, Decisionism — an early data warehousing and business analytics companies acquired by Broadbase/Kana, and Crosswalk, Inc. and early high-performance grid storage vendor, as well as VP Strategic Marketing.
At Distribution Strategy Group, Rob creates quantitative analytics models and software applications used for pricing optimization, economic value models, competitive analysis, customer profiles and market segmentation. Rob has been a leader in developing and applying new technologies to a wide variety of business problems including supply chain, customer care, and decision support, and across multiple industries including telecommunications, media, healthcare, manufacturing and financial services. In addition to technology, engineering and marketing roles, Rob is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has worked in mergers and acquisitions, strategic investments and regulatory valuations.
Partner – eCommerce, UX, & Search
Jason Capshaw has worked with brands to grow their digital footprint. He works with distribution teams to manage implementations, increase conversion rates, and leverage search marketing to grow revenue and make customers stick. His philosophy is “start with the customer and work your way back.” He lives in the Atlanta area with his 3 kids.