News Release: Futurist to speak at SalesPad’s PANELS 2018

February 23, 2018

SalesPad announces Futurist Sheryl Connelly as keynote speaker for annual conference, PANELS 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – SalesPad, a Grand Rapids-based software company, today announced Sheryl Connelly, the in-house futurist for Ford Motor Co., will be the keynote speaker for PANELS 2018. PANELS 2018 is a technology conference for manufacturing, distribution, warehousing and retail professionals and will take place Aug. 6-8 at the JW Marriott and the L.V. Eberhard Center in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We’re excited to announce Sheryl Connelly as our keynote speaker for PANELS 2018. Participants will learn how to spot trends that may impact their industry and learn strategies for thinking like a futurist, and we encourage anyone who wants to prepare their business for the future to attend,” said Jennifer Jurgens, SalesPad president. “Technology is changing every day, and while we can’t predict everything the future will bring, Sheryl will help attendees learn how to prepare for what’s next.”

Connelly has been the futurist for Ford for more than a decade. She identifies global consumer trends that could impact the entire company from product design to development to corporate strategy. She is a member of the Global Advisory Council on transportation for the World Economic Forum. Fast Company magazine named her one of the Most Creative People in Business in 2013 and 2015. Connelly has been a featured speaker at TED Global, appeared on CBS’s “This Morning,” CNBC’s “Fast Money” and NPR’s “All Things Considered” with Robert Siegel.

“Back to the Future” is the theme for PANELS 2018. During Connelly’s keynote presentation, she will teach attendees how to think like a futurist and spot trends that impact their business and industry. Connelly uses STEEP factors — social, technological, economic, environmental and political trends — to help people understand what will affect business in the short- and long-term. She will also share stories of her own futurist predictions that have come to fruition.

Watch the PANELS 2018 promotional video here.

"I found many of the PANELS breakout sessions informative and well run … I am confident that in 2018, with much more knowledge and experience with SalesPad, we'll be able to bring much more to the table. I look forward to this year’s event,” said Kurt Goetzke, purchasing agent for Hungry Howie's Distributing, INC and 2017 PANELS attendee.

PANELS attracts SalesPad customers and partners from across North America every year and provides an in-depth look at the latest tools and insights to help businesses streamline operational processes. Participants will take part in panel discussions, hear from industry leaders and learn about the latest features in the SalesPad product suite.

New to the conference this year is an Operational ERP Spotlight track, open to the public, which provides educational insights for anyone in warehousing, distribution, light manufacturing and mid-sized retail. The Operational ERP Spotlight track includes a two-day pass to attend the conference and keynote address. Other three-day conference tracks are open to SalesPad software users.

Early bird rates to attend the keynote session and a two-day pass begin at $49 or $149 for a single three-day pass. Group rates are available. Register for PANELS 2018 at


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