Navigating the Product Mindset: The View from UL

International Roundtable

June 21, 2012: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

As global trade becomes more complex and dynamic than ever before, entirely new trade flows that barely existed five years ago are being introduced, and the supply chains that underpin them are becoming increasingly more complicated. Manufacturing companies on average rely on more than 35 different contract manufacturers around the world to create a single product. That's a massive amount of complexity to harness and navigate. 

How people perceive the products they make and consume has a profound effect on how those products flow across borders. Just this past year, food recalls and natural disasters affected global supply chains while political upheavals, new government regulations and continued debates about the environment impacted our viewpoints and priorities. All these events shaped the Product Mindset. 

How do people think and feel about products globally and how does it affect you in terms of how you think, how you plan and how you innovate? Suzanne will explain how the Product Mindset addresses this question across many dimensions, including safety, performance, sustainability and innovation. You will find the results compelling, provocative and, in places, reaffirming.


Gleacher Center
450 Cityfront Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

Driving Directions:


300 East Illinois Street (AMC Theater-River East Self Park Garage)

$6.00 after 3:00 pm on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday for a 12-hour period

Garage: Self Park Facility

Payment: Automated; at pay-stations by cash or credit card or upon exit pay by credit card only.

To receive discounted rate: There is a card validator at the first floor security desk of the Gleacher Center. You will only need to insert your parking card in the validator and the new price will be automatically applied. When you leave the lot you will be charged for the lower $6.00 fee.

Detailed Directions:

Garage is located next to PJ Clarks and below the AMC Theater.

a) When traveling east on Illinois cross over Columbus and enter the Garage on the left (north) side of the street

b) If driving west on Grand (north of Theater), you can enter the garage ½ block before Columbus on the left (south) side of the street.


No Charge


Register Online

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At times, we need to upgrade the room size to accommodate you so registering in advance helps make things go smoother.

Deadline: 6/21/2012


6:00 PM-6:30 PM: Networking

6:30 PM-8:00 PM: Presentation

8:00 PM-9:00 PM: The Midway Club for Networking on Fifth Floor

Speaker Profiles

Suzanne Lavin (Speaker)
Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

Suzanne Lavin is the Vice President of Corporate Marketing at UL, a global safety science company, headquartered in suburban Chicago. Suzanne's experience spans brand building, integrated marketing, mergers and acquisitions communications, crisis management and organizational change management. She has spent the last ten years in a variety of positions at UL focused primarily on marketing communications, consulting and change management. She currently leads Global Marketing and is responsible for nurturing the UL brand via brand management, digital marketing, social media, public relations and crisis communications.

During her tenure with UL, she was instrumental in creating a high-performing, global marketing function for the company. This included launching UL's first ever social media program, a crisis communications process, an M&A communications program and most recently the re-launch of the UL brand globally. Today she is actively building the brand across many cultures, including eight countries and four continents.

In 2011, Suzanne acted as the Executive Editor of Navigating the Product Mindset, the first of an annual study that investigates attitudes about where products are made, sold, bought and consumed. Based on global research among consumers and manufacturers, the study examines perceptions about products related to safety, performance, innovation and sustainability. The study has been featured in Forbes, Fortune, The New York Times and Time Magazine.

Suzanne is passionate about many things, but brand building is at the top of the list. She believes that great brands are built by great teams who successfully marry corporate strategy and brand strategy with change management. She has had the distinct pleasure of defining UL's brand strategy and brand architecture, while helping to leverage its iconic nature to build the business globally.


Karl L. Buschmann, '85 

Other Information


Networking is a key benefit of attending. To that end, a table will be made available for literature and handouts. Bring your business cards, brochures, handbills, literature, resumes, and publicity for placement on the table. 


After many years of service, Sophia Kholodenko is stepping down as Co-chair. Karl Buschmann welcomes inquiries from Booth alumni who would like to get more involved in running the International Roundtable. Responsibilities include:

--Regular attendance

--Programming: identifying interesting topics and securing speakers

--Administration: writing publicity, publicizing events through the University and roundtable email distribution list channels, and coordinating with the Alumni Office 


The Illinois International Business Calendar is one of the comprehensive lists of events in the Chicago area. For a free PDF copy, send an inquiry to The calendar can also be viewed at

Questions/Concerns/Suggestions for Speakers?

Karl L. Buschmann

Career Management:

In transition? Looking for a job? Come to the networking session for information exchange.

Upcoming Sessions

Mark your calendar for upcoming International Roundtable sessions on the third Thursday of the month in 2012.