Drawing on industry-wide interest in retail innovation, Chain Store Age's SPECS 2018 conference, held at Gaylord Texan, Dallas, premiered SPECS Tank Innovator of the Year. The winner was chosen during a presentation following the format of the popular television show, where candidates present their new (or featured) products or solutions to a jury ("sharks").
The SPECS version, five candidates faced the sharks. Each person was given four minutes to pitch their products, whereupon the SPECS sharks had time to ask the questions of the participants.
The sharks, all members of the SPECS 2018 Advisory Board, were: Randy Pannell, VP of Construction for Saks Fifth Avenue; Craig Hale, Associate, HFA; Lisa Smola-Hollo, Project Manager, Growth and Development, Ulta Beauty; Wendy Whetton, Senior Facilities Project Manager for Harbor Freight Tools. Scott Griffin, director of store design and construction for Stein Mart, and also a SPECS advisory board member, served as the facilitator.
WINNERS: Mike Rose, CEO of Heritage Fire and Security Hackensack, New Jersey, picked up the SPECS Tank Innovator of the year with his newly patented invention: the RHGP-1
"In the normal kitchen operation in a restaurant operation greasy smoke rises into the cooker hood, "Rose told the judges. "This grease can clog components of the fire extinguishing system."
The RHGP-1 unit is installed in the cooker hood and rotated 90 degrees to lock it – protecting the detection cable and piping from clogging by the greasy fumes and allowing the system to operate properly. The removal is done by simply turning and turning, and the device is discarded and replaced.
Roses' winning invention – the RHGP-1 Cooker Hood Grease Barrier – is officially unveiled at the National Association of State Fire Marshal's Annual Conference in Park City, Utah, on August 13th.
In addition to the Heritage Fire and Security Rose, which made the winning pitch, there were four other participants on the SPECS Tank stage. They were:
• Ray Salzer, Director, Salzer Products who introduced his innovative snowmelt solution "Melt Jet"
• Lisa Schwartz, President, ProCoat (19659002) • Brent Bishop, Vice President of Sales and Operations, North America, Mapal Plastics who introduced a new recyclable product foamed polypropylene film called PolyCraft; and
• Rob Reiter, Chief Security Advisor, Calpipe Security Bollards who proposed a new way to monetize security bollards by creating an ad network to make retail bollards positive.
The persons selected from a pool of various submissions was the SPECS belonging to the SHSK tank. A SPECS tank session is already in preparation for SPECS 2019.