Do you know the feeling? You are excited and eager to take on a new challenge but have no clue where to start. Discussing ideas with your peers can be a great first step and one that Amcham can help you take.

Just ask Amchampion of the Year Inkeri Mentzoni.

The Vallila Interior Business Development Director, who helped get the Finnish design icon into US Target stores, knows the value of building and presenting a strong consumer brand.

That’s why she was keen to get Finnish design and consumer product companies around the table to share branding insights, best practice and development ideas.

Amcham’s Outi Toivanen-Visti speaks to Inkeri about her Launchpad USA Working Group.


How did it all get started?

“The idea was born when Amcham’s Mike Klyszeiko and I were discussing the needs of companies trying to start or do business in the US. As most growth companies are dealing with the same issues, we wanted to bring them around the table to learn from each other.”

How did the sessions unfold? Were your expectations met?

“The roundtables have so far covered the topics of consumer branding and establishing profitable logistics paths into the US.”

“The sessions have been lively, featured knowledgeable speakers, and have provided great takeaways for all involved. Things like how smaller companies with limited resources can approach brand building.”

What have you learned from the other participants?

“For more than 15 years I was involved in technical solution sales and business development. For the past two years, I have changed hats to consumer design products – I had a lot to learn! Amcham has helped me do this.”

What advice do you have for Amcham members interested in following your lead?

“Whether it is retail or branding or logistics, the real success of Amcham Working Groups is the relevance of the topics. You can always learn from others’ experiences, even if they are not in your field. The key is to remain nimble. By discussing with others, you will always have your finger on the pulse.”

It’s also good to be open-minded. When you meet people and professionals from different fields you will learn something you weren’t expecting.”


The Amcham community is full of talented, successful and forward-driven individuals like Inkeri and the award runners-up Karl-Johan Kronberg, Mercuri Urval, Hanna Laurén, Finnair, Leena Munter, Mainio Vire.