Former International Space Station Commander to speak to top wholesale distribution executives at National Air & Space Museum

Washington, D.C.- The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) today announced that Chris Hadfield will headline its 2023 Executive Summit dinner gala- the premiere event for the wholesale distribution industry.

“We are thrilled to have renowned astronaut, Chris Hadfield, at the NAW Executive Summit this year,” said NAW CEO Eric Hoplin. “Chris will headline our dinner gala at the National Air & Space Museum- a fitting venue as we look towards the Next Frontier of wholesale distribution,” concluded Hoplin.

“The wholesale-distribution industry is such a dynamic and enduring industry on the front line of America’s supply chain every day. I’m honored to address this incredible group of executives and share my experience, lessons learned, and what the future of innovation holds for us all, “ said Colonel and Retired Astronaut Chris Hadfield.

A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and fighter pilot, Colonel Hadfield’s many awards include the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Drawing upon his insights from an extensive career in the astronaut corps, the Colonel will discuss the necessity for both preparation and reaction to complex change, with our members at the premier dinner event for the North American distribution industry!

Held annually, NAW’s Executive Summit gathers the top executives across the wholesale distribution industry for world-class education and programming, and to discuss the future of the industry. This year’s theme is the Next Frontier of Wholesale Distribution. The wholesale distribution industry has seen America through every advancement and inflection point in history. Whatever the next frontier looks like, the wholesale-distribution industry will be there to meet the moment and lead the way.   

NAW is one of America’s leading trade associations, representing the $7.4 trillion wholesale distribution industry. Founded in 1946, NAW is comprised of national, regional, and state employers of all sizes, industry trade associations, partners, and stakeholders spanning all sectors of distribution. Our industry employs more than 5 million workers throughout the United States and accounts for 1/3 of the U.S. GDP. There are 35,000 Wholesale-Distribution companies that operate nearly 150,000 places of business across North America, including all 50 states.

NAW’s mission is to deliver world-class programs and services designed to help the most dynamic companies in Wholesale Distribution succeed. Our programming is tailored for the CEOs, senior executives, and rising leaders at our member companies and associations. Members engage with NAW through our offerings in Thought Leadership, Networking, Executive Education, Benchmarking/Research, Shared Resourcing, Partnerships, Government Relations, and Public Affairs. For more information, see