Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

May 16-20, 2022

The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Help your company develop strategic thinkers and an agile team when your employees participate in this one-week course. Your employees as students in this course will explore all aspects that make a distribution company successful: strategy, finance, supply chain management, sales and marketing, hiring and retention, team effectiveness and driving growth. They will gain an understanding of how to increase profits and reduce costs as they analyze the latest trends in supply chain management.

The NAW Distribution Leadership Program draws on the latest business practices, tailored to the distribution industry, and those business practices are delivered by award-winning faculty from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

Using a distribution-specific case study developed exclusively for NAW by the Ohio State University, students will spend time studying how to effectively respond to a wide range of distribution challenges including:

  • Hiring and retaining talent
  • Ever-demanding customers
  • Intense competition
  • Avoiding “commodity trap”
  • Growing complexity
  • Digital disruption
  • Leadership transitions
  • Tight margins
  • Inventory “right sizing”
  • Industry consolidation
  • SKU proliferation

What Distributors Are Saying

“One of the biggest benefits we have found from the NAW Distribution Leadership Program is that our employees are all learning the same information together as a team. Six employees are working on the same problem and they get to see all the aspects of what makes a distribution company successful. As they solve that problem during the week, they’re up late at night doing things that management or ownership would historically be doing and they’re getting a taste of that action. It’s been a big benefit to us. We’ll continue to engage in this program. For us, it’s one of the benefits of being part of NAW.”

— Doug York, President and CEO, Ewing Irrigation Products

Direct Member First Attendee $4,595.00

  • Direct Member Additional $4,395.00

Non Member First Attendee $6,595.00

  • Non Member Additional $6,395.00

To register for this event please email to

If you bring 4 or more delegates form your company to this event, you will be assigned a faculty mentor.

2022 NAW Distribution Leadership Program

Finance Review Session
Monday, May 16: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm EST
Faculty: Dan Oglevee

This review session will catch you up on critical measures of financial performance, fundamentals of financial analysis and financial decision making for the wholesale distribution business.

Topics include:

  • Reading financial statements
  • Key measures of financial performance and evaluation
  • Essential principles of net present value, financial leverage, and risk

Program Welcome & Introductions
Monday, May 16: 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm EST
Faculty: Keely Croxton & Mike Knemeyer

The 2022 NAW Distribution Leadership Program will officially kick off with a welcome, introductions and course overview. The Buck Supply Company (BSC) case study will serve as the integrative experience of this multi-day course. Program participants will form teams to address this timely and challenging case study. In this session, we will review the case and provide helpful strategies for successful analysis.

Strategy, and Thinking Strategically
Tuesday, May 17: 8:00 am – 10:45 am EST
Faculty: Lori Kendall

Every business must answer two questions to survive and thrive:

  • Who do we want to be as a company?
  • How do we intend to get there?

In addressing these questions of strategy, this session will present the alternatives and methods
of strategic business analysis.

Topics include:

  • Scanning the environment for business opportunities and threats
  • Surveying strategy tools and selecting the appropriate one(s) for your business
  • Organizing for effective strategy implementation
  • Adapting to changes in the competitive landscape

Supply Chain Management
Tuesday, May 17: 10:45 am – 12:00 pm EST
Faculty: Terry Esper

Wholesaler-distributors are required to master the art of supply chain management— understanding what to stock, in what quantities and at what locations. This session will illuminate best practices in matching market demand with supply, such that customers enjoy reliable supply at the lowest cost to the distributor.

Topics include:

  • Finding the balance in service and costs
  • Winning business by having the right product at the right place and time
  • Effective strategies for inventory management.

Human Resources Management
Tuesday, May 17: 1:00 pm – 3:45 pm EST
Faculty: Larry Inks

People are the most valuable resource in any business, and often, the greatest differentiator between ordinary and truly great companies. This is particularly true in service-based businesses, such as wholesale distribution. This session will present strategies for bringing out the best in your human resources.

Topics include:

  • Recruiting, interviewing and selecting top talent
  • Engaging employees and maximizing performance
  • Developing talent for the future

Financial Management
Tuesday, May 17: 3:45 pm – 5:30 pm EST
Faculty: Dan Oglevee

The world of finance can be a perplexing and mysterious realm for many business people. Yet understanding key aspects of financial management is integral in decision making for strategic purposes and everyday operations. We start this session with a discussion of the time value of money and the discounting procedures for calculating present values complemented by a brief discussion on risk and how risk can be priced in the capital markets. This will set the stage for understanding the various methodologies including “NPV” and “IRR” available to corporate managers in their efforts to evaluate and select investment projects that increase the value of their organizations.

Topics include:

  • Time Value of Money and Discounting
  • Risk and Return
  • Net Present Value and Internal Rate of Return
  • Capital Investment Decisions

Supply Chain Simulation
Wednesday, May 18: 8:35 am – 11:30 am EST
Faculty: Keely Croxton & Mike Knemeyer

This hands-on simulation will put Program participants to work in a supply chain that is facing supply challenges and unhappy customers. How will you deal with these stresses? Are there any easy solutions? Teams will work together to figure out how to resolve these everyday challenges in the supply chain.

Topics include:

  • A hands-on activity where participants make supply chain decisions considering cost tradeoffs, uncertainty and lack of visibility
  • Visually see the impact of these decisions on upstream and downstream supply chain members

Managing Business Relationships
Wednesday, May 18: 2:00 pm – 5:00 EST
Faculty: Mike Knemeyer

All businesses exist within a network of business relationships with customers and suppliers. Yet, some relationships are demonstrably more important than others. This session will present insights on how to best manage these relationships.

Topics include:

  • Key criteria for evaluating relationships with customers and suppliers
  • Methods for improving business relationships
  • “Right sizing” relationships for optimal return
  • Sharing risks and rewards in high-performance relationships.

Supply Chain Case Study
Thursday, May 19: 8:00 am – 9:45 am EST
Faculty: Keely Croxton & Mike Knemeyer

Most companies operate under the premise that “all business is good business.” As a result, that often throw good money after bad in pursuit of sales that often fail to generate sufficient returns. This case study helps to illuminate the process and value of cost-to-serve models that help to illuminate the “good business” from the “bad.”

Topics include:

  • Differentiating “good business” from the “bad”
  • Leveraging the value of cost-to-serve models
  • Focusing on sales that generate proper returns

Market-Driven Strategy
Thursday, May 19: 10:00 am – 12:30 pm EST
Faculty: Maria Landekhovskaya

This session will provide an approach to segment your market strategically to better distinguish your most valuable customers and to understand their interests and needs. This session will introduce methods for creating distinct value for customers while generating commensurate returns for the company.

Topics include:

  • Growing your business through focused strategies
  • Blending marketing strategy with corporate objectives
  • The essentials of market segmentation

Improving Your Company’s Productivity: Teamwork to Go the Distance
Thursday, May 19: 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm EST
Faculty: Larry Inks

Most work is not completed by individuals operating in a vacuum. Rather, teams of people with different knowledge and skills come together to achieve common goals and objectives. This session will feature proven methods for heightened team performance.

Topics include:

  • Developing a high-performance team
  • Organizing for effective action
  • Leading teams through change
  • Team building

Team Work on the Case
Monday, May 16 – Thursday, May 19: time is scheduled after classes each day
Faculty: Various Faculty

The BSC case study will serve as an integrative experience for participants to reflect upon and apply concepts learned from the program curriculum. Your assigned team will meet daily during the week to analyze the case and prepare a presentation to be delivered to the group and program faculty on the final day. During the work sessions, program faculty will be available to answer questions and provide helpful strategies for successful analysis.

Team Presentations of the BSC Case Study, Program Wrap-Up and Graduation
Friday, May 20: 8:00 am – 11:30 am EST and 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST
Faculty: All

Individual teams will present to the program faculty, and their classmates, during this time. All program participants will attend all presentations. The day will conclude with a program wrap-up and graduation.


Celebrating more than a century of high-caliber business education, OSU’s Fisher College of Business boasts award-winning faculty with deep experience in teaching wholesale distribution industry professionals. In addition to the valuable classroom teaching and exercises, students will network with peers from other lines of distribution trade.

Dan Oglevee, MBA

Senior Lecturer in Finance


Dan teaches in the Executive MBA and both graduate and undergraduate programs. His courses include venture capital, private equity, financial modeling, corporate finance, entrepreneurial finance, futures and options, investments and personal finance. He also teaches specialized classes within Fisher College’s Executive Education program, including international courses in India. Dan has received several teaching awards. He is the faculty advisor for various case competition teams and teaches a variety of networking/interviewing seminars to help students preparing for consulting and Wall Street case interviews, graduate preparation seminars for consulting and Wall Street case interviews.

Prior to teaching, Dan was an entrepreneur within the wireless sector and spent three years in venture capital and nine years on Wall Street, holding positions with Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Oppenheimer. He consults regularly with early stage management teams on financing, valuation and business plan development to assist companies in becoming “Venture Ready.” Dan received his MBA and Bachelor’s from The Ohio State University.

Terry Esper, PhD

Associate Professor of Logistics


Dr. Terry L. Esper is Associate Professor of Logistics at the Fisher College of Business of The Ohio State University.  In addition to his full-time academic activities at Ohio State, Esper also serves on faculty for the University of Iowa CIMBA Italy Program, is on the Board of Directors of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), and is an Educational Advisor to the Health and Personal Care Logistics Conference. He has published several articles on issues associated with retail logistics and supply chain management strategy in leading academic and managerial outlets. Dr. Esper is a regular speaker at global conferences, where he builds on his research insights and accumulated experiences to engage in dialogue regarding trends and issues in logistics and supply chain management practice, and he is a regular featured guest on a Sirius XM Radio show. Prior to his Doctoral studies in Marketing and Logistics at the University of Arkansas, Esper worked for Hallmark Cards as a Transportation Manager and was involved in transportation infrastrtucture research for the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

Larry Inks, Ph.D

Clinical Associate Professor in HR


Larry teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level classes in Organizational Behavior, Talent Management, Research Methods and related subject matter areas. He is a recipient of a number of teaching awards at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

From 2001 to 2005, he was Vice President of Organization and Leadership Development for Cardinal Health. Prior to that, Larry worked with AlliedSignal as head of Organization and Leadership Development for their Polymers business. He also worked for a number of years with PepsiCo in both human resource generalist and organization development positions. In addition, Larry served for several years on the faculty of the Management Department of the Barton School of Business at Wichita State University, teaching in the areas of Organization Development, Organization Behavior, Human Resources and Business Decision Making and Analysis. Larry has a PhD and a Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Purdue University.

Lori Kendall, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Strategy


Lori brings over 30 years of experience as a strategist, entrepreneur and technology executive for publicly traded companies—as well as venture-backed start-ups—in B2B software, hardware, and networking. She has held VP and senior leadership responsibilities for new product development, portfolio management, and innovative technologies such as cloud services. Building on this foundation, Lori completed her Ph.D. in Management, Building Sustainable Systems at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Lori previously had earned an MBA from Holy Names University in Oakland, CA.

Lori’s core areas of expertise include organizational culture and leadership development; customer, partner, & vendor management; M&A integration; go-to-market strategies; change management; digital innovation strategy; analytics; and agile/lean development. At Ohio State, Lori teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in entrepreneurship as well as selected topics in leadership, and business consulting. Lori is also an operating partner at Orchid Black where she advises mid-market companies and early-stage firms on strategy, growth, and innovation.

Mike Knemeyer, PhD

Professor of Logistics, Co-Academic Director


Michael’s research focuses on the development and maintenance of collaborative supply chain relationships. His work has been published in such professional journals as the Transportation Journal, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Supply Chain Management, and the International Journal of Logistics Management. His research has also been cited in leading practitioner journals such as Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal. Michael is also co-author of four chapters in the book Supply Chain Management: Processes, Partnerships, Performance.

Michael is a regular participant in Executive Education programs at Fisher College of Business, and he consults in the areas of logistics outsourcing and reverse logistics. His work experience includes positions with Anixter Brothers and CSX Intermodal. Michael received his PhD in Business Logistics from the University of Maryland.

Keely Croxton, PhD

Professor of Logistics, Co-Academic Director


Keely’s research interests are in optimization and supply chain management. She is interested in developing and applying mathematical models to issues in logistics and to further develop a process-oriented framework for supply chain management, with special focus on demand management and order fulfillment. Her research has been published in Management Science, Journal of Business Logistics, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Operations Research and Transportation Science.

Keely teaches modeling, forecasting and supply chain management at the undergraduate, MBA, PhD, and executive education levels. Her industry experience is in the automotive, paper and packaging, and third-party logistics industries. Keely received her PhD from MIT.

Maria Landekhovskaya

Senior Lecturer


Maria Landekhovskaya is currently working as a consultant, primarily focused on international sporting events. One of her most recent projects was as a consultant with the marketing department of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ Local Organizing Committee. Prior to this role, Maria was a Senior Strategy Consultant with the Chicago Sports Commission (CSC), where she developed a strategic plan to guide CSC forward with clear goals around priority sporting market segments and strategies to continue to enhance the reputation of Chicago within the Sport Tourism Industry.

Maria has also worked at two global Olympic partners. Prior to her experience with the city of Chicago, she was the Communications Leader of Olympic Operations for The Dow Chemical Company. In her role, she was responsible for leading the communications strategy for the Carbon Partnership of Dow’s Olympic Sponsorship.

Prior to her experience with Dow, Maria spent five years with Coca-Cola as an Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Manager within the Public Affairs and Communication Department (Russia, Ukraine and Belarus Division). She was responsible for developing the Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy for Coca-Cola, including the integration of sustainability projects with the sponsorship strategy of major events, such as the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and the FIFA World Cup 2010 Trophy Tour.

Maria has other diverse experiences working on major events, including the Coca-Cola hospitality program for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and Jet Set Sports for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2004, prior to joining the sports world, Maria spent a year working in the field of waste management and recycling in the United States, gaining experience as she pursued her Master’s Degree. Her work included experience at the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA), and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

Maria holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science from the Russian Peoples’ Friendship University and an MBA in marketing from The Ohio State University.

What Attendees Will Learn

In week one, experienced instructors will lead a virtual classroom discussion. Students are assigned to working teams. In week two, these teams gather each day for brainstorming sessions to work on the distributor case study. The emphasis of the teamwork is on original and creative idea generation, and the goal is on real-world problem solving. The course concludes with each team presenting to the course faculty and students its remedies for the troubled distribution company featured in the case study.

Students are intellectually challenged and return to the company with a high level of energy ready to make an impact on your bottom line.

You will learn how to:

  • Utilize a technique for matching products and services to market segments
  • Estimate the “value” of value-added services, and use this in your pricing strategy
  • Calculate return-on-assets, and measure both customer- and product- line profitability
  • Use a computer model to evaluate profitability
  • Bring out the best in your human resources and heighten team performance
  • Manage your supply chain inventory and service levels
  • Assess your financial profitability compared to your peers
  • Evaluate your customers’ willingness to pay for products and services
  • Learn methods for improving business relationships
  • Work through simulation in a supply chain that is facing supply challenges and unhappy customers, and learn how to resolve these everyday challenges.

You will take a comprehensive look across the entire distribution business and cover all major areas, including:

  • Sales Management and Value-Added Services
  • Market-Focused Strategic Planning
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Alternatives and Methods of Strategic Business Analysis
  • Managing Business Relationships
  • Supply Chain Simulation
  • Financial Management
  • Human Resources Management
  • Improving Productivity and Teamwork

Note: Attendance at this NAW course earns points toward CPE certification.

Who Should Attend

Employee development is an ongoing process that means you must keep your eye on the future. Ask yourself:

  • What kind of leadership will our company need?
  • What will our customers need from our employees?
  • What industry changes do we expect?

The target audience for this course includes the people who your business, specifically and collectively, count on to make things happen…to find new solutions and approaches…to create success no matter what the marketplace throws at them.

When thinking about who should attend this program, ask yourself, “Is this person a rising star? An employee new to distribution? A person who just changed positions at your company?” Select your candidates for this course based on your company’s needs.

The course covers these job functions:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Finance (Chief Financial Officer/Controller)
  • Purchasing
  • Logistics
  • Warehouse / Inventory
  • Human Resources / Training
  • Customer Markets

These customer markets will benefit:

  • OEM and MRO Industrial
  • Commercial Institutions and Facilities
  • Contractor
  • Retail
  • Capital Equipment