Distribution Leadership Program at The Ohio State University

Research shows the benefits are clear: Companies that invest in their employees’ professional development experience increased employee retention, improved performance, and enhanced innovation.  Join a select group of high-caliber professionals for an exclusive program designed to accelerate your career in wholesale distribution. This intensive, 5-day certificate program, led by seven expert faculty members from The Ohio State University, will equip students with the strategic skills and knowledge to navigate industry challenges, drive growth, and lead with confidence. 

Key Benefits: 

  • Master core competencies:  Business strategy, finance, supply chain management, sales and marketing, talent management, and team effectiveness. 
  • Gain real-world insights:  Learn from faculty with extensive industry experience and apply best practices to your unique challenges. 
  • Network with industry leaders:  Build valuable connections and expand their professional network. 
  • Earn a prestigious credential:  Receive an official certificate from The Ohio State University, enhancing your resume and professional reputation. 

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:

  • Digital disruption
  • Leadership transitions
  • Tight margings
  • Inventory “right-sizing”
  • SKU proliferation
  • Hiring and retaining talent
  • Ever-demanding customes
  • Intense competition
  • Avoiding the “commodity trap”
  • Growing complexity

Each day, experienced instructors will lead classroom discussion. Students are assigned to working teams. These teams gather each evening 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 other participants 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.


  • Member-Only Early Bird Rate: $5,495 (Ends March 17) 
  • Member-Only Group Rate (5+): $4,950 
  • Member: $5,995 
  • Non-Member: $7,995 

For the early bird, group rates and member promo code, contact Patti Rausch: [email protected] 

Location and Accommodations: 

The Blackwell Inn & Pfahl Conference Center 
2110 Tuttle Park Pl, Columbus, OH, 43210 

Registered students will want to secure reservations at the Blackwell Inn to receive the group rate. To receive the negotiated group rate, participants should call the Blackwell and identify themselves as being with NAW’s Distribution Leadership Program. Individuals should cancel reservations prior to 4:00pm the day before their scheduled arrival to avoid one night’s room and tax charge to the credit card on file. 


Registration is now open for the 2024 sessions, but seating is limited and sells out quickly each year.

April 29 – May 3, 2024
The Blackwell Inn & Pfahl Conference Center 
2110 Tuttle Park Pl, Columbus, OH, 43210  
View the Agenda

Fall 2024 Session

October 21 – 25, 2024 
The Blackwell Inn & Pfahl Conference Center 
2110 Tuttle Park Pl, Columbus, OH, 43210 
(Agenda to be announced)

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