Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

October 10-11, 2018 at the Hilton O’Hare in Chicago

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We are currently in the process of finalizing our 2018 program. Please check back for updates. Please contact Tara Mostatab at if you have any questions.

NAW’s Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable is a unique event designed for CEO’s of wholesale distribution companies with annual sales volumes that exceed $1 billion. A proverbial “who’s who” in wholesale distribution, this unique conference provides you with the opportunity to network with non-competing peers across a diverse range of commodity lines. You will have the most in-depth business discussions ever at this event!

This by-invitation-only event for CEO’s of billion dollar companies provides attendees a distinct forum where they can interact with peers from the largest firms in the industry to share and discuss key strategic issues.

Join your peers to discuss how you are surviving this economic climate and strategies to position your company for the coming rebound. Change is the only constant you can rely on and this event helps you to stay one step ahead.

If you would like to learn more please contact Tara Mostatab at 202.263.4080 or

Eligibility: Companies with $1B+ in annual revenue.
The NAW Billion Dollar Roundtable is the only opportunity that provides networking and benchmarking exclusively with other top executives of non competing, like-sized Wholesale-Distribution companies.

NAW Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable Preliminary Agenda

Day 1 - October 10, 2018

1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Opening Session & Discussion
Transforming Your Business Model to Succeed in Today’s Changing Environment

Shri Santhanam
Partner, Oliver Wyman

Distributors in many sectors are facing unprecedented external forces on their business, from changing customer expectations, supply chain visibility, and new competitors such as Amazon and digital-first start-ups. In face of these shifts, distributors are considering fundamental shifts to their business models, ranging from decisions around customer selection, value proposition, scope of activities taken in-house vs. partnered, fundamental organization and talent models, and ultimately the fundamental strategic control and differentiation in a rapidly shifting market.

The presentation will include a panel discussion hosted by Oliver Wyman with executives and leaders from industries facing disruption.


Shri Santhanam is a Partner with Oliver Wyman Labs, where he focuses on commercial effectiveness topics like pricing, growth, marketing, and sales force effectiveness. Shri is passionate about using engineering approaches and technology to drive sustained commercial impact in companies. He has spent over a decade working in a range of sectors, including distribution, retail, hi-tech and transportation. Shri has led large-scale multiyear commercial transformations at billion-dollar com.

3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Networking Discussion Workshop

Join your noncompeting peers in NAW’s exclusive networking groups to discuss ideas, share solutions and find answers to key issues that could apply to your business, today.

ENTRY TICKET: Your ticket for entry is to bring two ideas or questions concerning the presentation that you want to discuss. Present your entry ticket to your table captain at the start of the discussion workshop.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Reception – “Drinks & Dialogue”

Come prepared to meet and mingle with your fellow participants from the largest firms in the industry.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Billion Dollar Executive Dinner
NAW Government Relations Update

Jade West
SVP-Government Relations, NAW

For over 20 years, Jade West was a staple in the U.S. Senate. For the past 10 years, Jade has helped educate lawmakers on how certain legislative policies could impact true economic engines such as wholesaler-distributors. From stopping the repeal of LIFO, to tax and labor initiatives, Jade has been out front and leading the charge on Capitol Hill to benefit the entire $5.7 trillion industry that is wholesale distribution.

Make sure to attend the most exclusive executive supper club in Chicago this evening! This dinner is your opportunity to pick the brains of the senior executives for the top wholesale distribution companies in the industry.


Jade West is Senior Vice President-Government Relations for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. She also serves as Executive Director of the NAW Political Action Committee. Jade is the senior lobbyist for NAW, advocating the interests of the wholesale distribution industry in Washington both on Capitol Hill and in the regulatory agencies.

In addition, she is Executive Secretariat for the 1,000-member Tax Relief Coalition and the LIFO Coalition. Jade is a Steering Committee member of the Alliance for Tax Fairness and Growth, and she is on the Management Committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which leads the opposition to organized labor’s effort to remove secret ballot elections from union certification elections and force employers into binding “interest arbitration” in negotiating contracts. Jade is also a Director of the Business Industry Political Action Committee and a Founder and Director of the trade association Get Out the Vote Best Practices Group, both working to maximize the turnout of pro-business voters in federal elections.

Before joining NAW in 2002, Jade was a senior aide on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years.

Day 2 - October 11, 2018

7:00 AM – 7:30 AM

7:35 AM – 8:45 AM
Opening Session & Discussion
NAW Talks

Learn best practices and innovating way to recruit and retain front-line employees in warehouses, trucking, and other segments of distribution. In addition, learn how to create the right workplace environment where safety comes first. Hear innovative ways to promote workplace safety.

Transforming Talent Acquisition

Chris Streit
Director of Client Solutions, Futurestep, a Korn Ferry company

Regardless of industry everyone in business has an intimate understanding of the need to create scarcity with what goods or services their organization brings to market. It is this principle that drives the strategy and execution of every business to do “whatever it takes” operationally to create consumer value and defeat competition. We typically see this mindset with the talent that encompasses our operational workforce, (i.e. warehouse managers looking for cost improvement opportunities, supply chain leaders looking to reduce delivery time etc.) whose attitudes and motivations are aligned with shareholders in that they are looking for the company to spend less and make more.
While an “employee-owner” mindset exists and is a good thing for business it is typically latent in our talent acquisition departments when our ability to recruit and find the right talent is more important than ever. Scarcity has made the competition for talent equally (if not more) challenging as the competition for customers. In this presentation we will provide an overview of what it would mean to “operationalize” talent acquisition and the resulting impact that would occur on our pool of talent and organizational performance.
Specific areas of focus will be:

  • Review of current state of talent shortage and talent acquisition
  • Provide an overview of operational metrics and incentives for talent acquisition
  • Introduce, define and provide innovative examples of “doing whatever it takes” to attract talent
    • Employer Branding
    • Artificial Intelligence in recruiting
    • Grass roots recruiting
  • Discuss operational outputs of a transformed talent acquisition group
  • Transform mindset to look at talent acquisition as a business unit rather than support function.

The Four Domains of Safety Leadership

Justin Ganschow
CSP, CHMM, Caterpillar Safety Services

A transformational safety leader is one who is effective, not because of their job title, but because of how he/she interacts with others. People follow this type of leader voluntarily and passionately give their best, safest performance every day. At Caterpillar Safety Services, we have discovered that becoming a transformational safety leader requires mastery of four “domains,” revealed through a 5-year research project. Participants begin to understand these four domains, along with fourteen elements of leadership-based safety in this dynamic presentation and reflect on their own safety leadership characteristics.

Following this session, participants will be able to:

  • Create connectivity between safety, business operations, and employees.
  • Understand what it takes to proactively drive safety results.
  • Earn personal credibility with employees by demonstrating credible consciousness and building trust.


Chris Streit has provided consultation on talent acquisition and development, recruiting and technology and cost reduction.
His unique consultation experience in Talent and Corporate Tax allows Mr. Streit to approach client solutions with a heavy focus on ROI while maximizing the impact of the Talent Acquisition function within organizations.

Mr. Streit was instrumental in launching and growing the Korn Ferry Talent Academy across the global Talent Delivery Center network and with select Marquee Accounts. This curriculum and delivery methodology have become the standard in onboarding and professional development in the Talent Management industry.

Mr. Streit has partnered with multiple organizations on executing enterprise-wide hiring initiatives for the Life Sciences, Industrial and Technology industries.
His understanding and knowledge of the recruitment technology (Sourcing, CRM, Applicant Tracking Systems etc.) landscape allows Mr. Streit to provide clients solutions to the recruiting challenges of tomorrow.

Areas of expertise include: talent acquisition, technology integration and utilization, learning and development, onboarding, change management, strategy execution, workforce planning and sizing, employee engagement and culture, employee development, talent strategy, etc.

Justin Ganschow has 15 years of experience in the Environment, Health and Safety field implementing effective culture change within Caterpillar manufacturing facilities and organizations from a variety of industries. He is a frequent presenter where he brings the safety culture journey to life by sharing his own experience as a practitioner, leader and champion of the Caterpillar approach. Justin is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM). He has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science – Biology and a Master of Science in Biology from Bradley University.

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Networking Discussion Workshop

Join your noncompeting peers in NAW’s exclusive networking groups to discuss ideas, share solutions and find answers to key issues that could apply to your business, today.

ENTRY TICKET: Your ticket for entry is to bring two ideas or questions concerning the presentation that you want to discuss. Present your entry ticket to your table captain at the start of the discussion workshop.

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM
General Session & Discussion
How Will Omnichannel  Effect the Manufacturer and Distributor Relationship? 

Learn about the omnichannel impact on the relationship between manufacturers and distributors.

12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Lunch & Networking Session

Join your noncompeting peers in NAW’s exclusive networking groups to discuss ideas, share solutions and find answers to key issues that could apply to your business today.

12:30 PM – 1:25 PM
Closing Session & Discussion
What Technologies Do Wholesaler-Distributors Need to Stay Ahead in the Next 10 to 20 years? 

Shobhit Varshney
Analytics, AI, Data, IoT, IBM Services

How can the technology of the future (such as holograms) be applied to wholesale distribution? What technologies should wholesaler-distributors consider? Be prepared to learn about what technologies will be at the front lines in 10 to 20 years and which ones will mostly likely effect the distribution industry.


Shobhit Varshney is a leader in IBM’s AI, Data & IoT group in the strategy consulting practice. As an expert in the field of applying strategic thinking and AI to address business challenges, Shobhit brings a global perspective on state-of-the-art analytical methodologies and opportunities to his clients. Shobhit has more than 11 years of experience in the field of advanced analytics and decision science as an advisor, practitioner and entrepreneur.

In his prior role at IBM, he was part of IBM’s Chief Analytics Office leveraging analytics to transform IBM’s own business in areas like Sales force effectiveness, Strategic planning and Financial Forecasting. Having driven real world transformation across a global enterprise, he gained deep understanding of the organizational challenges and what it takes to drive adoption of analytics.

Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Varshney gained experience in strategy consulting and deploying analytics in various domains ranging from bio-medicine, financial services and technology at Bain & Co, Bloomberg LP and Intel Corporation. Shobhit earned an MBA with distinction from Johnson School at Cornell, MS in Computer Science (focus: Bio Medicine) from Cornell University and BS in Computer Engineering and Math with summa cum laude from University of Arkansas.

Mr. Varshney has driven innovation across multiple industries and has been the co-inventor for 4 Patents (1 issued, 3 filed).

1:25 PM – 1:30 PM
Closing Remarks & Adjournment

NAW Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable Participants, 2018

The following wholesale distribution companies are registered for the 2018 Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable:

  • A D I
  • Airgas an Air Liquide Company
  • Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Brenntag North America Inc
  • Bunzl Distribution USA Inc
  • City Electric Supply
  • Dawn Food Products Inc
  • Distribution International Inc
  • Dot Foods Inc
  • Essendant Inc
  • Ferguson Enterprises
  • Grainger Inc
  • Graybar Electric Co Inc
  • Gypsum Management & Supply Inc/GMS
  • Hajoca Corp
  • M Holland Co
  • M S C Industrial Supply Co
  • Network Services Company
  • Performance Food Group
  • Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution
  • Pool Corporation
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • True Value Co
  • U S LBM Holdings LLC
  • Uline
  • Wilbur Ellis/Connell Bros Co
  • Winsupply Inc

The following wholesale distribution companies have attended previous NAW Billion Dollar Company CEO Roundtables:

  • ABB Optical Group
  • ABC Supply
  • ADI Global
  • Airgas an Air Liquide Company
  • Alex Lee
  • American Hotel Register
  • American Tire Distributors
  • AmerisourceBergen
  • Animal Supply Company
  • Avnet
  • Border States Electric
  • Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Brenntag North America
  • Bunzl Distribution
  • City Electric Supply
  • Crescent Electric Supply
  • Dawn Food Products
  • Do It Best
  • Dot Foods
  • Essendant
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Grainger, Inc.
  • Graybar
  • Gypsum Management & Supply
  • Johnstone Supply
  • M. Holland Company
  • McLane Foodservice
  • Merchants Distributors, LLC
  • MSC Industrial Supply Company
  • Network Services Company
  • Performance Foodservice
  • Pool Corp.
  • PrimeSource Building Products
  • ScanSource
  • Smith Drug Company
  • SRS Distribution
  • Sysco
  • T N G
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • TRIMark USA
  • True Value Co.
  • Uline
  • Uni-Select
  • WESCO Distribution, Inc.
  • Wilbur-Ellis Company
  • WinSupply

Meeting Location:
Chicago Hilton O’Hare
10000 W O’Hare Ave.                Hotel Accommodations
Chicago, IL 60666
(773) 686-8000

Hilton Central Reservations – 877 865 5322