Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

October 13-14, 2021

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We are currently in the process of finalizing our 2021 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 13, 2021

1:30 PM CT – 2:00 PM CT

2:00 pm CT – 2:15 pm CT

Welcoming Remarks from NAW’s President and CEO, Eric Hoplin 

Eric welcomes you to the NAW Billion Dollar Company CEO Roundtable and first in-person event in over a year! He’ll share updates on Next-Gen NAW and other exciting developments at NAW.


Eric Hoplin is President and CEO of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), representing 30,000 companies that account for one-third of the American economy, by supplying businesses with the products they need to serve their customers in nearly every sector of commerce.

A seasoned executive and communicator who has worked at the highest levels of government and business, Hoplin was previously the Head of External Relations for Wells Fargo, where he led a team focused on improving the company’s reputation and advancing pro-growth policy objectives in concert with third-party organizations across the political spectrum.  Before joining Wells Fargo, Hoplin served as the executive director at the Financial Services Roundtable (now BPI), a trade association representing the CEOs of the nation’s largest financial services companies. Prior to that, Hoplin worked in management consulting at Booz Allen Hamilton where he helped senior leaders across the government solve their most vexing challenges. Earlier in his career, Hoplin worked in politics, supporting many congressional, gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns.

Hoplin is a leader in the charitable community, where he serves on the Boards of the Trust for the National Mall and the Reagan Ranch.  He’s a prolific fundraiser, having raised millions of dollars for charitable organizations, NGOs and political candidates.

A Minnesota native, Hoplin holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University, an MBA from Augsburg College, a BA in political science and communications from St. Olaf College and a certificate in Change Management from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business. He lives outside of Washington, DC with his wife Nicole and their three boys.

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Opening Session & Discussion


Kaihan Krippendorff

CEO, Outthinker Strategy Network

We are experiencing a historic acceleration in the pace of change in our industry. Digital technologies, the rise of purpose-driven strategies, and an acceleration of change are reconfiguring how the industry operates.

These changes divide us into two camps: the “Thinkers” and the “Outthinkers.”

Strategist, consultant, and thought-leader Kaihan Krippendorff has spent over a decade studying the patterns of industry disruption. What makes some companies thrive and what makes others fall behind? What gives some the power to shape the future and makes others struggle to keep up? Kaihan has applied his cutting-edge findings to create more than $2.5B in incremental annual new revenue and help hundreds of businesses lean into change and thrive. In this talk, Kaihan draws on his research and insights from the heads of strategy of billion-dollar companies from across industries, to break down the most relevant lessons from the patterns of disruption in our industry and provides strategic concepts that should be on every CEO’s agenda. Learnings and outcomes include:

  • The emerging trends that are shaping the future of all industries and wholesale distribution in particular
  • Key barriers that determine which organizations fall behind and which leap ahead during moments of disruption and ways to remove them
  • Tips to empower and inspire employees so that they’re ready to take action to develop innovative growth ideas
  • The key strategic patterns emerging among companies that are thriving during the ongoing shift of global business structures and thinking
  • Eight dimensions of the business model along which forward-looking companies are activating new strategic thinking
  • The next evolution of corporate social responsibility and how to embrace the shift toward a future where CSR is the norm


Kaihan Krippendorff is committed to helping organizations and individuals thrive in today’s era of fast-paced disruptive technological change. Kaihan is known for his ability to turn difficult concepts into easy-to-understand ideas that drive meaningful outcomes and actions. He is an internationally recognized thought-leader, battle-tested consultant, and sought-after keynote speaker on the topics of business strategy, growth, transformation, and innovation.

Kaihan began his career as a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company before founding the growth strategy and innovation consulting firm Outthinker. Growth strategies and innovations created through Outthinker have energized countless organizations, teams, and individuals all while generating over $2.5B in revenue for many of the world’s most recognizable Fortune 500 companies.

An accomplished author, Kaihan has written four books on business strategy, growth, and transformation, most recently Outthink the Competition (John Wiley & Sons). For his forthcoming book, Driving Innovation from Within: A Guide for Internal Entrepreneurs (Columbia University Press, 2019), Kaihan deeply researched and interviewed more than 150 internal innovators and leaders in nearly every conceivable industry.

Kaihan is a member of the prestigious Thinkers50 Class of 2019 Radar group – A global selection of the top 30 management thinkers to follow and hear from in the coming year. The group has been described as a “dream team of researchers, advisers, entrepreneurs, and organizational leaders” that will “intrigue, inspire, and guide” people and organizations with their ideas. Also in 2019, he was shortlisted for the Thinkers50 2019 Distinguished Achievement Award in the Innovation category.

Kaihan founded The Outthinker Network – a group of high-level strategists and innovators for large global organizations. Quarterly roundtables are a unique opportunity for senior executives to take part in an intimate, candid, and forward-looking conversation with a network of peer professionals and the world’s most sought-after disruptive thinkers, including Rita Gunther McGrath, John Hagel, and George Day, among others. Quarterly meetings facilitated by Kaihan connect him with both thought-leaders and organizational leaders, providing insights as to what issues are most relevant and how companies can approach and conquer threats of disruption.

3:30 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 Company Executive Dinner

James Bullard, President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


James “Jim” Bullard is the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. In that role, he is a participant on the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which meets regularly to set the direction of U.S. monetary policy. He also oversees the Federal Reserve’s Eighth District, including activities at the St. Louis headquarters and its branches in Little Rock, Ark., Louisville, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn.

Bullard is a noted economist and scholar, and his positions are founded on research-based thinking and an intellectual openness to new theories and explanations. He is often an early voice for change. Of note:

  • Shortly after the U.S. declared the COVID-19 pandemic to be a national emergency and health authorities recommended a curtailment of economic activity, Bullard argued that the goals of macroeconomic policy should be different for this crisis than for a traditional economic recession. This economic crisis was directly related to the actions needed to contain the virus and invest in public health. As a result, optimal policy could be better described as maintenance and support—more a matter of insurance than traditional stimulus—with a focus on keeping disrupted households and businesses whole by providing relief during the pandemic adjustment period.
  • In 2016, Bullard announced a new approach for the St. Louis Fed’s near-term U.S. macroeconomic and monetary policy projections. The new approach is based on the idea that the economy may experience one of several possible persistent regimes, which involve a combination of recession or no recession, high or low productivity growth, and high or low real returns on government debt. While switches between regimes are possible, they are difficult to forecast. This contrasts with the more traditional approach to monetary policy projections, which assumes that the economy will converge to one single, long-run steady state.
  • Earlier in his tenure, Bullard warned about the possibility of a Japanese-style deflation in the U.S. His paper on this topic, published in 2010, helped move the FOMC’s thinking toward a second round of quantitative easing.
  • He has argued strongly that the timing of monetary policy decisions, including interest rate policy or the pace of asset purchases, should be driven by incoming data on the state of the economy as opposed to the calendar.
  • During the financial crisis, Bullard also advocated for establishing an explicit inflation target, which the FOMC has since adopted. And he has argued that the Committee should defend the target when inflation is below as well as above it.
  • In 2008, Bullard was an early voice on the potential consequences of zero-interest-rate policy. He argued that the Fed may need to turn to quantitative measures of monetary policy in order to avoid deflation.

Bullard makes public outreach and dialogue a priority to help build a more transparent and accessible Fed. He regularly engages with many audiences—including academics, policymakers, business and labor organizations, charities, students and media, among other public groups—to discuss monetary policy and the U.S. economy and to help further the regional Reserve banks’ role of being the voice of Main Street.

Bullard is active in the community. He serves on the board of directors of Concordance Academy of Leadership, and he is a past board chair of the United Way U.S.A. In addition, Bullard serves on the St. Cloud State University School of Public Affairs advisory council. He is co-editor of the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, a member of the editorial advisory board of the National Institute Economic Review and a member of the Central Bank Research Association’s senior council. He is an honorary professor of economics at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also sits on the advisory council of the economics department as well as several advisory boards. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch named him the Top Workplace Leader among the region’s large employers as part of its 2018 Top Workplace Awards.

A native of Forest Lake, Minn., Bullard received his doctorate in economics from Indiana University in Bloomington. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in economics and in quantitative methods and information systems from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minn.

Day 2 - October 14, 2021

7:00 AM – 7:30 AM

7:35 AM – 8:35 AM
Opening Session & Discussion
How Can We Leverage Technology to Reduce the Reliance of Labor in the Future

Tushar Narsana, Partner, Oliver Wyman

Nelson Squires, EVP & GM, Electrical & Electronic Solutions, WESCO Distribution

Kyle Bertin, Director of Strategy and Planning, Outrider

Structural pre-COVID trends around shortage of drivers and warehouse operators have worsened in 2021 and are likely to continue beyond. Distributors are undertaking key initiatives to address the situation, including technology investments. This session will explore how distributors can leverage technology in order to reduce reliance on labor, by pulling levers such as increasing workforce productivity and automating tasks. The session will involve a panel of distributors undertaking such transformation.


Tushar Narsana is a Detroit-based partner in Oliver Wyman’s Manufacturing, Automotive and Aerospace practices.

Prior to joining Oliver Wyman, he was Global Lead of Supply Chain Services at Accenture where he led and transformed client supply chains within Industrial Products, Automotive, Aerospace, Retail, and Hi-Tech industries. He started specializing in supply chain post-MBA and has 20+ years of experience at boutique consulting and venture capitalist companies helping clients improve growth, profitability & turnaround, and make acquisitions/investments related to supply chain. Prior to his MBA he led IT strategy development and implementation work at a Rail Transportation company and an Electric Utility company.

Tushar holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from University of Poona (India).

Mr. Squires was named Executive Vice President and General Manager, Electrical & Electronic Solutions of WESCO in June of 2020. Prior to this appointment, he held the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from October of 2019 to May of 2020, Group Vice President and General Manager for Canada and International from January of 2018 to September of 2019, and Group Vice President and General Manager of WESCO’s Canadian operations from August of 2015 to January of 2018.

Before joining WESCO, Mr. Squires was Vice President and General Manager of North American Gases and President of Air Products Canada Limited for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Mr. Squires joined Air Products in 1989 as a sales engineer and earned numerous assignments of increasing responsibility in region and general management positions, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Investor Relations.

Mr. Squires served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University.

 Kyle Bertin leads the strategy and planning team at Outrider. He is responsible for working with Outrider customers, employees, and partners to deliver the ultimate vision of autonomous yard operations. Kyle has a passion for using technology to make the supply chain more efficient and sustainable. He has more than 10 years of experience leading strategy and operations in the supply chain, logistics, and technology sectors, including previous roles at Deloitte, US Silica Holdings, DeepScale, and Flexport. Kyle holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.B.A from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

8:45 AM – 10:00 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.

10:10 AM – 11:10 AM
General Session & Discussion
The Future of Work

Erik Olson, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry

We stand at a crossroads in the world of work. Organizations are transforming, but don’t feel ready. After covid organizations will operate more virtually, communicate with workforces differently, consider deploying or have deployed less contingent labor, and retrain and reskill works because needs are changing. The shifting landscape is creating both positives and negatives – for organizations and individuals. Korn Ferry will lead a discussion about how work must be organized differently, jobs need to be changed, and where local culture matters. The discussion will lend insights into the who, what when, where, why and how of the future of work.


Erik Olson is a Senior Client Partner responsible for advising our Industrial Manufacturing clients on how to succeed by releasing the full potential of their people while taking full advantage of Industry 4.0 and Digital Transformation.  As a member of the Global Industrial Markets leadership team, he is also responsible for our Future of Manufacturing solutions.

Mr. Olson has more than 30 years of advisory experience partnering on successful transformations with global manufacturing and supply chain leaders.  His career has focused on numerous strategic imperatives including corporate restructuring, operational effectiveness, digital transformation, functional strategy, journey management, growth enablement, and merger integration.

Mr. Olson joined Korn Ferry from a global advisory firm where he was most recently responsible for their North America Supply Chain & Operations practice across 19 industry segments.

Additionally, Mr. Olson directed the North America Management Consulting practice for a global advisory firm.  Industries in scope included Energy, Utilities, Chemicals, Metals, Mining and Forest Products.

Mr. Olson is active on various Boards including The Posse Foundation, Supply Chain 50 and the University of Denver Transportation Institute.  He also speaks regularly with industry conferences, professional associations and media outlets.

Mr. Olson earned his B.S. in Commerce with a concentration in Finance from the University of Virginia.

11:15 AM – 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.

12:35 PM – 1:25 PM
Closing Session & Discussion
NAW Government Relations Update

Jade West, Chief Government Relations Officer, NAW

We are almost half-way through 2021 and few pundits called this year right. Few predicted Democrats would win two Senate seats in January run-off elections in Georgia, giving them control of a 50-50 tied Senate. Most predicted Democratic gains in 2020 House elections, but Republicans gained 9 seats, leaving Speaker Pelosi with a bare 9-vote majority, the smallest in years. The Congressional session started with hopes that President Biden’s reputation as a deal maker and the narrow Democratic margins in Congress would bring legislators to pursue bipartisan agreements. Those hopes were short-lived, as Democrats used the “reconciliation” process to enact an almost-2-trilliondollar Covid relief bill with no GOP input or votes. Now before Congress are two additional bills proposing about $4 trillion in spending and about $2 trillion in tax increases. Republicans immediately announced opposition to both, and Democrats announced they would again use “reconciliation” to pass both without GOP support. But first the Democrats have to garner the support of all 50 Democratic senators, which is proving difficult. Jade West will share insights on what the rest of the Congressional session will bring, and how will events this year impact the 2022 mid-term elections.


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 $6.0 trillion industry that is wholesale distribution.

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

NAW Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable Participants

Wholesale distribution companies participating in the 2021 Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable:

  • A B C Supply Co Inc
  • A D I
  • Airgas USA, LLC-West Division
  • AmeriGas Propane
  • Benco Dental Co
  • BlueLinx
  • Border States Electric
  • Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Bunzl Distribution
  • Crescent Electric Supply Co
  • Distribution International Inc
  • Dot Foods Inc
  • Global Industrial Company
  • Grainger Inc
  • Graybar Electric Co Inc
  • HD Supply
  • Imperial Dade
  • Lipseys Inc
  • Medline Industries Inc
  • Motion Industries Inc
  • Network Services Company
  • ORS Medco
  • Performance Food Group
  • PetroChoice Lubrication Solutions
  • Republic National Distributing Co
  • Sonepar North America
  • Uline
  • US LBM Holdings LLC
  • W E S C O Distribution Inc
  • Winsupply Inc
  • Wurth Industry North America

NAW Billion Dollar CEO Roundtable Registrants of 2017 - 2020 Roundtables

  • ABC Supply Co Inc
  • ADI
  • ADS Inc
  • Airgas an Air Liquide Company
  • Alro Steel Corp
  • Amcon Distributing Co
  • AmeriGas Propane
  • American Hotel Register Co
  • Animal Supply Co
  • Benco Dental Co
  • Border States Electric Supply
  • Breakthru Beverage Group
  • Brenntag North America Inc
  • Bunzl
  • City Electric Supply
  • Composites One LLC
  • Core & Main
  • Core Mark International Inc
  • Crescent Electric Supply Co
  • Dawn Food Products Inc
  • Distribution International Inc
  • Dot Foods Inc
  • Ferguson Enterprises
  • Grainger Inc
  • Graybar Electric Co Inc
  • HD Smith LLC
  • Hajoca Corp
  • Home Depot Pro
  • Huttig Building Products
  • Imperial Dade
  • Johnstone Supply
  • M Holland Co
  • Mayer Electric
  • MSC Industrial Supply Co
  • McLane Foodservice Inc
  • Merchants Distributors Inc
  • Motion Industries Inc
  • Network Services Company
  • Nu Calgon Wholesaler Inc
  • O R S Medco
  • Performance Food Group
  • PetroChoice
  • Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution
  • Pool Corporation
  • Republic National Distributing Co Inc
  • SanMar Corp
  • ScanSource Inc
  • Shamrock Foods
  • Sonepar
  • S R S Distribution Inc
  • Systemax Inc
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • TriMark USA
  • TTI Inc
  • US LBM Holdings LLC
  • US Lumber Group
  • Uline
  • WESCO Distribution Inc
  • Wilbur Ellis/Connell Bros Co
  • Winsupply Inc
  • World Fuel Service Corp
  • Wurth Industry of North America

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

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

You can click here to book your hotel room: 

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


Please be vigilant if approached by any company or service that implies or claims to be an official housing provider for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW). We have been made aware of other housing companies or travel agencies that may be aggressively pursuing you, or your company, to book your guest rooms through their company, using your credit card information, at supposedly significant discounts. The only way to book your rooms with security for NAW Roundtables is to use the channels provided on our website. If you are contacted by one of these pirate companies, please contact NAW staff immediately.