Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors
Codifyd Billion Dollar CIO Roundtable Sponsor

December 3-4, 2019 at the Hilton O’Hare in Chicago

Add to Calendar 20191203T180000Z 20191204T153000Z America/New York NAW Billion Dollar CIO Roundtable, Fall 2019
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We are currently in the process of finalizing our Fall 2019 program. Please check back for updates. Please contact Tara Mostatab at if you have any questions.

“The NAW Billion Dollar CIO Roundtable is an excellent forum for like-minded executives to network and exchange ideas. Time invested attending these Roundtables are time well spent.”

Amin Noormohamed, VP & Chief Information Officer, Core Mark International Inc

The NAW Billion Dollar Company Chief Information Officer Roundtable for direct members was created as a new mechanism for the CIO’s of large distribution enterprises to network with non-competing peers in multiple lines of trade on key IT issues.

Similar to other billion dollar roundtables NAW has created for the CLO, CFO, Operations, and CHRO, this by invitation only roundtable is composed of executives from billion dollar companies that meet in Chicago two times per year. This highly interactive group consists of the SENIOR-MOST IT executives. The annual fee is $1,800 per member, which covers meeting costs for two events in a twelve month cycle. Participants are expected to cover the cost of their hotel and travel. Once the annual fee is paid, there are no additional fees to attend the meetings, which will last one day beginning with a reception and dinner the evening before.

The participating companies can also name an alternate who can take the place of the enrolled Executive, should that person be unable to attend the scheduled meeting.

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 CIO Roundtable Preliminary Agenda

Day 1 - Dec 3, 2019

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

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

7:00 PM – 9:30 PM

Billion Dollar Executive Dinner

Day 2 - Dec 4, 2019

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Session & Discussion

Selling through Amazon:  Advantages and Disadvantages 

Min Yang, Amazon & eCommerce Strategist

Jason Hein, Director of the Delivery Practice, Earley Information Science

Amazon Business has crossed the $10B revenue threshold and will likely double that again in the next year. For companies in distribution it appears that Amazon has “come out of nowhere” and the level of growth they claim appears incredible – and unsustainable. But the growth continues and wholesale firms must understand why. In this discussion, two former Amazonians will share the background into where Amazon’s interest in B2B came from and why they saw an opportunity. They will share insights into the cultural aspects of Amazon and how those values have molded and driven the rapid evolution (and success) of Amazon Business. Then the discussion will shift to discuss a practical, unbiased evaluation of Amazon Business’ current value proposition including the effort, risks, and benefits involved with participation in that marketplace.


Min Yang is an Amazon strategist and e-Commerce executive with in-depth knowledge and first-hand experience running Amazon business on and international markets. Min provides strategy and solution for large, medium, or start-up brands, manufacturers, and distributors to succeed on Amazon. Min also provides market and competitive analysis for investors and corporate leadership to understand opportunities and challenges. As a former manager at Amazon, Min has become a thought leader in the Amazon retail and advertising industry, with industry-specific expertise in business & industrial, toys, grocery, health & personal care, cosmetics, outdoor and other categories. Min is a contributor to CNBC and Bloomberg news.

Jason Hein is Director of the Delivery Practice at Earley Information Science, a consulting firm specializing in data and content management. He has over 20 years of experience in the distribution industry – from conventional product management and merchandising to building advanced content programs for digital innovators. He has practical experience with B2B/industrial product lines; and has helped clients ranging from global Fortune 500 corporations to family-owned independent firms. Prior to consulting Jason spent over 13 years in product merchandising and content management for McMaster-Carr and was on the launch team for what is now Amazon Business. He is a regular contributor to industry publications and a frequent keynote speaker for Modern Distribution Management (MDM), the Industrial Supply Association (ISA), and B2B Next.

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
General Session & Discussion

Measuring IT Value

Richard Hunter, Distinguished VP Analyst, Gartner

Executives essentially have two questions about information technology: Am I spending the right amount on IT, and, am I spending that money on the right IT?  To answer those questions, CIOs and other IT professionals must address both the IT organization’s missions: The mission to support ongoing enterprise operations, which in Lean methodology terms is about indirect value, and the mission to support coherent execution of enterprise strategy, which creates direct value.  This presentation describes the theory and practice behind creating and communicating value for both IT’s missions in clear terms that are meaningful to enterprise executives.


Richard Hunter is Vice President and Gartner Fellow in Gartner’s CEO Research Group, where his recent work has focused on issues that include digital business risk and the value of IT. Mr. Hunter is the author of the acclaimed books “World Without Secrets” (Wiley, New York, 2002) and “IT Risk” (with George Westerman, Harvard Business Press, Boston, 2007). His most recent book, “The Real Business of IT,” also co-authored with George Westerman, was published by Harvard Business Press in October 2009 and was named by CIO Insight Magazine as the best business/IT book of 2009 in December of that year.  Mr. Hunter is in much demand as a speaker and advisor to executives.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Open Discussion
This session is set aside for you to raise any issue you would like and have the group provide their thoughts. This is an open forum to further discuss any item on the agenda or to bring up topics that are not on the agenda. Make sure to take notes during this session, you may find a perfect topic to suggest for the next NAW Roundtable.

12:00 PM – 12:45 PM
Joint Lunch & Networking Discussion with CFO Roundtable
This is the “halftime” period where you meet up with all of the Billion Dollar Company senior executives at this week’s Roundtable to compare ideas and benchmark across disciplines. Both groups: CFO and CIO executives will attend this joint lunch.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Closing Session & Discussion

Chat Bots and POC

Yatin Dhareshwar, Vice President, Digital Services, YASH Technologies Inc.

Mike Echlin, VP of Customer Success, SmartBots

There’s been a lot of hype around Artificial Intelligence over the past 5 years. Starting around 2013, companies have attempted to launch basic chatbots to lower costs and improve customer experiences. However, due to immature NLP/NLU (Natural Language Processing/Natural Language Understanding) algorithms and poor design in the early years, many have failed. Our discussion will explore how conversational AI has matured in the last 5 years and demonstrate how a few key advances in NLP/NLU is closing the intuition gap.

Key Takeaways:

  • Key approaches to identify high-value use cases for chatbots
  • How conversational AI can fit into a larger AI strategic roadmap
  • Live workshop to develop a few use cases
  • How to develop KPIs to measure the effectiveness of chatbots


Yatin Dhareshwar is a Vice President, Digital Services at YASH Technologies Inc., a global Systems Integrator specializing in services that accelerate digital transformation. He has over 30 years of experience in IT services and advisory role for his clients, including several Fortune 500 corporations, on their digital transformation initiatives. In his 12th year at YASH Technologies Inc., he drives the vision for the company’s Connected Solutions and their underlying Digital Experience Platform built on cloud, advanced analytics and automation technologies.

Mike Echlin is a Technology evangelist and spent 30 years in Chicago tech scene. As VP of Customer Success, he works with clients in various industries and provide technology services to help them build and deploy high-value chatbots. After 25+ years in refining business processes through software in 10+ industries, he provides a laser-focus when it comes to finding high-value use cases for artificial intelligence, specifically conversational AI.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for June 2-3, 2020

2:30 PM

NAW Billion Dollar CIO Roundtable Members

  • ABC Supply
  • Border States Electric
  • Brenntag
  • Bunzl Distribution USA
  • Distribution International
  • Do It Best Corp
  • Dot Foods Inc
  • Essendant
  • Graybar
  • Hajoca
  • Ingram Content Group
  • Johnstone Supply
  • MSC Industrial
  • Network Services Company
  • Pool Corporation
  • SRS Distribution
  • Scansource
  • Uline
  • Wilbur Ellis
  • Winsupply

The following wholesale distribution companies are registered for the Fall 2019 Billion Dollar CIO Roundtable:

  • Do It Best Corp
  • Dot Foods Inc
  • Graybar Electric Co Inc
  • Johnstone Supply
  • MSC Industrial Supply
  • ScanSource Inc
  • Uline
  • Wilbur-Ellis
  • Wurth Industry of North America

The following wholesale distribution companies have participated in previous NAW Billion Dollar CIO Roundtables:

  • ABB Optical Group
  • ABC Supply Co Inc.
  • ADI Global
  • Airgas Inc
  • Allied Building Products
  • AmerisourceBergen
  • Animal Supply
  • Avnet
  • Ben E. Keith
  • Boise Cascade
  • Border States Electric Supply
  • Brenntag
  • Bunzl Distribution USA Inc
  • Core Mark International Inc
  • Do It Best Corp
  • Essendant
  • Ferguson
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Graybar Electric Co Inc
  • Hajoca Corporation
  • Johnstone Supply
  • M Holland
  • MSC Industrial Supply Co.
  • Network Services Co
  • Patterson Companies
  • Pool Corp.
  • Rexel
  • SRS Distribution
  • Scansource Inc
  • Uline
  • Veritiv
  • WinSupply, Inc.

Meeting Location:
Chicago Hilton O’Hare
10000 W O’Hare Ave. Click Here to Book Your Room
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.