Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

May 14-15 at the Hilton O’Hare in Chicago

“NAW enables a free-flow of ideas and answers to Questions for Operations executives from large companies and different industries. The Roundtable is a “great-value-add” since it allows you to discuss tactical issues with counterparts facing the same challenges.”

Submitted Anonymously by the Senior Vice President of Operations of a $7 Billion Dollar Distribution Company

The NAW Billion Dollar Company Operations Roundtable for direct members was created as a new mechanism for the Operations Executives of large distribution enterprises to network with non-competing peers in multiple lines of trade on key operations issues.

Similar to other billion dollar roundtables NAW has created for the CIO, CFO, Chief Legal Officer, and CHRO, this by invitation 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 operations 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 Operations 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 Operations Roundtable Preliminary Agenda

Day 1 - May 14, 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
Large Company Executive Dinner
What in the World is Going On in Washington!

Blake Adami
Vice President–Government Relations, NAW

Make sure to reserve your seat for 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.

Blake Adami, Vice President – Government Relations, will be joining us as our dinner speaker this year. Blake will share his insights on what the heck is going on in Washington, whether anything will actually get done this year, and how NAW is working with Congress and the regulatory agencies, to benefit the entire $6 trillion wholesale distribution industry.


Blake Adami is NAW’s Vice President-Government Relations and his primary areas of responsibility include health care, workforce and workforce benefits, and labor issues. He concurrently serves as Political Director of the NAW Political Action Committee. Blake is also a member of the Management and/or Steering Committees of several coalitions, including the Employer’s Health Care Clearinghouse, the National Coalition on Benefits, the Partnership for Employer Sponsored Coverage, and the Stop the HIT (Health Insurance Tax) Coalition. Prior to joining NAW, he served for nearly 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director.

Day 2 - May 15, 2019

 7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Opening Session & Discussion
What Technologies Do Wholesaler-Distributors Need to Stay Ahead in the Next 5 to 10 years?

Paul Pretko
North America Industry Advisor for Wholesale Distribution, SAP

Dane Poeske
Vice President of Business Development, N-SPRO

Session Description

Today, wholesale distribution companies are facing numerous forces that are driving some of the greatest changes in industry history. Industry leaders must find ways to respond to powerful business trends including:

  • Reimagining the distributor’s role and expanding value-added services
  • Thriving in a connected world enabled by advances in technology
  • Analyzing and optimizing business by adopting new intelligent capabilities

These and other industry trends have made wholesale distribution companies realize they must transform  their business in several different ways:

  • Innovate and adopt new profit models, new business processes and new ways of adding value
  • Build deeper relationships with suppliers by getting plugged in to their value network
  • Differentiate their business from competition, enabled by an intelligent enterprise

In response to these business challenges, forward-looking wholesale distributors are evolving from being just traditional distributors to becoming digital distributors. Enabling technology is being leveraged to:

  • Achieve superior performance with new models, processes, and work
  • Drive profitable growth and operational excellence
  • Make better decisions based on real time information and intelligent enterprise visibility

The wholesale distributors industry transformation will need to be continual – not one time, but a journey over time, requiring a new degree of flexibility and adaptability for all parts of the new intelligent enterprise. Enabling wholesale distribution digital transformation will require, updating mission critical business systems, improving e-commerce platforms, and taking full advantage of human capital management technology.

The future for Wholesale Distributor organizations to become Intelligent Enterprises has begun. Are you ready for the future?

Key Takeaways from this Session

  • Current Business Trends in the WD Channel
  • The Challenges dealing with these Trends
  • Enabling Technologies to Win in the Future


Paul Pretko is the North America Industry Advisor for Wholesale Distribution at SAP America, Inc. He is an enterprise technology and operations leader with over thirty years of comprehensive experience in logistics and distribution environments, executing operational improvement strategies through digital technology. He focuses on enabling operational excellence and profitable growth with SAP solutions for wholesale distribution.

Dane Poeske is a Vice President of Rizing’s Consumer Industries division at /N SPRO.  He is responsible for launching and managing the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) and Wholesale Distribution industry channels, complementing the existing and highly successful /N SPRO Retail industry channel.  Dane’s experience includes over 20 years of global sales, marketing, and operations at Procter & Gamble and Gillette, and 5+ years of consulting, AI, digital transformation, and industry solutions, including SAP, in the global technology industry.  Dane is focused on creating a client-first philosophy that leverages our extraordinary Consumer Industry experiences, our superior SAP delivery expertise, and our primary focus on client success.  Mr. Poeske has an MBA in Marketing from Loyola University of Chicago, a BBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and currently lives in Boston, MA.

9:30 AM – 9:35 AM

9:35 AM – 10:50 AM
General Session & Discussion

Inventory Optimization Best Practices

ElMarie Hugo
Senior Director of Industry Strategy – Wholesale Distribution & 3PL, JDA

Technology is disrupting the traditional IO way.  IoT, AI/ML and forward-looking demand analytics are challenging the best practices that have dictated the philosophy of Inventory Optimization for the past 40 years. The use of historical or backward-looking data, will no longer be enough to meet the increasing demands placed on supply chains.  Inventory optimization could be regarded as the pivot on which supply chains succeed or fail.  Having the right product in the right place at the right time remains the mantra by which supply chain practitioners live or die. Forward looking analytics is fast becoming part of the planning DNA. Historical analytics alone will not deliver the expected improvements in Inventory optimization and players will need to adopt tools and processes that pave the way toward predictive and prescriptive analytics.

The major take-aways for this presentation are:

  • The future of Inventory Optimization (IO) is tightly linked to supply chain network design and optimization
  • The E2E visibility will become an absolute requirement for balancing inventory across the supply chain network
  • Future Inventory Optimization (IO) best practices and strategies will embrace AI / ML, predictive and prescriptive analytics

10:50 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 Networking Lunch with CLO and CHRO

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. All 3 groups: Operations, CHRO and CLO executives will attend this joint lunch.

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

Stay Metrics Driver Retention-Engage, Reward & Keep Your Best Drivers 

Tim Hindes
CEO & CO-Founder, Stay Metrics

The National Committee on Pay Equity (website) reports that …. although action on federal equal pay/pay equity laws has stalled in Congress more than 30 states having recently introduced, or are expected to introduce legislation on equal pay/pay equity.  Other states will follow.

This activity at Federal and State levels has made ‘ensuring and managing pay equity’ a prioritized compliance focus for many HR Executives across the country in all industry sectors.  It is also true that ‘pay equity’ has now become a very hot topic of interest with existing (in-place) employees as well as candidates considering new hire opportunities.  Therefore, ‘pay equity’ becomes an aspect of an Employer’s Brand that many organizations are working to protect in this war for talent.

At this session, we will review legislation that exists today at Federal and State levels.  You’ll better understand the dynamics and implications that need to be considered as you address ‘pay equity’ for your organization. We’ll also review a Best Practices approach and work plan to evaluate your organization’s pay practices and identity necessary corrective action.

Roundtable, interactive discussion will cover:

  • Review of Federal and State Pay Equity laws as well as pending legislation
  • Potential Costs for violations
  • Attorney-client privilege
  • Review Best Practices Approach and steps to a Pay Equity Analysis
  • Identifying and taking corrective action where disparity is found

CCI Consulting: CCI Consulting is a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise that partners with clients to develop talent pipelines, engage and retain top talent, strengthen leaders, and improve the performance of individuals and teams. The strategic use of compensation helps organizations better attract, motivate and retain employees. CCI provides expertise and consulting to help organizations with strategic design and management of executive and employee pay and benefit programs.


Tim Hindes has more than three decades of experience in the trucking industry. He’s been an owner-operator and a dispatcher; and he’s run a logistics firm. His transportation-centered career provides Tim with a unique understanding of and perspective about the trucking industry – its leadership practices, operations & management, and, most importantly, its drivers.

Tim and his long-term business partner, Kurt LaDow, co-founded Stay Metrics with a mission to make a positive impact on the lives of drivers and their co-workers. The company is the leading provider of evidence-based retention solutions for the transportation industry. Stay Metrics has developed a unique combination of driver feedback surveys and analytics, and a performance-based recognition and rewards platform. The Stay Metrics databases hold data from nearly 200,000 driver surveys.

As CEO, Tim oversees a team that serves 100+ carriers with its industry-leading driver engagement platform. The Stay Metrics platform has proved to have a positive impact on driver retention, with clients experiencing dramatic and sustainable reductions in driver turnover. Tim and the Stay Metrics team practice what we preach to our carriers – Stay Metrics was recently designated a Best Place to Work in Michiana.

Stay Metrics ongoing research – with world-class, university-based researchers who specialize in employee attitudes and behaviors – advances the industry’s understanding of driver retention, safety, and carrier operations. Tim and the Stay Metrics team are proud to be changing cultures in the transportation industry and improving the work-life experiences of truck drivers across the continent.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for November 19-20, 2019

2:30 PM

NAW Billion Dollar Operations Roundtable Members

  • ABC Supply Co Inc.
  • ADI Global
  • Boise Cascade Company
  • Border States Electric Supply
  • Brenntag
  • Bunzl Distribution USA
  • Cardinal Health
  • Core-Mark International Inc
  • Graybar
  • HD Smith
  • Johnstone Supply
  • L&W Supply Corp
  • Patterson Companies
  • PrimeSource
  • Republic National Distributing
  • SRS Distribution
  • ScanSource
  • US Autoforce
  • Uline
  • WESCO Distribution Inc

The following wholesale distribution companies are registered for the Spring 2019 Billion Dollar Operations Roundtable:

  • ABC Supply Co Inc
  • ADI Global
  • AmeriGas Propane
  • Border States Electric Supply
  • Bunzl Distribution USA
  • Graybar
  • PetroChoice
  • U.S. Lumber Group
  • WESCO Distribution Inc
  • WinSupply

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

  • ABC Supply Co Inc.
  • ADI Global
  • Berlin Packaging
  • Boise Cascade Company
  • Border States Electric Supply
  • Bunzl Distribution USA
  • Cardinal Health
  • Core-Mark International
  • Dawn Foods Products
  • Do it Best Corp
  • Dot Foods
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Graybar
  • HD Smith
  • Johnstone Supply
  • McKesson Distribution
  • MRC Global
  • Network Services Company
  • Patterson Companies
  • Pool Corp.
  • PrimeSource
  • SRS Distribution
  • Uline
  • Vertiv
  • Victory Packaging
  • WESCO Distribution Inc
  • Weyerhaeuser Co

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.