Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

April 30-May 1, 2019 at the Hilton O’Hare in Chicago

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

This by invitation roundtable is composed of executives from large companies that meet in Chicago two times per year and is highly interactive. The annual fee is $1,500 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 a senior level 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 $100M to $1B annual revenue.
The NAW Large Company Roundtable is the only opportunity that provides networking and benchmarking exclusively with other top executives of non competing, like-sized Wholesale-Distribution companies.

NAW Large Company Operations Roundtable Agenda

Day 1 - April 30, 2019

2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Opening Session & Discussion
Freight Cost Recovery: Lessons From The Pros and Your Peers  

Crenna Rodholm
VP of Client Services, Mihlfeld & Associates

Data, processes, and systems are the key components to freight cost recovery and billing. Outside influences such as the competition, the clients expectations, and lack of management’s oversight also play a large role in what can be accomplished in freight recoupment. As clients become more demanding of information regarding shipping cost options and delivery times, some companies struggle to find ways to bill freight to cover costs, create a revenue stream, or to stay competitive.

The major take-aways for this presentation are:
• Importance of the Finance Executive’s involvement in transportation pricing and negotiations.
• Pricing negotiation strategies for each mode of transportation
• Freight pricing strategies that create billing consistencies, customer satisfaction, and revenue streams.
• Gathering, analyzing, and using data to recover freight costs, bill consistently, avoid surprise charges on the back-end, and provide management with tools and measurements to ensure profitability.


Crenna’s leadership at Mihlfeld & Associates is built upon providing strategic value, organizational success, and knowledge of the freight industry. Experienced in freight cost billing and recovery, Crenna has managed transportation programs for companies with revenues ranging from $10 million to $4 billion. As Mihlfeld enters its 25th year, Crenna keeps the focus on cost reduction, data visibility, and process improvement for each client. Having collaborated with over 800 clients across multiple industries, specifically business professionals responsible for driving profitability, Crenna understands the importance of accountability to the bottom line.

4:30 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 – 9:30 PM
Large Company Executive Dinner
What in the World is Going On in Washington!

Seth Waugh
Associate 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.

Seth Waugh, NAW Associate Vice President – Government Relations, will be joining us as our dinner speaker this year. Seth 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.


Seth Waugh is NAW’s Associate Vice President-Government Relations, with primary responsibility for transportation and infrastructure. He also serves as Deputy Political Director of the NAW Political Action Committee. Prior to joining NAW, Seth served as Director of Government Affairs for the Portland Cement Association. He also lobbied for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the U.S., and the National Association for Biomedical Research. He managed the grassroots operations across 14 states for the National Rifle Association and spent nearly five years on the staff of the late U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH). He also worked for the Ohio House of Representatives and on political campaigns throughout the country.

Day 2 - May 1, 2019

7:00 AM – 7:45 AM

8:00 AM – 9:30 AM
General Session
Growing Your Workforce in a Talent-Scarce Market

Harry Griendling
Founder and CEO, DoubleStar

John F. Salveson
Co-Founder & Principal, Salveson Stetson Group, Inc.

Hiring and retaining warehouse employees and drivers remains to be a top priority for many operation executives in distribution.

However, with unemployment at historic lows and a robust job market, many organizations are reporting increasing difficulty in hiring and keeping the talent the need.

At this session, you will learn:

  • The current forces shaping the US talent market
  • How talent market supply and demand impacts recruiting & retention
  • The unique and not-so-unique motivations of the Millennial generation
  • Best practices/new ideas for increasing your recruiting success
  • Best practices/new ideas for improving your retention performance
  • Models for determining your best recruiting/retention approaches


As the Founder and CEO of DoubleStar, Harry Griendling has led the design, development and execution of over 900 talent acquisition and talent management projects for over 300 fast-growing technology-driven organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline, SAP Americas, Eli Lilly, Siemens Medical Solutions, AstraZeneca, Cisco, The Vanguard Group, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Merrill-Lynch, Pfizer, Campbell Soup Company, Hershey Foods, CIGNA, Travelers Insurance, Ernst & Young, Main Line Health System, Schering-Plough, Pepsi, Teva Pharmaceuticals, JPMorganChase, Rogers Communications, Main Line Health Network, Capital One, Home Depot, TD Bank and over 50 technology or science-driven start-ups.

Under Harry’s leadership, DoubleStar has appeared twice on the INC 500 list of America’s Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies and six times on the Philly 100 list of fastest-growing private companies in the Greater Philadelphia region. Harry is one of only 15 inaugural inductees into the Philadelphia Business Hall of Fame.

John F. Salveson brings more than 30 years of experience consulting with a broad range of organizations, including life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, professional service firms, healthcare providers, retailers, service organizations and non-profit institutions. Working closely with senior leadership, John helps companies define their talent needs and execute creative strategies to recruit and retain that talent. He has particular expertise in management and organization development consulting. John also serves as Practice Leader for the firm’s Wholesale Distribution Specialty Practice.

Before co-founding Salveson Stetson in 1996, John served as Vice President and Director of Client Services of Right Management Consultants, the world’s largest career transition and organizational consulting firm. Before that, he helped launch and grow Human Service Systems, Inc., an employee assistance program provider.

You can follow John on LinkedIn and Twitter: @JohnSalveson. You can read his blog entries at

9:30 AM – 9:45 AM

9:45 AM – 11:00 AM
General Session & Discussion
E-Commerce Distribution Challenges: A Peer to Peer Discussion 

Brad Caplan
VP Operations & Administration, COO,  Polymershapes

The transition to e-commerce distribution can be painful and frustrating. Moving from pallets to eaches, deciding which products to sell online, and strategizing how to handle Amazon are just some of the growing pains facing operation executives in wholesale distribution. Come ready to hear how your peers are handing their e-commerce challenges.   You’ll leave this session with helpful tools on how to move forward with your e-commerce platform.

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 Large Company senior executives at this week’s Roundtable to compare ideas and benchmark across disciplines. Both the CFO and Operations executives will attend this joint lunch.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Closing Session & Discussion
The LEAN Practitioner 

Lanny Million
Chief Supply Chain Officer, IEWC

Lean practitioners can provide additional support for your organization’s lean deployment.  They can deliver improvement projects and support your leadership team towards lean behaviors.  At this session, you’ll

  • explore lean improvement methodologies, tools, and techniques
  • learn facilitation skills
  • understand the role of a lean practitioner


Lanny Million serves as Executive VP and Chief Supply Chain Officer for IEWC Global Solutions, a global distributor of wire and cable products. He is a Board Member and ESOP Trustee for the company as well. He joined IEWC Global Solutions in 2014 as Sr. Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions. Prior to IEWC, as part of his 30+ year career in manufacturing and distribution, Lanny was Vice President, Operations for Prestolite Wire LLC for ten years, where he was responsible for as many as 7 manufacturing and distribution plants and led that organization to become one of the most trusted wire & cable suppliers in the industry. Lanny has held financial and operations positions with major corporations such as Pentair and Sunbeam, as well as a role as General Manager of Zila, a Division of Tolmar Pharmaceuticals.

Lanny graduated from Arkansas State University with a B.S. degree in Business, including an emphasis in Operations and Finance. He has participated in and led numerous events championing lean manufacturing and waste reduction techniques, kaizen events and continuous improvement initiatives, and has performed in a number of international business roles.

2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Set Agenda for Next Meeting Scheduled for November 5-6, 2019

2:30 PM

NAW Large Company Operations Roundtable Members

  • Benco Dental Co
  • Boelter Companies
  • Composites One
  • Hisco
  • ISCO Industries
  • Kennicott Brothers
  • L&R Distributors
  • Lawson Products
  • Pacesetter
  • Palmer-Donavin
  • Parksite
  • Polymershapes
  • Team Horner
  • U S Lumber Group
  • United Electric Supply

The following wholesale distribution companies are registered for the Spring 2019 Large Company Operations Roundtable:

  • Allied Electronics
  • Coastal Construction Products
  • Composites One
  • Grabber Construction Products
  • Gustave A Larson Company
  • IEWC
  • ISCO Industries
  • PACE Inc
  • Palmer-Donavin
  • Parksite Inc
  • Plumbing Distributors Inc.
  • Polymershapes
  • Power & Telephone Supply Co
  • Team Horner
  • United Electric Supply Co
  • Werner Electric Supply Co

The following wholesale distribution companies have attended previous Large Company Operations Roundtables:

  • Benco Dental
  • Boelter Companies
  • Composites One
  • Curbell Plastics
  • Gustave A. Larson Company
  • Hisco
  • Hub Construction Specialties
  • Inline Distribution
  • ISCO Industries
  • Kennicott Brothers
  • Lawson Products,.
  • McNaughton McKay Electric Company
  • Munchs Supply Co Inc
  • Pacesetter Steel
  • Palmer Donavin Mfg Co., (The)
  • Parksite, Inc.
  • Seal Rite Door
  • T&A Supply Company
  • Team Horner
  • United Electric Supply Co
  • United Pipe & Steel
  • US Lumber Group

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.