Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

The NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management is a breakthrough program that offers three separate, one-week, in-person sessions: Optimizing Distributor Profitability, Generating and Managing Growth and Distributor Capability Development. These sessions are designed to help companies retain and develop their key employees. This is an ideal program for managers who seek to complement their professional development. While sessions may be taken individually, participants must attend all three sessions to earn their certificate.

  • Distributor Capability Development: June 13-16, 2022  REGISTER 
      • Sales and Branch Managers
      • Customer Service Personnel
      • Executives and Strategic Managers
      • Business Analysts and IT Managers
      • Executive and Senior Management
      • High Potential Candidates for Management
  • Optimizing Distributor Profitability August: 22-25, 2022  REGISTER
    • Strategic Business Managers
    • Regional / Functional Heads
    • Branch / Operations Managers
    • Finance Managers / Controllers
    • C-Suite, Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs
    • Sales and Branch Managers
    • Purchasing Personnel
    • Executives and Strategic Managers
    • Business Analysts and IT Managers
    • Customer Service Personnel
  •  Generating and Managing Growth: September 12-15, 2022 REGISTER 
    • Sales and Branch Managers
    • Executives and Strategic Managers
    • Business Analysts and IT Managers
    • Customer Service Personnel
    • Pricing and Purchasing Professionals
    • Executive and Senior Management
    • High Potential Candidates for Management
    • Regional Profit Center Heads
    • Business Development Managers

Program Fee: $5,890 per person per Session (includes program materials). If you are interested in registering more than three individuals or prefer to pay by check, or have questions, please contact NAW’s Trish Lilly at


“The week I was fortunate to spend at Texas A&M for the NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management: Session 1 Optimizing Distributor Profitability was rather eye opening in a few areas. The instructors’ knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge to actual day-to-day scenarios was incredibly helpful and insightful. I was able to garner a new perspective on my business and, more importantly, on how to improve the profitability of the business. Probably the most impactful takeaway was how the faculty ensured that we put together an actionable framework to take back to our organizations. For me, this really helped to close the loop on the knowledge I gained. At other seminars or trainings, we would spend the week covering good material. However, when you get back to the real world with emails, voicemails and the day-to-day firefighting, it was too easy to not put into action the things you learned. I really feel this helped this program stand out above the rest. I look forward to the next session and the knowledge that follows.”

David Ryan, General Manager, Polymershapes

Each session is tailored for the continuing education needs of your future distribution leaders

Through the education alliance between the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence and Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution Program, NAW offers this cutting-edge educational program that is customized to distributors.

The NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management consists of three one-week sessions targeted to distributors who desire an update on the latest knowledge in wholesale distribution, with a strong emphasis on practical application within the distribution field.

The three sessions will provide an overview of the most important concepts in distribution today. The sessions will be held at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, through an active learning process consisting of both lecture and hands-on exercises. Completion of the three sessions will provide participants with the educational foundation they need to enhance their value to their company.

Sessions may be taken individually. However, the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence will issue an NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management ONLY upon completion of all three sessions.

Sessions are:

  • Optimizing Distributor Profitability  
  • Generating and Managing Growth
  •  Distributor Capability Development

There is no time limit for completion, and sessions may be completed in any order that best suits the participant.

Key Takeaways from Each Session

  • The impact of operational decisions on profitability and shareholder value
  • Best practices in each of the functional areas of distribution
  • Dimensions of profitable growth in distribution
  • Strategies to optimize pricing
  • Channel partner relationships and compensation
  • Strategies for sales force development and management
  • Strategies for talent acquisition, development and retention

Who Should Attend*

  • Operational leaders in functional areas
  • District and Region Managers
  • Branch and Sales Managers
  • Potential candidates for management
  • Inside Sales and Outside Sales Professionals
  • Operation Managers

*These sessions are designed specifically for individuals with degrees other than industrial distribution or experienced non-degree professionals.

Expected Program Outline (sessions may shift on the schedule)

Session 1 Agenda: Optimizing Distributor Profitability

Session 2 Agenda: Generating and Managing Growth

Session 3 Agenda: Distributor Capability Development

Robert Borsh

Robert Borsh

Associate Professor of Practice, Industrial Distribution Program, Texas A&M University

Bob Borsh is a seasoned business professional with more than 35 years in manufacturing sales and industrial distribution senior management. He has held various positions including salesman, sales manager, district manager, regional vice president, vice president, president and CEO. During the tenure at his entrepreneurial international distribution company, Bob was the proud recipient of the “Aggie 100” award for three consecutive years and placing 13th in the final year as the fastest growing Aggie-owned business worldwide.

Kevin Friar

Kevin Friar

Senior Lecturer, Industrial Distribution Program, Texas A&M University

Kevin Friar joined the faculty of Texas A&M’s Industrial Distribution Program in 2017 and teaches in both the undergraduate and master’s programs.

Prior to his current role, Kevin spent 28 years in industry working for Ecolab in its Energy Services division, Nalco Champion.  He began his role as a field engineer and over the year held various leadership positions covering sales and marketing both domestically and internationally.  His leadership roles serving the oil and gas industry gave him vast experience in emerging markets globally.  From 2009 until his retirement at the end of 2016, he held the Executive Vice President position with responsibility for the global oilfield chemicals business unit of $2.5 billion and 2,500+ employees.

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson

Lecturer, Industrial Distribution Program, Texas A&M University

Jay Johnson has more than 20 years of experience in distribution. He has worked in industries such as electrical, building materials, fluid power and power transmission, with positions in sales, sales management, and general management. He has participated in research projects in the building materials, electrical, PVF, HVAC, fluid power, plumbing, chemical and transportation industries. Jay uses his industry experience, education and continued research to deliver undergraduate and industry presentations in financial management, sales, sales management, inventory management and customer service.


Col. Ret. Mark Johnson

Associate Professor of Practice, Industrial Distribution Program, Texas A&M University

Before joining Texas A&M, Col. Ret. Mark Johnson served as the Director of Cyber Solutions for Camber Corporation from, and as a member of the Senior Executive Service. Before that, he was Director, Joint Information Operations Warfare Center (JIOWC), at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Subordinate to the U.S. Strategic Command, the JIOWC is the lead USSTRATCOM component for Information Operations and Strategic Communication in support of U.S. national security objectives. TheJIOWC’s 450-plus personnel support the development of global effects and provide IO/SC planning in support of USSTRATCOM mission areas of strategic deterrence, space and cyberspace operations. Mark served in the U.S. Army from 1979 to 2008, retiring with the rank of Colonel. Prior to his active duty retirement, he was the Deputy Commander, Joint Information Operations Warfare Command. He is a Master Parachutist.

Barry Lawerence

Dr. Barry Lawrence

Program Coordinator, Industrial Distribution Program; Director, Thomas and Joan Read Center; and Director, Global Supply Chain Laboratory, Texas A&M University

As a faculty member of the Industrial Distribution Program, Dr. Barry Lawrence is involved in graduate, undergraduate and professional continuing education teaching activities, funded research projects, publications and industry presentations. His teaching activities surround classes in manufacturer– distributor relationships, supply chain management, distributor profitability and distribution strategy. Barry is a frequent speaker for distribution associations, buying groups and companies on topics ranging from distributor profitability, distribution growth and market share, pricing optimization, inventory asset management, sales and marketing optimization, global distribution and other topics. Barry is a Fellow with the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, and co-author of six books on distributor competitiveness. He has more than 10 years of industry experience in sales and retail business before joining Texas A&M.


Dr. Jia Wang

Professor of Human Resource Development, Texas A&M University

As a scholar, Dr. Jia Wang has been actively promoting individual and organizational development through culture-sensitive and evidence-based research. Her research work has been disseminated through a wide range of academic journals and international conferences. Jia currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Human Resource Development Review. With 25 years of accumulated experiences in multi-cultural contexts, she has developed and conducted numerous educational workshops to diverse groups in both the corporate and university settings.


“The Optimizing Distributor Profitability module in the NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management program was quite impressive. The content was very practical and applicable to the distributor business model. You can expect an immediate ROI on the information presented and the entire week was well worth the time and financial investment. Although the content was great, the delivery of it was what made it special. Dr. Lawrence and the other faculty disseminated expert knowledge that clearly showed why they are global authorities on increasing profitability for a distributor of any size. I recommend this program to anyone looking to improve his or her business. I’m looking forward to the other two modules in this program.”

Ryan Pierson, Associate Business Unit Manager – Lubricants, O’Rourke Petroleum


“I found the Optimizing Distributor Profitability course to be just the shot in the arm that I needed. The principles and skills taught are invaluable and clearly presented. Better yet, this course is the road map we received to immediately implement what we learned. I can’t wait to get back to share this with our team and start improving our EBITDA and ROI.”

Bill Davis, President, Valley Solvents & Chemicals


“The Optimizing Distributor Profitability session of the NAW Certificate in Distribution Professional Management program was a very valuable experience for me. The instructors brought their “A” game and had many relatable examples from their experience in the distribution world and their consulting endeavors. I appreciated how they kept the class in an open dialogue format – didn’t talk at us, but allowed us to be active participants. I got some solid takeaways out of this first session from an introduction to the concept of GMROII to ideas for customer stratification. The section on inventory stratification was key for me as well. Some of the metrics and best practices that I learned provided immediate takeaways that I’ll apply to my business unit and I believe they will provide immediate return on investment. I look forward to sessions 2 and 3!”

Matt Womack, General Manager – Houston, Polymershapes


“Session 1 – Optimizing Distributor Profitability was amazing. Very transformational and so very relevant to our needs in our company. Really appreciated the real-world data and case study use in teaching. Recommend more interaction and sharing of participants to gain perspective on alternate challenges facing companies.”

Kelly Wall, Senior Director of Business Development, Y. Hata & Co. Ltd.

For more details about the content of the NAW Certificate Program, contact Dr. Esther Rodriguez Silva, Texas A&M University,

For more information about the NAW Certificate awarded to participants who complete all three sessions, contact Patricia A. Lilly, NAW,