Leading wholesaler-distributors depend on NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence groundbreaking research studies because they help solve real-world business challenges.




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NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence



NAW Institute Board of Directors and Officers

  • Ron Calhoun, NAW Institute Board Chairman –The Palmer-Donavin Mfg Co.
  • Tim Buche – Motorcycle Industry Council
  • Talbot Gee – Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International 
  • Vic Jury – Summit Electric Supply Co. Inc.
  • Kevin Kampe – Womack Machine Supply Co.
  • Jeff McLendon – US Lumber Group
  • Michael Medart – Medart Marine/Medart Engine
  • Tom Naber – National Association of Electrical Distributors
  • George Pattee – Parksite, Inc.
  • Joe Poehling – First Supply LLC
  • Larry Stoddard – RelaDyne
  • Ralph Suppa – Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating
  • Joe Thompson – Thompson Management Associates
  • Doug York – Ewing Irrigation Products, Inc.
  • Bruce Zwicker – J J Haines & Co, Inc.

  • George Keeley, Secretary – Keeley, Kuenn and Reid
  • Patricia A. Lilly, Executive Director – National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors
  • Dirk Van Dongen, President and Treasurer – National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

NAW Institute Fellows

The Fellows Program was established in 2001. It is intended to recognize outstanding individuals from the academic and consulting communities doing excellent work to expand the body of knowledge about the wholesale distribution industry. When it comes to research and authoring practical reports that can assist distribution companies to be more profitable, these Fellows are our crown jewels.


J. Michael Marks

J. Michael Marks, Managing Partner of Indian River Consulting Group, Melbourne, FL, became a Fellow in 2002.

Indian River Consulting Group (IRCG) is an experience-driven firm that continues to focus on the wholesale distribution channel.

Prior to forming IRCG, Mike held the position of Executive Vice President at Lex Electronics, an $800 million vertically integrated electronics distributor in Stamford, CT. Prior to that, he was Director of Corporate Training and Development at Ducommon Inc. in Los Angeles, CA, a $400 million industrial distribution company.

Mike is coauthor of Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-Distributors (2009), Working at Cross-Purposes: How Distributors and Manufacturers Can Manage Conflict Successfully (2006), and What's Your Plan? Smart Salesforce Compensation in Wholesale Distribution (2003).


Brent R. Grover

Brent R. Grover, President of Evergreen Consulting, LLC, Cleveland, OH, was named a Fellow in 2005.

Evergreen Consulting advises owner managers of closely held distribution and manufacturing companies on the challenges of strategy and ownership succession.

Brent, former CEO of National Paper & Packaging Co., served as Chairman of the NAW Member Association: National Paper Trade Association in 1993.

Brent is the author of Mergers and Acquisitions for Distributors: Expert Advice for Buyers and Sellers (2015), In Search of the Perfect Customer: Cost-to-Serve for Distributors (2011), Strategic Pricing for Distributors: Tools and Rules for Building Higher Margins (2009), Official Guide to Wholesaler-Distributor Financial Success—Three-Volume Set (2007), The Acquisitive Distributor: 4 Keys to Success When Buying a Wholesale Distribution Business (2005), and More to the Bottom Line: Customer Profitability Analysis Tools for Distributors (2004).



 Barry Lawrence, Ph.D.

In 2009, Dr. Barry Lawrence, Director of the Industrial Distribution Program and the Global Supply Chain Lab (GSCL) at Texas A&M University, was named a Fellow.

The GSCL is the nation’s premier distribution-focused research lab, providing state-of-the-art distribution and supply chain research solutions to the wholesale distribution industry. The lab employs several full-time research associates. Barry has several years of experience with applied research and education for industry professionals. The research associates have many years of experience partnering with the distribution industry to help companies solve complex problems. These partnerships have resulted in millions of dollars in cost savings, inventory reductions, and margin improvements.

Barry also heads up Texas A&M’s efforts with the Council for Research on Distributor Best Practices (CRDBP). The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence and Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution Program launched the CRDBP in 2009 to further the understanding and application of best practices in wholesale distribution. The mission of the CRDBP is to create competitive advantage for wholesaler-distributors through development of research, tools, and education.

Barry is coauthor of Driving Profitable Growth: A Distributor’s Playbook to Generate–Manage–Sustain Competitive Advantage (2015), Pricing Optimization: Striking the Right Balance for Margin Advantage (2013), Sales and Marketing Optimization: Developing Competitive Value Propositions in Distribution (2012), Customer Stratification: Best Practices for Boosting Profitability (2011) and Optimizing Distributor Profitability: Best Practices to a Stronger Bottom Line (2009). 

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  • Mergers and Acquisitions for Distributors: Expert Advice for Buyers and SellersFind out more »
  • Driving Profitable Growth: A Distributor's Playbook to Generate–Manage–Sustain Competitive AdvantageFind out more »
  • Pricing Optimization: Striking the Right Balance for Margin AdvantageFind out more »
  • Sales and Marketing Optimization: Developing Competitive Value Propositions in DistributionFind out more »
  • Customer Stratification: Best Practices for Boosting ProfitabilityFind out more »