Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

See You Next Year!

The next NAW Executive Summit will be January 30–February 1, 2018, at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC.

Thank You for Making the NAW 2017 Executive Summit a Success!


January 31–February 2, 2017 ● The Fairmont Washington, DC

Leaders from diverse wholesale distribution lines of trade came together January 31–February 2, in Washington, DC, for the NAW 2017 Executive Summit: “Navigating the Seas of Disruption.” Our attendees told us they left the meeting inspired with innovative ideas, informed opinions, realistic strategies, and new business relationships formed with their peers across the industry.

NAW Chairman's Address

Watch NAW 2016 Chairman Richard W. Schwartz, Chairman of the Board at Winsupply Inc., deliver his Chairman’s Address. Download the transcript here.

To learn more, please contact Tara Mostatab at tmostatab@naw.org.

NAW Executive Summit Sponsorship

We thank Oliver Wyman for sponsoring the NAW 2017 Executive Summit.

Oliver Wyman Logo

Paul St. Germain

Paul St. Germain

Formerly with IBM Corporation

General Session
Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption

Wednesday, February 1
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Wholesaler-distributors are navigating the seas of a disruptive economy and competitive environment—both of which are marked by long-standing challenges that are only intensifying and new forces that are reshaping individual lines of trade and the industry at large. Paul St. Germain, lead researcher and author of the upcoming Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption, will deliver a concise overview of these forces, including a difficult economy, advancing technology, rapidly changing customer requirements, shifting demographics, and tight margins. These forces have placed distributors at a crossroads, where they must take bold, innovative steps toward becoming more “customer centric”—leading to a maximization of the overall customer experience.

All NAW Executive Summit registrants will receive a copy of the 11th edition as part of their registration.

About The Speaker

While working for IBM, Paul St. Germain was responsible for managing IBM’s business and strategic initiatives within the global wholesale distribution industry. He researched critical issues and trends, developed IBM’s point of view on industry imperatives; guided IBM’s industry offerings and solutions; and engaged with wholesale distribution executives to help them transform their organizations.

Kathleen M. Mazzarella

Kathleen M. Mazzarella

Chairman, President, and CEO, Graybar

Panelist for
Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption

Wednesday, February 1
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Following Paul St. Germain’s overview of Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of DisruptionKathy Mazzarella and Jeff McLendon, who were interviewed for the new trends report, will join Paul to report on things they are doing at their companies that tie to the forces discussed in the report.

About The Speaker

Kathleen M. Mazzarella is Chairman, President, and CEO at Graybar, an employee-owned, Fortune 500 distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products. With more than $6 billion in revenue, Graybar employs thousands of men and women at more than 260 North American distribution centers.

Kathy has developed broad management, sales, marketing, and human resources experience during her 36 years with the company.

Jeff McLendon

Jeff McLendon

President and COO, U.S. Lumber Group

Panelist for
Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption

Wednesday, February 1
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Following Paul St. Germain’s overview of Facing the Forces of Change®: Navigating the Seas of Disruption, Kathy Mazzarella and Jeff McLendon, who were interviewed for the new trends report, will join Paul to report on things they are doing at their companies that tie to the forces discussed in the report.

About The Speaker

Jeff McLendon serves as President and COO of U.S. Lumber Group, a leading regional distributor of specialty building products and headquartered in Atlanta. The company operates eight distribution centers serving the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States. Jeff joined the company in 2003 as Chief Financial Officer and assumed the role of President in 2004.

Rob Green

Rob Green

Director and General Manager, Amazon Business

Amazon Business Is Here: What Does That Mean for Distribution?

Wednesday, February 1
9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Amazon Business launched on Amazon.com in mid-2015. It combines the selection, convenience, and value customers have come to know from Amazon, with new features and unique benefits that address the needs of businesses. So, what does this mean for distribution? Hear directly from Amazon as Rob Green discusses what makes Amazon unique and what you can learn from this new platform.

About The Speaker

Rob Green is the Director and General Manager of Amazon Business go-to-market team. He leads marketing, sales, selection expansion, and account management across a diverse portfolio of B2B merchants. He recently joined Amazon Business after leading the Amazon’s Consumer Marketplace business development efforts from 2013 to 2015. Prior to Amazon, Rob spent more than 20 years at Oracle Corporation in development, consulting, and training leadership roles. He led Oracle’s global customer education business, which served more than 500,000 students annually in 120 countries worldwide. He has extensive experience in change management, employee development, and systems integration.

Chris Cillizza

Chris Cillizza

Writer and Commentator, The Washington Post

General Session
A Look Back at the 2016 Presidential Election and What’s Ahead in Politics

Wednesday, February 1
10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

When we gather together at the NAW Executive Summit next January, the 2016 Presidential election, the one that no one could have predicted, will be a topic for historians, and a new President will just have been inaugurated. Chris Cillizza reported extensively on the remarkable presidential election, and his posts were a “must read” for anyone who wanted to get a keen and pithy take on the events of the day—every day. He will share both his “rearview mirror” observations of this remarkable campaign and his insight as to what it means for politics ahead.

About The Speaker

By uniquely viewing politics as a “theater” – or an endless drama of opposing forces, Chris Cillizza now stands as one of Washington, DC’s most exciting analysts of campaign politics. With both humor and probing insight, the self-described political junkie speaks with great clarity on the nuances of national and local campaign politics. His extensive media appearances, spanning from TV to print to the blogosphere, have led the Washingtonian magazine to name him one of the top 50 journalists working in Washington today. Chris seamlessly uses his immense reservoir of political knowledge to examine the past and provide insights on the constantly evolving state of Washington politics. His commentary additionally explores the meaning of the current presidency with prodigious depth and a discerning eye for future political trends.

Prior to a five-year stay with Roll Call, a Washington-based publication covering the legislative and political events of Capitol Hill, Chris reported on gubernatorial races and southern House races for the Cook Political Report. He also wrote a column for Congress Daily. Once he joined The Washington Post, Chris became the first reporter from a major news organization to do online work as a White House political correspondent. He also launched the widely popular weblog, The Fix, which focuses on American electoral politics, including gubernatorial, Congressional, and presidential elections. Now regarded as one of the most widely read blogs in Washington, The Fix receives upwards of 575,000 Internet hits daily and serves the readership of both seasoned political veterans and casual Washington observers. His freelance pieces have also appeared in various publications such as The Atlantic Monthly, Washingtonian, and Slate.

Richard W. Schwartz

Richard W. Schwartz

Chairman of the Board, Winsupply Inc.

General Session
NAW Chairman’s Address

Wednesday, February 1
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Richard W. Schwartz, Chairman of the Board of Winsupply Inc., will deliver his NAW Chairman’s Address—the culmination of his year as 2016 Chairman of the NAW Board of Directors.

About The Speaker

As Chairman of the Board of Winsupply Inc., Rick Schwartz is an advisor and advocate for the strategic direction of the organization, assists with ongoing training efforts, is an ambassador who visits Win companies, helps reinforce the basic principles and philosophy of the company, and represents the interests of shareholders.

Winsupply owns a majority equity stake in more than 570 local companies across the United States. Collectively, Winsupply is known as The Win Family of Companies and includes Win-branded locations, Noland Company, Carr Supply, Security Plumbing & Heating, and Wyatt Irrigation. The companies conduct business-to-business wholesale distribution of supplies and materials in plumbing and heating; hydronics; pipe, valves and fittings; HVAC and refrigeration; electrical; fastening hardware; waterworks and utility; pumps; turf irrigation and landscape; and fire system fabrication.

Winsupply is one of the largest privately held companies in Ohio. The company continues to grow by offering unique entrepreneurial opportunities in the industries it supports, including the residential and commercial construction markets.

Nick Toman

Nick Toman

Global Practice Leader, CEB Sales Practice

General Session
Being a Challenger Seller Isn’t Enough; Success Depends on Whom You Challenge

Wednesday, February 1
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Four years ago, The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation overturned decades of conventional wisdom with a bold new approach to sales. It argued that classic relationship-building is a losing approach, especially when it comes to selling complex, large-scale B2B solutions. Nick Toman says the latest research reveals something even more surprising: Being a Challenger Seller isn’t enough. Your success or failure also depends on whom you challenge. To win today, you need a Challenger inside the customer organization who is a Mobilizer.

In this session, you’ll learn how to distinguish the “Talkers” from the “Mobilizers” in any organization. Nick Toman will discuss how to find them, engage them with disruptive insight, and equip them to effectively challenge their organization.

About The Speaker

Nick Toman is the Global Practice Leader for the CEB Sales Practice, where he oversees general management and product development for the Sales Leadership Council, Asia Sales Leadership Council, and Sales Leadership Council for Mid-Sized Companies, which collectively serve more than 800 sales organizations. Nick formerly managed CEB’s Customer Contact Leadership Council, which serves more than 350 customer service organizations globally.

Nick is the coauthor of The Challenger Customer: Selling to the Hidden Influencer Who Can Multiply Your Results and The Effortless Experience: Conquering the New Battleground for Customer Loyalty, and principle contributor to The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation. He has conducted research studies in the space of customer service and sales effectiveness.

Rick Wilson

Rick Wilson

Managing Director, Chicago Strategy Associates

General Session
Distributor–Manufacturer Best Practices in the Internet Era

Wednesday, February 1
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

According to Rick Wilson, distributors can “refuel growth with collaboration, new perspectives, and win-win strategies.” Hear firsthand what Rick has uncovered through his online NAW member survey and interviews with distributors and suppliers. The distributor–supplier partnership is a critical component in channel efficiency and productivity. Learn what distributors and suppliers can do together to more collaboratively and efficiently serve both the customer and the channel.

About The Speaker

Rick Wilson, Managing Director at Chicago Strategy Associates, is a global thought leader and long-time adviser to senior leaders on structuring and managing their distribution channels to drive increased company differentiation, growth, and competitiveness. Rick has 25 years of consulting, facilitation, research, and teaching experience in building market-focused organizations and stewarding high-performance distribution channels. He brings a breadth and depth of experience, cross-industry perspective, and a passionate zeal to his work.

Jade West

Jade West

Senior Vice President–Government Relations, NAW

General Session
Policy Implications of the New Government in Washington in 2017

Wednesday, February 1
2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The remarkable politics of 2016 are…finally…behind us. The Congressional “lame duck” session will conclude in December, a new President will be inaugurated in January, his transition is now underway and his new cabinet is taking shape. Contrary to all the predictions, the GOP has retained its majority in the U.S. Senate and lost only 6 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. For the first time in a decade, Republicans will control both houses of Congress and occupy the White House. So what does all this mean for American business? In this policy session, Jade West will explore the policy implications of the new government in Washington.

About The Speaker

Jade West is Senior Vice President-Government Relations for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. She also serves as Executive Director of the NAW Political Action Committee. Jade is the senior lobbyist for NAW, advocating the interests of the wholesale distribution industry in Washington both on Capitol Hill and in the regulatory agencies. In addition, she is Executive Secretariat for the 1,000-member Tax Relief Coalition and the LIFO Coalition. Jade is a Steering Committee member of the Alliance for Tax Fairness and Growth, and she is on the Management Committee of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which leads the opposition to organized labor’s effort to remove secret ballot elections from union certification elections and force employers into binding “interest arbitration” in negotiating contracts.

Jade is also a Director of the Business Industry Political Action Committee and a Founder and Director of the trade association Get Out the Vote Best Practices Group, both working to maximize the turnout of pro-business voters in federal elections.

Before joining NAW in 2002, Jade was a senior aide on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years. She served first as Executive Director of the U.S. Senate Steering Committee, directing the activities of a small staff that provided legislative and policy assistance to approximately 25 senators and their staffs.

She was then named Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, the fourth ranking Republican Leadership position in the Senate. In that capacity, she served as an adviser to the Republican Leadership on legislative and technical procedural matters and managed a staff of 20, including 10 policy experts who provided policy analysis, research papers and talking points, and detailed legislative summaries to Republican senators and their staffs.

Michael Steep

Michael Steep

Senior Vice President, Global Business Operations, PARC, A Xerox Company

General Session
Understanding the Forces of Change:Transforming Disruption into Opportunity

Thursday, February 2
9:05 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Disruptive technology is growing at an exponential rate, but few people know how to transform disruption into exponential opportunity. Based upon decades of operations and innovation experience at companies including Apple and Microsoft, Mike Steep will show how to leverage emerging technology into bottom line business opportunities. He will introduce an outside-in process called EMBARK, which has been extremely effective at transforming disruptive technologies into business models to drive growth.

About The Speaker

Throughout his career, Mike Steep has worked in the presence of industry legends, including David Packard, Bill Gates, and Satya Nadella, where he experienced firsthand some of the greatest breakthroughs and transformations of entire industries. All of this change was powered by the invention of the digital camera, cloud computing, mobile devices, IoT, meta-materials, and privacy preserving analytics. His passion for practical innovation now extends to working with CEOs and R&D executives from companies including BMW, Google, P&G, L’Oreal, and AirBus to transform technology disruption of their industries into exponential opportunity. According to Mike, the source of technology disruption is no longer confined to Silicon Valley—it is global. Innovation can no longer be conceptual; it must be harnessed as the pragmatic engine for growth.

Mike believes we are at the beginning of a new golden age, where emerging technologies define who we are, what we can accomplish, and how we can redefine entire companies and industries. Just as Apple transformed the mobile industry through the introduction of the iPhone, emerging technologies will offer exponential opportunities if we know how to capitalize on them. As Mike explains, “innovation is the ability to apply the right idea, technical expertise, and business model to a strategic problem.”

Alan Beaulieu

Alan Beaulieu

NAW Senior Economic Advisor, and President, ITR Economics

General Session
NAW Economic Forecast for 2017–2018

Thursday, February 2
9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

An audience favorite, Alan Beaulieu, NAW Senior Economic Advisor, and President of ITR Economics, will once again join us at the NAW 2017 Executive Summit. He will provide both a macro forecast for the U.S. economy and a more-focused forecast for various sectors of the wholesale distribution industry, and he will answer your most-pressing questions. You’ll take from this lively presentation a detailed economic forecast for the coming 24 months and a set of recommendations for how to profit in today’s economy.

About The Speaker

One of the country’s most informed economists and also NAW Senior Economic Advisor, Alan Beaulieu is a principal of ITR Economics, where he serves as President. Since 1990, Alan has been consulting with companies that have a domestic and global perspective on how to forecast, plan, and increase their profits based on business cycle trend analysis. Alan has been providing workshops and economic analysis seminars across the United States to literally thousands of business owners and executives. He has appeared in/on: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron’s, USA Today, Business Week, The Washington Times, Associated Press, Knight Ridder News Services, Reuters, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, and numerous other outlets.

Stanley McChrystal

Stanley McChrystal

Former Commander of U.S. and International Forces in Afghanistan, and Founder and Managing Partner, McChrystal Group

General Session
Team of Teams

Thursday, February 2
1:15 p.m – 2:00 p.m.

Retired four-star General Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for developing and implementing a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan, and for creating a “team of teams”– a cohesive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture. Drawn from his remarkable military leadership experience, he will discuss the current world situation—and what we should do about it.

About The Speaker

A transformational leader with a remarkable record of achievement, General (Ret.) Stan McChrystal was called “one of America’s greatest warriors” by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Stan founded McChrystal Group in January 2011 to deliver innovative leadership solutions to American businesses to help them transform and succeed in challenging, dynamic environments. As Founder and a Managing Partner, he advises senior executives at multinational corporations on navigating complex change and building stronger teams.

A retired four-star general, Stan is the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He is best known for developing and implementing a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan and for creating a cohesive counter-terrorism organization that revolutionized the interagency operating culture.

Throughout his military career, Stan commanded a number of elite organizations, including the 75th Ranger Regiment. After 9/11 until his retirement in 2010, he spent more than seven years deployed to combat in a variety of leadership positions. In 2002, he was the chief of staff for military operations in Afghanistan. From 2003 to 2008, he commanded JSOC, where he led the U.S. Military’s counter-terrorism efforts worldwide. From the summer of 2008 until June 2009, he was the director of the Joint Staff, where he assisted the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in advising the President and the Secretary of Defense. In June 2009, the President of the United States and the Secretary General of NATO appointed him to be the Commander of U.S. Forces Afghanistan and NATO ISAF. His command included more than 150,000 troops from 45 allied countries. On August 1, 2010 he retired from the U.S. Army.

Stan is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on Leadership in Operation. He also sits on the board of the Franklin Project, Navistar International Corporation, and JetBlue. He is a highly sought-after speaker, giving speeches on leadership to organizations around the country. In 2013, Stan published his memoir, My Share of the Task, and in 2015 he authored Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World.

Thank You for Making the NAW 2016 Executive Summit a Success!

Leaders from diverse wholesale distribution lines of trade came together January 26–28, in Washington, DC, for the NAW 2016 Executive Summit: “Leadership Takeaways for Highly Successful Distributors.” Our attendees told us they left the meeting inspired with innovative ideas, informed opinions, and realistic strategies.

Watch NAW 2015 Chairman Manuel Perez de la Mesa, President and CEO of Pool Corporation, deliver his Chairman’s Address.

View PowerPoint slides of presentations made available for posting. Slides are listed under the main presenters’ sessions.

If you would like to learn more about this event, please contact Tara Mostatab at tmostatab@naw.org.

NAW Executive Summit Sponsorship

We thank Oliver Wyman for sponsoring the NAW 2016 Executive Summit.

Oliver Wyman Logo

Agenda

Day 1 - January 27th, 2016

Alan Beaulieu

Alan Beaulieu

NAW Senior Economic Advisor, and President, ITR Economics

General Session
"NAW Economic Forecast 2016–2017"

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM

Alan Beaulieu, NAW Senior Economic Advisor, and President of ITR Economics, will be back by popular demand at the NAW Executive Summit! Alan will provide you with both a macro forecast for the U.S. economy and a more-focused forecast for various parts of the wholesale distribution industry, and he will answer your questions.

You’ll take from this lively presentation

  • A detailed economic forecast for the coming 24 months
  • A set of recommendations for how to profit in today’s economy.

About The Speaker

One of the country’s most informed economists and also NAW Senior Economic Advisor, Alan Beaulieu is a principal of ITR Economics, where he serves as President. Since 1990, Alan has been consulting with companies that have a domestic and global perspective on how to forecast, plan, and increase their profits based on business cycle trend analysis. Alan has been providing workshops and economic analysis seminars across the United States to literally thousands of business owners and executives. He has appeared in/on: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron’s, USA Today, Business Week, The Washington Times, Associated Press, Knight Ridder News Services, Reuters, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, and numerous other outlets.

Leadership Takeaways

Richard Balaban

Richard Balaban

Formerly Senior Partner, Oliver Wyman

General Session
"Future Challenges for Wholesaler-Distributors to Focus on Today"

10:30 AM – 11:15 AM

After 35 years laser focused on business and corporate strategy in many kinds of businesses in different industries—including distribution—across the world, Richard Balaban has a wealth of observations, admonitions, and lessons learned to share with NAW Executive Summit attendees. In January, Richard will be newly retired from Oliver Wyman, and he’ll share insights about some of the most critical challenges before wholesaler-distributors today.

Takeaway topics:

  • Finding the right talent
  • Making “the customer experience” the heart of your brand
  • Managing risk
  • Building business intelligence
  • Becoming truly omni-channel.

Richard’s session will set the stage for the balance of the NAW Executive Summit agenda. Following his session, the program will feature other business sessions led by other B2B experts and we’ll discuss these crucial topics in-depth. You’ll come away with key leadership takeaways to brainstorm with your management team.

About The Speaker

Before his retirement in December 2015, Richard Balaban was a Senior Partner of Oliver Wyman, focusing on strategy, strategic planning, and business model design in industrial and B2B operations. He had been a Partner since 1987 and was Head of the London Office and Head of the global Strategy Practice.

Richard worked on business and corporate strategy studies in most industries, including building materials, glass, metals and mining, oil products, specialty chemicals, telecommunications, consumer products, paper and forestry, financial services, risk management, and airlines. His work ranged from comprehensive strategy reviews and implementation projects to more focused profitability improvement, manufacturing cost improvement, and acquisition and investment planning studies.

In particular, Richard helped develop some of Oliver Wyman’s distinctive approaches to portfolio analysis, corporate strategy, commercial effectiveness in distribution businesses, and business model innovation. He has extensive experience with the design and application of strategic planning programs and tools matched to particular company capabilities. He has always been biased in favor of practical implementation approaches. Teams which Richard led have continuously refined Oliver Wyman’s ideas about linking analytical proof about what to do with the people side of how to get things done.

Leadership Takeaways

General Session
"Online Leadership Training in Wholesale Distribution"

11:15 AM – 11:45 AM

Presenters

Tracy Lorenz

Tracy Lorenz

President Western International University

Steve Ramel

Steve Ramel

Apollo Education Group – President, Professional Services

Research by the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence reveals that there is a strong need for “soft-skills” training of aspiring leaders in the wholesale distribution industry. A majority of surveyed distribution executives said they were focused on developing frontline employees into managers and grooming mid-level managers for company leadership positions. Soft-skills training encompasses areas including critical thinking, feedback, conflict resolution, situational leadership, performance management, career development, and building relationships.

To address the need for this soft-skills training, NAW and Apollo Education Group (AEG) have custom-created a comprehensive online program for developing the next generation of distribution industry leaders. The program was piloted with more than 120 distribution company employees in the Fall of 2015. During this session, AEG’s Steve Ramel and Tracy Lorenz will share pilot results and discuss the next phase of the program rollout.

About The Speaker

Tracy Lorenz is President of Western International University (West)—a part of Apollo Education Group, a 35-year-old innovative higher education institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees for working adult students. She works as an industry advocate for quality higher education options that are affordable, achievable, and responsive to the demands of the ever-changing global marketplace. Tracy works closely with corporations to understand their skill and competency needs so they can be thoughtfully translated into meaningful, relevant educational experiences for West’s students.

Prior to West, Tracy worked at Career Education Corporation (CEC), where she held various operational roles such as opening up all new ground campuses and overseeing a portfolio of 14 Art and Design colleges. Previous to CEC, Tracy worked at McDonald’s Corporation in the International Accounting group overseeing the controllership function at a wide and diverse collection of partner relationships in India, Europe, and the Middle East. Tracy’s professional career began at KPMG Peat Marwick where she was an auditor in real estate, banking, and manufacturing.

In the last 10 years, Steve Ramel has worked for Apollo Education Group, American Express, and GE Capital. He led business development and market research for GE’s Commercial Distribution Finance—the leading provider of floor plan and vendor finance, asset-based lending and other customized financing products for manufacturers and their dealers and distributors. Steve and his team’s approach integrated the financial market fluctuations, point of sale data with economic and industry trends that provided analysis for more than 15 sectors in the Supply Chain Industry. Steve’s prior experience includes as an Adjunct Professor for Dominican University where he taught at the Brennan Graduate School of Business.

Leadership Takeaways

Vish Ganapathy

Vish Ganapathy

Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Global Distribution

General Session
"Tailoring the Omni-Channel Experience in Wholesale Distribution"

1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

It has been obvious for some time that the proliferation of personal technology has changed how customers behave. When Uber came along and disrupted the ride-share model, brilliantly leveraging mobile, GPS, and payments, that friction-less expectation transferred over to other transactions and relationships, both B2C and B2B. So what does this expectation mean for wholesaler-distributors? How will they deliver an omni-channel experience that matches the customer’s expectation profitably?

While terms like “omni-channel” are often thrown around, ultimately, the customer is the channel. Everything else is a touchpoint. Distributors have for the longest time banked on long-term relationships, with established contracts and invoicing procedures, to provide a level of stickiness. While the physical warehouse, store, or jobsite continue to be where the transaction finally happens, the path to purchase can be as fragmented, similar to what retailers have grown accustomed to. With ubiquitous Internet and smart phone access, the ability to compare and shop around for the best assortments, prices, and customer service becomes easy. Digital pureplays like Amazon entering the B2B space add to this competitive threat.

The models for competing have not changed. Good products, assortments at the right prices, value-added services, great customer service, and fast delivery all continue to be critical. What has changed is the level of information available at the customer’s fingertips. This empowers the customer to shop around for the best opportunities, forcing distributors to compete for every transaction just like retailers.

It is both easy and hard to tailor omni-channel in wholesale distribution. It’s (relatively) easy to build a website or deliver a mobile app. What is hard is to deliver the kind of experience customers expect in a seamless and profitable manner. This requires thinking through the path to purchase, leveraging analytics to understand customers and their buying behaviors, getting more relevant and personalized, and converting all of this into something actionable that moves the needle.

Wholesale distribution transactions add new layers of complexity that only some retailers deal with. The buying behavior of a single buyer may be different based on, for example, what division, department, project, or jobsite is involved. This “contextual purchasing” requires additional analytic capabilities to become relevant. Add to this the continued pressure to optimize the supply chain, take out operating costs, and still deliver fast shipping to the jobsite, for example, and omni-channel can become a hard problem to tailor.

In this session we will explore the emerging trends in omni-channel and its possibilities. What are other industries such as retailers doing? What works and does not work in wholesale distribution? How can distributors best tailor omni-channel activities to address tomorrow’s customer expectations.

Takeaways in this session include:

  • Understanding how “omni-channel” operates in the wholesale distribution industry
  • Learning how to deliver a “B2C experience” to your B2B customers
  • Discovering how leading distributors are delivering customer-friendly buying experiences profitably.

About The Speaker

Vish Ganapathy has been with IBM for 15 years, and he currently serves as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the IBM Global Distribution Sector, which covers distribution, retail, consumer products, and travel and transportation. He has 25+ years of consulting and implementation experience in the areas of commerce, analytics, merchandising, and supply chain. Prior to IBM, Vish worked with Manhattan Associates, Kurt Salmon Associates, and Worldwide Chain Store Systems in the Merchandising, Logistics, Supply Chain, and B2C and B2B space.

Leadership Takeaways

General Session
"The Power of Brand in Wholesale Distribution"

2:00 PM – 2:45 PM

Presenters

Sarah Bellamy

Sarah Bellamy

Co-founder and Partner, Pluperfect

Dave Leis

Dave Leis

Co-founder and Partner, Pluperfect

As markets evolve and the nature of competition shifts, wholesaler-distributors are facing a changing landscape with numerous challenges (as well as opportunities). Traditional sources of differentiation—price, assortment, efficiency—are drying up, becoming increasingly difficult to maintain or easier to replicate. Even once-reliable long-term relationships are fragile and under attack. The future winners will need to contend with new market realities and find new ways to convince customers to choose them.

Successful B2B companies in other sectors are increasingly turning to brand as a critical asset to leverage. By “brand,” they mean much more than their names, logos, or marketing materials; they mean a deep understanding of what motivates customers to engage with them and the unique benefits they provide. These benefits elevate above functional claims, weave across touchpoints and product lines, serve as a rallying cry for employees, and help guide the creation of compelling customer experiences. All of which will be increasingly important for wholesaler-distributors to wrestle with moving forward.

Drawing from their extensive experience advising B2B companies across the world—from Fortune 50 to rapidly evolving mid-sized enterprises, across myriad sectors including wholesale distribution—Dave Leis and Sarah Bellamy, the co-founders of brand and experience design agency Pluperfect, will share their collective perspectives and guidance around how to harness brand as a powerful strategic asset for wholesaler-distributors.

You’ll walk away with

  • Insights into how leading B2B companies are using brand as a strategic tool
  • Principles for unlocking the potential of your brand
  • Keys to success for overcoming common hurdles encountered by organizations
  • Substantive questions to reflect on with your executive team.

About The Speaker

Prior to founding Pluperfect, Sarah Bellamy was a partner at Prophet in New York, heading the creative concepting practice. Before that, she spent almost a decade and was a senior partner at Lippincott, where she led large-scale brand positioning, naming, and identity projects. Clients include Air Products, Caterpillar, BHP Billiton, Chevron, Citi, Clear Channel, General Motors, Georgia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, Intuit, Pfizer, Samsung, Sprint, United Airlines, and United Technologies. Sarah has led many significant brand creation efforts, including Abbvie (the life sciences spin-out of Abbott), the temporary re-brand of AIG during the financial crisis, and Xylem and Exelis (spin-outs of the ITT companies). Previously she worked in business strategy consulting at Oliver Wyman, in the film industry, and with non-profit groups in the arts.

Prior to founding Pluperfect, Dave Leis was a senior partner in the brand strategy group at Lippincott in New York and co-headed the experience innovation practice. His clients include the senior management teams of such iconic brands as 3M, Condé Nast, Dell, Infiniti, Lilly, Sam’s Club, Samsung, and Wal-Mart, as well as numerous distributors and B2B companies, such as Bombardier, Essendant, Honeywell, Intelsat, L&W/ USG, and Univar. Before that, David was a principal at Oliver Wyman, where he advised clients on strategic reinvention, customer alignment and value proposition development across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He was also an associate at Stone Point Capital, a $13 billion private equity group, where he invested in venture stage companies in the media and technology sectors.

Leadership Takeaways

Day 2 - January 28th, 2016

Ben Casnocha

Ben Casnocha

Entrepreneur, and Co-author, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

General Session
"The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age"

9:05 AM – 10:00 AM

The employer–employee relationship is broken. Managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: You can’t afford to offer lifetime employment. But you can’t build a lasting, innovative business when everyone acts like a free agent. Ben Casnocha’s provocative solution: Stop thinking of employees as family or free agents and start thinking of them as allies on a tour of duty.

Based on his New York Times best-selling book, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age (with Reid Hoffman, founder and chairman of LinkedIn), Ben will explain how to recruit, manage, and retain the entrepreneurial employees your distribution business needs to succeed in the networked age.

Key takeaways in this session include:

  • What all innovative companies do with their best employees
  • Why it’s possible to rebuild trust and loyalty with your employees even though you can’t guarantee lifetime employment
  • How to manage employees who seek constant career growth by defining unique “tours of duty”
  • Why it pays to empower your employees to build their personal brands and expand their professional networks
  • How to develop an employee value proposition that resonates with millennials.

About The Speaker

Ben Casnocha is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and executive in Silicon Valley. He is co-author with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman of the recent New York Times best seller The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, which has become one of the most sought-after management frameworks on how to recruit, manage, and retain entrepreneurial employees. He is also a technology entrepreneur and recently served as chief of staff to the Chairman at LinkedIn.

BusinessWeek named Ben “one of America’s top young entrepreneurs.” He’s been featured on CNN, Charlie Rose, CNBC, and in The Economist. Human Resources magazine named him one of the top trendsetters in the talent industry for the year 2015. Ben has led inspiring conversations about the future of work, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking with audiences in more than a dozen countries.

Leadership Takeaways

Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn

Leadership Development Expert, and President, Sanborn & Associates, Inc.

General Session
"How the Best Leaders Get Better"

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

You’re successful as a leader or you wouldn’t be where you are today. But is today as good as you’ll ever be? Or do you have a plan for ongoing personal and professional development? Ongoing change and challenges demand ongoing improvement. Do you have a strategy for getting better?

We all know how good we’ve become, but none of us knows how good we could be.

This session will share six essential strategies for avoiding stagnation, staying on the growth path, and pursuing your potential as a leader. Based on Mark Sanborn’s current book project and years of working with some of the world’s best companies and leaders, you’ll have fun learning what you can do to grow yourself and your team.

  • Best practices are a ticking time bomb
  • Lead without clichés
  • Stop wasting money on social media
  • Quit over-managing the customer experience
  • Don’t just mentor—advocate
  • Start changing for the sake of change
  • Beware of singular solutions
  • Develop your emerging leaders before your competition lures them away.

About The Speaker

Mark Sanborn is President of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development. In addition to his experience leading at a local and national level, Mark has written or co-authored eight books and is the author of more than two dozen videos and audio training programs on leadership, change, teamwork, and customer service. He has presented more than 2,400 speeches and seminars in every state and a dozen countries.

Mark’s book, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary (Currency, 2004), is an international best seller and was on the New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal best sellers lists. His latest book is Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results (Tyndale House Publishers, 2013). His other books include You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference (Crown Business, 2006), The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do (Crown Business, 2008), Up, Down, or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times are Good, Bad, or In Between (Tyndale House Publishers, 2011). Mark has been bestowed The Ambassador of Free Enterprise Award by Sales & Marketing Executives International.

Leadership Takeaways

Event Presenters

>Richard Balaban

Richard Balaban
Formerly Senior Partner, Oliver Wyman

Before his retirement in December 2015, Richard Balaban was a Senior Partner of Oliver Wyman, focusing on strategy, strategic planning, and business model design in industrial and B2B operations. He had been a Partner since 1987 and was Head of the London Office and Head of the global Strategy Practice.

Richard worked on business and corporate strategy studies in most industries, including building materials, glass, metals and mining, oil products, specialty chemicals, telecommunications, consumer products, paper and forestry, financial services, risk management, and airlines. His work ranged from comprehensive strategy reviews and implementation projects to more focused profitability improvement, manufacturing cost improvement, and acquisition and investment planning studies.

In particular, Richard helped develop some of Oliver Wyman’s distinctive approaches to portfolio analysis, corporate strategy, commercial effectiveness in distribution businesses, and business model innovation. He has extensive experience with the design and application of strategic planning programs and tools matched to particular company capabilities. He has always been biased in favor of practical implementation approaches. Teams which Richard led have continuously refined Oliver Wyman’s ideas about linking analytical proof about what to do with the people side of how to get things done.

Alan Beaulieu

Alan Beaulieu
NAW Senior Economic Advisor, and President, ITR Economics

One of the country’s most informed economists and also NAW Senior Economic Advisor, Alan Beaulieu is a principal of ITR Economics, where he serves as President. Since 1990, Alan has been consulting with companies that have a domestic and global perspective on how to forecast, plan, and increase their profits based on business cycle trend analysis. Alan has been providing workshops and economic analysis seminars across the United States to literally thousands of business owners and executives. He has appeared in/on: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Barron’s, USA Today, Business Week, The Washington Times, Associated Press, Knight Ridder News Services, Reuters, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, and numerous other outlets.

Sarah Bellamy

Sarah Bellamy
Co-founder and Partner, Pluperfect

Prior to founding Pluperfect, Sarah Bellamy was a partner at Prophet in New York, heading the creative concepting practice. Before that, she spent almost a decade and was a senior partner at Lippincott, where she led large-scale brand positioning, naming, and identity projects. Clients include Air Products, Caterpillar, BHP Billiton, Chevron, Citi, Clear Channel, General Motors, Georgia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, Intuit, Pfizer, Samsung, Sprint, United Airlines, and United Technologies. Sarah has led many significant brand creation efforts, including Abbvie (the life sciences spin-out of Abbott), the temporary re-brand of AIG during the financial crisis, and Xylem and Exelis (spin-outs of the ITT companies). Previously she worked in business strategy consulting at Oliver Wyman, in the film industry, and with non-profit groups in the arts.

Ben Casnocha

Ben Casnocha
Entrepreneur, and Co-author, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

Ben Casnocha is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and executive in Silicon Valley. He is co-author with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman of the recent New York Times best seller The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, which has become one of the most sought-after management frameworks on how to recruit, manage, and retain entrepreneurial employees. He is also a technology entrepreneur and recently served as chief of staff to the Chairman at LinkedIn.

BusinessWeek named Ben “one of America’s top young entrepreneurs.” He’s been featured on CNN, Charlie Rose, CNBC, and in The Economist. Human Resources magazine named him one of the top trendsetters in the talent industry for the year 2015. Ben has led inspiring conversations about the future of work, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking with audiences in more than a dozen countries.

Vish Ganapathy

Vish Ganapathy
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, IBM Global Distribution

Vish Ganapathy has been with IBM for 15 years, and he currently serves as Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for the IBM Global Distribution Sector, which covers distribution, retail, consumer products, and travel and transportation. He has 25+ years of consulting and implementation experience in the areas of commerce, analytics, merchandising, and supply chain. Prior to IBM, Vish worked with Manhattan Associates, Kurt Salmon Associates, and Worldwide Chain Store Systems in the Merchandising, Logistics, Supply Chain, and B2C and B2B space.

Dave Leis

Dave Leis
Co-founder and Partner, Pluperfect

Prior to founding Pluperfect, Dave Leis was a senior partner in the brand strategy group at Lippincott in New York and co-headed the experience innovation practice. His clients include the senior management teams of such iconic brands as 3M, Condé Nast, Dell, Infiniti, Lilly, Sam’s Club, Samsung, and Wal-Mart, as well as numerous distributors and B2B companies, such as Bombardier, Essendant, Honeywell, Intelsat, L&W/ USG, and Univar. Before that, David was a principal at Oliver Wyman, where he advised clients on strategic reinvention, customer alignment and value proposition development across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He was also an associate at Stone Point Capital, a $13 billion private equity group, where he invested in venture stage companies in the media and technology sectors.

Tracy Lorenz

Tracy Lorenz
President, Western International University

Tracy Lorenz is President of Western International University (West)—a part of Apollo Education Group, a 35-year-old innovative higher education institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees for working adult students. She works as an industry advocate for quality higher education options that are affordable, achievable, and responsive to the demands of the ever-changing global marketplace. Tracy works closely with corporations to understand their skill and competency needs so they can be thoughtfully translated into meaningful, relevant educational experiences for West’s students.

Prior to West, Tracy worked at Career Education Corporation (CEC), where she held various operational roles such as opening up all new ground campuses and overseeing a portfolio of 14 Art and Design colleges. Previous to CEC, Tracy worked at McDonald’s Corporation in the International Accounting group overseeing the controllership function at a wide and diverse collection of partner relationships in India, Europe, and the Middle East. Tracy’s professional career began at KPMG Peat Marwick where she was an auditor in real estate, banking, and manufacturing.

Steve Ramel

Steve Ramel
Apollo Education Group – President, Professional Services

In the last 10 years, Steve Ramel has worked for Apollo Education Group, American Express, and GE Capital. He led business development and market research for GE’s Commercial Distribution Finance—the leading provider of floor plan and vendor finance, asset-based lending and other customized financing products for manufacturers and their dealers and distributors. Steve and his team’s approach integrated the financial market fluctuations, point of sale data with economic and industry trends that provided analysis for more than 15 sectors in the Supply Chain Industry. Steve’s prior experience includes as an Adjunct Professor for Dominican University where he taught at the Brennan Graduate School of Business.

Mark Sanborn

Mark Sanborn
Leadership Development Expert, and President, Sanborn & Associates, Inc.

Mark Sanborn is President of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development. In addition to his experience leading at a local and national level, Mark has written or co-authored eight books and is the author of more than two dozen videos and audio training programs on leadership, change, teamwork, and customer service. He has presented more than 2,400 speeches and seminars in every state and a dozen countries.

Mark’s book, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary (Currency, 2004), is an international best seller and was on the New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Wall Street Journal best sellers lists. His latest book is Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results (Tyndale House Publishers, 2013). His other books include You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference (Crown Business, 2006), The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do (Crown Business, 2008), Up, Down, or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times are Good, Bad, or In Between (Tyndale House Publishers, 2011). Mark has been bestowed The Ambassador of Free Enterprise Award by Sales & Marketing Executives International.

Comments

“The NAW Executive Summit is a must for any executive who would like to improve his or her business through the sharing of best practices and the gaining of knowledge about the current economic climate and how it can impact the business.”

– Patrick L. Larmon, President and CEO, Bunzl Distribution USA Inc.

“The NAW Executive Summit is the best event of the year to learn about wholesale distribution trends in business and politics. No other event allows peers to come together and openly discuss the challenges we face daily in the rapidly changing business of distribution.”

– Robin Slater, Vice President of Sales, Valin Corporation

“I find the value of the NAW Executive Summit in three distinct areas: industry experts discussing relevant and current topics; discussion roundtables where distribution executives from firms ranging in size from the millions to the billions can discuss current topics of critical interest to our industry; and an overview of the current political climate.”

– John Poole, President, Daycon Products Co. Inc.

“The NAW Executive Summit provides the opportunity to learn what is happening in the wholesale distribution vertical channel and to network with and learn from C-level executives in this channel.”

– Jim Sugarman, Vice Chairman, EBP Supply Solutions

“The NAW Executive Summit is the best forum we have found for getting a glimpse of what the future might have in store.”

— Tom Nolan, Managing Director, Tucks O’Brien Ltd., Ireland

“This was another outstanding NAW Executive Summit. We continue to benefit from the industry best-practice panels and high-value content in a two-day period.”

— Nathan Potter, President, DW Distribution, Inc.

“The NAW Executive Summit each year provides a great opportunity to share and learn new ideas from executives in other wholesale distribution lines of trade.”

— Bob Crawford, Vice President–Operations/COO, United Electric Supply

“The NAW Executive Summit provides distribution executives the opportunity to gain insight into the future of our industry and provides tools that will help us to navigate the challenges before us.”

— Joe Nettemeyer, President and CEO, Valin Corporation

“All of my team thought the NAW Executive Summit was outstanding again this year!”

— Mark W. Kramer, President and CEO, Laird Plastics

“The NAW Executive Summit is one of the premier events of the year. It offers a rare opportunity to learn from industry leaders and openly discuss key issues impacting the world of distribution. Well worth the time investment!”

— Steve Poplawski, Senior Vice President–Retail Operations, True Value Co.

“The NAW Executive Summit provides an excellent opportunity for distribution leaders to think ‘about’ their business rather than just run it. I recommend bringing other senior executives with you so that you and your team can move ahead faster with the new ideas you gather at the NAW Executive Summit when you all return to your firm.”

— Mike Olthoff, President and CEO, Nichols

“Never underestimate the value of learning from industry peers.”

— Mike Altendorf, Vice President of IT, Do it Best Corp.

“The NAW Executive Summit is the best networking opportunity I have been involved with. I always take home fresh ideas and new contacts to stay in touch with during the year.”

— John Carrier, President, Reid Supply Company/Reid Entities

“The NAW Executive Summit is an integral part of my strategic planning each year. The knowledge and insight I gain from learning how other channels handle the many issues we face is enormously beneficial. This is the single-most important meeting I attend each year.”

— Dan Blaylock, President, Adams-Burch Inc.

“The NAW Executive Summit is an intelligent and informative gathering of distribution business leaders that helps us all become better in our quest to become the ‘best’.”

— Derek J. Garner, President, Curbell Plastics Inc.

“This was a great program. It was very professionally run and provided me with a great opportunity to network and learn. As a first timer to this event, I could have not been made more welcome by staff and all of the NAW membership.”

— John S. Wilkins, Vice President of Logistics, Delaware Valley Floral Group

“This was a great meeting. It had a tight agenda and terrific interaction.”

— Charles Cohen, President, Benco Dental Co.

“The Executive Summit provided a wide range of divergent views that gave a great snapshot of where the industry is headed.”

— John J. McCann, President, The Bolt Supply House

“The industry panel presentations were the best part of the meeting for me. The presenters provided real-life examples from actual companies. That’s the kind of information that translates for wholesaler-distributors of all sizes.”

— Will Parsley, Director-New Product Development, Carswell Distributing Company

“In a word, ‘networking’ is the reason I attend the NAW Executive Summit.”

— Joseph Gallagher, President, Gallagher Fluid Seals Inc.

“The quality of the business presentations was terrific. Each one was relevant to my business.”

— James Christopher Smith, President and COO, H. D. Smith Wholesale Drug Co

“What I really liked is that the program offered a mixture of business and public policy sessions that were alternated throughout the day. The entire meeting had a good positive atmosphere.”

— Bill Parsley, President, Carswell Distributing Company

“I learn the most from the informal discussions that I always have at the NAW Executive Summit.”

— Pete Weber, Managing Partner, Integrated Supply Network Inc.

“I enjoyed everything about the NAW Executive Summit. From the venue to the attendees, roundtables, and speakers, it was a superb meeting bar none.”

— Craig Danielson, President, The Wolf Organization

“I especially enjoyed the discussion roundtables because I got a lot of input and ideas from other CEOs on current business issues that I’m dealing with.”

— Ted Stark, President, Dalco Enterprises, Inc.

“I appreciated the chance to interact with other distributors, especially those CEOs from the same size company as mine. I thought the business speakers were excellent and they generated terrific ideas for discussion during our roundtables.”

— Robert Ackerman, President/CEO, TVC Communications

“I got a feeling for NAW’s deep commitment to the wholesale distribution industry after my attendance at the Executive Summit. I offer you my complete support for the wonderful job NAW is doing on my behalf.”

— Gary S. Kahn, Executive Vice President, Kahn Paper Co. Inc.

“The NAW Executive Summit offers tremendous value for those distribution companies that intend to be competitive and profitable in the years ahead. The Executive Summit’s laser-like focus on top-level business and policy topics ensures that your time and energy are well spent.”

— Joseph Thompson, Executive Vice President, Association for Hose & Accessories Distribution

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