Delivering for Best-in-Class Wholesaler-Distributors

Thank You for Making the NAW 2018 Executive Summit a Success!

Leaders from diverse wholesale distribution lines of trade came together January 30–February 1, in Washington, DC, for the NAW 2018 Executive Summit: “Transform or Be Left Behind.” 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

John Tracy, Executive Chairman of Dot Foods, and NAW 2017 Chairman of the Board, gave his Chairman’s Address culminating his year as NAW Chairman of the Board.

To learn more, please contact Alexandria Crenshaw at acrenshaw@naw.org

NAW Executive Summit Sponsorship

We thank SPA for sponsoring the NAW 2018 Executive Summit.

SPA Logo

Herb Meyer

Herb Meyer

Founder, Storm King Press

General Session
The Biggest Un-Reported News Stories in the World and Why They Are Good News for American Business

Wednesday, January 31
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Herb Meyer will talk about revolutions in energy and in food production, and will explain how these un-reported revolutions will create a global middle class. He will outline the kinds of products and services that will be in high demand in the years and decades ahead. He will explain why American businesses will be able to meet this demand and, by doing so, set off a historic economic boom.Key Takeaways:

  • A clear idea of what products and services will be most in demand
  • A grasp of which markets are likely to grow fastest in the years ahead
  • An understanding of what economic role the U.S.—and also China and India—will play in the coming global boom

About The Speaker

Herb Meyer served during the Reagan Administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. In these positions, he managed production of the U.S. National Intelligence Estimates and other top-secret projections for the President and his national security advisers. Herb is widely credited with being the first senior U.S. Government official to forecast the collapse of the Soviet Union—a forecast for which he later was awarded the U.S. National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal, which is the Intelligence Community’s highest honor.

Herb is host and producer of “The Siege of Western Civilization,” a DVD outlining the threats to our security, our economy and our culture that became an international best seller. Formerly an associate editor of FORTUNE, he has authored several books including Real-World Intelligence and Hard Thinking. His essays on intelligence and politics have been published in The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Policy Review and The American Thinker. He has been a guest on leading television and radio talk shows.

Jonathan Byrnes

Dr. Jonathan Byrnes

Senior Lecturer, MIT Founding Partner and Chairman, Profit Isle, Inc.

General Session
The Coming Revolution in Distribution: How to Stay on Top

Wednesday, January 31
10:25 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Sweeping changes are transforming the distribution industry, changes as broad and pervasive as those that have reshaped manufacturing, technology and retail. Early signs are already appearing in all aspects of distribution company management, from competitor intensity, to customer buyer behavior, to sales and operating effectiveness. Distribution company executives are watching these early changes, starting to shape a holistic understanding and developing ways to respond.

Jonathan Byrnes will draw an integrated picture of the magnitude, essential dimensions, and speed of change over the next five years. He argues that the forces of change are already accelerating and nothing less than paradigmatic, transformative change will prevent them from overwhelming a company. Given the three- to five-year timeframe for developing and managing transformative change, the time to start the process is now—and a manager who spends the next two to three years on incremental, tactical responses will endanger his or her company’s very survival. Managers who act now to reconceptualize their strategy and operations can create and seize enormous new opportunities for success that are far beyond current prospects.

Key Takeaways:

  • Deep understanding and analysis of the changes already sweeping through the distribution industry
  • Examples of winning companies that have stayed winners through their industry transformations
  • Specific steps distribution executives can take to reconstruct their competitive positioning and company management processes to win in the emerging distribution industry

About The Speaker

Dr. Jonathan Byrnes is Senior Lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for 20 years on strategic and operational aspects of customer–supplier relationships at the graduate level and in executive programs. He is author of the award-winning book, Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, and is an acknowledged authority on profit generation and profitability management.

Jonathan is also Founding Partner and Chairman of Profit Isle, a consulting firm that combines state-of-the-art analytics software and change management services to build profitability acceleration into a lasting institutional capability for public and private businesses. He has authored more than 100 books and articles.

Click Here to Download the Presentation

Jade West

Jade West

Senior Vice President–Government Relations, NAW

General Session
What in the World Is Going on in Washington?

Wednesday, January 31
11:15 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.

The 2016 presidential election was one of the most remarkable in modern history. No one predicted Donald Trump would win the GOP nomination . . . but he did. And even fewer predicted he could win the presidency. They were wrong again. After his stunning upset win, no one expected that the unorthodox twitter-and-rally-based campaign of candidate Trump would instantly morph into a perfectly conventional presidency. They finally got one right! Both the Trump Administration and the Democratic opposition to it have been far from conventional. The Administration has been slow to fill the hundreds of positions in federal agencies, partly because Senate Democrats have obstructed the confirmations of virtually every nominee the Administration has submitted, leaving Obama Administration officials still working in the agencies; a left-wing version of the Tea Party demands that elected Democrats oppose every Trump initiative and threatens primary challenges to any Democrat seen to cooperate with the President, and the President has not abandoned his Twitter account.

Despite the bitter partisanship and continued gridlock, a new Justice is sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Obama regulatory assault is systematically and effectively being reversed. So what happens now on health care, immigration, tax reform, and budgets? Hard to predict, but Jade West will share her insights and best guesses.

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.

John Tracy

John Tracy

Executive Chairman, Dot Foods

General Session
NAW Chairman's Address

Wednesday, January 31
1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

John Tracy, Executive Chairman, Dot Foods, will deliver his NAW Chairman’s Address—the culmination of his year as 2017 Chairman of the NAW Board of Directors.

About The Speaker

John Tracy is Executive Chairman of Dot Foods, the nation’s first and largest food industry redistributor. Established in 1960 by Robert and Dorothy Tracy in the small town of Mt. Sterling, Illinois, Dot Foods remains owned and operated by the Tracy family. Dot Foods continues to experience exceptional growth, doubling in size nearly every five years. Dot currently sits at #65 on Forbes‘ List of America’s Largest Private Companies for 2016 and employs more than 5,200 people nationwide.

Click Here to Download the Presentation

Jim tompkins

Jim Tompkins

President and CEO, Tompkins International

General Session
Taking Control of Your Future

Wednesday, January 31
1:30 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

It is clear from our meeting’s theme last year, “Navigating the Seas of Disruption,” and this year’s “Transform or Be Left Behind!” that all of business—including wholesalers and distributors—continue to undergo massive disruption. To not be left behind, you need to take control and be the disruptor. Jim Tompkins will define the six characteristics your organization must deploy to get in front of both your competition and customers, and take control of your future. You’ll learn how to revive your entrepreneurial spirit and turn disruptions into your competitive weapon.

Key Takeaways:

  • How adopting the customer perspective and driving rich insights lay the foundation for disruption
  • How understanding the circle or organizational evolution will allow you to take control of your future
  • How your organization embracing Innovation, Grit, and Hustle will ensure that you don’t get left behind

About The Speaker

Dr. Jim Tompkins is President and CEO of Tompkins International, the leader in total supply chain consulting and integration. For more than 30 years, his practical expertise and leadership have helped hundreds of companies worldwide achieve Supply Chain Excellence. Jim is the 1984 recipient of the Reed-Apple Award from the Material Handling Education Foundation, the past president of the Institute of Industrial Engineers, the Material Handling and Management Society and the College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education. He is a 1999 recipient of the Distinguished Engineer Award from Purdue University’s School of Engineering. Jim is also a 1999 inductee in Modern Materials Handling’s Hall of Fame.

Jim has written or contributed to more than 25 books, including, Logistics and Manufacturing Outsourcing: Harness Your Core CompetenciesThe Supply Chain Handbook and No Boundaries. He is also coauthor of Facilities Planning, the world’s standard science text for the planning and designing of industrial facilities. With more than 500 published articles to his credit, Jim is a well-known, respected author in business and industry circles. Jim is also a prolific speaker, and has given more than 3,000 presentations to audiences across the world.

Click Here to Download the Presentation

David Bauders

David Bauders

President and CEO, Strategic Pricing Associates

General Session
Driving Profitable Growth in the Cognitive Era

Wednesday, January 31
2:50 p.m. – 3:08 p.m.

Distributors face an ever-increasing disruption to their familiar ways of doing business. In a perpetually thin-margin industry, new forces are putting additional pressures on profitability and the very viability of many distributors. The increasing impact of e-commerce, transparency of markets and pricing, consolidation of vendors and competitors, generational workforce shifts, social selling, etc., all add up to an imperative to sharpen the performance of your business. Technology will play a role in both the challenge and the solution in unexpected ways. We are moving to a world where human performance—aided by incisive tools and skills training—will impact every daily decision that drives profitability. Distributors who embrace these changes will create new opportunities for their employees and their shareholders.

About The Speaker

President and CEO David Bauders founded SPA (Strategic Pricing Associates, Inc.) in 1993 and its subsidiary, SPASIGMA, in 2015. SPA is the world’s first company to provide an integrated, holistic profit-driving solution that integrates decision-support analytics and entertaining, high-performance virtual training. SPA helps market leaders’ teams drive greater financial performance by providing the skills training and analytical tools to master the critical daily decisions that drive profitability and enterprise value: negotiation (sell-side and buy-side), profitability acumen and emotional intelligence. SPA’s holistic approach helps clients sustainably create and capture higher economic value. SPA’s typical client experiences increased profits equal to 2%–4% of affected sales in less than 90 days.

Click Here to Download the Presentation

General Session
Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of the Distribution Workforce: Do You Think I’m Sexy?

Wednesday, January 31
3:09 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Mark Kramer

Mark Kramer

President and CEO Emeritus, North American Plastics

About The Moderator

Mark Kramer is President and CEO of Laird Plastics, the largest privately held plastics distribution company in the United States and Canada with 54 locations. Its more than 400 employees serve more than 25,000 customers in all segments of commercial, industrial, and advertising activity. The company offers a comprehensive network of service centers and inventories with an extensive product range, including such major segments as acrylics and polycarbonates, graphics materials, and mechanical/engineering materials. Mark joined Laird Plastics in 2002 following a 20-year career in chemical distribution.

Millennials will make up one-half of the U.S. workforce in the next five years and will represent 75% in the next decade. Is your company doing all it can to attract and retain this workforce? Distributors have long lamented the fact that distribution does not have the “sex appeal” of industries like tech and pharma. To compete for the best and brightest, distributors will learn from a panel of millennials about what turned them on to a career in distribution. They will share tips that will help your new millennial employees succeed and thrive in your company. This lively armchair chat will be moderated by Mark Kramer who will also share about his company’s successful program for attracting and keeping millennials.

Key Takeaways:

  • What wholesaler-distributors can do to “sell” a distribution career to this particular generation
  • How to best onboard, train and mentor millennials
  • What millennials want from their employer and workplace (challenge, inspiration, culture, flexibility, regular feedback, increasing responsibility, and so forth

Megan Burke

Megan Burke

Manager of Communication and Training, U.S. Lumber Group

About The Panelist

Megan Burke is Manager of Communication and Training at U.S. Lumber Group in Duluth, Georgia. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in business from the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Megan was a student-athlete for the NCAA DII women’s fast-pitch program. After graduation she continued her passion for fast-pitch softball and coached at the college level for eight years. Following her stint as a college coach, Megan started her journey with U.S. Lumber in 2014. She currently handles the sales training program, areas of the onboarding processes and the e-learning platform, and is involved with trainee recruiting. She enjoys her role immensely and feels truly blessed to be part of the U.S. Lumber family.

Stacey Hall

Stacy Hatchell

Residential Builder Sales, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc.

About The Panelist

Stacey Hatchell has been with Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. for nearly 10 years. She attended Virginia Tech and graduated with a degree in business management and a minor in leadership. Stacey is from Newport News, Virginia, the headquarters of Ferguson. The summer of her junior year, she interned with Ferguson and was offered a position in their Management Trainee Program upon graduation. She started in the Chantilly, Virginia location learning the entire company from the warehouse to the parts counter to inside sales before settling in a role as an administrative assistant to the showroom’s consultants. After two years learning the ropes, Stacey became a Showroom Consultant. Currently, Stacey is finishing her third year in Residential Builder Sales, which has been the greatest challenge as well as has offered her the greatest rewards in her Ferguson career.

Dave Shrigley

Dave Shrigley

Business Development Team Lead, Revere Electric Supply Co.

About The Panelist

From a young age, Dave Shrigley always knew that he wanted to follow his father and grandpa and go into a sales role. Shortly after attending school and playing soccer at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, he started his first job at Revere Electric Supply while continuing his soccer career on the sidelines as a coach. Through coaching he noticed that while his job may be selling electrical supplies to OEMs, factories, and contractors, what was more important to him was growing relationships, being a mentor, and seeing the success of others. His biggest challenge now is to turn those passions into his life’s work.

General Session
Get the Lowdown from Your Distribution Thought Leaders: The NAW Institute Fellows Speak Their Minds

Thursday, February 1
9:05 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.

Ron Calhoun

Ron Calhoun

President and CEO, Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company

About The Moderator

Ron Calhoun is President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors at Palmer-Donavin Manufacturing Company. Established in 1907 and currently with eight locations, Palmer-Donavin is a Midwest leader in two-step distribution of building materials, flooring, and kitchen cabinets. The 100% employee-owned company purchases its inventory directly from manufacturers and sells primarily to independent lumber yards and contractors. Prior to Palmer-Donavin, Ron held outside sales positions with Heatilator Fireplace and National Gypsum Company.

The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence conducts research into strategic management issues affecting the wholesale distribution industry. When it comes to distribution knowledge, research and authoring a full body of practical research studies that assist wholesaler-distributors to be more profitable, these NAW Institute Fellows are our crown jewels. Join the Fellows as they share their transformative ideas with the NAW Executive Summit audience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Amazon is a competitive threat for retaining customers. What can wholesaler-distributors do to offer a competitive customer experience?
  • The sales process will be key and central to customer experience and distributor success. How much of the sales process will be automated and what components will remain with the sales force?
  • Explore the fundamental changes impacting the sales process and what wholesaler-distributors need to do to build the next generation sales force
  • What you need to know about pricing disruption in wholesale distribution

Watch this NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Distinguished Fellows panel discussion.

Mark Dancer

Mark Dancer

President, Channelvation, Inc.

About The Panelist

Mark Dancer is Founder and President of Channelvation, Inc. He was named a Fellow of the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence in 2017. Channelvation works with business leaders and teams to create visions, solve problems and strengthen capabilities. Mark’s experience includes work across global markets and commercial, industrial, services, technology, automotive, construction and other sectors. Previously, Mark was Vice President of Global Channel Management–Industrial Adhesives at Henkel Corporation. Mark is author of three research studies for the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence: Getting Results From Your Digital InvestmentsBecoming a Digital Distributor: Strategies and Tools That Create Value and Getting the Most Out of CRM: Best Practices for Wholesaler-Distributors

Brent Grover

Brent Grover

Managing Director, Brent Grover & Co.

About The Panelist

Brent R. Grover is President of Evergreen Consulting, LLC. He was named an NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence 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 author of six books for the NAW Institute including Mergers and Acquisitions for Distributors: Expert Advice for Buyers and SellersIn Search of the Perfect Customer: Cost-to-Serve for Distributorsand Strategic Pricing for Distributors: Tools and Rules for Building Higher Margins.

F.Barry Lawerence

F. Barry Lawerence

Program Director, Industrial Distribution, Texas A&M University

About The Panelist

Dr. Barry Lawrence is Director of the Industrial Distribution Program and the Global Supply Chain Lab(GSCL) at Texas A&M University. He was named an NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow in 2009. 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.

Barry also heads up Texas A&M’s efforts with the Council for Research on Distributor Best Practices (CRDBP), an alliance between the NAW Institute and Texas A&M University’s Industrial Distribution Program. The CRDBP’s mission is to create competitive advantage for wholesaler-distributors through development of research, tools, and education. Barry is coauthor of six publications for the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence: Unlock the Power of Inventory Analytics: Aligning Working Capital to Customer Experience to Maximize Your Bottom LineDriving Profitable Growth: A Distributor’s Playbook to Generate–Manage–Sustain Competitive AdvantagePricing Optimization: Striking the Right Balance for Margin AdvantageSales and Marketing Optimization: Developing Competitive Value Propositions in DistributionCustomer Stratification: Best Practices for Boosting Profitability, and Optimizing Distributor Profitability: Best Practices to a Stronger Bottom Line.

J.Michael Marks

J. Michael Marks

Managing Partner, Indian River Consulting Group

About The Panelist

J. Michael Marks is Managing Partner of Indian River Consulting Group (IRCG). He became an NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Fellow in 2002. 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, a vertically integrated electronics distributor. Prior to that, he was Director of Corporate Training and Development at Ducommon Inc., an industrial distribution company.

Mike is coauthor of Value Creation Strategies for Wholesaler-DistributorsWorking at Cross-Purposes: How Distributors and Manufacturers Can Manage Conflict Successfully and What’s Your Plan? Smart Salesforce Compensation in Wholesale Distribution.

Alan Beaulieu

Alan Beaulieu

NAW Senior Economic Advisor, and President, ITR Economics

General Session
NAW Economic Forecast for 2018-2019

Thursday, February 1
9:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Someone who keeps audiences glued to their seats and entertained is Alan Beaulieu. Alan will unveil his economic outlook for 2018–2019 and it’ll be packed with strategic action items and insightful suggestions to help change the course of business. His high-spirited analysis will focus on both a macro forecast for the U.S. economy and a more-focused forecast for various sectors in our industry.

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 JournalThe New York TimesBarron’sUSA TodayBusiness WeekThe Washington Times, Associated Press, Knight Ridder News Services, Reuters, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, and numerous other outlets.

Click Here to Download the Presentation

Chris Stirewalt

Chris Stirewalt

Politics Editor, fox News Channel

General Session
From the Foxhole with Chris Stirewalt

Thursday, February 1
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Someone who keeps audiences glued to their seats and entertained is Alan Beaulieu. Alan will unveil his economic outlook for 2018–2019 and it’ll be packed with strategic action items and insightful suggestions to help change the course of business. His high-spirited analysis will focus on both a macro forecast for the U.S. economy and a more-focused forecast for various sectors in our industry.

About The Speaker

Chris Stirewalt is the Digital Politics Editor for the Fox News Channel (FNC) and one of the liveliest commentators covering politics today. Working in FNC’s Washington bureau since 2010, Chris helps coordinate political coverage across Fox platforms where he contributes articles, video segments, a newsletter, a weekly podcast with cohost Dana Perino, and makes regular appearances on Fox’s most popular programs to the network’s lineup. Chris’s daily newsletter, Fox News First, boasts nearly 200,000 subscribers and his podcast I’ll Tell You What was so successful that it was spun off into a television show of the same name leading up to the 2016 election, which was an industry first.

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