NAED Plans Small Changes for the Upcoming National Meeting

Expect a more “user-friendly” schedule for the attendees of this year’s NAED National Meeting at the Marriott Marquis Washington, D.C. on May 11-14.  The changes to the schedule should make it easier for attendees to get the most out fo the event.

The first obvious change is instead of the event beginning on a weekend, this year the National Meeting will be held Wednesday-Friday.  With the first scheduled event at 3pm on Wednesday, you will have the opportunity to fly in on Wednesday morning with plenty of time to join the scheduled events.

The events themselves are not much different from past NAED National Meetings.  They kick off with a 3pm Industry Expert Panel on Wednesday featuring Michael Marks as a moderator for a conversation called “Are you Predator or Prey?”  Marks will have Chris Blakeslee, Senior VP at Anixter, Halsey Cook, President, Sonepar, Bill Mansfield, Senior VP of Sales, Graybar, and Brian McNally, Executive VP, Rexel him on stage to discuss the future of our supply chain. The group will examine the value of creating new strategies instead of doing the same things better, the disruption that is currently happening for NAED members, and uncertainty as well as opportunities. It will be followed by a welcome reception at 6pm sponsored by Hubbell, the 505 Club event at 7:30pm, and the Acuity Brands Dessert Reception beginning at 9pm.

Thursday, May 12 kicks off with the General Session with an introduction by NAED Chair and Glenn Goedecke of Mayer Electric Supply.  Alexander “Sandy” Cutler, Chairman and CEO of Eaton Corporation. Cutler’s speech will focus on “Our History Speaks to our Future”. Charles Kauthhammer, a Pulitzer-Prize winning Columnist for The Washington Post will talk to attendees about politics in Washington as we build toward the November general election. He is followed by two economy-related topics.  Michael Marks will lead another panel discussion on a topic that is impacting our supply chain: mergers and acquisitions.  Titled “Mergers and Acquisitions: The good, the bad, and the ugly”, Marks will be joins on stage by Dave Gabriel, Regional President of CEO of Sonepar North America and Jim Miller, Principal at Supply Chain Equity Parter.  This will have a focus on distributor acquisitions, but certainly impacts suppliers in our industry.  The Thursday morning event wraps up with an education session on the economic outlook.  Alan Beaulieu, the President of ITR Economics, will examine the current trends that are impacting the economy in our supply chain, including China, oil prices, and the stock market.

Women at the NAED National Meeting can then register to attend the Women In Industry Luncheon on Thursday.  The keynote speaker is Valerie Biden Owens, Executive Vice-President of Joe Slade White & Company.  Owens managed her brother Joe Biden’s political campaigns, and will offer the attendees her winning strategies on the campaign trail and in the board room. 

The Strategic Planning Booth Sessions follow lunch from 2pm-5:25pm on Thursday.

Thursday night you can attend the Rockwell Automation Reception from 5:30pm-7:00pm, and then the annual Robroy Industries Gourmet Dessert Reception from 9pm-midnight.

The schedule changes dramatically Friday. 

Instead of an awards dinner, this year NAED will be hosting an awards breakfast from 7:30am-9:00am.  An important note, we ask that all attendees be respectful of this year’s award winners and not schedule meetings during this breakfast event.  This year NAED will be honoring former board Chairman Dick Waterman with the Arthur W. Hooper Achievement Award.  The Hooper Award goes to the person who has led an exceptional career in electrical distribution spanning many years.  John Spoor of State Electric Supply will receive the Distributor Distinguished Service Award at the breakfast event.  The Associate Service Award will be given to Denise Keating of DATAgility, Inc., the Industry Award of Merit will go to Omni Cable Corporation, the Distributor Excellence in Training Award will be given to Van Meter, Inc., and Littlefuse, Inc. will receive the Manufacturer Excellence in Training Award.

15 minutes after the awards breakfast ends, the NAED Manufacturer’s Council will host its annual forum.  This year’s topic is, “Everything you always wanted to know about IDEA but were afraid to ask”.   At a time when so many electrical distributor locations are using the Industry Data Warehouse, do you really have what is necessary to compete in a technology-based, e-commerce world? We will discuss time and financial investments, how to how to match-up with the online giants, and what needs to be done to satisfy everyone’s needs during this hour-long panel discussion.

The panel discussion is followed by an education session hosted by Hil Davis, the Co-Founder of J. Holburn, a men’s apparel company that has disrupted the traditional retail sales model and is currently worth $55 million.  Davis will talk about the disruptive forces that are in play with wholesale distribution that you don’t even know about.  Davis will also provide strategies and tactics to combat the non-traditional competitors.

The NAED National Meeting wraps up with another afternoon of Strategic Planning Booth Sessions, followed by the Appleton Group Hospitality Reception at 6pm on Friday, and then the Southwire/NAED Closing Networking Event and Concert.  Back by popular demand, the industry’s only rock band, “Total Harmonic Distortion” will perform at 9pm.

Registration for the NAED National Meeting is currently open at Register by April 1 (no foolin’!) to get the Early Bird rate.


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