What To Expect at the 2017 NAED National Meeting

What To Expect at the 2017 NAED National Meeting

Kicking off on Wednesday, May 3, NAED’s National Meeting is gearing up for three days of extremely relevant information along with opportunities for all members to be involved with shaping the future of the association.

The events kick off on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. with a panel discussion on “Harmonizing Cultures of Merged Companies.” The panel will take a look at what happens before and after a merger or acquisition when it comes to creating, changing or maintaining a corporate culture. The panel includes Kathy Mazzarella of Graybar, Tammy Miller of Border States, Jayne Millard of Turtle and Hughes, and David Nord of Hubbell. The panelists have agreed to take questions throughout the event, so plan on attending and participating.

Also on Wednesday, the NAED Manufacturer’s Council is meeting to further its efforts in recruiting and how it can advocate for the entire supply chain. The council has been working on ways to help all members of NAED find the right people for the thousands of open positions throughout distributorships and suppliers. It is also working closely with NAED on some of the key issues that impact everyone. The council is working toward making these issues more recognized, and then working on the solutions to them as a way to strengthen the industry. If you have any feedback, ideas or topics you would like the Manufacturer’s Council to address, you should contact incoming Council Chair Tom Fredericks at or next year’s Council Chair Jason Hill at

Later that evening, NAED and Hubbell are hosting a welcome reception from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

On Thursday morning, events kick off at 8:30 a.m. with the General Session sponsored by ABB. This year’s keynote speaker is Ed Davis, the former commissioner of the Boston police department. Davis will talk about the new challenges businesses face with cyber crime, cyber security, and the decision making that will go into staying safe in the future.

Davis is followed on stage by a panel discussion called “The Future of Independents.” Hosted by Michael Marks, the panel will discuss how our industry continues to change, and how that will impact the independent distributor. Panelists include Dan Gray of Independent Electric Supply, Bob Smith of IMARK, John Spoor of State Electric Supply, George Vorwick of United Electric Supply, and Bill Weisberg of Affiliated Distributors.

Business stategist Gerry O’Brion will take the stage at 11:15 a.m. to talk about new leadership strategies in his presentation called “Leading at Every Level: Creating a Culture of Leadership.” O’Brion has been a speaker at a number of other distributor-related events, including last year’s UnleashWD Conference hosted by Dirk Beveridge in Chicago. For this event, O’Brion will look at six questions you should be asking yourself as you lead every project.

Friday, May 5 kicks off early with the NAED Annual Awards Ceremony Breakfast sponsored by Hubbell at 7:30 a.m. NAED will be recognizing Jim Risk of Kirby Risk as the 2017 Arthur W. Hooper Award winner. NAED will also recognize the Distributor Distinguished Service Award winner, and the Excellence in Training, Industry Award of Merit, and Honorary Life Award.

The NAED Manufacturer’s Council is sponsoring the 9:15 a.m. presentation “Rise of the Machines: Understanding the Internet of Things” presented by Chad Jones of Plesso Ventures. Jones will be able to answer questions about the future of connected products and guide you away from some of the past mistakes related to IoT.

Paul Molitor of IDEA will follow that with a look at “The Digital Branch Office” at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. While our customers move toward a more digital world, Molitor will help distributors follow their needs, and still make their own strategies work.

Also at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, the NAED Manufacturer’s Council will hold its first-ever “Think Tank Session.” The town hall style meeting is open to all manufacturers. They are welcome to listen to any ideas from others in the audience, and bring up any questions or concerns they may have on current or future issues. Every manufacturer company attending the NAED National Meeting is encouraged to send at least one person to this town hall meeting.

The day ends with booth sessions and then the NAED Chairman’s Celebration and Dinner sponsored by Legrand. Current NAED Chairman Larry Stern of Standard Electric will host the event, and at the end of the evening, hand the chair’s gavel to incoming Chair Dan Dungan of Springfield Electric Supply.


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