ELM GROVE, WI — Members of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) caught the tech wave for the Association’s Virtual Anaheim Convention & the 24 Hours of STAFDA’s Trade Show over Nov. 9-10. The online offering brought attendees together to network, see new product demos, take advantage of special pricing and see the industry’s best speakers.
In true STAFDA style, the Virtual Anaheim Convention kicked off with an information-packed General Session. STAFDA President, Greg Hughes, Kinnunen Sales & Rentals, Stillwater, OK, focused on how distributors remain relevant in turbulent times during his state-of-the-industry address. The Associate viewpoint was provided by Maria Ford, President of the North American Industrial and Commercial Sales & Marketing Team, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., Towson, MD. She discussed transformation, digital acceleration, and cooperation between manufacturers, distributors and industry partners. Tech guru Guy Kawasaki felt right at home using the online forum for his live keynote presentation and interview with STAFDA CEO Georgia Foley. He discussed his career in Silicon Valley, working with other technology icons such as Steve Jobs, what amazing tech discoveries await us, and creating a positive work environment.
Utilizing a specialized Networking Center, 85 exhibitors and 14 Tech Pavilion vendors reached out to distributor and rep members to schedule one-on-one meetings and create engaging demos. Since STAFDA is a truly global association, meeting times were available for a full 24 hours to accommodate attendees in all time zones. More than 225 demos and 100 one-on-one meetings were held from Monday at 12:30 p.m. to Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
Distributors were in a heated race to attend the most meetings and demos with the top three participants winning one of three $1,000 gift cards to their choice of a Richard Petty, NASCAR, or Mario Andretti racing experience. Reaching the checkered flag first was Kelly Steadman, Alpine Supply, West Valley City, UT. Second place went to Evan Lenahan, Jobsite Supply, Indianapolis, IN, with third place going to his colleague, Peter Kirch, also with Jobsite Supply. They can use the gift cards next November while at STAFDA’s Charlotte Convention & Trade Show or at one of 17 different tracks around the country.
Another hallmark of the STAFDA Convention is the outstanding Educational Workshops offering attendees a wide-range of timely topics from industry experts. Alan Beaulieu’s traditional Economic Update took a look at the effects of COVID-19, the U.S. Presidential election, and other key economic indicators to give listeners insight into what the future may hold. Six concurrent workshops included Sales Force Compensation Plans (Ken Brown), the 10 Commandments of Distributor Marketing (Ian Heller), The Modern Distributor: Digital Transformation (Andrew Johnson), Financial Strategies in a Post-COVID World (Greg Knight & Steve Martin), Talk Triggers: Word of Mouth Marketing (Daniel Lemin), and How to Accelerate Your Competitive Advantage (Jim Pancero). Attendees may access all of the on-demand recordings for 30 days after the Convention via the Networking Center. (Those who missed the Convention may purchase access to the workshops only for $75. Contact the STAFDA office for details.)
STAFDA’s Virtual Anaheim even included an all-request, live-music lunch concert featuring The Acoustix. The duo featuring Doug Boduch on guitar and Dave Jahnke on congas rocked desktops with everything from AC/DC to Tommy James and the Shondells.
STAFDA’s 45th Annual Convention & Trade Show, will be held Nov. 7-9 in Charlotte, NC. Registration opens June 28 at 8:00 a.m. (Central). You must be a member to attend. For more information, please contact Catherine Usher, STAFDA Member Services Director, at 262-784-4774 or [email protected].
STAFDA Members also elected new leadership for 2021 during Virtual Anaheim Convention & Trade Show.
- Following the event’s General Session, Brian Gersten, Owner of On Time Supply (Suffern, NY), took the helm as STAFDA President. On Time Supply specializes in pneumatic and electric power tools, fastening systems, packaging materials and specialty items for construction and industrial manufacturing. They have been a STAFDA member since 1996.
- Allan Guthrie, Director of Strategic Sourcing at DXP Enterprises (Omaha, NE) was elected STAFDA Vice President. A STAFDA member since 2005, DXP has grown into a top 20 company on Industrial Distribution's annual Big 50 List. Guthrie heads up a group of Sourcing Specialists providing information to the Supply Chain Services Division nationally.
- Two new Directors, each serving a three-year term, were also elected: Phil Cerminaro, Industrial Products Limited, New Orleans, LA, and Ed Stebbins, Northwest Contractors Supply, Inc., Casper, WY.
- New members of the Rep Liaison Committee were also announced: Kevin Kennedy, Mountain Borders, Centennial, CO, and Doug Ozolins, Tier2 Group, Inc., Indianapolis, IN.
Elections are held every fall with results announced at the Annual Convention. For more information or photos, contact Catherine Usher, STAFDA Member Services Director, at 262-784-4774 or [email protected].