Industrial Supply Assocation Promotes Breen to President

Having served as ISA's executive vice president since the departure of former president Ed Gerber, Brendan Breen takes the helm of the association effective immediately.


YORK, PA — After an extensive candidate search, the Board of Directors of the Industrial Supply Association has unanimously appointed Brendan Breen to be the next President of the Association. Having previously served as ISA’s Executive Vice President, Brendan will assume his new role effective immediately.

After announcing the departure of previous CEO and President, Ed Gerber, the ISA Board of Directors advertised the open position. Nearly 100 candidates applied for the role of President, including Breen.

“It was important that we spent adequate time reviewing and discussing all the candidates who applied for this job. Frankly, it says something about ISA that so many individuals wanted the job," said Maria Ford, president of North American Commercial Industrial Safety at Stanley Black & Decker and Chair of ISA. "In the end, we unanimously landed on the best candidate for us and our members. Brendan has the experience, the vision, and the passion to lead ISA into the future.”

Breen brings 15 years of progressive association executive-level experience to this new opportunity. He began his career in Washington, DC leading several organizations with a focus on membership engagement and development. Prior to his time with ISA, he served as the Executive Director for a number of associations developing programs and initiatives that drove revenue, created sustainability, and established stronger value. In 2017, Breen was recruited to ISA as Director of Operations shortly after Gerber joined the team. More recently, as Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Brendan has been leading ISA’s efforts to work more closely with its members to connect the dots between ISA’s programs and initiatives and the members’ unique challenges and goals. He has also been leading all sales efforts, working closely with volunteer groups, and connecting personally with members. In mid-October, Brendan assumed all leadership responsibility, on an interim basis, while the ISA search committee looked for the next leader of the association.

“ISA didn’t skip a beat. Brendan jumped right in and took control," said David Ruggles, president of Martin Supply Inc. and ISA Vice-Chair. "His ability to lead ISA while navigating a very busy time for the association showed he has the chops to take ISA to the next level. We are clearly in good hands.”

Brendan’s first 90 days will be heavily focused on reimagining the ISA 22 Convention slated for April 11-13, 2022 in Houston with a hybrid virtual component. ISA has not held an in-person convention since April of 2019.

“I am excited to get back in person with this industry and apply all the lessons learned during these last two years," Breen said. "This can’t be a check-the-box year. This event has to feel different because our companies, our channel and our world are different after two years of a pandemic. We have new challenges, opportunities, and goals and ISA 22 has to deliver on all of that. It’s time to build the channel for the future."

Following the convention, Breen plans to continue to build on the solid foundation laid by Gerber and the ISA Board of Directors. Breen shared that this role presents an amazing opportunity to create new value for the members of ISA.

“Our focus of Leading the Channel Forward and our mission of developing the strategies, tools and education needed to stay relevant throughout change gives the ISA team the direction and confidence to produce more for the members," Breen added. "I want to thank the search committee, the ISA Board of Directors and, most importantly, the members of ISA for allowing me to lead this channel forward.”

Breen earned his undergraduate degree in business administration and marketing from the University of Vermont and a Master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University. He currently holds a Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification and is a member of the Pi Alpha Alpha Public Administration Honors Society. Brendan lives in Lawrenceville, New Jersey where he enjoys playing golf, listening to live music, and spending time with his wife Jamie and daughter Stella. Brendan and Jamie will also be welcoming their second daughter any day now.

To reach Brendan directly, email [email protected].

The Industrial Supply Association is the channel association for the industrial MROP market. Focused on the End User’s changing needs and the new drivers and capabilities needed by all stakeholders to thrive as the channel continues to evolve, ISA’s mission is to help members develop and advance their companies and careers.

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