NAW Institute For Distribution Excellence Elects 3 New Directors

Lawson Products CEO Michael DeCata, Industrial Supply Association CEO Ed Gerber and Polymershapes CEO Kevin Short have been named directors for the NAW Institute, which sponsors and disseminates research into management issues affecting the wholesale distribution industry.

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WASHINGTON, DC — The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence, the research arm of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), has announced the election of three new members to its Board of Directors: Michael G. DeCata, President and CEO of Lawson Products, Inc.; Kevin M. Short, President and CEO of Polymershapes; and Edward Gerber, President and CEO of the Industrial Supply Association (ISA).

According to Ron Calhoun, Chairman of the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Board of Directors, and President and CEO of The Palmer Donavin Mfg. Co., “We are very pleased to have Mike DeCata, Kevin Short, and Ed Gerber join us on the NAW Institute Board. We look forward to their involvement and industry insight as the NAW Institute continues to produce excellent work for the benefit of the wholesale distribution industry.”

Michael DeCata, Lawson Products President and CEOMichael DeCata, Lawson Products President and CEO Kevin Short, President and CEO of PolymershapesKevin Short, President and CEO of Polymershapes Ed Gerber, ISA President and CEO, effective SeptemberEd Gerber, ISA President and CEO, effective September

Celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2017, Lawson Products is an industrial distributor of maintenance and repair products. Lawson carries a comprehensive line of products and provides inventory management services to the industrial, commercial, institutional and government maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) market. With several strategically located distribution centers in North America, Lawson ships to customers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Under its Kent Automotive brand, the company supplies products to collision and mechanical repair shops as well as automotive OEMs. Lawson Products is consistently recognized as one of The 50 Best Companies to Sell For by Selling Power magazine and is ranked among Industrial Distribution magazine’s Big 50 and Modern Distribution Management’s Top 40 Industrial Distributors.

Prior to joining Lawson Products in 2012, DeCata served in executive leadership roles at United Rentals, Inc.; W.W. Grainger, Inc.; General Electric; and Chef’s Warehouse, a $300 million specialty food distributor where he served as President.

With headquarters in Huntersville, NC, Polymershapes is a distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube, film, and associated products, with more than 70 years of industry-leading heritage. The firm operates 67 distribution locations and serves 35,000 customers across the Americas in Canada, Mexico, Chile, and the U.S.

Prior to joining Polymershapes, Short was with Laird Plastics, holding a variety of commercial roles and serving on the executive team. Before entering the plastics distribution industry, Short spent several years in sales and sales management with Univar, one of the largest industrial chemical distributors.

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Industrial Supply Association (ISA) is the leading trade association for the maintenance, repair, operations, and production (MROP) supply channel. With more than 900 member companies, ISA provides education, networking, information, and relationships that drive success for its members and their customers in the Industrial MROP marketplace. Its mission is to help its members develop and advance their companies and careers.

Before joining ISA, Gerber spent more than 25 years within the distribution industry serving as President of Petry & Morrow, Director of Sales and Marketing for Precision Twist Drill Company, and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Industrial Distribution Group.

The balance of the NAW Institute Board includes:

  • Tim Buche, President and CEO, Motorcycle Industry Council
  • Ron Calhoun, President and CEO, The Palmer Donavin Mfg Co.
  • Talbot Gee, CEO, Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)
  • Vic Jury, CEO, Summit Electric Supply Co., Inc.
  • Kevin Kampe, President, Womack Machine Supply Co.
  • Jeff McLendon, President and CEO, U.S. Lumber Group
  • Thomas Naber, President and CEO, National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED)
  • George Pattee, Chairman, Parksite, Inc.
  • Joe Poehling, Chairman, First Supply LLC
  • Larry Stoddard, President and CEO, RelaDyne
  • Ralph Suppa, President and General Manager, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH)
  • Joseph Thompson, Founder, Thompson Management Associates
  • Doug York, President and CEO, Ewing Irrigation Products Inc.

Established by NAW in 1967, the role of the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence is to sponsor and disseminate research into strategic management issues affecting the wholesale distribution industry. The NAW Institute aims to help merchant wholesaler-distributors remain the most effective and efficient channel in distribution. 

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