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Hardlines Distribution Alliance Hosts First EPC Since Formation in April

Hardlines Distribution Alliance held its first Executive Planning Conference since the group’s formation.

After hosting a joint event for 20 years, Hardlines Distribution Alliance (HDA) was thrilled to host the first Executive Planning Conference (EPC) since its formation in April. On November 15, attendees descended upon the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Ariz., for three days of networking, receptions and golf in a luxury setting.

As one of the most interactive events in the industry, manufacturers had the opportunity to meet with one-on-one with executive decision makers from more than 25 leading distributors.   

“The amazing energy of the inaugural HDA EPC will prepare member distributors and suppliers for a great 2023,” said Steve Synnott, chief executive officer at HDA. “HDA will begin our first full year of operations January 1, 2023 with a fantastic forecast for continued success.”  

On Tuesday, participants were treated to a golf tournament at the La Paloma Country Club. The tournament was followed by a welcome reception that evening that allowed all attendees to start the event with multiple networking opportunities while enjoying a top-rated venue.

“HDA is a top-notch organization that provides great opportunities for distributors and manufacturers to have meaningful discussions about how to be better partners for each other,” said Jason Kohm, national accounts manager with Kidde. “The conference was well worth my time to attend.”

Pre-scheduled, one-on-one meetings kicked off Wednesday morning. These meetings allowed manufacturer partners and distributor members to plan for a successful 2023, discuss product launches and conference specials, iron out program and advertising details, and review new business opportunities.

These meetings also provided the opportunity to address challenges that have persisted in the supply chain. Matthew Patti, vice president of sales and operations at Monroe Hardware stated, “HDA did a great job delivering what was needed to assist distributors in planning a successful 2023 with existing suppliers while providing opportunities for new suppliers to help grow our business.”

Wednesday night featured the Taste of Tucson Sonoran Style reception sponsored by the National Hardware Show (NHS), providing even more opportunities to meet in a more social setting. The National Hardware Show also held a raffle during the EPC with the winner selecting the Children’s Miracle Network to receive a $3,000 donation from HDA and NHS. HDA also honored the 2022 Suppliers of the Year before and throughout the event.

On November 10, all attendees were invited to a virtual General Session that outlined the schedule for the EPC and recognized all the Suppliers of the Year in an awards video. Suppliers of the year are honored for their sales performance, program elements, support from HDA member distributors and overall group program support. In addition, manufacturer attendees had the opportunity to display a featured item to be voted on by distributor members, increasing brand visibility and allowing product to be viewed up close. Winners for each category and an overall winner were announced on Thursday.

With these opportunities in place, the EPC provides manufacturer attendees with the ability to maximize their exposure to a large group of distributors in one event, making it an ideal setting for both new and existing vendor partners. “There isn’t an industry event I know of that is more efficient and enjoyable than the EPC,” said Mark Doyle, manager of distributor accounts at Werner Co. “With great people, over 20 productive distributor meetings and social opportunities, this two-day conference is one that I look forward to every year.”

2022 HDA Suppliers of the Year

Automotive: Ancra Cargo

Electrical: ECM Industries

Hardware: National Hardware/Kwikset

Housewares: Zep, Inc.

Lawn & Garden: Chapin International

Paint & Sundries: Rust-Oleum

Plumbing: Oatey SCS/Plumb Pak

Safety: West Chester Protective Gear

Tools: Stanley Black & Decker

Overall: Custom LeatherCraft

EPC Featured Item Winners

Automotive: Ancra Cargo – 4-Pack Ratchet Straps

Electrical: Southwire – Portable Power Station

Hand & Power Tools: Stanley Black & Decker – Brushless Cordless Chainsaw Kit

Hardware: Kwikset – Smartcode Touchpad Single Cylinder Deadbolt

Housewares/Seasonal: Boss Pet – Flying Grunting Pigs Display

Lawn & Garden: Swan – XFlex 50′ Garden Hose

Paint & Sundries: Hyde Tools – Folding Painters Tool

Plumbing: Fluidmaster – Everything Toilet Repair Kit

Safety: West Chester Protective Gear – 100% Nitrile Disposable Gloves

Overall: Chapin – Hand Shaker for Fertilizers, Grass Seed and Ice Melt

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