The “What's Next” theme for Affiliated Distributors’ 2022 annual meeting in Aurora, CO, was particularly appropriate for an event where more than 1,000 independent A-D distributors and electrical manufacturers from the United States, Canada and Mexico learned about plans for some new value-added services the marketing group will be offering members in the near future.
One particularly interesting venture is the investment A-D is making in a leadership training program. To help members train the next generation of industry leaders, A-D will be launching a Center for Independent Leadership that will offer tracks for developing new leaders in sales, operations and executive management that will be taught be university professors and distribution industry leaders.
Attendees also got the chance to meet several new executives joining A-D's staff, including Marisol Fernandez, who rejoined the group as president of the Electrical & Industrial business units; Karen Baker, president of the Electrical business unit; Neil Cohen, senior VP of human resources; Marty McLaughlin, chief marketing officer; and Kristen Abbas,VP, A-D Network Community.
The mood at the meeting was quite positive. Attendees loved seeing old industry friends face-to-face and making new acquaintances after the pandemic lockdown. Attendees said business remain solid despite inflation, some lingering supply issues, the war in Ukraine and uncertain short-term economic picture. In his keynote address, A-D CEO Bill Weisberg said electrical members’ combined sales hit $30 billion and are up +33% over last year. A-D members’ combined total sales across all A-D divisions are up +23% over last year to $72 billion.
Attendees also enjoyed a presentation from Dirk Beveridge, who recently completed his second “We Supply America” tour across the country visiting with dozens of distributors and logging 31,000 miles over the past two summers.