The Times They Are a-Changin'

June 1, 2010
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine. Robert C. Gallagher I don't know about you, but I like change. I'm sure there are several people

“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.”
Robert C. Gallagher

I don't know about you, but I like change. I'm sure there are several people on our staff who wish I didn't, but ultimately we have lived through changes and are better off because of them. I've always believed that change is inevitable, and it's what you do about it that's important. As with any organization, HARDI has seen a lot of change, from the major consolidation that formed our association to the loss of important and valued employees and members, the evolution of technology and consolidation, and the ever-increasing influence of government in our business. But as I have mentioned many times before, I believe wholesale distributors are the most adaptable to change because we are successful operating in the middle of the channel — balancing the demands of suppliers, contractors and a constantly changing economic landscape.

Speaking of change, you will be experiencing some in the program at our annual fall conference in Houston. This is a good opportunity to introduce those changes in advance and provide the rationale behind some of the schedule adjustments. We do not make changes to the conference without a great deal of deliberation and planning, since they may significantly impact hotel contracts (negotiated three years in advance), financial commitments and the ultimate success of the conference.

Fall conference program changes that will affect the majority of attendees:

  • The conference will extend from Saturday, Oct. 23, through Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010. (We made this schedule change to accommodate those who expressed concern over the extra-day extension of the 2009 schedule.)

  • No organized golf event will be held this year. (Due to the urban setting of the conference and its inherent schedule, it is not possible to include the golf event this year.)

  • The Conference Orientation Program will be held 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday. (We moved it to precede the Opening Reception, when the majority of new members and first-time attendees will be present.)

  • The Opening Reception will be held Saturday evening, as opposed to the typical Sunday evening. (We made this change to accommodate other schedule changes.)

  • The Membership & Vendor Awards program will take place at 7 a.m. Sunday before the start of the Committee/Council Meetings.

  • The Opening Luncheon and Plenary Address will occur at noon Sunday, followed by a continuation of the Committee and Council meetings.

  • Depending on the desires of vendors, hospitality suites may be available Sunday or Monday evening.

  • A Keynote Workshop with Jeffrey Gitomer will begin the program Monday at 7:30 a.m., followed by various Council Steering Committee meetings.

  • A Luncheon Program with Michael Marks will begin at 11:30 a.m.

  • The Conference Booth Program will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday.

  • The General Membership Breakfast and HARDI Briefs the Industry will take place at 8 a.m. Tuesday, followed by various Council programs.

  • A Luncheon Program at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday will feature the 2011 HARDI Economic Forecast, presented by the Institute for Trends Research. The Regional T.R.E.N.D.S. Analysis meetings will follow.

  • Three business-targeted Educational Tracts will be presented at 3 p.m.

  • The Formal Reception will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the Closing Banquet and the Passing of the Gavel Ceremony.

I ask your understanding of the necessity for these changes. While they may be outside of the norm for some, we believe they will enhance the effectiveness and flow of the conference. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Don Frendberg, Executive vice president / COO