APRIL 9-11, 2017 | MEMPHIS, TN

The content for our Strategic Leadership & Finance Focus Conference is intended to provide top-level executives with a wealth of knowledge to help their companies excel in our industry. We’ve meticulously designed the content to help guide executive-level decision-making throughout the short term and long term. Covering topics from acquisitions and investment strategies to company culture, the Strategic Leadership & Finance Focus Conference helps position our industry leaders to maximize their companies’ success.














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Hotel Cut-Off: March 13th
Room Rate: $199/night

The Peabody Memphis
149 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103


HerbMeyerHerb Meyer, Author, Host, Producer & Former Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council

“What in the World is Going On? A Global Intelligence Briefing”

Today more than ever before, CEOs and other top-level executives need to understand what’s going on in the world. Key trends in politics, economics and even culture have an impact on every business, and to manage effectively executives must know what these trends are, how they will affect our economy, and what opportunities these trends may generate for their own companies. Moreover, today’s CEOs are leaders in their communities – often serving on public and community boards — and people look to them for guidance and insight on national and international issues. In this presentation, Herb Meyer will explain what lies behind the national security, economic and cultural issues that dominate the news.


TrautleinBarbara Trautlein, Principal, Change Catalysts, LLC

“You Know Your IQ, but What’s Your CQ? Develop Your Change Intelligence to Lead Organizational Change”

From ever-increasing customer expectations to new competitive threats to rapidly evolving technologies, leaders today are under constant pressure to deal with changes that are increasing in pace, scope, and complexity.  As a leader, are you frustrated that no matter what you try, the changes you attempt to drive in your organization seem to sub-optimize or produce gains that don’t last? As many as 70% of change initiatives fall short of expectations. Yet, your company’s survival hinges on your ability to lead successful and sustainable change. In this presentation, you’ll learn how to get beyond the buzzwords and leverage a proven formula for change.  The CQ System for Developing Change Intelligence is based on decades of change leadership in the workplace, years of conducting global research, and the psychology and neuroscience of change. Through a highly interactive experience and real-life examples, you’ll learn how to engage the brain, inspire the heart, and motivate the hands to move in positive, new directions so change sticks.

paulBorrPaul Giudice, CEO, CoMetrics
Greg Borr, Executive Director of Operations, O’Connor Company

 “Beyond Benchmarking: Using Data to Drive Performance”

Building a data-driven culture starts with having access to the right metrics and when done well, can deliver significant bottom-line performance gains. Greg Borr and Paul Giudice are going to reveal the new performance dashboards: DPD Powered by CoMetrics and discuss how data can be used to inform decisions that lead to improved performance. Borr and Giudice plan to discuss the merits of benchmarking, reveal the new reporting platform from CoMetrics, and discuss practical ways data can be used in your organization.

MansfieldKevin ParsleyJohn Mansfield, Principal Consultant, StratMax
Troy Meachum, President, ACR Supply Co
Kevin Parsley, VP / Sales Director, ACR Supply Company

“Utilizing Best Practices in Customer Stratification at ACR Supply”

In the wholesale distribution business, you constantly have to demonstrate your value and differentiate yourself from your competition. One thing that business leaders in this industry universally accept is that not all customers are the same. While this is understood instinctively, how do you go about determining your most profitable customers? And how do you make sure that your sales team is spending the right amount of time, with the right customers, doing the right things? Customer stratification can provide the answer to these questions and help drive profitable growth. Troy Meachum and Kevin Parsley of ACR Supply have adopted the best practices in customer stratification and experienced tremendous results. Troy and Kevin will share insights on how they started their customer stratification journey, lessons learned along the way, and the financial results they are experiencing. John Mansfield of StratMax, the industry leader in the practical application of customer stratification, will share best customer stratification best practices.

CrockerJim Crocker, Chair, Boardroom Metrics

“Best Practices for Board of Director Governance in Private Business”

For those considering a private business BOD, to share helpful insight on the rationale and benefits. For those seeking to ensure their BOD is effective, to share helpful insight on what to do and how to do it, including lessons from other organizations and private businesses. This session will discuss:  The role of a BOD in private business, The benefits of a BOD in private business, Board composition – putting together an effective private business BOD, Board effectiveness – operating an effective private business BOD, Lessons from others – common BOD challenges and how to overcome them.

Ken SerwinskiKen Serwinski,Chairman, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

“Ownership Transition Alternatives & Exploring ESOPs”

For privately-held businesses, the succession of the company is a once in a lifetime event. This session will review: key questions the business owners should consider, determining goals and objectives, current capital markets dynamics, a review of ownership transition alternatives, preparing the business, management succession. Exploring an ESOP as an exit strategy should be considered if the legacy of the company and the employees are important to the management team. This presentation will also do a deep dive into how ESOPs work, and how it might be right for you.

Ken SerwinskiKen Serwinski, Chairman, Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

“The Role of Business Valuation in the M&A Process” (CFO session)

Going through a merger or acquisition is a time consuming and complicated process that involves many different pivotal points to make sure you achieve the correct value in the process.  What are the current conditions in the middle market M & A and where do you start in the valuation process? This session will walk through the valuation approach and drivers of value. You will hear how to determine goals and objectives, how to prepare the company and understand the sale process. In additional you will learn about the optimal advisory team and gain a better understanding of each of their roles and responsibilities.

Nick AracoNick Araco, Chairman, The CFO Alliance

“The Social CFO: Engaging Customers & Owning Human Capital Optimization”

According to the 2017 CFO Sentiment Survey customer engagement, human capital optimization and marketing execution will have the biggest impact on company growth and profitability in 2017. Join us for an interactive discussion with the CEO of the CFO Alliance, Nick Araco. Nick will explore how the role of the CFO has evolved from “Mr.No” who hid in the corner office to “The Chief Trusted Advisor” who is asked to impact performance across the enterprise and directly inspire customer loyalty. Nick will also discuss how CFOs plan to engage customers, own human capital optimization within the Office of the CFO and impact the performance of marketing colleagues in 2017.

JoeEllersJoe Ellers, Owner, Palmetto Associates

“Pay for What You (Really) Want: Sales Compensation Strategies That Drive Business Goals”

The way that you pay your sales team is an essential part of the way that you manage them. Too often, the comp plan pulls the team away from what the organization really needs. Want new customers? What does your comp plan (really) say about that? Often, by not really focusing the plan on specific deliverables, you end up sending conflicting messages on what you want the team to do. The goal of this session is to help you to boil your key objectives down to the things that really matter, and then identify the 3-5 tweaks that you can make to your plan to encourage the team to do the right things.

Jim Thompson,CEO, NewMGroup LLC

“Lessons from a Distribution CEO”

This session will address leading a changing work force, maximizing internal teams, unexpected disruptions serving the business and how each business has needs that differ depending on their journey on the life cycle curve. Real examples and experiences will be discussed for better understanding and leading in the future.

Matt Tomlinson, Director of Sales, Wind River Financial

 “Delivering Secure & Cost Effective Payment Acceptance to Your Clients

This session will help you find answers for some of your common credit card worries. Questions like, “What is my real exposure and financial risk in taking credit cards?  What costs are there if there is even a small breach? What technology could I use to make the client experience better, safer? Am I getting the best overall costs? How will I know?”


Sunday, April 9th

Registration 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Welcome Reception 6:00 – 7:00 PM

Monday, April 10th

Registration 7:00 – 11:00 AM
Breakfast & HARDI Program 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Joint Session: Herb Meyer 9:00 – 10:15 AM
CEO Speaker: Jim Crocker 10:30 – 11:20 AM
CFO Speaker: John Uselman 10:30 – 11:20 AM
CEO Speaker: Jim Thompson 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
CFO Speaker: Ken Serwinski 11:30 AM – 12:20 PM
Lunch 12:30 – 1:30 PM
Joint Session: Barbara Trautlein 1:30 – 2:45 PM
CEO Speaker: Ken Serwinski 3:00 – 4:30 PM
CFO Speaker: Joe Ellers 3:00 – 4:30 PM
Happy Hour 5:30 – 6:30 PM

Tuesday, April 11th

Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00 AM
Joint Session: Giudice & Borr 9:00 – 10:15 AM
CEO Speaker: John Mansfield, Troy Meachum & Kevin Parsley 10:30 AM – Noon
CFO Speaker: Nick Araco 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Happy Hour 6:30-7:30 PM


Mirimichi Golf Course
Tuesday, April 11th at 1:30PM
$240 (lunch included)