JULY 22-24

HARDI’s Emerging Leader Summer Conference will help up-and-coming industry leaders learn to develop skills that can be utilized when working to develop skilled and successful teams on his/her own journey to the top.

The conference line-up includes renowned industry executives as well as additional experts that will share experiences and insights that will help attendees plan for their futures.

Who is an Emerging Leader?

An Emerging Leader is any employee of a distributor or supplier member who has been recognized as having the talent and potential to someday advance to the executive level of the organization.

Sometimes, as in the cases of family-owned companies, this is the next generation owner. Other times this is an unrelated (but still high-potential) individual who is on the way to the top.


Executive $650 | Social $150




Brian Kight is a multi-industry leader on the topics of leadership, culture, and behavior. He provides simple systems that produce exceptional results for organizations, teams, and people. Simple, clear, and immediately actionable. Brian applies the timeless “physics” of performance to the most important challenges in life and business. As the CEO at Focus 3, Brian has worked for over a decade directly with all levels of executives and associates.

“The R Factor”

The most complex variable in your world is not the circumstances you encounter or the results you’re trying to produce. The most complex variable is the behavior of people in Response to those situations. You don’t control Events. You don’t control Outcomes. You earn Outcomes based on the discipline of your Response.

Behavior — not talent, technology, or tactics — is the driving force of strategic success. Elite results require Discipline-driven behavior. The hardest thing to do is execute simple things with discipline.


Anne Ellis, P.E. is founder and CEO of Ellis Global, Innovation & Technology Advisors for the Built World. Ms. Ellis provides clients with market insights, critical connections and an efficient and effective path forward. Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Ellis was Global Innovation + Knowledge Share Director at AECOM, a global engineering and construction company ranked #161 on the Fortune 500 list.

Ms. Ellis serves on the Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), chartered by Congress to support advances in building science and technology to improve the built environment. By appointment of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, she serves on the Environmental Technologies Trade Advisory Committee (ETTAC) providing private-sector advice to 19 federal departments and agencies on federal trade policies and programs concerning the environmental technologies industry. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Virginia.

Larry Cox, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. Dr. Cox has directed nationally ranked entrepreneurship centers, and was the Director of Research at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO. Dr. Cox has a master’s degree in Management Information Systems and a doctorate in Strategic Management. An award-winning educator, he especially enjoys helping young entrepreneurs and is an inspiring speaker and seminar leader.

Leading Teams: Innovation + Technology

In a world where technology permeates every aspect of our lives, businesses face increasing pressure to adopt and capitalize on the myriad of technologies. Technology can be utilized to improve operational efficiencies and reduce cost as well as facilitate access to new markets and customers. Yet upon completion of technology projects, many companies find the technology ultimately failed to deliver value and, even worse, solve the problems. A look at problem-solving will help you see the invisible, gain strategic foresight and understand how to unleash your organization’s superpowers to achieve better results.


Mentor-led Roundtables

It’s old guard meets new blood. The HVACR distribution industry’s veterans gather to meet with the up-and-comers to share valuable experience and advice. Mentorship relationships are essential to well-rounded professional development, and this is a great opportunity to establish or build upon those relationships. Past attendees attribute this session as one of the most impactful at the Emerging Leaders Summer Conference.

  • Brian Peirce, Pres. | CEO, Peirce-Phelps, Inc.
  • Rhonda Wight | President, Refrigeration Sales Corp.
  • Andrew Barton | CEO, CFM Equipment Distributors
  • Bud Mingledorff | Chairman of the Board, Mingledorff’s Inc.
  • Tom Roberts | Chairman of the Board, cfm Distributors, Inc.
  • Kevin Julian | Vice President, HVAC, Morsco
  • Layne Miller | CEO, Geary Pacific Supply
  • Jim Beecher | CFO, G.W. Berkheimer Co., Inc.
Clue: The Scavenger Hunt

First introduced almost 65 years ago, the popular mystery board game Clue takes on a whole new dimension in this hilarious team building scavenger hunt involving mystery, treasure hunting, and teamwork. The game’s perpetual victim, Mr. Boddy, has been murdered! You have a pretty good idea when it happened – after all, the body is still warm. But, as a team of top detectives, your group still has to piece together the rest of the puzzle. Who? Where? How?

As in the musical and game, each player has a dirty secret they’d rather keep just that—secret. Teams have to work together to succeed, but also have to cooperate with competing teams to identify the murder weapon and in which room. The first team to complete this final phase wins, basking in the glory that comes with solving a tough case.

Roundtables & Networking Lunch

Attendees will form roundtables to discuss the book, Above the Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life from a Championship Season by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer. The book and lessons within directly tie into speaker Brian Kight’s session, since Focus 3’s E + R = O formula is used by Meyer in the book and on the field.

Worthington Industries Tour

Attendees will take a tour of Columbus-based manufacturing company Worthington Industries. Tours will be staggered with corn hole and other activities in between. Please be aware of the Worthington Industries dress code for the tour: Your feet must be covered. Sandals, flip-flops and high heels are not allowed. Please wear long pants, as dresses, skirts and shorts are prohibited. Also prohibited: loose jewelry, neckties and cameras.

Pins Mechanical

Welcome to one of the most unique bars you will ever set foot in. Pins Mechanical is the darling of the Columbus nightlife scene, with a facility that boasts a combination of a bowling alley with craft beer in the heart of the city. A social destination, Pins features duckpin bowling, 40+ pinball machines & many more ‘old school’ entertainment options… Craft Beer & Classic Cocktails! Don’t forget to check out the food truck corner, which hosts a different local favorite every night!


Executive Sponsor

Supporting Sponsors


Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel

50 N 3rd St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Room rate: $155/night

Hotel Cut-off: July 1st

Book a Room




5:00 – 6:00 PM Registration
6:00 – 6:30 PM First Timers Session
6:30 – 7:30 PM Opening Reception


7:30 – 8:30 AM Networking Breakfast
8:30 – 11:30 AM Speaker: Brian Kight
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Working Lunch
1:00 – 2:15 PM Speakers: Anne Ellis & Dr. Larry Cox
2:15 – 4:45 PM Teambuilding Activity: Clue: The Scavenger Hunt

6:00 – 9:00 PM Social Activity: Pins Mechanical


8:30 – 9:30 AM Networking Breakfast
9:30 – 12:30 PM Mentor-Led Roundtables
1:00 – 4:00 PM Tour of Worthington Industries (Lunch Provided)


2015 Emerging Leaders