SEPTEMBER 11-13, 2019

Due to popular demand, HARDI will be consolidating its Focus Conference series into one big annual industry event in 2019. Since the previous format split up subject matter areas, this new event will be uniquely structured around sessions developed with and through HARDI’s Councils. This format will allow us to feature a wide range of subject matter areas, to both deliver hard-hitting content specifically curated by members as well as provide an expansive networking opportunity at this event.

Conference tracks will include: Marketing | Sales | Supply Chain | HR | Analytics & Business Intelligence

Join us this September in Fort Worth, TX for this exciting new event in FOCUS 19!


Interested in sponsorship opportunities for this event? Click here to learn more.


Executive $675 | Social $150


Matt Beaudreau

Matt Beaudreau is a Certified Keynote Speaker at The Center for Generational Kinetics. His speaking clients range from Wells Fargo and Honeywell to Wasserman Media and Sandia National Laboratories. Matt is a Millennial who has a reputation as a leader in his own generation. He was a featured TEDx speaker and named corporate trainer of the year at Stanford University. Matt has received standing ovations for his powerful delivery that combines The Center’s latest research and how-to with his unique experience working with clients around the world. Matt has spoken to over 20,000 people across the United States and Mexico. Matt’s personal experiences employing multiple generations, serving as a school administrator, and being an entrepreneur make him a powerful and action-driving speaker on solving generational challenges with employees and customers.

“Crossing the Generational Divide”

For the first time in history, four generations are working side by side—and a fifth generation is emerging. Each generation brings different strengths, values and communication styles to the workplace and marketplace. These differences can be challenging or a strategic opportunity depending on how industry leaders respond. In Crossing the Generational Divide, Matt entertainingly reveals each generation’s mindset, preferences and strengths. He shares surprising statistics, laugh-out-loud stories, and front-line tested strategies that quickly drive results across generations. Attendees are guaranteed to leave motivated to act with ready-to-use tools they can apply immediately.

Ashley Owens

As a Networking Concierge, Ashley works as a strategic partner during networking events and takes away the tedious task of the dreaded follow-up. Taking the mind-numbing work off your shoulders, she works the room with you to collect double the relevant business cards in half the time. She has had the wonderful opportunity to start her career as a personal and executive assistant to two celebrities in NYC. Her experience in networking grew as she obtained positions in customer service, business analytics and account management. With a vast business network and having a unique experience and exposure in a multitude of industries, she recognizes the challenges her peers faced, e.g. maintaining the influx of prospects, attending networking events alone, and managing the most valuable thing that people have – time.

“How Not to Suck at Networking”

Learn practical tips and tactical takeaways on the activity it takes to build your network.

Curt Steinhorst

Curt Steinhorst is the bestselling author of Can I Have Your Attention? Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team, and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace. He is on a mission to rescue us from our distracted selves. After years studying the impact of tech on human behavior, Curt founded Focuswise, a consultancy that equips organizations to overcome the distinct challenges of the constantly-connected workplace.

Diagnosed with ADD as a child, Curt knows intimately the challenges companies face to keep the attention of today’s distracted workforce and customer. He has coached executives, TV personalities, and well-known professional athletes on how to effectively communicate and create focus when they speak to audiences, lead their employees, and engage their customers.

“Can I Have Your Attention? Focus Your Team”

For the first time in history, we live in a world without any barriers to connection or communication. This has fundamentally altered the way people work, engage, communicate, and relate to one another. The same technology that simplifies processes compromises our focus and makes it ever more difficult to reach increasingly distracted customers. Attention resources have never been more competed over, or more depleted. We are asked to process four times the information that Americans dealt with in 1986, but with less space and time to actually think. Advertisements, alerts, emails, constant notifications—no wonder the average American struggles to make it three minutes without being interrupted!

In this intensely practical and informative speech, Curt Steinhorst discusses the great challenges we face in a constantly-connected world. He pulls back the curtain to reveal: How did we get here? How deep does this distraction issue go? And where do we go from here?


Antoine Dupont

Antoine is a recognized expert and strategist in digital marketing. He’s an award-winning marketing agency owner and a speaker at national & international conferences. He combines 18 years in marketing and 15 years in the hospitality industry. His first job out of college was working for Gordon Ramsey in London at Le Gavroche.

“Simple Facebook Marketing Strategies”

You likely already know that Facebook Marketing is a powerful strategy for growing a business online. What might be holding you back from going “all in” is the fact that you don’t yet have a solid plan for turning Facebook Ads into a profit-generating machine. In this session, Facebook Marketing Strategist & Expert Antoine Dupont gives you a detailed blueprint for incorporating Facebook Ads and Creative content creation to help you drive more traffic, attract new leads and ultimately fuel your online promotions. Antoine will show you the type of content that works best on Facebook, and when to incorporate Facebook Ads. You’ll walk away with a step-by-step plan (cheat sheet included!) that generates more leads and closes more sales.

Ian Heller

Ian Heller has been the President and COO of Modern Distribution Management since 2017. For more than 50 years, MDM has been a source of thought leadership, news and data for the wholesale distribution industry.

Previously, Ian served in executive roles in e-commerce and marketing at HD Supply – Construction and Industrial, Corporate Express, Newark Electronics, GE Capital Rail and Grainger. Ian was also the founder and Senior Partner at Real Results Marketing.

Ian holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was the commencement speaker (in this case, an honor not awarded based on GPA).

“Innovations – Present & Future”

The confluence of “digitally-native” generations joining the workforce, highly-sophisticated competitors entering the industry and the emergence of new technologies like “Artificial Intelligence,” “Big Data” and the “Internet of Things” will transform the landscape in distribution. Industry leaders who point to their own disappointing digital investments and remain skeptical of the benefits these advanced tools will offer customers simply don’t understand the potential and risk the new competitors present.

Steve Yastrow

Steve is the author of three books, Brand HarmonyWe: The Ideal Customer Relationship and Ditch the Pitch, a best-selling sales book.

He is a former senior marketing executive with Hyatt Hotels and is now president of Yastrow and Company, his consulting firm.

“Harmony: The Connection Between Employees, Customers and Results”

Today’s savvy customers are skeptical about the marketing promises companies make. If you want your customers to believe your marketing messages, it’s important that every aspect of your customer experience backs up those promises. This is called “Brand Harmony,” and it happens when all interactions customers have with your company blend tell one clear, integrated, compelling story. This requires every employee in your company plays to play a role in living your brand and contributing to compelling customer experiences.

In this session, Steve Yastrow will lead attendees through action-oriented steps to determine how they can create a better experience of Brand Harmony for their customers. Steve will discuss ways to:

  • Improve your brand promises by focusing on defining the Ideal Customer Beliefs that will motivate customers to commit to your company
  • Enhance your customer experience by identifying the current gaps that prevent Brand Harmony
  • Inspire your employees to “Be the Brand” by focusing on your internal brand and the brand habits that support Brand Harmony


Barry Lawrence

Dr. Barry Lawrence holds the Leonard and Valerie Bruce Leadership Chair, the Program Coordinator of the Industrial Distribution Program, Director of the Thomas and Joan Read Center, and Director of the Global Supply Chain Laboratory at Texas A&M University.

As a faculty member of the Industrial Distribution Program he is involved in graduate, undergraduate, and professional continuing education teaching activities, funded research projects, publications and industry presentations. His teaching activities surround classes in manufacturer/distributor relationships, Supply Chain Management, distributor profitability, and distribution strategy. He is a frequent speaker for distribution associations, buying groups and companies on topics ranging from distributor profitability, distribution growth & market share, pricing optimization, inventory asset management, sales and marketing optimization, global distribution, and numerous other topics.

“Technology and Distribution Channels: Disruption in Slow Motion”

Disruption implies a suddenness. E-commerce, considered to be the great disrupter in the distributor’s market, has been anything but sudden. It has spent decades creeping up on distributors. Is it finally upon us? If so, why now, what are the drivers, and how should distributors respond? The current disruption environment favors innovation and offers many opportunities to distributors of all sizes. In this session, Dr. F. Barry Lawrence will address the true meaning of disruption to distributors, their customers, and their suppliers taken from decades of research with leading-edge distributors. Dr. Lawrence will share examples and case studies from the many studies he and his colleagues at Texas A&M’s Global Supply Chain Lab have conducted with distributors and manufacturers worldwide.

Kate Vitasek

Lauded by World Trade Magazine as one of the “Fabulous 50+1” most influential people impacting global commerce, author, educator and business consultant Kate Vitasek is an international authority Vested® business model for highly-collaborative relationships for driving transformation and innovation through highly-collaborative and strategic partnerships launched a six-book series that includes: Vested Outsourcing: Five Rules That Will Transform Outsourcing, Vested: How P&G, McDonald’s and Microsoft Are Redefining Winning in Business Relationships and Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships.

“We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships”

For years, businesses have worked under the assumption that the goal of negotiation is simply to get the deal.  Hundreds of books have been written on “getting to yes,” “getting past no,” and “getting more” – the prevalent assumption being “get a signature, and you are done.” Strategies and tactics focus on getting the deal – not making sure the deal provides sustained value in the future.

More and more, business success depends on strategic relationships built for an ever-dynamic and interconnected world that will endure long after “the deal is done.”

Attendees will leave this evocative 2-part presentation/workshop with insights which include:

  • Understanding why “getting to yes” is no longer enough
  • Challenging how they have traditionally played the “game” of negotiations
  • Learning a proven five-step approach to negotiating a relationship – not just the specific deal points
  • Digging deeper and practicing how to change the discussion and applying Step 1 of Getting to We – laying the foundation for your relationship


Pam Krivda

Pamela S. Krivda, HARDI’s Human Resources Consultant, has more than twenty-five years’ experience representing and defending public and private employers in all aspects of employment and labor relations matters.

“Recruiting & Onboarding Best Practices”

Two hours of recruiting/best practices (plus how to): Interviewing, how to get qualified people through the door, help in writing better job ads, writing a job offer letter, what’s catching a millennial’s eye for job adds, how to attract them.

Recruiting & Onboarding Best Practices (Toolkit): career pathing, how to make new employees feel at home in the workplace.


Jason Bader

Jason Bader is the managing partner of The Distribution Team, Inc.  The Distribution Team specializes in providing excellence in executive management coaching, business operations training and technology utilization to the wholesale distribution industry.  Jason brings over 25 years of experience working in the distribution field.  He has overseen various operational teams, managed small and large facilities, and served in an executive management capacity for the final 10 years of his distribution career.

Jason finds himself in the unique position of being a true practitioner turned educator.  He focuses his speaking engagements on practical experience.  He often draws from real situations as a way to teach his audience how to overcome challenges in the wholesale distribution industry.  Jason is a regular speaker at many distribution industry events he is a feature contributor to several trade publications.

“Suppliers & Distributors Win With Supply Chain Scorecard”

Suppliers want more sales, and Distributors want more efficiency and support from their key suppliers. Suppliers can gain share with their customers when they understand and anticipate their needs for efficiency. The key is mutual understanding. Jason Bader will describe how the Scorecard will help distributors and suppliers.

“More Sales & More Efficiency”

This session will be animated roundtable discussions based discussions Jason has had with HARDI members. The seating will include suppliers and distributors.


The Renaissance Worthington Hotel

200 Main Street
Fort Worth, TX

Book a Room



8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Matt Beaudreau “Crossing the Generational Divide”
9:30-10:30 AM Matt Beaudreau “Transacting Across Generations”
10:45-11:45 AM Ian Heller “Digital Innovations – Present & Future”
12:00-12:45 PM Lunch Keynote: Ashley Owens “How Not to Suck at Networking”
1:15-2:30 PM Nir Kushnir “All Things Google”
3:00-4:00 PM Search Kings “Google Workshop”


8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Matt Beaudreau “Crossing the Generational Divide”
9:30-10:30 AM Matt Beaudreau “Transacting Across Generations”
10:45-11:45 AM Ian Heller “Digital Innovations – Present & Future”
12:00-12:45 PM Lunch Keynote: Ashley Owens “How Not to Suck at Networking”
1:15-2:30 PM Christa Vanzant & Steve Vesely “Creating a Culture of Training”
2:45-4:00 PM Brad Gaines “5 Steps to Increase Your Sales Team’s Productivity”

Supply Chain

8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Matt Beaudreau “Crossing the Generational Divide”
9:30-10:30 AM Jim Barnes “Inventory Management”
10:45-11:45 AM TBD “Overcoming Challenges in Trucking”
12:00-12:45 PM Lunch Keynote: Ashley Owens “How Not to Suck at Networking”
1:15-2:30 PM Barry Lawrence “Supply Chain Technology”
2:45-4:00 PM Jason Krantz “Applied Forecasting”


8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Matt Beaudreau “Crossing the Generational Divide”
9:30-11:45 AM Pam Krivda “Recruiting & Onboarding Best Practices Toolkit”
12:00-12:45 PM Lunch Keynote: Ashley Owens “How Not to Suck at Networking”
1:15-4:00 PM Pam Krivda “Compensation & Retention”

Analytics & Business Intelligence

8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Matt Beaudreau “Crossing the Generational Divide”
9:30-10:30 AM Jason Bader “Suppliers and Distributors Win with Supply Chain Scorecard”
10:45-11:45 AM Jason Bader “More Sales and More Efficiency – Roundtable Discussions”
12:00-12:45 PM Lunch Keynote: Ashley Owens “How Not to Suck at Networking”
1:15-2:30 PM Jim Barnes “It’s All About Time Compression and Convenience”
2:45-4:00 PM Jason Krantz “Demand Forecasting at the Local Level”


8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Roundtables Session
9:30-10:30 AM Antoine DuPont “Simple Facebook Marketing Strategies”
10:45-11:45 AM Steve Yastrow “Brand Harmony: The Connection between Employees, Customers and Results ”
12:00-12:45 PM Curt Steinhorst “Can I Have Your Attention? Focus Your Team”


8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Roundtables Session
9:30-10:30 AM Steve Yastrow “Ditch the Pitch: Improvise to Sell More”
10:45-11:45 AM TBD “Topic Roundtables/Panel Discussion”
12:00-12:45 PM Curt Steinhorst “Can I Have Your Attention? Focus Your Team”

Supply Chain

8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Roundtables Session
9:30-11:45 AM Kate Vitasek “Getting to We: Negotiating Agreements for Highly Collaborative Relationships”
12:00-12:45 PM Curt Steinhorst “Can I Have Your Attention? Focus Your Team”


8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Roundtables Session
9:30-11:45 AM Pam Krivda “Leadership, Coaching and Difficult Conversations”
12:00-12:45 PM Curt Steinhorst “Can I Have Your Attention? Focus Your Team”

Analytics & Business Intelligence

8:00-9:15 AM Breakfast & Roundtables Session
9:30-10:30 AM Mark H. Johnson “The Benefits of Using Analytics”
10:45-11:45 AM Mark H. Johnson “Roundtables”
12:00-12:45 PM Curt Steinhorst “Can I Have Your Attention? Focus Your Team”