Speakers & Presentations

Check out the educational sessions scheduled for this year's Annual Meeting & Convention. Attend all of the sessions below and earn 5 hours of continuing education (CE) to report toward your HSI Recertification requirement.

Sunday, April 11
Opening General Session 
10:00 AM– 11:30 AM | 1.5 hrs. CE
Alex Chausovsky

Managing in an Uncertain Economy

The session will provide ITR Economics' expert views on what to expect from the economy 2020 and beyond, covering such topics as industry trends, business to business activity, trade, inflation, interest rates, and more. Attendees will also learn about a method by which their company can take advantage of their own data to make better-informed decisions based on the economic environment. Using leading indicators, the audience will find out how to identify where they are in the business cycle and which inputs should guide their business strategy to help them make the right decisions at the right time.

Walk away from this session with:

  • Clear, practical, and actionable business advice based on the current economic environment
  • Understanding of the impact of trade policy on the economy
  • Inflation and interest rate expectations

Alex ChausovskyAlex C

Alex regularly delivers keynote addresses at leading industry events to rave reviews. His charisma, engaging personality and refreshing demeanor on stage always surpass the audience’s expectations.

His extensive consulting expertise is greatly valued by management teams of companies both large and small. ITR Economics’ clients rely on his input when developing strategic plans for the future, as he helps them plan for risk conditions and finds areas of opportunity.

Alex is currently responsible for providing reliable industry and company forecasts, presentations, webinars, and economic consulting services for small businesses, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies across a spectrum of industries. In his prior role, Alex led a group of analysts covering the industrial manufacturing domain. He was also the lead analyst for 3D printing at a major international firm.

Educational Session - Sales & Marketing
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm | 2 hrs. CE
Ryan Avery

Connect More, Convince Less!

What’s costing your team members the sale? The win? In most cases, they are missing a relevant connection! They might not know how to weave the communication threads necessary to build the relationships that help to form customers for life. The kind of relationships that not only buy – but also refer. That’s where Ryan Avery brings out the game-changers. He challenges sales audiences to stop “convincing” and start connecting with the clients, customers, and prospects that will grow your company to new levels of success.

Walk away from this session with:

  • An understanding on how to effectively communicate for today’s consumers
  • A way to build bridges using the right words, stories, and messaging to actively engage customers in the buying and referral process
  • Knowledge to easily navigate generational and cultural hurdles to ensure we connect with people from a broad diversity of backgrounds
  • What it takes to develop followers who will remain loyal, even in today’s competitive market

Ryan Avery Ryan A

Ryan Avery is one of the most profound keynote speakers on strategic communication and leadership. At age 25, Ryan became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history, competing against more than 30,000 contestants from 116 countries to claim the 2012 World Championship for Toastmasters International.

As an Emmy-award winning journalist, two-time best-selling author, and world record holder, Ryan has delivered more than 500+ keynotes in 33 countries around the globe. Ryan currently lives in the United States with his family and is on the mission to show leaders how to Go From A to THE® in their industry!


Monday, April 12
Distribution Workshop
9:00 am – 11:30 am | 1.5 hrs. CE
Ian Heller

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Distribution

“Digital disruptors” and major corporations like Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon are invading the wholesale distribution industry. These entrants are wielding artificial intelligence, large marketplaces and state-of-the-art logistics networks to create new services and capabilities your customers will embrace. How is the competitive landscape going to change and how should distributors respond?

Walk away from this session with:

  • A clear understanding of how artificial intelligence (AI) works
  • Insights and examples of how AI will disrupt procurement and distribution
  • An explanation of why and how Amazon, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway and others are entering B2B distribution
  • The steps you need to take to prepare for these new competitors and emerging technologies

Ian Heller Ian H

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.

Members' Luncheon, Carver Award, & Keynote
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm | 2 hrs. CE
Herm Edwards

Doing the Little Things and Executing Vision

Whether it is his faith, his family or his football team, Herman Edwards exudes passion in all areas of life. His career is defined by his energetic and enthusiastic attitude, first as an NFL player and coach, then as an NFL studio analyst for ESPN, and now as the head football coach at Arizona State University. The lessons he has learned along the way and the impactful messages he has shared with his teams will keep any audience on the edge of their seat. Herm Edwards has a zest for life that is hard to match and is clearly evident in his dynamic presentation.

Walk away from this session with:

  • A clear understanding of how true leaders reach the pinnacles of success
  • A special game plan which centers on four key pillars: work ethic, communication, integrity, and legacy
  • What it takes to be a team player on and off the field, and why your community is central to your success

Herm Edwards Herm E

Whether it is his faith, his family or his football team, Herman Edwards exudes passion in all areas of life. Herm’s career is defined by his energetic and enthusiastic attitude, first as an NFL player and coach, then as an NFL studio analyst for ESPN, and now as the head football coach at Arizona State University. Edwards joined ASU in December of 2017 after nine years at ESPN. In his first season, Edwards finished tied for second in the Pac 12 South.

At ESPN, Edwards’ voice was fully integrated into all of the network’s platforms, from radio and digital to television. Edwards utilizes his diverse background in pro football to be one of the most informed and educated analysts on television. In 2013, Edwards was named the Team ESPN’s Commentator of the Year.


Tuesday, April 13
General Session 
8:00 am – 9:30 am | 1.5 hrs. CE
Jeff Havens

Us Vs. Them!

If you’ve listened to any other discussion about generational issues at work, then you’ve undoubtedly been told there are four distinct generations operating side-by-side in today’s working world.  However, if you’ve ever been frustrated by how impossible it seems to employ four different strategies to manage four distinct generations, and if you’ve ever felt like you’re the only one who’s being asked to make any changes, then Us Vs. This is exactly what you need. In this keynote, you’ll learn a simpler way of looking at your own generational picture, and you’ll also learn how to understand, recognize, and resolve every generational issue facing today’s workforce. Other generational presentations focus on what people want, but Us Vs. Them will tell you why everyone wants the different things they do.

Walk away from this session with:

  • Learn to replace the complicated four-generation model with a workable dichotomy between older, more experienced workers and their younger, less-experienced counterparts
  • Understand the key cultural, technological, and social changes that have conspired to create a disconnect between team members from these two generations
  • Walk away with several immediately applicable strategies to address and eliminate problems caused by the disconnect mentioned above
  • Inspire a healthier, more robust work ethic in your younger employees (and your older ones, too)
  • Inspire a healthier, more robust attitude toward change in your older employees (and your younger ones, too)

Jeff Havens Jeff H

Jeff Havens is not your typical business growth expert. His uncanny ability to provide actionable answers to today’s business challenges in an undeniably entertaining and impactful way has put him in front of over 1,000 eager audiences across North America and Asia. Delivering well-researched and relevant business insight is something a lot of keynote speakers do, but combining that with the entertainment value of a comedy show is not. Engaging, charismatic, and full of energy, Jeff Havens is the only business growth expert who provides serious solutions in a seriously funny way.

But even more than that, Jeff makes things easy. All of us are constantly being asked to do more with less, so the last thing you need is someone to tell you how difficult your challenges are. Jeff has a unique ability to simplify seemingly complex problems in a way that will provide your audience with a fresh perspective, one that runs counter to the conventional wisdom of the business world. He’ll show you that we’re not actually creating a completely new type of person every 15 years, that being innovative is not something only a few special people know how to do, and that both exceptional leadership and exceptional customer experiences are built on surprisingly slender foundations. You will leave Jeff’s keynotes refreshed, relaxed, happy, and more confident than ever that you are prepared for the road ahead.

"This year's NAHAD conference showed me, once again, what great value can be attained from attending and getting involved. The networking is unsurpassed, as well as the great speakers NAHAD offers. Our company will continue to be a part of this great organization and conference."

NAHAD Distributor Member and 2019 Attendee