Exceptional Turnout of Manufacturers and Distributors for NAHAD’s 2023 Annual Meeting & Convention

On Saturday, April 29, 2023, nearly 900 hose and accessories distributor and manufacturer companies convened at the Atlantis in beautiful Nassau, Bahamas for NAHAD’s 39th Annual Meeting and Convention. The morning began with a Welcome Hospitality sponsored by Anco International. Guests greeted one another over breakfast delights, coffee, and juice before heading into the first session of the day, Speed Networking.  

Next up, Caitlin Westad, daughter of NAHAD’s 2022-2023 President Jason Westad, kicked off the opening General Session paying homage to her father and his personal and professional contributors not only to the industry but as a pillar for their family. Mr. Westad took the stage soon after, thanking his daughter and turning to the crowd to welcome them to this year’s Annual Convention. He spoke about the growth of NAHAD365, including the launch of NAHAD’s podcast The Outer Diameter. He went on to emphasize the work completed on enhancing NAHAD’s whitepapers, NAHAD Academy, Hose Safety Institute, and the University of Innovative Distribution. Mr. Westad also noted the progress made with the new committee restructuring and thanked the volunteers for their commitment to helping advance the work of NAHAD.  

Before introducing the keynote speaker, Mr. Westad acknowledged the 2023 sponsors: OmegaOne/SHF (Premier Sponsor); SunSource (Partner Sponsor); PT Coupling, Midland Industries, and Masterduct Inc. (Advocate Sponsors); and all the others for their incredible support.  

Patrick Luce, economist and vital member of the ITR Economics team, was then welcomed to the stage. Addressing attendees about the global economic risks businesses are facing, Mr. Luce shared insight on how to effectively plan for a prosperous future given all the noise and misdirection stemming from the recent turbulent times. The evening ended with NAHAD’s Opening Reception. Entertainment and great food abound while attendees socialized and enjoyed each other’s company against the beautiful Bahamian sunset. 

The launch of day two began with breakfast, sponsored by United Hose. After fueling up for the morning, attendees made their way over to the first of two Dale Carnegie Workshops. Patrick Finnegan, Certified Dale Carnegie Trainer and Senior Market Director, stressed the importance of relationship-based sales vs. transaction-based gimmicks if you are wanting to build trust with customers. 

Following part one of the Dale Carnegie Workshop, guests headed over to the Grand Ballroom for the Members’ Luncheon, Keynote, and Carver Award sponsored by SunSource. Before introducing the afternoon keynote, and as part of a time-honored tradition, Mr. Westad recognized the contributions made to the industry by NAHAD’s third president, George Wilson Carver. Mr. Carver served the association and the industry with dedication, grace, and distinction. His memory lives on through the annual presentation of the Carver Award to a deserving current or former NAHAD member.  

This year’s Carver Award was presented to Sam Petillo, President & CEO of Singer Industrial. Mr. Petillo accepted the award and graciously thanked those that provided mentorship to him throughout the years. He closed with saying, “My support for the NAHAD organization and the hose industry is not ending today. I’m going to continue to earn this award, well into the future.” 

Mr. Westad then welcomed Ross Bernstein, best-selling author and award-winning business speaker, to deliver his keynote on the topic of “creating a culture of excellence.” Patrick Finnegan followed with part two of his Dale Carnegie Workshop. 

The evening concluded with Manufacturer and Associate Hospitality Suites. Guests were free to visit these company-sponsored suites to partake in an evening of fun networking with colleagues and entertainment around the venue.  

Attendees began the following morning early with breakfast sponsored by Intertraco Italia S.p.A. followed by the General Session and Business Meeting. Mr. Westad welcomed members before calling the meeting to order. After approval of the 38th Annual Meeting of Members minutes, presentation of financials, and other program updates, Mr. Westad thanked outgoing board members. They are as follows: Dion Gunderson, National Sales Manager with Dixon Valve and Coupling; Jim Daniels, President with Mid-State Sales; and Mike Mortensen, President with ARG Industrial. 

Immediate Past President, Jeff Sheininger, took the stage after to present the results from the most recent election for NAHAD board members and officers. Newly elected board members include Brad Rico, Executive Vice President with Brennan Industries; Brian Hoaglin, President with TCH Industries; and Brian Dutton, President with Kuriyama. NAHAD Officers include Dave Heckler, President with Alliance Hose and Rubber, serving as NAHAD’s 2023-2024 President; Brian Pellegrin, Southeast Regional Manager with Singer Industrial, serving as NAHAD’s First Vice President; Mike Mortensen, President of ARG Industrial, serving on the Executive Committee as NAHAD’s Second Vice President and Treasurer; and Jason Westad, Chief Sales Officer with FORCE America, serving as NAHAD’s Immediate Past President. 

The Business Meeting concluded with the Eagle Award of Excellence presented to Mr. Westad for his service to the industry and the passing of the gavel to Mr. Heckler. “I am excited to serve as your President, and I am eager to work alongside you to continue building on the great foundation that we have here at NAHAD,” says Mr. Heckler. “I look forward to this exciting and challenging year, and to the work ahead. NAHAD represents our very highest standards. Let us continue to work together to make a positive impact on our businesses, our industry, and our communities,” Heckler adds. 

The meeting was adjourned and Tim David, author and communications expert, delivered his keynote on the topic of human connection. He spoke on how strong human connection makes you more memorable, likable, and influential.  

Other activities for the evening including Technology Roundtable discussions and the Showcase of Hose Solutions Party. 

The final day of the Meeting commenced with breakfast and the Showcase of Hose Solutions. Always a highlight of the Annual Meeting, the Showcase allows manufacturers to connect with distributors and present their products and services to a diverse group of industry leaders and decision makers. Over 100 exhibitors came out to display their products and connect with customers.  

The Meeting officially closed with a beach party sponsored by OmegaOne/SHF. Additional highlights over the four-day event included time set aside for company meetings, the NAHAD365 Kiosk, and the reveal and announcement of Hose Safety Awareness Week taking place September 10−16.  

The 40th NAHAD Annual Meeting and Convention will take place April 27−30, 2024 in San Diego, CA. 

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