Jeff Havens

Founder, The Jeff Havens Company

Uncrapify Your Future – The Most Innovative Innovation Keynote Ever!

Wednesday, November 2 | 10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. 

If you’ve listened to anyone talk about innovation recently, you’ve probably heard something along these lines: “The world is changing at a crazy fast rate. Everything you’re doing now is about to become obsolete. If you don’t come up with some amazing, industry-changing ideas in the next 18 seconds, your business is basically going to disappear. Have a nice day.” And if that’s the kind of doomsayer message that you love hearing, then this session is not for you. But if you’d like to learn how innovation can be a simple process that literally everyone is capable of performing, then you don’t want to miss this presentation. Filled with the trademark wit that has made Jeff Havens one of the most in-demand speakers in North America, Uncrapify Your Future! will make the process of coming up with new ideas, solving problems, exploiting opportunities, and surviving massive (and sometimes unexpected) disruption easier and more rewarding than you ever thought possible. Because it turns out that every innovation in every industry – from automobiles to streaming music, coffee cup holders to wartime treaties – follows the same straightforward pattern. Your distribution business is always changing, and so you will always need people to anticipate and capitalize on those changes. Innovation within distribution is not a daunting task that only the largest firms can handle. After listening to this presentation, you will walk away realizing that everyone is capable of greatness. Oh, and did we mention that this session is also hilarious? Well it is. And imagine that – a keynote that’s both educational and enjoyable. How innovative!

Meet Jeff Havens

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. 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.

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Tayo Rockson

UYD Management

The Five A's of Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion

Wednesday, November 2 | 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

It’s not enough for companies to look different. They have to think differently as well. Sustainable diversity and inclusion only occurs when there’s actual behavioral change. Intentionality needs to happen at all levels: upper management, middle management & entry level. A commitment to understanding how and why people of different backgrounds behave the way they do is imperative for success. It's how awareness, humanization and empathy starts. A top down approach is just as important as a bottom up approach when it comes to diversity and inclusion. In this talk, Tayo will help distribution executives learn 5 systematic ways to build a sustainable diversity and inclusion program. By understanding the 5 A’s (assess, arrange, apply, accountability & analysis, and affinity), Tayo guides you in examining the origin of your beliefs, the reasoning behind them and the purpose they serve in order to understand their effects on your behavior and ability to commit to change.

Meet Tayo Rockson

As a polymath in progress, Tayo Rockson is a writer, speaker, consultant, podcaster, professor, co-founder and brand strategist at UYD Management - a strategic consulting firm that empowers organizations to incorporate sustainable diversity and inclusion practices. He's graced various stages to share his knowledge including TEDx, the prestigious Chautauqua Institution, and the United Nations. Tayo is the host of As Told by Nomads, a podcast ranked in the top 5 tier of the Top 25 Business Podcasts for Entrepreneurs on Entrepreneur.com. He’s the author of Use Your Difference To Make A Difference and a professor at the prestigious Imperial College Business School as well as Felician University.

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Connor Lokar

ITR Economics

Economic Trends in the Construction and Industrial Markets

Wednesday, November 2 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.  

NAFCD and NBMDA audiences love economic content from ITR Economics and thus, we are featuring a new industry-specific session this year that takes a deep dive into individual market drivers for building materials and flooring products. Connor Lokar makes his debut at our event and will address current and future economic conditions for both residential and commercial construction segments, giving attendees a clearer picture of what to expect for end-use market demand for interior building and flooring products. Additionally, Connor will include a look at inflationary pressures specific to building materials and industry labor trends, as well as geographic information covering which areas of the country are growing the fastest and which areas are showing demographic risk factors. 

Meet Connor Lokar

Few young economists present their insights with the authority, accuracy, and humor that Connor Lokar brings to the stage. He delivers practical economic intelligence with charm and candor. Connor has been giving economic presentations to audiences of business owners and executives since he joined ITR Economics in 2014. Using his quick wit and knack for storytelling, he leverages his youthful appearance to upend expectations and successfully captivate and educate audiences. Thousands of business leaders have enjoyed his dynamic approach; Connor emphasizes the applicability of economic intelligence and calls his audience to action. When not on stage, Connor contributes his economic expertise in the role of trusted advisor, consulting directly with management teams of firms large and small. As ITR Economics’ senior forecaster, Connor has a particularly keen understanding of how forecasts are derived. The resulting insights enable audiences to make the most of their economic outlooks. Connor specializes in construction and industrial markets, helping them grow revenue and remain profitable through an ever-changing business cycle.

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Ian Heller

Distribution Strategy Group

How Can Distributors Become More Important to Manufacturers

Wednesday, November 2 | 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 

Technology is enabling innovative business models and empowering new entrants to compete for share in the marketing and sales channels of many industries. A growing number of manufacturers are selling directly to end customers. Pure online sellers, marketplaces of various forms, and large companies wielding great digital capabilities are competing with distributors for channel share.

Many manufacturers are reevaluating and overhauling their distribution strategies right now. How can distributors continue to earn and even expand their share of suppliers’ sales in the face of aggressive competition and a growing number of alternative paths to market?

In this talk, distribution veteran and channels expert Ian Heller will identify the forces of disruption and help you understand how to formulate your business strategy in the context of a rapidly evolving competitive environment. He’ll identify the strengths and weaknesses of marketplaces and other disruptive channel players and tell you how you can compete against new and existing competitors to become more important to your suppliers.

Meet Ian Heller

Ian Heller is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer for Distribution Strategy Group, a research, consulting, analytics and thought leadership firm that provides marketing and strategic planning expertise to the distribution industry. Ian started his career as a truck unloader at a Grainger branch and left fifteen years later as the VP Marketing. Since then, Ian has served in similar roles at GE Capital, HD Supply, Corporate Express and Newark Electronics.

Ian holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is a popular writer, speaker and consultant in the distribution industry.

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Alex Chausovsky

Miller Resource Group

Building an Effective Talent Strategy: Proven Tactics to Attract, Hire and Retain Your Most Valuable Assets

Wednesday, November 2 | 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

The war for talent is escalating. Some organizations are ill-prepared to handle the challenges of an increasingly complex labor market, shackled by the “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. Others are thriving, armed with analytical insights and surrounded by allies, allowing them to snap up and retain highly performing impact players and supercharge their growth. What kind of an organization are you? More importantly, what kind do you want to be in the future?

This presentation will deliver key insights designed to help business leaders and decision makers elevate their talent-focused activities. The session will:

  • Peel back the curtain on recruitment and stress the need for partnerships and alliances
  • Identify the key elements that make an organization attractive to top talent
  • Share best-in-class hiring strategies including metrics and practices
  • Convey the top factors that drive talent retention
  • Deliver practical and actionable advice on what businesses can do to become better at attracting, hiring, and retaining workers

Meet Alex Chausovsky

Alex is a highly experienced market researcher and analyst with more than twenty years of expertise across subjects including economics, industrial manufacturing, automation, and advanced technology trends. For the last two decades, he has consulted and advised companies throughout the US and Canada, Europe, South America, and Asia. He has delivered hundreds of keynote presentations and webinars to small businesses, trade associations, and Fortune 500 companies across a spectrum of industries. Alex is currently overseeing a suite of analytics products focused on talent for the Miller Resource Group. He is also consulting with companies to help them become better at attracting, hiring, and retaining the impact players in their industry.

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Alan Beaulieu

Principal, ITR Economics

Preparing for Change

Thursday, November 3 | 8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

2022 is winding down, and it is time to prepare for the challenges, ongoing uncertainties, and opportunities of 2023. We will explore consumer trends and market opportunities, pricing issues, labor constraints, and production costs. With each topic, we will include practical business responses, tactics, and strategies in order to maximize market potential and company preparedness. We will also:

  1. Assess business demand for 2023 and into 2024
  2. Look at ITR’s key leading indicators that clearly foretell upcoming cyclical turns in the economy and markets
  3. Present relevant market outlooks and discuss issues that have an impact on your profitability via resource allocation, budgets, expectations, and strategic planning
  4. Assess interest rate trends and other financial market trends, including the latest information on stock market performance
  5. Provide insight regarding inflation, supply chain, and international trends that impact your business

Attendees will be armed and ready with what they need to plan for the future.

Meet Alan Beaulieu

With a reputation as an accurate, straightforward economist, Alan has been delivering award-winning workshops and economic analysis seminars in countries across the world to thousands of business owners and executives for the last 25 years. He is co-author of Prosperity in the Age of Decline, a powerful look at how to make the most of the US and global trends over the next 20 years. Alan also coauthored Make Your Move, a practical and insightful guide on increasing profts through business cycle changes, and noted by one reviewer as “simple, yet awesome. Alan has been providing workshops and economic analysis seminars to countries and literally thousands of business owners and executives for the last 25 years. He is considered one of the country’s most informed economists. As the chief economist for numerous US and European trade associations, it has been remarked that Alan’s “insight into our business, a track record of accurate forecasting, and unparalleled knowledge of global markets has earned him the respect and appreciation of key business leaders in our industry.” Pronouncements from ITR Economics™ and/or Alan have appeared in/on: the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Knight Ridder News Services, Business Week, Associated Press, The Washington Times, CBS Radio, CNN Radio, Sirius talk radio, KABC, NPR affliate WLRN and numerous other outlets.

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