Heating, Air-conditioning, Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) held its Annual Conference last month in Maui, Hawaii. As a precursor to three days of business meetings and informative keynote presentations by industry experts Mike Workman, HARDI’s Chief Economist, Alan Beaulieu and the association’s first HVACR Contractor Panel, HARDI hosted its first ever Distributor Town Hall Meeting.

Created to provide a forum for HARDI distributor members to discuss issues impacting the future of HVACR wholesale distribution, the event, moderated by HARDI President, Bud Mingledorff, Immediate Past President Richard Cook and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Talbot Gee, drew more than 70 distributor executives.

“We are very proud of our culture at HARDI of open meetings where any member and invited guests can attend, however the downside has been that we have very few venues for distributor-only discussions on industry trends, policy strategies, and the general direction and performance of their industry association,” says Gee. “This first ever Distributor Town Hall was extremely well-received so I fully expect it to be a mainstay of future HARDI Annual Conferences for years to come, and thank you to our friends at ACCA for giving us the idea.”

Of the numerous topics discussed, and in line with the “Set Your Course” conference theme, HARDI has identified three as issues to focus on for 2012. Those include weakening supplier & distributor relationships, eroding channel integrity that is creating long-term growth and profit headwinds, and the need for distributors to better understand each others’ strengths and weaknesses to better become true partners within the industry by collaborating to maximize those strengths and minimize those weaknesses.

These discussions also helped form the basis for HARDI’s 2012 Annual Conference theme, “Develop Demand, Success is Deliberate” intent on recognizing and developing HVACR distributors’ role as key influencers in sales and market share growth.

For more info, visit www.HARDINet.org.