Greetings. First, allow me to say how pleased I am to serve as president of HARDI and to follow in the footsteps of my father, Steve Hassebrock, who served as president of HARDI, then NHRAW, from 1987-88. It is a great honor and privilege to represent our membership in this capacity.

If you were unable to attend the Annual Conference in Orlando, that is truly unfortunate, for I believe it was the best conference ever held. While the number of attendees was down slightly from previous conferences as anticipated, the enthusiasm and intensity of the participants in looking to the future were both infectious and compelling. From the committee and council meetings, to the speakers, to the conference booth program — it was obvious that our members are not waiting for change but are making it happen themselves. The lively discussions in meetings and on the floor were so contagious and full of optimism that I doubt few left the conference not excited to get back to their businesses and share their confidence and enthusiasm for the next year.

I believe we are fortunate to be involved in an association of committed and dedicated individuals who are making a positive difference in our industry and in the economy every day. It goes without saying that we are living in interesting times and facing a plethora of challenges never before seen to occur at the same time. But, in spite of it all, we are moving ahead, reassessing our businesses and our markets, making changes where necessary and exhibiting the “resilience” that defines our industry.

As with our businesses, the association likewise faces many varied challenges. We must continually reassess our markets and our relevance, increase our inherent value to all members, provide appropriate and needed services, and keep our value and importance to the channel and economy in the forefront of government regulators and, above all, continue to perpetuate the wholesale distribution industry. No small tasks, to be sure. But I am confident that through my fellow officers, the Board of Directors, our Committees and Councils, our staff in Columbus and our valued members, we will continue to prevail as a “world-class” association.

As with any position of responsibility, input is critical. As we progress through the next 11 months, I encourage you to provide your input, concerns or recommendations for the association to me, the other officers, your regional director or the staff in Columbus. My phone number is 636/349-5560 and e-mail is cnardini@americanmetalssupply.com. Contact information for the others is available on the HARDI website at www.HARDInet.org. Click on “Regions” for your Regional Director and “Contact Us” to communicate with them.

Again, thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to an exciting and mutually productive year ahead.