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AD members gathered at the 2022 AD Finance, HR & IT Summit from June 6 to 8 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix hotel to attend educational sessions and share best practices with fellow finance, HR and IT leaders in independent distribution. AD welcomed over 200 attendees from 110 companies across all AD industries in the U.S. and Canada to the summit.
This year’s event achieved record-breaking in-person attendance for the summit, which extends the value of AD networking and collaboration to multiple areas of expertise within AD member companies.
Keynote speaker Angie Morgan, a New York Times best-selling author and former Marine Corps officer, kicked off the summit with a presentation about how effective leadership can cultivate sparks of innovation and motivate, inspire, and engage a team. During her presentation, Morgan commented that employees feel more engaged when they can understand the connection between what they’re doing and the broader organizational goal, challenging business leaders in the audience to ask themselves “how often is your vision for your business front and center for your employees?”
Attendees participated in multiple breakout sessions across finance, HR and IT. AD gathered feedback and ideas from members before the summit to create an agenda that covered the current trends and challenges facing independent distributors.
Finance breakout sessions featured industry experts covering current topics relevant to industrial distributors, including the impact of inflation, warehouse automation and rebate reporting.
“Recent years have been unpredictable from a financial standpoint for all of us,” said Drew Moyer, chief financial officer at AD. “The summit adds value for our members by giving them context for their current position in the industry, and they hear from other members and gain advice to help them make well-informed decisions for their businesses.”
The HR breakout sessions covered employee mental health and well being, talent recruitment and retention, leadership development and employee engagement, among other topics.
“This year’s summit was really special,” said Neil Cohen, senior vice president of HR at AD. “It’s so beneficial for our members to talk through their challenges and share strategies that work or might need some improvement. The expertise across disciplines that everyone brings to the meeting creates opportunities to learn about new ways to address topics that are likely affecting every company one way or another.”
IT sessions included presentations from thought leaders that addressed the current cybersecurity landscape, data-informed decision making and digital transformation.
“This was the first year IT attendees were in person at the summit, and the topical sessions drew a ton of interest,” said Dan Koch, vice president of IT for AD. “Digital transformation is always a major talking point, and educational opportunities discussing cyber security and how to help drive growth by leveraging artificial intelligence and data analytics have never been more compelling. I hope our members left with some action-oriented takeaways to improve and grow their operations.”
Members also had opportunities to attend information sessions hosted by curated and vetted AD service providers and form new business relationships.
Based on the overwhelmingly positive response recent summits have received from attendees, AD plans to host another Finance, HR & IT Summit next year.