Two days following the HARDI Annual Conference, I woke up at home thinking of inspiration. The speakers at the event last month are what you would expect: inspiring, educational, interesting, and they all lent some fresh perspective while hopefully fired up our mental engines.
I had a subtle yet red-faced moment recently. (I was red on the inside.) I was in a marketing meeting with a client that included staff and two outside consultants. One was Ken Smith (www.smithmedia.com), who handles the video responsibilities of the client’s work. I attended because I was responsible for the client's editorial content and public relations efforts.
With the weather starting to warm up, two things are becoming very evident:
First, I just retired from competitive cycling, and missing out on the races in this beautiful weather really stings (but don’t feel bad for me, feel bad for my bike -- I had to take it out back and shoot it).
When I took over this magazine, I was fortunate enough to receive some laudatory comments about my arrival. Note, the comments came from others, and now that we’re approaching my second-year anniversary, I hope they feel the same way.
For the misguided readers who tell me that you actually read my columns, it’s probably occurred to you that I find behavioral economics fascinating. Had this discipline existed when I was an undergraduate, I conceivably could have gone in a different direction. (For those who read the Freakonomics Fellows or Malcolm Gladwell’s books, you understand.)
First and foremost, let me tell you what an honor it is to serve as your HARDI president. I have watched for years as men have taken on this esteemed role with pride and I am now lucky enough to share that privilege. Like so many of you, I come from an established family business and I am particularly proud to give back to the industry that has been such a focal point of Meier Supply and my family’s history.
You’re reading this magazine sometime in mid-January. The afterglow of the HARDI conference, while hopefully not gone, is probably losing some of its luster. And the urgency to plan ahead for future HARDI conferences hasn’t struck home yet. You’re wading in that in-between crevice — one side relaxed, the other mulling over the planning mode you will eventually need to ignite.
Back in January, I made a commitment to HARDI members to make real progress moving beyond the traditional frictions that can occur between distributors and manufacturers – to help manufacturers grow through their wholesale distribution partners as opposed to other channels.