Educational Distribution Symposium & Reception

Welcome/Opening Remarks

 Tuesday October 24, 2017    1:00 PM

Moderator: Tom Brennan

President, School Outfitters; EDmarket Chairman of the Board

    Speaker: James Johnson

    Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Virco

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • 1:15 PM - 2:00 PM

General Session: The Challenging and Changing Education Industry

New competitive pressures and new sales and marketing tools are putting at risk former and traditional postures to grow a profitable business in today's changing climate. Decentralized purchasing, changing demographics, earlier (more aligned across the country) school start dates, on-line procurement, and cooperative and state purchasing contracts are all factors in this evolving market that are putting pressure on local business entities. Additionally, with furniture being one of the fastest growing on-line sales categories at +20%, the education furniture market is attracting very large and formidable competitors that are compressing the already slim margins as they seek to grow rapidly.

2:00 - 2:30 PM Networking Refreshment Break, sponsored by the EDmarket Distribution Council

    Speaker: Mark C. Lewis

    President/CEO Shiffler Equipment Sales, Inc. and President of MCL Equities, LLC

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

    Moderator: Mark Hubbard

    Paragon Furniture

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Two Concurrent Sessions:

1) What Are Your Short– and Long–Term Game Plans for Your Dealership?

There are unprecedented challenges facing dealer/distribution companies in the education market. As the industry is highly fragmented and struggles to understand and adapt to macroeconomic forces such as globalization, accelerating product life cycles, and multiplying sales channels, dealers are continually challenged to learn how to navigate the competitive waters. Attendees will learn about competitive landscape, product and customer profitability/diversification, product portfolio and lifecycles. Every revenue stream counts, from installation services to logistics — discover how to benchmark your operational performance to achieve growth. Mark Lewis will also review how to determine what this asset is worth, including your shareholder value. He will discuss the importance of a Strategic Plan and what resources you need to execute short-term and long-term. By being well versed in your income statement and balance sheet, you can accurately measure your financial health and be able to value your business and prepare it for an acquisition partner.

2) Connecting and Competing in Today’s Education Market

For Sales Managers/Sales Professionals

Build your account relationships to provide the value–added services that Architects, Designers, Construction Managers, and School Superintendents expect to get from you. Discussions will take place regarding the competitive landscape, how to best deliver value–added services, competing against national cooperative contracts and building long term relationships. The panel will share ideas on how to manage your product portfolio, encourage customer profitability, and gain and keep your sales staff’s product knowledge current.


Jeff Schreiner

VP of Sales/Marketing, Palmer Hamilton

Jonathan Vogelsang

Director of Educational and Industrial Sales, MooreCo

Laurie Uherek
Laurie Uherek

Business Development Executive for Advantage By Design

Mark Waldecker

K-12 Dealer Manager, KI

3:15 - 3:45 PM Networking Refreshment Break, sponsored by the EDmarket Distribution Council

    Moderator: Doug Jehle

    President/CEO, Frost-Barber, Inc.

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017
  • 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM

General Session: Interacting with Architects and Designers

Foundations for success in today’s marketplace are built upon the ability to initiate and maintain relationships over time. Nurturing connections opens doors at optimal times during specification and buying cycles. Hear from an expert panel of architects specializing in education needs about what they seek from distributors and vendors. Gain insights about positioning your firm as a resource for the design community to create and furnish the best spaces for learning.


Gregory Cooney

Frank Cooney Company

Karen Volner

Staples Business Advantage

Peggy Hoffmann

FGM Architects

Lennie Scott-Webber

INSYNC: Education Research + Design

Jeff Beadle

Martin Public Seating

4:30 - 5:30 PM Cocktail Reception, sponsored by the EDmarket Distribution Council

Thanks to our generous sponsor: