Educational Distribution Symposium & Reception

Channel Management Strategies for Success

Tuesday, November 6, 1:30-6:00 PM

As the industry adapts to macroeconomic forces such as globalization, accelerating product life cycles, and a multi-channel marketplace, distributors must learn how to navigate the competitive waters. Join the Distributor Community for a discussion of challenges, partnerships, and opportunities facing the distribution channel.

Tom Brennan

    Moderator: Tom Brennan

    President of School Outfitters, EDmarket Chair of the Board


Welcome & Opening Remarks

1:30 PM


Tom Brennan will set the stage for the afternoon program with his observations on the future of distribution and how EDmarket can be a key resource for your future business success.


Mark Hubbard

    Presenter: Mark Hubbard

    President of Paragon Furniture, EDmarket Equipment Manufacturer Chair


Disruptive Forces Shaping the Distribution Landscape

1:45 PM - 2:30 PM


How are changes in distribution channels affecting the marketplace for educational furniture and equipment? This industry overview will explore how traditional channels of distribution are impacted by online purchasing, the shifting roles of purchasing decision makers, private label distributors, and new alternative channels. Mark Hubbard will share his views on shifting go-to-market strategies and how field sales reps can maintain their relevance and profitability.


2:30 - 2:45 PM Networking Break

Reimagining the Role of the Distributor

Panel Discussion of Channel Partners

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM


With the landscape defined, the attention will turn to building a mutually-advantageous partnership between the manufacturer and sales channel. Speakers will discuss the expectations of channel partners in supporting achievement of their growth and profit goals, and answer questions about managing the multiplicity of channels to deliver consistent service to your customers.


Mark Lewis

    Moderator: Mark Lewis

    President/CEO, United For Growth and Shiffler Equipment Sales, EDmarket Distribution Council Member

David Grunseit

    Panelist: David Grunseit

    Director and Owner, NorvaNivel

Sharad Mathur

    Panelist: Sharad Mathur

    VP New Markets, The HON Company


Mark Lewis

    Panelist: Larry Maddox

    Vice President of Sales, National and International Account, Virco

Scott Fischer

    Panelist: Scott Fischer

    Major Accounts Manager, National Business Furniture

3:45 - 4:00 PM Networking Break

Trends in School Purchasing

Panel Discussion of Procurement Officials

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM


The final segment of the Symposium will focus on the end-customer perspective on channel disruption and how it is affecting procurement habits, product delivery and customer engagement. A panel of school purchasing officials will discuss the bid process, vendor selection, digitization, reducing costs, and working with stakeholders to create a concurrent, collaborative procurement program.


Karen Volner

    Moderator: Karen Volner

    Nat'l Field Sls. Dir., Furniture, Staples Business Advantage, EDmarket Distribution Council Chair

Mickie Deitrich

    Panelist: Mickie Dietrich

    Director of Purchasing, Alvin ISD, Alvin, TX

Jean Personius

    Panelist: Jean Personius

    Purchasing Specialist, Eastern Carver County Schools, Chaska MN


Diana White

    Panelist: Diana White

    C.P.M., C.P.S.M., Senior Buyer, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL


Alex Belanger

    Panelist: Alex Belanger

    Alex Belanger, Assistant Superintendent Facilities Management and Planning, Fresno Unified School District, Fresno, CA


5:00 - 6:00 PM Networking Reception, sponsored by the EDmarket Distribution and Equipment Manufacturers Councils

Free to EDmarket members; $100 for all others. RSVP required at time of registration.