Registration opens Saturday, December 7th at 2:00 PM.
Closing festivities end Tuesday, December 10th at 10:00 PM.

Click here for a printable agenda.

Saturday, 12.7

2:00 PM

Registration Opens

3:00 – 5:00 PM

Women in HVACR Reception

Click here for details and to RVSP

4:30 – 5:15 PM

Conference Orientation

5:30 – 6:30 PM

Distributor Townhall
Supplier Townhall & Council Meeting

7:00 – 9:00 PM

Opening Reception

9:15 – 10:15 PM

Canadian Interests Reception
Emerging Leaders Reception (For Program Attendees)

Sunday, 12.8

7:30 – 9:30 AM (Program Starts at 8:00)

Breakfast & Opening Keynote: Talbot Gee

“State of the Channel, Vol. 1: Defining Channel of Choice”

HARDI CEO, Talbot Gee, will lead presentation of HARDI’s 2019 research on the HVACR channel and wholesale distribution’s drivers and threats as perceived by HVACR manufacturers and contractors. Dan Vida, HARDI’s Unitary Market Analyst, and others will discuss what we’ve learned thus far about the channel and all of its various segments, distributor performance within these segments, and what the research is telling us distributors should be focusing on in 2020 to grow their value in the eyes of their customers and suppliers.

9:45 – 10:45 AM

Senthil Gunasekaran & Pradip Krishnadevarajan “4 Quick Wins in Pricing Management”

Distributors will learn four proven, ROI-based pricing opportunities by connecting inventory-customer-supplier analytics. Attendees can quickly implement recommendations.

/ Distribution Best Practices

Ryan Avery “Go From A to THE: Stop Being A Leader. Start Being THE Leader”

Today’s world is competitive, innovative, and seriously fast-paced. When we are serious about growing our business, it is no longer acceptable to offer A product, A solution or even be A Leader. Today’s consumers, employees and followers want THE product, THE solution and THE leader to follow. When we want to eliminate our competition, set record sales, motivate others to action and produce solutions that actually matter, it’s time to go from A to THE. Ryan Avery is the right speaker to deliver these game-changing, life-magnifying strategies that allow audience members to step up to achieve next-level results.

/ Leadership

Brad Telker & Andy Armstrong “Panel Discussion: HVAC Creating Moats With Demand Creation for Commercial Products”

The challenges upon heating and air conditioning wholesalers going into 2020 are as diverse and unique as any in the history of HVAC distribution.  But yet, isn’t a challenge simply an opportunity in wolfs clothing?  In this session, we’ll explore how distributors can create demand for new commercial technologies to protect and enhance their business in this tumult of the 2020 competitive marketplace.


Sheet Metal Council Forum

This session will focus on the galvanized steel business and is open to anyone with an interest in steel. Discussions focus on mill operations, inventory strategies, marketing trends, etc.


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Weldon Long “Consistency Selling: How to Leverage Success Routines to Recruit New Dealers and Grow Existing Ones”

Consistent Sales and business results come from consistent sales activities. Random sales and business results come from random sales activities. It’s not rocket science. Generating powerful sales and business results is about managing your habits and routines to produce the results you desire. Learn about the RISC selling model to recruit new dealers and grow existing ones, powerful sales terminology and more.

 / Distribution Best Practices

Ryan Avery “Go From A to THE: Stop Being A Leader. Start Being THE Leader” (Repeat session)

Today’s world is competitive, innovative, and seriously fast-paced. When we are serious about growing our business, it is no longer acceptable to offer A product, A solution or even be A Leader. Today’s consumers, employees and followers want THE product, THE solution and THE leader to follow. When we want to eliminate our competition, set record sales, motivate others to action and produce solutions that actually matter, it’s time to go from A to THE. Ryan Avery is the right speaker to deliver these game-changing, life-magnifying strategies that allow audience members to step up to achieve next-level results.

/ Leadership

“The Future of Flammable Refrigerants & Impact on Distribution”

Experts from AHRI will join HARDI’s HVAC Residential and Refrigeration Councils to present a discussion on the current status and risks with flammable refrigerants, followed by a panel session discussing the industry’s current approach, questions and concerns.


“The Blurring of Lines in the Controls Industry” (Open to All Attendees)

The types of controls in the HVACR industry and the ways they go from manufacturer to end-users have experienced possibly the greatest amount of change and disruption that any other aspect of the HVACR industry.  HARDI spent much of 2019 studying HVACR controls and their distribution strategies and has uncovered a number of fascinating opportunities and threats to members of the traditional HVACR distribution channel.  This session will provide an overview of these research findings and introduce several ways HVACR distributors can and should adapt to these new paradigms.


12:15 – 1:45 PM

Lunch & Featured Speaker: Ken Gronbach

“Demography is Destiny”

What is the most important question to ask yourself in business?  The answer is: How many people are in my market, and is that market growing or shrinking?

Demographer, Futurist and Author Ken Gronbach makes clear how America’s Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and other countries’ age curves interact to create the opportunities and challenges of the world we live in today, and what the future will bring for people, profits and the planet.

2:00 – 2:30 PM

Paul Giudice “Where Should I Spend a Quarter”

Typical HARDI members have 25 cents of gross profit left after every dollar they sell. This session will discuss how to “invest” that quarter in light of an evolving and uncertain economic environment. In people? Space? Operations? How are peers investing that quarter? What can I learn from the DPD benchmarks powered by CoMetrics that will help my planning process for 2020?

 / Distribution Best Practices

Ryan Avery “How to Recruit and Retain the Next Generation of Leaders”

The clock is ticking. By 2025, more than 60% of your consumer and employee base will be people of a younger generation. What that means for us is that the time is now to ensure our team has the skills and strategies to effectively communicate, motivate, engage and sell our products, services, and business to this significant demographic. Ryan Avery dives right in and shares with audiences the top strategies pulled from his best-selling book, Motivating Millennials.

/ Leadership

Pam Krivda “Minimizing Risk Through Effective Management & Compliance”

Employee regulations are always changing, and it can be difficult to keep up to date and ensure your company stays in compliance.  We will explore several case studies designed around best practices for employee management and compliance.   These case studies will focus on some of the most significant issues faced by executive teams, Human Resources and people managers.

/ Policy, Risk & Compliance

Palmer Schoening & Alex Ayers “Policies That Matter to You”

HARDI’s government affairs staff will update you on the current status of proposed legislation and recently finalized regulations that will affect your business. Policy changes including the recently updated overtime rule for non-exempt salaried employees, legislation to increase workplace flexibility for employees, attract new commercial truck drivers to the industry, and an overview of how the political landscape impacts the legislative process.

/ Policy, Risk & Compliance

Michael Copp “Voice of the Customer (or more specifically Potential Customers): The Increasingly Blurring Line Between Plumbing and HVAC Contractors?”

As part of HARDI’s “Voice of the Customer” initiative, we’ve partnered with PHCC to better understand the plumbing contractor’s impact on HVACR sales today, and more importantly, in the future.  PHCC National’s Executive Vice President, Michael Copp, will review research PHCC has done on the amount of HVACR work the plumbing contractor community is doing today, and what they most need from the wholesaler community to continue to grow their HVACR sales.  This session will explore whether this may be the fastest-growing segment of the HVACR market and what unique needs and drivers HVACR wholesalers need to know if they are to take advantage of this opportunity.

/ Contractor Insights

2:00 – 5:00 PM

Emerging Leaders Program with Bart Foster

This invite-only session is designed to inspire, motivate and give you tools, techniques and experiences that you can use to improve your career, your company, and your life.  The session will be heavily focused on the key topic of Strategic Planning.  The format will feature hands-on ideation, where we will discuss and debate the “inevitable changes” affecting our industry and discuss your Personal Values.  The highlight of the session will be the How I Built This component, modeled after the now famous podcast by Guy Raz of NPR.  By the end of the session, you will have explored some of the victories and pitfalls of Strategic Planning from the mentors who have been there, done that and collect some key takeaways that you will be able to implement in your short and long term plans for your businesses and beyond.

The session is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insights — told by the founders of some of the most respected companies in our industry. Serial entrepreneur and host Bart Foster will speak with change-makers and risk-takers, who tell stories about hustling, perseverance and the sheer joy of creating something from nothing.

3:00 – 3:30 PM

Paul Giudice “Best of the Best – What it Takes to be a Top Performer”

Were you a Top Performer in 2018? What about 2017? 17% of HARDI members were able to sustain their Top Performer status in both 2017 and 2018. Using DPD powered by CoMetrics we will investigate what it takes to be a Top Performer and stay at the top.

 / Distribution Best Practices

Steve Yurek “Voice of the OEMs: What HVACRs Leading Manufacturers Believe are the Keys to Remaining the Channel of Choice”

AHRI and HARDI have partnered for the first time this year for what will hopefully be an annual “Voice of the OEMs” survey as part of HARDI’s Voice of the Supplier focus. Equipment manufacturer sales represent the majority of HVACR channel sales in terms of dollars, and the majority of those sales access the market through some form of wholesale distribution. However, opportunities remain for better alignment, efficiency, and ultimately growth and profit between these OEMs and their respective distributor channels so we’ve asked these leading manufacturers to collect and aggregate their views on wholesale distribution’s keys to remaining and growing their position as the equipment channel of choice. AHRI President and CEO, Stephen Yurek, will be presenting the results of these surveys for each distributor to use to optimize their own OEM relationships.

 / Market Insights

Pam Krivda “Legal Ins and Outs of Background Checking, Drug Testing and Marijuana Laws”

We will discuss the how and when of “legal” background checking, drug testing and marijuana laws, including state-specific information for all 50 states and best practices.  

/ Policy, Risk & Compliance

“Giving Back with HFOT: Benefits for your Company’s Culture”

HFOT will give a very brief overview of their history and the partnership with us, how the build donation process works, and other ways to get involved (like fundraising). Then have a couple of past donors speak on and discuss their experiences with getting involved in HFOT and how this has been beneficial to their company’s atmosphere. There is also a veteran going to the conference, so we are thinking have he/she at the session. That way members can also get exposure to the other end of the donation and how the veteran’s life has changed.

/ Get Involved

3:00 – 4:05 PM

Manufacturer Rep Council: Dan Beederman “Putting Success in Succession Planning for Sales Representatives”

Join attorney Daniel E. Beederman as he delves into the key elements for succession planning for sales representatives from both the Seller’s and Buyer’s perspectives, including how to value an agency, various ways to structure the deal, tax considerations, and necessary terms.  Mr. Beederman has over 35 years of experience in counseling independent sales representatives in legal and business matters unique to their profession, including succession planning.

3:45 – 4:05 PM

Jon Hirsch “Sharing the ‘HVAC Careers Story’ with the Next Generation”

With 3.7% unemployment, it’s a crowded recruiting field.  Our approach has been all about creating awareness of our somewhat unknown profession and the tremendous and diverse career opportunities we offer. We’re treating recruiting as a “new top line”.  Contrary to some beliefs, high schools technical education departments love our HVAC careers story!  Getting involved with your local technical college also pays great recruiting dividends! Join Jon Hirsch from Auer Steel & Heating Supply Co. as he shares how thy have been successful.

 / Industry Case Study

Bruce Matulich “Voice of the Customer: Building Dealer Loyalty and Growing High Efficiency Sales, Presented by the Electric & Gas Industries Association”

Your customers are looking for a partner who can help them build a successful company, not just procure the cheapest prices. The key for distributors in sustaining loyal customers is building smart and successful dealers that look to you as a valued partner in growing their profitable company. Attendees will learn how the EGIA partners with dealers on step-by-step best practices, proven to build your business and theirs.

 / Contractor Insights

Dan Vida “Insights from the HARDI’s Unitary Report: The Furnace Market and the New FER Standard”

On July 3, 2019, the FER went into effect for all residential furnaces, which puts a cap on power for furnace fans that scales with the volume of air that is moved. This session will take a national and regional look at the current furnace market to highlight where the largest changes to sold products are likely to occur and other implications related to the standard.

/ Market Insights

Ryan Francis “Help Design the HARDI Information Experience”

In this session you can participate in a focus group regarding the HARDI mobile/user experience. Expert User Experience Designer Ryan Francis from LaunchPad Labs will lead you through exercises intended to impact our future technology vision. How would you prefer to access the information HARDI has to offer? Spend 20 minutes making an impact on members’ future experience!

/ Get Involved

Monday, 12.9

7:30 – 9:30 AM (Program Starts at 8:00)

Breakfast & Featured Speaker: Dustin Garis

“Humanizing the Customer Experience”

There’s a shift taking place — leadership brands (from Coke to Mr. Clean) have stopped talking about their brand, to now focus on experiences that get people to live their brand. This represents the single largest white-space opportunity for brands to grow: real life. Taking your brand off the shelf and out of media, to authentically enrich people’s life experiences, generates the highest level of loyalty, advocacy, and sales (with a game-changing 95% lift).

9:45 – 10:45 AM

“How May I Serve U: A Panel on Service Solutions That Help You Listen, Respond and Accommodate”

Service solutions which help you to listen, be more responsive and accommodate your customer better.

Each panel guest will speak on a service that they have implemented which supports and intensifies their ability to reach out and service their customer more effectively. The moderator will attempt to excavate each person’s experience and knowledge, drawing out the latent qualities which lead to future successes and usefulness. Acting as a catalyst the moderator will challenge the panel members to interact with each other so as to produce a collective thought which the audience can take away.

 / Distribution Best Practices

Dan Vida “HARDI’s State of the Channel: A Deeper Look”

In this session, HARDI’s Market Intelligence team will take a deeper dive into some of the state of the channel research discussed at Sunday’s keynote breakfast.

/ Market Insights

Jim Crocker “Why the Most Successful Companies All Have Boards of Directors”

This session will examine the role of the Board of Directors, why it’s important, the five elements of an effective Board including composition, information, leadership, process and culture, and how to improve the effectiveness of your Board by looking at the biggest lessons from external Board evaluations.

/ Distribution Best Practices

Barton James & ACCA Board “Voice of the Customer: Optimizing Distributor Sales Efforts”

As part of HARDI’s “Voice of the Customer” initiative, we’ve partnered with ACCA to better understand the needs of HVAC contractors when it comes to their distributors’ inside and outside sales efforts. ACCA’s President & CEO, Barton James, will lead a panel discussion with prominent HVAC contractors regarding the unique needs and drivers of HVAC contractors and how their wholesale partners can equip their sales staff to serve this market.

/ Contractor Insights

Former Presidents Advisory Committee (Closed)

11:15 – 11:45 AM

Senthil Gunasekaran & Pradip Krishnadevarajan  “Contractor Value Builder”

Attendees learn from a real-world example of how a distributor reinvented their value proposition by translating their capabilities to customer business outcomes. This distributor helped its sales force communicate in terms of their contractor’s financial performance and 3 core metrics (job quality, on-time and under-budget). The goal is to go beyond line cards and brochures to customer success. Are you ready to help your core contractors?

 / Contractor Insights

Eric Knaak “HVACR Education, Developing an Industry Leading Training Program”

Many of us in the HVACR industry struggle with developing, sustaining and supporting an effective education and training program. Join Eric Knaak, Executive Vice President with Isaac Heating & Air Conditioning in Rochester New York and current chairman of ACCA as he shares Isaac Heating’s story from the first day, almost twenty years ago to what the program has become today.

/ Industry Case Study

Jim Barnes “Centralize or Decentralize your DC Network, that is the question?”

Learn in this 30-minute session the advantages or disadvantages of a centralized or decentralized supply chain network. Jim Barnes (CEO) of enVista has designed Global Supply Chain Networks for a number of Fortune 500 companies. Understanding the key to a centralized or decentralized network is based upon demand variability and the SLAs that your customers require. Optimizing your network is fundamental in competing and winning. Key Takeaways include: The impact on Demand Variability, Why time is your biggest asset or your enemy, Why understanding the life cycle of your SKUs behaviors, Leveraging your inventory to work for you to improve service, Why S&OP is a must for your organization

/ Distribution Best Practices

Ryan Francis “Help Design the HARDI Information Experience”

In this session you can participate in a focus group regarding the HARDI mobile/user experience. Expert User Experience Designer Ryan Francis from LaunchPad Labs will lead you through exercises intended to impact our future technology vision. How would you prefer to access the information HARDI has to offer? Spend 20 minutes making an impact on members’ future experience!

/ Get Involved

12:00 – 1:30 PM

Lunch & Featured Speaker: Alan Beaulieu

“The Economic Forecast”

One of the country’s most informed economists, Dr. Alan Beaulieu is a principal at ITR Economics where he serves as President. Since 1990, he has been consulting with companies throughout the US, Europe, and Asia on how to forecast, plan, and increase their profits based on business cycle trend analysis. Alan is also the Senior Economic Advisor to numerous domestic and international trade associations.

1:45 – 4:45 PM

Conference Booth Program

Tuesday, 12.10

7:30 – 9:30 AM (Program Starts at 8:00)

Breakfast & Featured Speakers: Political Experts

“All’s Fair in Love, War & Politics”

This dynamic political expert duo gives the audience an enlightening and entertaining look at today’s most important political issues, the policies of the Trump Administration, and a behind-the-scenes look at politics inside Washington. They combine their unique experiences to provide audiences with a stimulating, candid, and provocative conversation from both sides of the political aisle.

9:45 – 10:30 AM

Jim Crocker “Strategic Planning and the Board of Directors”

In this session we will focus on why a strategic plan is critical for good governance, the Board’s role in developing the Strategic Plan, how the Board ensures oversight of the strategic plan and how it improves strategic plan effectiveness using lessons learned from other organizations.

 / Distribution Best Practices

Steve Yastrow “Ditch the Pitch: Turn Every Sales Presentation into a Conversation That Matters to Your Customers”

Who wants to listen to a sales pitch? Nobody, especially not your customers! If you want to persuade customers to buy something from you, or just to take your advice, it’s important to “Ditch the Pitch” and create engaging conversations with your customers. Learn how to personalize each customer interaction by creating a conversation that really matters to your customer, how to communicate your value proposition and recognize the difference between “relationship-building encounters” and “relationship-eroding encounters.”

/ Distribution Best Practices

Panel Discussion “Decarbonization and the Impact on the Residential HVAC Market

This session will explore SEER2 and AFUE2, current/future OEM refrigerants, decarbonization and hybrid system impact/trends.

/ Policy, Risk & Compliance

10:45 – 11:15 AM

Greg Manns “Competitive Compensation”

With the U.S. economy near a state of full employment, how does a firm ensure their compensation levels are remaining competitive?  We will provide the steps and resources for evaluating the competitiveness of your compensation levels in attracting/retaining employees. 

 / Market Insights

Brad Dumbauld “You Know You Need Cyber Security Insurance. Now Learn How to Buy It!”

Cyber insurance products vary widely from one insurance carrier to another. Learn what distributors need to have in their Cyber coverage for them to be the most cyber-breach resilient possible and minimize recovery time.

/ Policy, Risk and Compliance

Mike McDonnell “The Future Opportunities in Hydronics”

This session will explore trends in the hydronics market, including the drive towards higher efficiency, current inefficiencies and how to apply new products, a look at the new residential standards, and what’s coming next.


Ryan Kohler “HR Won’t Fix your Hiring Issues…But YOU Can”

Distributors all across the country are struggling to find enough qualified applicants to hire the teams they need to help their organizations succeed.  Whether it’s counter staff, delivery drivers, salespeople, or even management. Their HR team says they are doing the same things they’ve always done… and that they simply aren’t getting as many qualified applicants as they used to… but what if that’s exactly the problem?  What if the hiring strategies that worked in the past are no longer effective in today’s competitive economy?  This session will provide you with a different way of looking at hiring, and a rapid action plan that’s been proven to increase your qualified applicant flow in the next 30 days.

/ Distribution Best Practices

11:30 – 11:50 AM

Steve Yastrow “Brand Harmony: Customer Experiences that Create Customer Commitment”

Today’s savvy customers are skeptical about the marketing promises companies make. If you want your customers to believe your marketing messages, it’s important that every aspect of your customer experience supports those promises. This is called “brand Harmony,” and it happened when all interactions customers have with your company blend to tell one clear, integrated, compelling story. This requires every employee in your company to play a role in living your brand and contributing to the compelling customer experience.

 / Distribution Best Practices

Andrew Larson “Create a plan to recruit talent from your local 4-Year University”

A Case study on the formation of the Larson Building Systems Laboratory at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  The lab was founded with a mission to provide research opportunities in HVAC/R to students at the College of Engineering.  Gustave A. Larson Company, over the past 25 years has donated over $1 million towards student scholarships and lab endowment funds.  This has created a side benefit of recruiting opportunities for industry and created research opportunities for manufacturers. Learn not only about the Larson lab, but also how you can foster a partnership and integrate HVAC/R with your local 4-year institution.

/ Industry Case Study

Toby Swope “How’s your data governance going?”

Big Data. Predictive Analytics. AI.  There’s a lot of promise about what you can do with your data.  The possibilities are endless! But let’s hold up one minute. As an organization dealing with sensitive data, you need to know who is using your data and for what purpose.  So before you dive into the possibilities, it’s time to establish or update your data governance policy and make sure your confidential information stays confidential, and your risk is minimized.  In this session, Toby Swope from D+R International will give a strategic overview for why you need a policy, review the basic steps of setting up and updating your data governance policy, and highlight key considerations to consider.

/ Policy, Risk and Compliance

Ryan Kohler “Increase Dealer Purchases by Helping Them Hire Better”

We spend so much time, energy, and money trying to market our products and supplies to our dealer channel. We reduce prices, we find new suppliers, we run specials, and even push our sales team but it just doesn’t seem to be moving the needle. What if the issue isn’t that our dealer don’t want to buy more from us, but that they can’t because their businesses are simply struggling to grow because of their inability to hire the people they need to meet the market demand in their area. This session will layout an innovative long term strategy to drive the revenue from your dealer channel by providing them with education and resources to help them better hire the dispatchers, salespeople, and technicians they need to successfully grow their businesses. We will show you a proven strategy, with real case study data, of HVAC contractors who are winning at business by adjusting the way they approach hiring, and how you can take an active role in their success by providing education & tools to them as their trusted partner.

/ Value Added Distribution

11:30 AM – 12:25 PM

Dan Foley “Hydronics – Connecting New Technology with Old Systems”


12:05 – 12:25 PM

Greg Manns “Recruiting/Retention: Do You Have the Total Package?”

Job openings, turnover, and quit rates are near all-time highs, so it’s imperative that you are doing something to attract and retain employees.  While compensation alone is a key factor, it is not the only factor for an employee to accept a job offer or to remain an employee.  An organization’s overall compensation package, including pay, health care benefits, retirement and savings benefits, vacation and paid time off, incentives, work environment, and others all play a role.  In this session, we’ll utilize results from HARDI’s Cross-Industry Compensation Study to determine the trends in compensation packages to recruit/retain employees.

 / Market Insights

Sara Kemme “EPA Update on Refrigerant Regulations”

Sara Kemme from the 608 Refrigerant Management Team within EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division will present the latest on regulations for refrigerants.

/ Policy, Risk & Compliance

Paul Selking “George Jetson, Astro and Augmented Reality”

We no longer need Astro to bring us the newspaper, as it is delivered right to our smart phone in realtime, but we still need George Jetson and all his high tech tools to install and service the equipment we sell to contractors.  Come learn what Augmented Reality(AR) is, how it has already transformed other industries and potential uses for this technology in the HVACR world.  This session will also give attendees a chance to see a demo of a working HVAC related AR app.

/ Industry Case Study

Nick Benton & Syretta Williams “How Are Your Branches Performing?”

In this session, Nick Benton and Syretta Williams will discuss historical KPIs from HARDI’s Branch Manager Certification Program, and provide an overview of how this training program can help your branch managers become more profitable.

/ Get Involved

12:45 – 2:15 PM

Lunch & Closing Keynote: Vinh Giang

“The Psychology of Illusion”

Magic is much more than sleight of hand. It’s the ability to guide perspective, spotlight influence, and challenge belief systems. With humor, heart, and captivating showmanship, Vinh Giang transforms these three powerful components and shares how creating and cultivating the RIGHT influence in our lives can make the difference between tremendous success or limited mediocrity. What we know in this world is that everything that once seemed impossible can be reimagined and overcome. It takes suspending old belief systems. Unlocking mindsets. Innovating. Deliberate and definitive action. And yes, even a little magic.

6:00 – 10:00 PM

Closing Reception & Festivities