*Agenda is tentative and subject to change


 *Agenda is tentative and subject to change

December 4-7, 2021 | Palm Desert, CA

Registration Hours:

Saturday: 2PM – 9PM
Sunday: 7AM – 5PM
Monday: 7AM – 5PM
Tuesday: 7AM – 5PM

Day 1: Sunday December 5th

Catalysts: The Forces Igniting Motion

Topics covered:
  • Industry M&A
  • Regulations: ’23 regional standards, electrification
  • Customer’s evolving needs (VOC)
  • And more!

Day 2: Monday December 6th

Friction: The Forces Slowing Progress

Topics covered:
  • Workforce Shortage
  • Business Issues: Taxation, Succession, HR
  • Supply Chain Disruption
  • And more!

Day 3: Tuesday December 7th

Accelerants: The Forces Enabling Quick Industry Response

Topics covered:
  • Technology: Digitization, e-commerce
  • Leadership
  • Company Culture
  • And more!


December 4th

12:00 – 4:00 pm

Golf Outing

Desert Springs Golf Club

$175 with proceeds benefitting Homes for Our Troops.

2:00 – 4:00 pm

Women in HVACR Session: Know the Who in your Value

Sarah Sagredo-Hammond

The Women in HVACR organizations hosts an educational session for all interested attendees to join. More session information will be available soon.

RVSP here.

4:30 – 5:15 pm

First-Timer Orientation

5:30 – 6:30 pm


Suppliers Only – Get together to discuss industry topics that directly relate to Suppliers

5:30 – 6:30 pm


Distributors Only – Get together to discuss the HVACR industry with your distributor peers

7:00 – 9:00 pm

Opening Reception (OUTDOOR RECEPTION)

Your chance to connect and mingle with other event attendees over appetizers, drinks, and entertainment. Sponsored by Goodman.

9:15 – 10:15 pm


Emerging Leaders Happy Hour

*RSVP required. RSVP here.


December 5th

7:00 am – 5:00 pm

Solutions Center

The Solution Center is an opportunity for distributors to connect and learn what service vendors and marketing groups of the association offer. Exhibitors will demonstrate new technologies, techniques and process improvements for customers to manage and grow their businesses.

7:30 – 9:30 am

Breakfast & Opening Keynote:

Lisa Bodell

The Great Reset
Embracing a Constraint Mindset: The best innovation comes from times of change and resource constraint. Let these instances fuel success with 5 easy methods for fast change. Learn how to:
  • Use micro thinking
  • Turn problems into possibilities
  • Become agile with wild card scenarios

9:45 – 10:45 am

Voice of Contractor

TJ O’Connor

2019 and 2020 evolved in radically different ways, with the years sharing little in common aside from both having 365 days and marking another successful trip around the Sun. Yet despite the massive differences between these two years, HVAC/R contractors affirmed in both 2019 and 2020 that product availability and price are the most important variables they consider when evaluating the performance of a distributor. So how did wholesale distributors perform in these areas in 2021, and have contractor preferences started to evolve after a second full year of Covid-driven disruptions? For answers to these questions and more join us in our Voice of Contractor session, where Farmington Consulting’s TJ O’Connor will discuss the results of HARDI’s 3rd Annual Voice of Contractor survey.

Pricing Pitfalls


With ever-increasing SKU count and customer list, pricing has become more complex amidst a growing e-commerce presence. But the fundamentals remain the same. Attendees will learn the quick checklist of pricing implementation based on distributor-focused research.

Heating, Cooling, and the Greening of the American Economy

Modereated by Dan Vida

Surging private investment in green assets and bipartisan Congressional action to combat climate change underscores one immutable fact: there is no end in sight for the greening of the American economy. The HVACR industry stands at the center of nearly every public discussion on building decarbonization and grid electrification, and future investments, incentives, and regulations will continue to drive the industry in a greener direction. So, what changes can you expect over the next 5 to 10 years, and how can you prepare your business to meet these changes? In this session our moderator led panel will discuss the various ways climate change mitigation and adaptation will impact the HVAC/R industry, from evolving consumer demand to future state and federal regulations. 

11:00 am – 11:45 pm

New refrigerants and new equipment: How will low-GWP refrigerants change HVACR equipment?

Moderated by Phillip Martin, Chair of HVACR Residential Council
The HVACR industry is preparing to transition to a new generation of refrigerants, some of which will include A2L lower flammability gases. These new refrigerants will bring changes to air-conditioning, VRF, and refrigeration equipment. Learn about what changes will be required in equipment using A2Ls and how low-GWP refrigerants will impact the operation of the products you sell.


Voice of Technician

Scott Pierson

There are countless factors influencing whether a business will find success, but in the long run what matters most is knowing what a customer wants. Learning what your customers want would seem to be a straightforward process, but only if you truly know who those customers are. In HVAC/R distribution, much attention is given to the contractor because we assume they make final purchase decisions. However, while the contractor pays the bills, the service tech regularly influences where those dollars go. So, how do the preferences of contractors and techs differ, and how can distributors optimize their sales strategies to meet the needs of both? In this session we’ll dive into the results of our Voice of Technician survey and highlight the differences (and similarities) between contractor and service technician preferences.

Under the Microscope: A Panel Analysis on Distributor M&A Activity & What it Means For You

Moderated by Talbot Gee, HARDI

The HVACR industry has experienced escalating levels of M&A activity over the past few years, and our distributor members are just as busy consolidating as our supplier and contractor friends. Join HARDI CEO Talbot Gee as he has some frank and informative discussions with key personas facilitating and participating in this trend.


Sheet Metal Council

11:45 am – 1:30 pm

Lunch & Featured Speaker:

Anirban Basu

Anirban Basu and the Chamber of Data

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Is it an oncoming train? This presentation supplies economic data and analysis juxtaposing the pre-pandemic and pandemic world, and then supplies a forecast for the post-pandemic one. Among the areas of focus are labor markets, financial markets, real estate, construction, consumer spending, business investment, international trade and government finances.

    1:45 – 2:30 pm

    2023 Regional Standards Transition: Are you prepared?

    Moderated by Vance Stillman, Chair of RNC Sub Council

    The HVAC industry is preparing for new energy efficiently requirements for residential air-conditioning equipment. This transition will include the dreaded install date compliance deadline. Learn about strategies to prepare for this transition and more in this session.

    The Evolving Landscape of Contractor Consolidation

    Moderated by Mike Murphy, ACHR NEWS Magazine

    In this session, the ACHR NEWS’s Mike Murphy will moderate a panel comprised of players active in the consolidation of HVACR service companies. Learn what drives the consolidation, why the pace of activities is increasing, and how these new, larger companies are viewing purchasing and the role of the supplier.

    Voice of Supplier

    Moderated by Brandin Bursa, HARDI

    Satisfying customer demand in the Covid economy requires many things, but maintaining agile supply chains, efficient production practices, and inventory transparency rank near the top of this list. HVAC/R product manufacturers, in spite of the enormous challenges created by the Covid economy, have managed to produce equipment and components in record numbers in large part because of their ability to maintain production efficiencies and adapt to evolving supply constraints. But to what extent is inventory transparency helping manufacturers anticipate distributor demand, and should distributors consider closer ties with their most essential vendors in the future? Join us in our Voice of Supplier session as we discuss the ways in which manufacturers have adapted to the Covid-landscape, the future of distributor/supplier relations, and the key findings from our 3rd Annual Voice of Supplier survey.

    2:45 – 3:15 pm

    Dispelling myths about A2L safety and preparing training for the refrigerant transition

    Moderated by Alex Ayers, HARDI

    The next generation of refrigerants will have new safety considerations that are often misunderstood. This session is designed to bring light to the issue for contractors and distributors and learn about the new refrigerants and future training of contractors to install A2L equipment.

    2021 in Review – An Update on Industry Benchmarks

    Tim Fisher

    Consumer demand for HVAC/R products in 2021 continued – and exceeded – the torrid pace it established in 2020, with distributor sales up 17% through the 12 months ending July 2021. However, with manufacturers and contractors also experiencing record-breaking sales figures, many of us are doubtlessly wondering whether HARDI distributors gained or lost market share in 2021. In this session we’ll review HARDI’s latest market size and share estimates and begin unpacking the real performance of the HVAC/R industry and channels in 2021.

    Talent Attraction in the Age of Covid

    Julia Pollak

    Throughout much of 2021, the number of job openings in the U.S. has dramatically outpaced the number of people hired in each month – rare for a period with unemployment hovering near 6 percent. Numerous possible factors could explain the disconnect between hiring managers and sidelined workers, including enhanced unemployment benefits, Covid-induced childcare constraints, and a generalized fear of the virus. With Covid-19 and its variants likely to remain a fixture of our lives for the foreseeable future, what can distributors and manufacturers do to find and retain quality talent? Join us in this session as Julia Pollak, Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter, discusses the future direction of the job market, and the steps HARDI members can take to appeal to a changing workforce.

    3:30 – 4:00 pm

    What’s Driving Demand in Commercial Refrigeration?

    Tim Fisher, Keri Eason

    HARDI embarked on a detailed investigation of the commercial refrigeration channel in 2021. Our goal in pursuing this research was to identify the main factors driving end-user purchase decisions, how contractor businesses respond to end-user needs, and what wholesalers and manufacturers can do to support their customers. In this session we review the major findings of our research and offer recommendations to distributors and manufacturers on ways they can support their customers and improve their market share.

    Updating Codes and Standards for A2L transition

    Moderated by Alex Ayers

    A2L refrigerants will require updates to codes and standards that affect distributor warehouses and new air-conditioning equipment. This session will cover the code process changes and update you on where these changes are in the process.

    Business Owners’ Guide to the Current HVAC M&A Market

    Quinn Carlson

    We will break down the current M&A market, who are the buyers, what are they looking for, and what to expect from them. We will also discuss some key best practices that drive value for shareholders. This session will be both informative and interactive with Q&A throughout.

    4:00 – 5:00 pm

    Solutions Center Happy Hour

    Grab a drink and meet with industry vendors and partners to learn more about the solutions they offer you and your business.

    4:15 – 4:45 pm

    PAC Town Hall

    Palmer Schoening
    Want to know more about what is going on in the halls of Congress and the White House? Come ask questions to HARDI’s resident political nerds Palmer Schoening and Alex Ayers.

    Market Intelligence Exclusive: 2022 Regional Outlooks

    Western Region

    *State of Channel purchase required to attend. Purchase here.

    Covid-19 has affected traditional HVAC/R demand patterns in unusual ways, and the future trajectory of residential and commercial markets are uncertain. Will residential replacement rates remain high in 2022, or has record-breaking demand simply pulled-forward future sales? Will the commercial market rebound as the Covid threat wanes, or are we already living in the new normal? For answers to these questions and more, join the HARDI Market Intelligence team as we take a tour of regional HVAC/R markets and offer our outlooks for residential and commercial demand in 2022.

    5:00 – 6:30 pm

    Mexico Welcome Reception

    *Mexico Conference registrants only


    Hospitality Suites

    Various Suppliers and vendors hold various hospitality events. Events are invite-only.


    December 6th

    7:00 am – 12:00 pm

    Solutions Center

    7:30 – 8:45 am

    Networking Breakfast

    7:00 – 9:00 am

    Emerging Leaders Session

    Following breakfast from 7:00-7:30, join us for this 90-minute session, focusing on best practices in Organizational Leadership. Learn from HARDI’s esteemed mentors, as they present their own leadership philosophies and teach the group how they optimize their businesses through savvy operational business knowledge. The mentor line-up is one you will not want to miss:

    • Andrew Barton, CEO, CFM Equipment Distributors
    • Troy Meachum, CEO, ACR Supply Company
    • Lauren Roberts, President/CEO, cfm Distributors
    • Rhonda Wight, President, Refrigeration Sales Corporation

    Emerging Leaders will have an opportunity to engage with the mentors in a townhall-style panel session. Following the panel, Emerging Leaders will complete a follow-up exercise to document their own leadership philosophies.

    *Program participants only. RSVP here.

    9:00 – 10:00 am

    Understanding supply chain disruption

    Pradip Krishnadevarajan & Senthil Gunasekaran

    As the economy emerges from the Covid-crisis, the supply chains remain wildly out of step with pre-covid norms. While the macro factors are out of our control, we resort to traditional wisdom: focus on what you can control. Yes, you could harness your transactional data to manage supplier performance as part of adapting to the post-covid supply chain scenario. The attendees will learn how quantitative assessment of supply chain performance is used for making critical decisions such as identifying backup suppliers, increasing safety stock, and optimizing annual supplier spend. This session will focus on both analytics creation and consumption (adoption) strategies through real-world examples.

    Panel Presentation: You won’t solve your talent challenge until you understand how the pandemic redefined what employees want

    Moderated by Mike Marks

    Everyone knows that this job market makes no sense. There at 10 million people unemployed and over 8 million job openings; old people state that younger generations don’t want to work; the industry is at huge risk with the loss of experience from impending retirements; the pandemic changed everything and people are afraid to go back to the office. All of these statements are sort of right and sort of wrong. The point is that it has gotten very hard to recruit and retain talent. Many distributors are experiencing increases in their average employee age, and there are many that don’t even know their own value.

    This panel discussion will not explore what is going on or even why (perhaps just a little). The focus is on what are the emerging best practices in those that have gotten back ahead of the curve. Given the challenges this can create significant competitive advantage.

    Business Succession

    Terry Resnick, Lee Resnick

    In this session, you will learn vital strategies in the areas of business succession and wealth preservation as well as eventual transition of assets (with special focus on the business). Typically, the more successful business owners become, they also become more vulnerable. Accordingly, techniques will be discussed showing how to combat those vulnerabilities and assure that the business remains ongoingly successful!

    Former President’s Advisory

    10:15 – 11:00 am

    Panel Presentation: The drag on your supply chain will be with you through 2022 and 2023 – So how should you deal with it?

    Moderated by Mike Marks

    The statement we all hear is that the supply chain shortages will be sorted out next quarter. It is now viewed on par with the statement of I am from the government and I am here to help.  Join our panelists as they discuss the sharp end of these issues in our industry. If you thought massive supply chain shortages were crazy, Amazon came out and said they aren’t screening for marijuana anymore when recruiting drivers. It makes one wonder what is next. All the recent research indicates that these disruption issues are going to be with us well into 2022 and beyond.

    The Role of Reclaim in the HFC Phase-down

    Moderated by Dale Norton, Chair of Refrigeration Council

    As the supply of new HFC refrigerants including R-410a are reduced to meet the HFC phase down, the role of reclaim, and especially recovery, will become more important every year. This panel will talk about the challenges of increasing recovery and the dynamics of reclaim vs drop in replacement refrigerants in the market.

    The Perfect Storm: when surging demand meets scarce labor and inventory

    Paul Giudice

    Sales are up. Hiring is slow. And inventory can be hard to come by. How did the trifecta of these forces impact HARDI distributors? In this session, led by CoMetrics CEO Paul Giudice, we’ll take a dive into the latest metrics from HARDI’s TRENDS and DPD data to explore the impact of the “Perfect Storm.” We’ll also highlight the pulse of distributors and reveal forecast data for the coming year.

    The Evolving Role of the Manufacturer’s Rep

    Patti Ellingson

    This session will focus on enhancing the value of manufacturers reps in today’s market. We will discuss the efficient flow of both informaiton and product to end customer, how to create pull through for entire channel,  remain relevant through consolidation and changing geography while focusing on core skills such as Innovation,  technological skills and adaptability

    11:15 – 11:45 am

    Recruiting Using Internships and Apprenticeships

    Moderated by Chris Deboer

    Labor shortages may be impacting your company’s ability to fully meet customer needs, grow to serve new markets, or add new products or services. Likewise, the labor problems your customers face are causing them to turn down bidding opportunities, adding additional constraints on their ability to meet current customer demand, and threatening the very viability of the channel. Hear the success stories of organizations that are finding ways to reverse this problem by introducing new labor pools to this industry.

    Taxes, Regulations, and Biden Administration

    Palmer Schoening, Alex Ayers

    2021 has brought a new administration with new priorities a new Congress willing to raise taxes on small businesses. Learn about the latest in business tax changes and other policies that impact your business.

    Ransomware experiences in the manufacturing space: an executive level overview and accounts from actual ransomware attacks

    Jeff Wheat

    With over 35 years of Information Technology and Information Security experience, Jeff provides unparalleled operational and cybersecurity analytical guidance, both externally and internally. He is a national security leadership professional and data scientist with hands-on leadership, technical and systems engineering background in Security Operations Center (SOC) design and management, big data architectures, large scale multi-million dollar project management, big data analysis, cyber analysis, network architecture, network security, wireless technologies, telecom and software development.

    11:45 am – 1:30 pm

    Lunch & Featured Speaker:

    Kevin Surace

    A renaissance – the coming end of human work

    How will your team cope with the coming onslaught of AI and robotics? And how can you use it to your advantage?

      1:45 – 4:45 pm

      Booth Program

      See new techniques, technologies, and more efficient ways to manage and grow your business at the Conference Booth Program. Network with peers, connect with suppliers and service vendors, and check out what’s new in the industry.

      4:45 – 5:15 pm

      Market Intelligence Exclusive: 2022 Regional Outlooks

      Southwestern and Southeastern Regions

      *State of Channel purchase required to attend. Purchase here.

      Covid-19 has affected traditional HVAC/R demand patterns in unusual ways, and the future trajectory of residential and commercial markets are uncertain. Will residential replacement rates remain high in 2022, or has record-breaking demand simply pulled-forward future sales? Will the commercial market rebound as the Covid threat wanes, or are we already living in the new normal? For answers to these questions and more, join the HARDI Market Intelligence team as we take a tour of regional HVAC/R markets and offer our outlooks for residential and commercial demand in 2022.


      Hospitality Suites

      Various Suppliers and vendors hold various hospitality events. Events are invite-only.


      December 7th

      7:30 – 9:00 am

      Breakfast & Featured Speaker:

      Ryan Avery


      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.

        9:15 – 10:00 am

        Leveraging Technology to Maximize our Supply Chain Operations

        John Willis
        In today’s business climate, inventory planning must be aggressive, accurate and strategic.  Since our implementation of a new technology platform, we have been able to reduce inventory, yet maintain our service level goals while our supplier lead times were extended to unprecedented levels.  Advanced technology and supply chain planning solutions have been an important addition to enhancing our operations during the most trying times.  During this session, the new tools, processes and benefits realized will be discussed. 

        eCommerce, Sales Force Transformation and Marketplaces

        Ian Heller

        Foolish Assumptions Disguised as Best Practices are Leading Distributors Astray. You’ve heard the conventional wisdom on these topics: The more you sell on your website, the better. More millennials in the workplace means you won’t need sales reps soon. And Amazon is going to put you out of business. In this thought-provoking and fast-paced presentation, you’ll hear insights and advice you won’t get anywhere else. What you’ll learn will challenge your assumptions, make you rethink your strategy and give you a lot to talk about with your team.

        Power of the Group: Harnessing the value of aggregate data

        Deanna Kawasaki

        The volume and variety of data collected has never been greater nor has it ever been as complex and impacted by the outside forces of inflation/economy, material supply chain, manpower resources, and government regulations.  Even the best run companies and most successful entrepreneurs are experiencing challenges understanding the impact of such factors on their business. So, how does a business gain a better understanding of their success relative to outside forces? How can a business better anticipate market patterns and buyer behaviors? How should you expect environmental conditions to impact your business?  Join The Power of the Group session to learn how aggregate data is helping business owners identify trends, gain actionable industry insights, and accelerate their success.

        10:15 – 11:00 am

        State of HVACR E-Commerce

        Jonathan Bein

        Currently more than 40% of HVACR distributors with at least $50M in revenue have transactional e-commerce sites. While this number is impressive, the total percentage of revenue going through e-commerce lags.

        Attend this session to gain:

        1. A thorough understanding of the current state of HVACR distributor and manufacturer digital capabilities
        2. How HVACR distributors and manufacturers are using marketplaces to sell product and what that means for HVACR distributors.
        3. Best practices for building, launching, and marketing e-commerce
        4. How to use your e-commerce site to drive revenue through the web, EDI, punchout, and email as well as offline channels

        The 8 Drivers that Increase your Company’s Value

        Susan Frew

        If you are thinking of selling your company in 2 years or 20 years, you need to know the 8 things that matter to a buyer and how to improve them now! This session will get you prepared for the future by identifying your focus and providing you with tools to move your company forward in the right direction.

        Distributor Marketing that Drives Growing, Long-Term, ROI

        Ian Heller

        In this session, Ian Heller, who has been the marketing VP for four large, publicly held distributors, will share the approach he developed over decades. He’ll give you specific advice on how you can give marketing objectives that make a real difference in your company’s success. He’ll explain how to calculate what you should spend on marketing, how to set specific objectives, and how you can measure the return on your investments.

        11:15 – 11:45 am

        Data-Driven Sales & Profit Acceleration: HARDI’s New Analytics Programs

        David Bauders

        Distributors and their vendors have tons of data, but too often they see only their own data and miss out visibility into the larger industry landscape. HARDI has partnered with SPARXiQ to augment and integrate existing analytics programs (TRENDS and the Unitary Market Report) to build a 360 degree view of opportunities for sales and profit acceleration. Virtually every profit lever depends on a rigorous analytical foundation and strong channel collaboration platforms:

        • New Markets (Geographical or Segments)
        • New Customers (Best Fit Prospects)
        • Existing Customer Share of Wallet and Product Mix
        • Sales Resource Allocation
        • Branch Locations and Rationalization
        • Customer Pricing
        • Vendor Cost Supports
        • Inventory
        • Service Models and Cost-to-Serve

        Join SPARXiQ’s CEO David Bauders to explore how your company can participate in HARDI’s programs and accelerate sales and profitability.

        Using Social Media for Growth & Engagement

        Kevin England

        Have you struggled with your social media presence and are not sure how to grow your presence? You are not alone. Many B2B businesses struggle to develop a social media strategy that is effective and contributes to your organization’s goals. This presentation will provide you with information you need to start or adapt your social strategy in order to grow your brand and engage with your current and potential customers using some of the best practices in the B2B world.

        Turning the Tide: How to Move from the Great Resignation to the Great Regeneration

        Melissa Wymer

        In this session Melissa (from ERA, HARDI’s trusted HR partner) will help you understand how turnover within your company is the great profitability killer, and help you explore strategies to improve retention – and your bottom line – through improved employee engagement, better management strategies and refined recruitment and hiring techniques.

        11:45 am – 2:00 pm

        Lunch & Closing Keynote:

        Alex Banayan


        In Alex Banayan’s most popular keynote, he takes you on an adventure through unprecedented territories. Alex has hacked The Price is Right, chased Larry King through a grocery store, and learned life lessons from Gaga and Gates. Alongside the larger-than-life stories, Banayan takes the principles from his bestselling novel, The Third Door, and pushes the ideas to a new level. He makes them practical and applicable for organizations of all sizes.

        2:15 – 2:45 pm

        Market Intelligence Exclusive: 2022 Regional Outlooks

        Central and Great Lakes Regions

        *State of Channel purchase required to attend. Purchase here.

        Covid-19 has affected traditional HVAC/R demand patterns in unusual ways, and the future trajectory of residential and commercial markets are uncertain. Will residential replacement rates remain high in 2022, or has record-breaking demand simply pulled-forward future sales? Will the commercial market rebound as the Covid threat wanes, or are we already living in the new normal? For answers to these questions and more, join the HARDI Market Intelligence team as we take a tour of regional HVAC/R markets and offer our outlooks for residential and commercial demand in 2022.

        3:00 – 3:30 pm

        Market Intelligence Exclusive: 2022 Regional Outlooks

        Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic Regions

        *State of Channel purchase required to attend. Purchase here.

        Covid-19 has affected traditional HVAC/R demand patterns in unusual ways, and the future trajectory of residential and commercial markets are uncertain. Will residential replacement rates remain high in 2022, or has record-breaking demand simply pulled-forward future sales? Will the commercial market rebound as the Covid threat wanes, or are we already living in the new normal? For answers to these questions and more, join the HARDI Market Intelligence team as we take a tour of regional HVAC/R markets and offer our outlooks for residential and commercial demand in 2022.

        7:00 – 9:00 pm

        Closing Party (OUTDOOR RECEPTION)