Posted October 8, 2023

Industrial and Safety independent distributors, suppliers connect at AD meeting 

Over 900 AD community members attended the 2023 AD North American Meeting – Industrial & Safety – U.S. and Safety Network Divisions in Colorado from September 12 to 15 for a week of networking and collaboration.

AD Industrial-Safety meeting in Denver, Sept. 2023AD’s 2023-2024 meeting season features the theme “Be Different” – a celebration of how independent distributors, supplier partners, service providers and individuals in the AD community can embrace their unique strengths to succeed in business and enrich their lives, both personally and professionally.

“Our new meeting theme taps into a key characteristic among AD companies – each distributor and manufacturer has distinct differences that have helped them thrive in competitive markets,” said Marisol Fernandez, president of AD’s electrical & industrial business unit. “’Be Different’ calls on our community to think about how to identify their difference-making qualities and use them to reach new heights.”

This year’s North American Meeting brought together AD’s Safety Network and Mexico divisions for the first time, offering increased opportunities for engagement, networking and potential new partnerships.

“With the Safety Network and Mexico divisions included this year, the meeting created even more value and connections for our community,” said Mike Carr, president of AD’s industrial & safety divisions – U.S. “The conversations and access to some of our industries’ top companies at our meetings go a long way in creating growth and launching new ideas for our members and suppliers.”

Attendees Form New Partnerships

Conference booth appointments during the North American Meeting give members, suppliers and service providers structured discussion sessions to explore mutual growth initiatives, ideas to maximize existing partnerships and chances to form new ones.

AD Network members met for non-competitive meetings to discuss top issues facing their industries and their companies and to share ideas to improve operations. Other attendees participated in functional roundtable discussions, which offered in-depth opportunities to share and receive best practices regarding three topics: marketing, purchasing & supply chain and sales & sales management.

Multiple receptions allowed for networking across businesses and countries during the week. At the AD Women’s Community network reception, attendees shared experiences in the industrial and safety industries, and the group discussed ways to elevate women through connection and development.

“We are so happy for our first time ever participating in the Industrial & Safety North American Meeting, which always offers a variety of formal and informal sessions to meet new people, learn from each other, and discuss ideas to make our businesses better,” said Juan Carlos Zacarías, vice president of AD Mexico. “Members and suppliers within AD Mexico came away from this year’s meeting with opportunities to enhance business and best practices for the future.”

Strengthening Relationships with AD

Each division involved in the North American Meeting held its member and supplier business meetings to share key financial results and forecasts, as well as updates for current and future AD programs and initiatives.

During the meeting, AD honored 30 member companies that joined the AD Centennial Club, which celebrates AD members that have legacies of over 100 years in business.

Attendees also enjoyed the keynote address by AD CEO and Chairman Bill Weisberg, who shared his insights on the “Be Different” meeting theme and how the AD community can leverage their differences to achieve greater success.

“Independents are in the unique position to be flexible and try new things to stand out among the national competition,” said Weisberg. “I believe the independent business model is the ideal business model, and the AD community and our meetings showcase the best-of-the-best in what independent distributors can achieve.”