AD hosted its virtual Finance, HR & IT Summit from June 7-8, welcoming a record 310 attendees from 133 member companies across all of AD’s 13 divisions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. This summit is one of two cross-divisional and functional summits held annually, along with the eCommerce Summit, designed to extend the value of AD networking and best-practice sharing to additional disciplines within our member companies.

During the two-day summit, attendees participated in a keynote and breakout sessions which covered key areas like real estate, CARES Act and supply chain strategy in the Finance track; diversity, equity and inclusion, the future of leadership and talent management trends in the HR track; and mobile technology, machine learning and cybersecurity in the IT track. Participants also had opportunities to network with their peers and best-in-class service providers.

The IT track was a new addition to the summit, allowing IT leaders at member companies the opportunity to come together and participate in IT-specific sessions that are affecting independent distributor businesses today. Dan Koch, AD VP of IT, expressed the addition of an IT track was a natural extension of the summit. 

“The summit’s value is directly connected to the learning that takes place during the sessions, the networking that occurs between members, and the ability to meet with service providers,” Koch said. “With an increase in digital applications and the rise of cybersecurity threats, IT and cybersecurity are top of mind. Adding an IT track to the summit highlights the importance of a technology strategy and enables us to partner with our members through these exciting opportunities and challenges, and we were thrilled to welcome over 44 IT leaders from member companies to their first summit.”

With three topic tracks in the summit’s agenda, Drew Moyer, AD CFO, shared one of the unique features is the ability to customize the agenda based on each attendee’s needs.

“Business leaders are often involved in or oversee multiple departments, making it challenging to have to attend more than one summit to get all the information that’s needed,” Moyer shared. “With three distinct tracks, attendees have the flexibility to mix and match sessions, curating the agenda to meet their goals and ensuring they return to their businesses with tangible ideas and action items they can readily implement.”

AD Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Neil Cohen, added the team was excited to receive overwhelmingly positive survey results.

“While the virtual format didn’t perfectly replicate the networking experience of our in-person meetings, feedback indicates to us this year’s summit was extremely well-received,” Cohen said. “We use survey feedback to make sure we’re continuously adding value to our members and service providers, and we’re already thinking about the slate of tracks and speakers for next year’s in-person summit scheduled for June 6-8, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona.”