Disaster relief donations, staff changes and a new study highlight this month's ASA News.


Dear Industry Friends:

As I write this in early October, it's less than two weeks before our scheduled ASA Annual Convention in Las Vegas. It seems like just yesterday that we were in our staff conference room, poring over resumes of potential speakers and talking about how we could put together the most compelling program for our attendees. And here it is, just two weeks away. By the time you read this, the Convention will already have taken place, and those who attended will have another year?s worth of solid leads to follow up, good ideas to implement and new friends with whom they'll correspond.

Yet at the same time, today marks exactly one month since fanatic terrorists caused one of the greatest tragedies any of us have ever experienced. These terrorists are no doubt very happy about their actions and are delighted to see reports on the various and sundry ripple effects that are taking place throughout the U.S. and the world.

I, for one, believe very strongly in not giving these (expletive deleted) thugs anything to be happy about. Ever. And I'm very happy to say that it appears that most of our members feel the same way. They've decided to take President Bush's advice and go about their lives and conduct their businesses as usual, including attending their association's Annual Convention. To date, very few people have cancelled, and most of the others I've talked to are determined not to be intimidated out of participating. Bravo!

Indeed, the wholesalers, manufacturers, manufacturers' reps and others who make up this industry are a tough bunch, determined to thrive even in times of adversity. They're also a proud bunch, rightfully so in my opinion, and not about to forget that what makes this country strong is the heart and will of its people.

Since you are reading this in mid-November, you already know how our Convention turned out. If you attended, you know that it was well worth your time and that the educational programs were top-notch, and you'll probably go again next October. You recognized that getting together at this point in time was perhaps even more important than ever, both professionally and personally, and you took comfort in being among your friends and colleagues.

Thank you for your support and participation, and for your active involvement in your industry.

Let us all be always mindful of our vulnerabilities, but at the same time let us continue in our traditions. There is strength in our number, no matter how you look at it.

-- Inge Calderon, ASA Executive Vice President


Dozens of distributor and associate members of ASA got quickly involved with relief efforts to help victims of the September 11th tragedies. Their contributions took many forms, from manufacturers donating products, such as Hercules Chemical and Milwaukee Tool, to distributors like Davis & Warshow, who distributed bottled water to relief workers.

Elkay Manufacturing canceled its popular "Evening in the Park" event during the ASA Convention, and opted instead to make a donation of $100,000 to the September 11 Fund, twice what would've been spent on the party. In addition, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating made a $10,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross relief effort.

More news about the generosity of ASA members continues to reach our headquarters daily.


The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors' Distribution Research and Education Foundation (DREF) is widely known and highly respected for its survey-based research publications. Now DREF is branching out in a new direction by creating "oral histories" with a select group of industry executives. DREF will assemble the oral histories by way of face-to-face, in-depth interviews, conducted by one of DREF's two fellows, Michael Marks of the Indian River Consulting Group.

Marks will personally meet and talk with an elite group of thought leaders from wholesale distribution in creating their oral histories. Once they're professionally recorded on audiotape, these "Profiles in Wholesale Distribution Leadership" will be shared with the industry.

NAW/DREF urges wholesaler-distributors to participate in this process by nominating executives considered to be among the industry's most successful and innovative. All nomination details are available at www.dref.ircg.com.


Bob Jarvie has left the ASA staff to join the sales team of Messe Frankfurt, Inc. Jarvie has served for the past 13 years as ASA's Director of Exhibitions and Sales, and was also Executive Director of the Midwest Distributors Association (MDA). He'll be responsible for key exhibitor sales for ISH North America, which debuts October 31, 2002.

Cathie Fournier, ASA's Director of Finance and Administration, has taken on the added responsibilities of Executive Director of MDA, which contracts with ASA for management services. She's been with ASA for 18 years and was instrumental in the formation of MDA, which resulted from the merger of the former Chicago Metropolitan Distributors Association and the Mid-America Supply Association.

Education Foundation Corner

The Education Foundation continues to serve the education needs of industrial distribution, both as a direct trainer and as a facilitator of the learning process.

Last month we expanded our "direct trainer" role by introducing the Essentials of Fixtures and Faucets CD-ROM training course. To date, almost 100 members have already enrolled their sales and customer service employees in this new program, bringing to almost 5,000 the number of students who have taken ProductPro courses.

As of October, we have been providing the Trainers' Forum e-letter to all ASA members who've provided us with an e-mail address. This free service to members of ASA provides information on the Foundation's programs, identifies other valuable training programs and provides a vehicle for members to share information and resources on training and human performance management issues. Those who don't use e-mail regularly can easily view the latest e-letter by visiting the Education Foundation section on the ASA Web site (www.asa.net). We'll gladly add new recipients on request.

Thinking Like an Owner

Distribution & the Power of Profit is a step-by-step self-study program that teaches your employees essential concepts pertaining to revenue, cost and profit in the distribution channel. It explains how the distribution channel works, distributor economics, setting prices for profit, why price-cutting hurts and how small changes affect the bottom line. You can get this valuable course at the Power Transmission Distributors Association member price by visiting the Education Foundation section of the ASA Web site (www.asa.net) and clicking on "Distribution and the Power of Profit."

Several ASA members evaluated the program and were unanimous in their opinion on how quickly it will help employees think like business professionals.


For those looking for heating and cooling-related education, we have established a link to the National Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Wholesalers Association on the Education Foundation section of the ASA Web site. The NHRAW provides access to both technical and business-related education from its site.

As the Foundation moves forward, we will continue to develop new programs and discover and provide links to new opportunities so be sure to test these new opportunities and share your thoughts with us.


Feb. 6-8SWA Profit Enhancement Institute, Atlanta, GA
Feb. 28 - Mar. 3WDA Annual Convention, Dallas, TX
Mar. 14-16SWA Annual Convention, Orlando, FL
Mar. 24-27ASA Institute for Distribution Management, Indianapolis, IN
Apr. 10-14PSDA Annual Convention, Indian Wells, CA
Apr. 11-13 AIM/R Annual Convention, Key Largo, FL
May 2-5WSA Annual Convention, Maui, HI
May 6-7CWA Annual Convention, Columbus, OH
May 16-19WANE Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD
Oct. 26-31ASA Annual Convention, Toronto, ONT


Early next year, ASA and its regional affiliates around the country will team up with the Profit Planning Group to perform the "2002 ASA Employee Compensation Study." The study will provide a detailed review of compensation and benefit programs of a wide range of distributors. Over 2,300 distributors from 30+ trade associations are expected to participate.

The large sample in the study will enable participants to have access to a broad array of information not only from the PHCP industry, but also broken out by an extensive number of sales volume categories and geographic areas.

Included in the study will be topics such as:

  • Executive salaries, bonuses and perks
  • Key management compensation, ie. sales and branch managers
  • Operating employee wages
  • Fringe benefit programs
  • Sales commission plans
  • Outside sales policies and more!

Analysis by 20 different sales volume levels from under $1 million to over $250 million will be made in the study. Regional, state and specific metro area break-outs will be available.

Questionnaires will be mailed by ASA and its regional affiliates in January, which will be due back by late February. Survey results will be available to participants only, and are expected to be complete in May. Contact ASA or your regional association for more information.


The ASA Associate Member Division, comprised of about 250 manufacturers, service vendors and manufacturers reps, elected new officers during its Annual Breakfast Meeting on October 24 in Las Vegas.

The Executive Council of the AMD is the group responsible for developing direction for the Division, including development and oversight of such programs as the Action Plan 2003, and the most recent Supplier Excellence Criteria project, which was co-sponsored with the Industrial Piping Division.

A new Chairman will take the helm in 2002. Dennis Broderick will follow Steve Adams, who led the group in 2000-01. The Council members are:

Dennis Broderick, In-Sink-Erator, Chairman
David Siegal, Hercules Chemical, Vice Chairman
Steve Adams, Dearborn Brass
Robert Atkins, Grohe Faucet Co.
Alan Biggers, Charlotte Pipe
Nick Giuffre, Bradford White
Randy Grebel, Bemis Mfg.
Wade Henderson, Brass Craft Mfg.
Al Huneycutt, Halsey Taylor
Susan Leone, Bonney Forge
James Lewis, Kohler Co.
Pete Lewnes, Preferred Sales, Inc.
Ernie Mannerino, IPS Corp.
Morris Mintz, Lasco Bathware
Scott Raderstorf, Eclipse, Inc.
Robert Vick, NIBCO, Inc.
John Wills, Delta Faucet Co.
John White, TACO, Inc.

The Council's next meeting is scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2002, at which time a new project for the year will be developed.

The AMD will be represented on the ASA Board of Directors in 2002 by Broderick, Adams, Vick and Lewnes.