Gary Buffington, 57, executive vice president of the Industrial Distribution Association, died July 11 after a battle with cancer. He served as administrative assistant and executive vice president of the Southern Wholesalers Association and the Southern Industrial Distributors Association. His leadership facilitated the successful merger of the Central States, National and Southern Industrial Distributors Associations to create I.D.A. in 1988. In his 33 years of service to the industry, he served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, NAW Service Corp., and the Wholesaler-Distributor Political Action Committee and served as chairman of the NAW Association Executives Council. He was also a Trustee for the Distribution Research & Education Foundation (DREF). He led the creation of the University of Industrial Distribution and served on the Advisory Boards for Industrial Distribution programs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Texas A&M, and at Southern College of Technology. He was awarded a Bronze Star medal following his U.S. Army service in Vietnam. For more information, contact I.D.A. at 404-266-3991 or