As we look toward wrapping up yet another year of activity at the American Supply Association, it's customary to take a look back at our accomplishments and offer our members a report on some of the year's programming highlights. It is also a good opportunity to provide a snapshot of the association's membership statistics.


As of September 1, 2003, ASA wholesalers numbered just under 500, operating a total of 3,950 outlets throughout the United States. Wholesaler members include virtually all of the very large, national firms, a good mix of the major regional companies, and a large contingent of smaller, independent houses. Annual sales of our wholesaler members range from less than $1 million to more than $4 billion.

The Vendor Member Division of ASA is comprised of approximately 220 manufacturing or service firms, including 30+ independent manufacturers representative agencies.

In 2003, five new wholesalers and nine new VMD members were added to our ranks. As of September 1, 2003, they are:


Greenwich Village Plumbers Supply, New York, NY

MDM Supply, Inc., Helena, MT

Pipe Products, Inc., Cincinnati, OH (also members of NCWA)

Pipe-Valves, Inc., Columbus, OH

Scoco Supply, Omaha, NE


Armacell, LLC, Mebane, NC

Dimensional Insights, Inc., Burlington, MA

Distribution One, Inc., Burlington, NJ

LDR Industries, Inc., Chicago, IL

Manufacturers Reps

Carrhill Co., Commerce, CA

Focus Sales, LLC, Middlesex, NJ

Manufacturers Marketing, Inc., Westfield, IN

Mega Western Sales, Gardena, CA

Silbo Industries, Inc., Montvale, NJ


The ASA Annual Convention is a vital part of the association's value proposition to our members, because it not only brings together the buyers and sellers of the industry's products and services, but it also offers an exclusive forum for open discussion of critical industry issues. The annual event also enables the association to communicate its efforts on behalf of the industry, including those of the Center for Advancing Technology and the ASA Education Foundation.

"Industry Summit"

The 34th Annual Convention of ASA was held September 29 through October 2 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the ISH North America trade show. Following a meeting of the ASA Board of Directors, the Convention program kicked off with two timely seminars ("Industry Database" and "Health Insurance Options") followed by the always-popular Opening Reception.

The entire next day was dedicated to the "Industry Summit," featuring Michael Marks of Indian River Consulting Group, who facilitated the agenda of keynoters and panelists. Keynote speakers included Chip Hornsby of Ferguson Enterprises, John Wills of Masco Corp., Robert FitzGerald of FitzGerald Contractors, Jay Moss of KB Home, and Ed Scott of the Scott Group. In addition, panels of wholesalers and manufacturers fielded questions that were generated by the audience, dealing with a variety of industry issues and practices.

Featured Workshops & Seminars

In addition, the Industrial Piping Division held a panel discussion to explore global sourcing trends, and the Young Executives hosted a popular "Meet the Pros" session where YE members could network informally with recognized industry figures on key topics. The Vendor Member Division hosted a program entitled, "Reality Check: Do You Know Where Your Brand is Going?" which featured speakers Dave Weiner and Hank Darlington.

Finally, the ASA Education Foundation conducted a day-long program on the "Essentials of Profitable PHCP Distribution" course, during which a new Leader's Guide was introduced. The popular program, conducted by Kathryne Newton, Ph.D. of Purdue University, has been touring the country, and is expected to be offered again in select locations in late 2003 and 2004.

Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation

One of the Convention's highlights was the presentation of the Fred V. Keenan Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of the late Karl E. Neupert, former President of Consolidated Supply Co. in Portland, OR. Neupert, who passed away suddenly in December, 2002, was the founder of the ASA Education Foundation Endowment Fund, which was subsequently named after him. He served as President of ASA in 1999 after having served as President of the ASA Education Foundation, and contributed unselfishly to the advancement of education and training in the PHCP wholesale distribution industry.

Following a touching tribute to Karl, delivered by good friends Joe and JoAnn White of Castle Supply Company in Pinellas Park, FL, members of the Neupert family accepted the award, including his wife Karolyn and two of their children, Kevin Neupert and Karla Neupert-Hockley, both of whom continue to lead at Consolidated Supply.

The award is named after Fred V. Keenan of Hajoca Supply Company, who received the inaugural award in 2000 following a distinguished career of service to the industry and the association.