More than 900 people participated in this year's ASA Annual Convention in Las Vegas, held September 29 to October 2 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The "Summit" themed program was the highlight of the 3 days of meetings, seminars and social events at ASA's attractive, new headquarters hotel. Approximately one-third of ASA's wholesaler member firms were represented at the event by 303 registrants. In addition, 347 manufacturer executives, 145 manufacturers reps and 21 industry guests were included on the roster. A total of 95 spouse registrants accompanied the delegates as well. These numbers were dwarfed by the thousands who attended the ISH North America show, which kicked off on Wednesday morning, October 1st, just as ASA's Convention events were drawing to a close. At press time, ISH-NA attendance numbers were being tallied and expected to be released shortly. ASA's Convention is the popular annual event that draws distributors and their vendors together. The industry "Summit" theme was featured for the second year in a row, providing the full audience with input from speakers representing all facets of the distribution channel. Since you can sometimes "say it all with pictures," we've included a few key photos from our Convention events to offer just a few highlights of the event.

President-Elect Mark Theis of H.W. Theis Co., Brookfield, WI, (l) accepts congratulations from outgoing ASA President Steve Anderson of Central States Industrial Supply, Omaha, NE.

Chip Hornsby, President and CEO of Ferguson Enterprises, spoke to the "Summit" gathering about his views of what the future holds for the wholesale distribution channel. Besides Hornsby, other keynoters included John Wills of Masco Corporation, representing the manufacturers; Bob FitzGerald of FitzGerald Contractors, Inc.; Jay Moss of KB Home, and Ed Scott, who offered a financial outlook for the industry.

A trio of manufacturers offered their responses to questions generated by the audience and moderated by Michael Marks, who facilitated the day's programming. Panelists included (l to r): Dana Severs, Delta Faucet Co.; Nick Giuffre, Bradford White Water Heaters, and John Martin, Anvil International. A panel of wholesalers was also on hand to share their views, including Steve Cook, Northeastern Supply, Baltimore; Jill Hurd, All-Tex Supply, Dallas, and Larry Pearson, Frischkorn, Inc., Richmond, VA.

Panelists in an Industrial Piping Division-sponsored workshop talked about the challenge of globalization in their market. Participating on the panel were (l to r), Elod Papp, Fluor, Inc.; Dennis Niver, Red Man Pipe & Supply, Tulsa, OK; Randy Cowart, Powell Valve, and Tom Fish of Anvil International (not pictured). Also not pictured is the panel's moderator, Jim Olsztynski, editor of Supply House Times.

Of course, not all of ASA's convention is business. Pictured here are a number of happy individuals getting ready to enter the popular Opening Reception, during which delegates meet up with their vendors and customers to plan for the week's activities ahead.

Dennis Broderick, In-Sink-Erator, accepts a plaque in honor of his tenure as the 2002-2003 Chairman of the ASA Vendor Member Division. In presenting the plaque, Inge Calderon, ASA's Executive Vice President, told audience members that Broderick had just been elected the first manufacturer to serve on the ASA Executive Committee, beginning in '04.

Ila Lewis of Gerber Manufacturing Co. accepts the AIM/R Golden Eagle Award from Jay Schechter, President of AIM/R, who recognized Lewis' out standing contributions to the industry and support of the professional independent manufacturers representative.

Participants between sessions enjoyed coffee and refreshments while they talked about the various viewpoints that had been brought up. Pictured here are Gary Cartright, Piping & Equipment, Inc., Houston (l), and Joel Becker, Torrington Supply Co., Waterbury, CT.

Karolyn Neupert (center), wife of the late Karl E. Neupert, is flanked by her children as she accepts the posthumously-awarded Fred V. Keenan Lifetime Achievement Award on her husband's behalf. Neupert was honored for his many contributions to the industry, including his efforts to establish and build the Education Foundation Endowment Fund, which is now named after him. Joe and JoAnn White of Castle Supply Co., Pinellas Park, FL, close friends of the Neupert family, presented the award. Fred Keenan, the award's namesake, was on hand to congratulate the Neuperts.

An event gaining in popularity, the "Meet the Pros" workshop sponsored by the Young Executives Division, offers participants the chance to talk very casually, in small groups with acknowledged industry figures in their particular area of expertise. Here, David Corcoran (far left), shares his insights into how to manage an effective, profitable showroom.