While the big news this week has been the government shutdown, there has been no shortage of activity in Washington, D.C., at NetworkASA 2013 at the Renaissance Downtown DC Hotel.

Supply House Times continued its recent custom of holding, in conjunction with American Supply Association, an exclusive roundtable interview with ASA distributors.

I conducted the interview with Jeff Worly (Worly Plumbing Supply), Bill Condron (The Granite Group), Pat McGowan (Thomas Summerville), Todd Ford (Central States) and Stan Allen (Morrison Supply). Part 1 of our exclusive roundtable interview will appear in the January 2014 issue, while Part 2 will follow in February. Stay tuned!

After the interview, we headed over to Capitol Hill to shoot the January cover with the five interview subjects. To say the least, the shoot was interesting, but yielded some great results.

In addition to the various ASA boards meeting in the morning, a number of educational seminars also were offered. I attended Dr. Michael Mercer’s seminar on hiring. His “Hire The Best & Avoid The Rest” hiring presentation included important analytical data and tips companies can use in their hiring processes. Mercer opened plenty of eyes with statistics on interviews and reference checks. According to his data, companies would do just as well if they flipped a coin when it comes to hiring someone based only on a job interview. In terms of hiring success based on reference checks, “It’s flipping a coin while rubbing a rabbit’s foot,” he told the audience. On the opposite end of the spectrum, companies fare much better when using hiring tools such as mental ability and behavior tests.

WANE’s meeting and reception enjoyed a strong turnout. The evening concluded with the Bradford White & ASA opening reception, which drew a large gathering and generated considerable buzz about the amount of people in attendance.

In my next blog installment: Bill O'Reilly, forecasting and meetings on Capitol Hill. Despite the government shutdown, a good number of the legislative appointments ASA members have scheduled are still a go!