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CEO Summit: Where the Industry’s Top Influencers Gather

CEO Summit Schedule


Monday, March 5, 2018

Time Event
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Optional: PSDA Golf Outing or Spring Training Game
 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM  First Time Attendee Orientation 
Location: Heritage Patio and Laguna Lawn
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

CEO Summit Welcome Reception

Location: Heritage Patio and Laguna Lawn


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Time Event
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Networking Breakfast
Location: Heritage Patio
8:30 AM - 9:45 AM Welcome and Opening KeynoteIt's Not Who You Know, It's Who Knows YOU!
David Avrin – President, The Visibility Coach
Location: Heritage

It's a new world and the marketplace has changed. Choices are vast and quality abounds! Being great at what you do is no longer a differentiator — it is merely the entry fee. Today, winning in business is about discovering, creating and leveraging competitive advantages. In this highly entertaining, thought-provoking and actionable presentation, based on his new book: Visibility Marketing, business marketing and branding veteran David Avrin, CSP will show you and your team how to discover, create and promote meaningful differentiators to gain visibility and earn customers.
9:45 AM - 10:30 AM We Started From the Bottom, Now We're Here: How Our Culture Went from Average to Award Winning!


Brett Jackson - CEO, Systemax
Location: Heritage

Declining sales, loss in talent, low morale….these were a few of the factors that we were dealing with when we decided to make a change. In this session, we’ll dive into how and why we made our culture top priority within our organization. Our emphasis will be discussing what impact changing the culture will have on your organization and how long it will take for you start to see results. Then, we’ll suggest ways to keep consistently promoting a culture of engagement and help your team have ownership on the shift. All while going on our journey from the bottom, to being named on Entrepreneur magazine’s top company culture list. 
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM Networking Break
11:00 AM - 11:30 AM PSDA State of Association and Awards Presentation
Location: Heritage
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Critical Update - Creating A Harassment-Free Workplace

Claudia St John -
President, Affinity HR Group, LLC

Location: Heritage

The cascading allegations against men of power in the arts, entertainment and political realms – and the rise of the #MeToo movement in response – have focused the nation’s attention on the extent of sexual harassment in the workplace.  In this update, participants will learn:
• How the law defines sexual harassment
• What policies and processes to put in place to create a harassment-free workplace
• How to handle consensual workplace relationships 
Recipients will also receive a free, sample anti-harassment policy.
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Breakout Sessions:

Option #1: Merger, Acquisition, and Divestiture Strategies for a Distributors & Manufacturers 
Location: Orangedale

Jim Anderson and Roger Buck - Corporate Development Associates

All companies will change hands at some point...including yours! Have you a plan in place to target the next owner of your company? Would you prefer to be the fish or the bait? This session will discuss the pros and cons of each strategy.

Industry veterans Jim Anderson and Roger Buck of Scottsdale, AZ-based PSDA Member Corporate Development Associates will conduct a panel discussion that will include a seller (Ross Barker-Founder & former CEO of Reno, NV-based e-Quantum which was acquired by DemandBridge in October 2017), and two active acquirers (Dennis Pottebaum-Founder & Chairman of Plymouth, MN-based QRG and Tom D’Agostino, Jr.-Founder & CEO of NYC-based SmartSource LLC).

QRG has acquired several companies the most recent being Sun Prairie, WI-based Badger Graphic Systems (June 2017). SmartSource has also acquired several companies the largest of which was Suwanee, GA-based Data Supplies, Inc. (January 2016).

Both Ross Barker (1989-1990) and Dennis Pottebaum (2015-2016) are Past Presidents of PSDA and Tom D’Agostino, Jr. was formerly the President of then publicly-traded Workflow (Nasdaq: WORK) prior to founding SmartSource in 2003.


Option #2: Visibility Wins

David Avrin – President, The Visibility Coach
Location: Heritgae

In this hands-on and interactive session, David Avrin will expand on his keynote presentation helping participants to do a deep-dive around their competitive advantages. Participants  will be guided through an exercise that will help them craft verbiage to effectively communicate with their target markets and key prospects. Come with your laptop or have pen and paper in hand. You’ll walk away with a head full of new ideas and a tangible exercise to conduct with your team.
2:30 PM - 2:45 PM Networking Break
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM An Interactive Session on The Evolving Sales Role 
Location: Heritage
Introduced by: Beth Marston, Navitor
Charley Lombardo, COO/Partner, GO2 Partners, Inc., Jim Rhodes, CEO and Managing Partner, Bob Saunders 

As the industry continues to change, many distributors and manufacturers are not only diversifying their product offering, but are also redesigning they way they structure and approach the sales role. Facilitated by Claudia St. John, this dynamic session will give you the opportunity to hear from your peers and network with other participants on the topics of effectively structuring your sales role for the future, how to attract, recruit for and hire the right sales person; how to establish the culture necessary to attract top talent, and how to on-board and train your new sales professional. After a brief presentation on hiring industry trends, PSDA members will share their hiring best practices, followed by the opportunity to connect with your colleagues in a small group setting.
 4:15 PM - 4:30 PM Break
4:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Member Best Practices Presentations
Location: Heritage

PSDA thought leaders will share quick, 17 minute presentations on best practices they have used to solve some of their toughest business challenges.

Marketing Service Avoided! How Simply Selling Stuff can equal a Profitable Future: Tom Warnez will share how Metcom has shifted its structure to focus primarily on targeting repeat transaction business to drive profitability and growth

Using the Net Promoter Score to Help My Business: Bill English will share how Superior Business Solutions has utilized the Net Promoter Score and the benefits that they have seen as a result – including an earlier awareness of potential problems and strengthened client relationships.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM  PSDA CEO Summit Celebration
Location: La Boca Pool
Join us for music, cocktails and dinner as we celebrate our 2018 CEO Summit. 



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Time Event
8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Networking Breakfast
Location: Heritage Patio
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM Industry Growth Trends Panel Discussion
Location: Heritage

Introduction by: Roger Buck
Moderator: Artie Collins
Panelists: Jim Kersten, Ross Barker, Karl Heerdegen

A huge benefit of the CEO Summit is the opportunity to tap into the collective brainpower of the room: What's working, and what isn't? What challenges and triumphs defined us in 2017? What tips can fuel growth in 2018? In this panel discussion, three highly respected industry veterans will share their growth strategies, their outlook on the industry’s future and much more.
9:30 AM - 9:45 AM Networking Break
9:45 AM - 10:45 AM Member Best Practices Presentations
Location: Heritage 

PSDA thought leaders will share quick, 15 minute presentations on best practices they have used to solve some of their toughest business challenges.

How to Re-Tool your Selling Team while Continuing to Grow the Company: David Hunnius will share the success of how RBO PrintLogistix structured their sales team while keeping the company on a growth trajectory for short term and long term performance results.

Growth Opportunities: Selling New Solutions to Your Existing Customer Base: Join Jake Chanson of Meridian as he discusses how Meridian has expanded the sales of Wide Format Printing to drive business growth. Jake will discuss how Meridian has incorporated monthly vendor sales trainings, identifies subject matter experts to assist with co-selling and how they utilize a commission structure that incentivizes reps to sell new opportunities to existing customers.
10:45 AM - 11:00 AM Networking Break
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Keynote: On Fire at Work – How Great Leaders Ignite Passion in their People Without Burning Them Out
Location: Heritage

Eric Chester, CSP, CPAE - Award-Winning Speaker and Bestselling Business Author

After interviewing highly acclaimed C-level leaders across all industries, Eric Chester has uncovered the practices and principles that Best Places to Work award-winning companies and great leaders are using to go beyond merely engaging today’s rapidly changing workforce, but to ignite what he terms “On Fire performance.” Through a highly entertaining multimedia presentation, attendees who have a vested interest in attracting, developing, and retaining staff in sales, technical/graphic arts, operations, hourly positions, etc. discover the best practice ideas, tactics, and strategies leading employers use to consistently attract and retain top talent, encourage innovation and collaborative thinking, and inculcate the desire to out-perform yesterday’s best. Auidence leaders and managers walk away with actionable ideas for building a world-class workplace culture and attracting and retaining more top performers who take pride and ownership in their work.


Share Your Ideas

PSDA members have shared that they learn best from each other’s experiences and hearing about case studies from fellow industry professionals. Let PSDA know that you are interested in contributing to the CEO Summit program by sharing your topic idea or recommendation to Megan French at


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