With a reception and dinner Tuesday, January 31, 2012, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) convenes its Executive Summit in Washington, DC, to focus on "how wholesaler-distributors can play 2012–13."

There are actions all wholesaler-distributors can take immediately to improve their chances for success in a still rocky economic environment. At the NAW 2012 Executive Summit, participants will drill down and explore in-depth the following issues:

Where will the economy trend in 2012 and 2013—toward rejuvenation or reversal? Economist Alan Beaulieu will provide attendees with both a macro forecast for the U.S. economy and a more-focused forecast for various parts of the wholesale distribution industry in his business session, "NAW Economic Forecast, 2012–13."

Longer term, what are the major, fundamental changes business will face during the next 15–20 years? Futurist David Houle will examine the profound impacts on business as the Information Age shifts over the next 20 years to an environment of accelerating electronic connectedness and a flow toward the global and the individual in his business session, "The Shift Age."

How can distribution firms create a profitability turnaround program that brings up all of their accounts to their own best practice performance? Profitability expert Jonathan Byrnes will deliver a step-by-step explanation for how companies can drastically increase market share and profits even in an economic downturn in his business session, "A Practical Guide to Managing Profitability Turnarounds in Wholesale Distribution."

During the "Managing Profitability Turnarounds" Panel Discussion that follows, Dan Blaylock, President and CEO of Adams-Burch, Inc.; Kim Gravell, Vice President–Innovation and Strategy Management at Cardinal Health; and Pat Larmon, President and CEO of Bunzl Distribution USA, Inc., will discuss how they are using these concepts to improve profitability at their firms.

What steps can wholesaler-distributors take immediately to "stop leaving money on the table" in their distribution firm's main functional areas? Cost control experts Kent Davis and George Swartz will look closely at major functional areas of the wholesale distribution business—including procurement, inventory, transportation, and warehouse and fulfillment—and offer specific strategic and tactical ideas for achieving higher levels of cost control in each area during their business session, "Distributors: Don't Leave Money on the Table!"

Then, during the "Don't Leave Money on the Table" Panel Discussion, Jayson Folus, Corporate Senior Vice President of Business Intelligence at DPI Specialty Foods, Inc., and Tony Vaden, Vice President and CIO at American Tire Distributors, Inc., will talk about how they are implementing these valuable cost- control measures at their companies.

What can the business community expect from Congress and President Obama leading up to the 2012 elections in this uncertain economic climate of burdensome regulations, threats of rising taxes, stagnant growth, and high unemployment? Veteran journalist and political commentator Tucker Carlson will share his keen insights into the political maelstrom in his public policy session, "A Look at the Obama Administration, Congress, and the 2012 Elections."

The NAW Executive Summit concludes Thursday afternoon, February 2. Details and how to register are available here.