Washington, D.C., recently played host to the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors’ (NAW) Executive Summit: Facing the Forces of Change®.

More than 200 leaders from diverse wholesale distribution lines of trade and nearly 20 members of Congress attended the three-day event, held January 30 to February 1, 2007.

Thanks to informative presentations by several distribution mainstays, the summit received a positive response from those who attended, said Ruth Stadius, director of communications for NAW.

Presentations detailed future trends in the wholesale distribution industry, and the upside of the globalization trend. Several industry trends were highlighted, bringing distributors an opportunity to lift themselves out of their daily business issues.

NAW encouraged attendees to immerse themselves in current business issues detailed in the lectures through discussion roundtables.

Stadius said the roundtables were employed to give attendees a chance to network with their peers in a non-competing setting. “We provided note cards at the tables and as they listened to the sessions, we asked them to jot down questions or topics that they wanted to discuss at their roundtables,” she said.

The theme of the summit: Facing the Forces of Change, served as a sneak peak to featured content in NAW’s trends report, “Facing the Forces of Change: Lead the Way in the Supply Chain,” by Adam J. Fein, Ph.D, president of Pembroke Consulting, Philadelphia.

Stadius said the summit provided NAW with an opportunity to share an overview of Fein’s book, which was released earlier this month.

During the summit, NAW also announced that the research-focused work of the Distribution Research and Education Foundation (DREF) will be carried out by a newly established organization: the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence.

Created as a single, focused not-for-profit educational foundation, the Institute provides the highest level of industry-wide research and education to complement the educational efforts of NAW’s member associations.

“We are doing this to more clearly identify our research activities with NAW which our market research showed is having very high and positive brand awareness among our distributors,” Stadius explained. “It’s basically to more clearly focus on the intended outreach of our research which is excellence in distribution.”

According to Stadius, NAW conducted extensive market research during 2006 and what they discovered really piqued their interest.

“We found that while DREF was highly regarded as a publishing arm since 1967, the foundation’s visibility within the industry was limited,” Stadius said. “So we basically renamed it and rebranded it for the purpose of bringing the value of the NAW research together with the publication.”

So what does the takeover of DREF by the NAW Institute mean for distributors?

“Before, distributors had DREF and the NAW publishing program available to them separately,” Stadius said. “Now it’s just putting them under one name so all the products that were available before are still available to the distributors.”


Desks Dirtier Than Some Restrooms
A recent study financed by The Clorox Co., Oakland, Calif., found that office desks harbor more than 400 times more bacteria than a workplace restroom.

The study, conducted by University of Arizona professor Charles Gerba, found that women have three-to-four times the number of bacteria in, on and around their desks than their male co-workers.

As a result of the findings, Gerba recommends increased use of hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes on these surfaces.

Never Too Late For Toilet Training
Several colleges in the country of Malaysia will soon be offering courses on how to keep public restrooms clean.

According to the government, courses would involve managing washrooms by the highest standards in design and sanitation technology in an effort meant to help Malaysia’s public lavatories become hygienic.

Recently, Malaysia’s government hoped to launch a “toilet revolution” in a country where public restrooms have long nauseated citizens and tourists because of the lack of basic items such as toilet paper, soap and toilet seats. The government plans to introduce a system for the public to log complaints about filthy toilets via cell phone text messages.

USGBC’s Greenbuild 2007 Moves To Chicago
The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, the premiere green building conference in the world, recently announced that it has moved its 2007 show from Los Angeles to Chicago.

The show will be held on November 7-9, 2007, as previously announced. For more information visit www.greenbuildexpo.org.


Tacony Corp., St. Louis, recently acquired Tornado Industries Inc., Chicago. The acquisition rounds out Tacony’s group of commercial floor companies, which now serves markets in North America and over 60 countries.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of Tacony, Tornado will continue to operate in Chicago.

Tennant Co., Minneapolis, completed the acquisition of Floorep Ltd., Glasgow, U.K., in a cash transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition of Floorep, a privately owned cleaning equipment company, increases Tennant’s customer base by approximately 25 percent and is now the largest cleaning equipment service provider in the United Kingdom.

Bunzl plc, London, has acquired TEC Products Co., Inc., Westgate Sales Corp., and Westgate Canada Ltd. TEC Products, Carteret, N.J., is a supplier of jan/san products. Westgate Sales Corp., Oakland, N.J., and Westgate Canada Ltd., Ontario and Alberta, supply personal protection equipment through redistributors in the eastern United States and Canada.

Clark National Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill., recently acquired certain assets of Lansing, Mich.-based Popoff Meats’ distribution business, including approximately $11 million of grocery sales to the foodservice trade in southern Michigan.

WAXIE Sanitary Supply, San Diego, recently merged with Midwest Chemical & Supply, Denver, a distributor of janitorial supplies.

AmSan, Pompano Beach, Fla., a subsidiary of Interline Brands, Inc., acquired all assets of Cascade Janitorial Supply, Tualatin, Ore.