GRAPEVINE, Texas — Gathering under a glass dome adorned with the Texas Lone Star, 2014 WinWholesale Inc. annual meeting and vendor showcase attendees spent up to six days connecting with their organization as well as their peers. According to WinWholesale, there were approximately 1,200 total attendees at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.
“Each year, the WinWholesale organization holds annual shareholder meetings as required by law for each of its Win branded locations, or local companies, which are corporate entities,” said the company. “The meetings are held face-to-face as well as Web-based in alternate years. This year was the year of the face-to-face meetings.”During the meetings, the WinWholesale and Noland companies review financial performance, the past year’s operations, and future plans. In addition to the local company meetings, attendees hear guest speakers, company speakers, attend the Vendor Showcase trade show, attend vendor training sessions, meet one-on-one with vendor representatives, and participate in an awards banquet where the top-performing companies in the WinWholesale organization are recognized.
Although a yearly expectation, WinWholesale doesn’t allow its meetings to remain unchanged. This year the company experienced some firsts for the convention. For instance, this is the first time that WinWholesale has combined the annual meetings for every single local company into one week. It was also a first to have media in attendance and to allow manufacturer representatives.
Not only did WinWholesale invite media to observe, but the company gathered its top brass to sit down and provide an exclusive look at the convention and the company.
Rick Schwartz, CEO and chairmen of the board, WinWholesale, explained that as a business, “We continue to stick to our basic principles. It is a very bottom up organization that is not successful without the success of our local companies.”
Another executive, Jack Johnston, president of WinWholesale, noted how thankful the company is for the hard work of the families and employees.
“We cannot thank the local teams enough,” he said.
According to Monte Salsman, COO, WinWholesale is a company based on asking, “What’s the best way to accomplish something,” and then getting more involved.
“It is doing more customer-facing support,” he explained.
One of the questions during this session asked for clarification on branding for WinWholesale. Based on brand research done by the company, the panel of executives clarified that new locations, with the exception of WaterWorks, will be named WinSupply. Nolan and Carr Supply would remain the same. WinWholesale is largely a plumbing entity, but its electrical and HVAC businesses are growing. Salsman made sure to express that WinWholesale is not strictly a plumbing company as some may believe.
“We have been putting more HVAC products in our distribution centers and provided four dedicated people to run the overall HVAC sector,” he said. “As customers change, we are changing. WinWholesale can be a one-stop-shop.”
The vendor showcase featured 193 displays of products and services. From hats and shirts to advertising and a/c units, those walking the aisles found people who were ready to discuss how to help make their local company better. Mixed amongst the vendors were services and solutions provided by WinWholesale. For example, Wholesalers Credit Management Services are providers of professional credit and collections solutions for wholesale distributors; and WinWholesale Sourcing Services provides distributors relationships with more than 90 vendors already in place.
“This means you can stock your shelves with the best products from many of the industry’s largest and most trusted providers, while enjoying volume pricing negotiated on a national scale,” said the service. “In addition to the advantages that apply across all stocked vendors, WinWholesale Sourcing Services has special agreements in place with selected vendors to benefit local companies still further.”
The showcase lasted six hours, during which lunch was served, and attendees were able to win prizes from various booths. There were also WinWholesale drawings that awarded prizes drawn randomly.
DINNER, AWARDS, AND DESSERT
Later in the evening, after the vendor showcase had closed, attendees put on their best and headed to the awards dinner. Steven Edwards, vice president of marketing, opened the evening with some humor and remarks, as he discussed what was to be celebrated and what was to come.
“We are evolving to customer needs,” he said. “It is time to up our game and that is the point of our gathering.”
The evening was filled with entertainment and honor as WinWholesale executives honored Win Group companies for their 2013 achievements in addition to individuals receiving special recognition.
“Tonight is a testament to the power of partnerships,” said Schwartz. “We are celebrating with the success of you and a capitalistic business model. This is a family celebration, like a big reunion every year. I want to thank each of you for what you do for the organization.”
WinWholesale selected DiversiTech Corp. as its 2013 HVAC vendor of the year. Jim Kirby accepted the award for DiversiTech. The company supplies products to WinWholesale local companies representing the WinAir, WinNelson, WinElectric, WinSupply, and Noland Co. brands.
“DiversiTech’s excellent core product categories that provide a wide selection of HVAC products to meet our customers’ needs, coupled with our mutual interest to advance product sales, has meant another year of continued growth,” noted Johnston. “DiversiTech stands out among our many excellent vendors.”
The company named seven vendors in different industries as a 2013 Vendor of the Year: A.O. Smith Water Products Co., plumbing; Encore Wire Corp., electrical; Advanced Drainage Systems, waterworks; DiversiTech Corp., HVAC; United Pipe & Steel Corp., industrial; Rain Bird Corp., irrigation; and Milwaukee Electric Tool, tools.
“WinWholesale’s vendors of the year represent the best of the best among our many excellent suppliers,” said Johnston. “In every case, their desire to be true partners to serve our customers and grow with us is the foundation of the relationship and one of the main reasons WinWholesale had another successful year in 2013.”
The evening ended with a dessert party and entertainment. According to many attendees, “It was a night to remember.”
For more information, visit www.winwholesale.com.