My son recently graduated college and received an offer for a desirable position at a respected company. Only problem? It was on the other side of the globe. He asked my wife and me for advice on whether or not to take it.

As parents, a very big part of us wanted him to stay close to home. But we knew this opportunity offered too many possibilities. After just a couple years with that company, he would have the experience needed to come back home and choose his destiny.

He is now a 16-hour flight away and 13 hours ahead in time!

We miss him like crazy, and he has made a big sacrifice, but his time there will allow him to develop considerably and help him secure his future.

My advice to you is the same. When you find opportunities to improve yourself, seize them. More often than not, the sacrifice will be worth it.

For my own development, I have already attended three Focus Conferences this year, and a common thread has emerged: efficiency. From personal efficiency to operational efficiency, the Focus Conferences have reinforced the need to do things smarter, do things better and do the things that matter.

I particularly enjoyed Jason Bader’s recent presentation on analyzing inventory performance. Bader doubles as the program expert in HARDI’s Branch Manager Certification Program. The program is in its third year and has already helped more than 40 wholesalers fine-tune their operations and uncover profit gains. Coupled with HARDI’s Sales Manager Certification Program, you have a powerful development system at your disposal. Use it to help your employees strengthen their skill sets, be more effective at their jobs and grow the business.

Anyone interested in joining either program should register now to complete the independent study coursework in time for the September workshops.

There is only one more Focus Conference this year: Operations & Logistics in Baltimore. My suggestion? Take advantage of it. The Focus Conference series provides concentrated learning and unique networking opportunities for your key players. Go the extra mile – attend.

As we look toward the second half of the year, HARDI staff has been hustling to assemble the details for the annual conference, which takes place in December. Without revealing too much, I can tell you this year’s conference will be unique from past years, and I’m excited for you to find out more. Registration opens in July, so mark your calendars and look for more details and announcements to come.

Finally, with my son on the other side of the planet, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the annual Big Man On Planet competition. HARDI and Thermostat Recycling Corp. kicked off this year’s mercury recycling campaign last month, continuing our effort to remove hundreds of pounds of mercury from the waste stream.

They say nothing worth achieving was ever achieved without hard work. Having been in this industry for half my life, I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that it is as true for us as anyone. We must be willing to put in extra effort if we expect to grow as an industry.

Remember, the better we are at what we do and the easier we are to do business with, the more secure the future of wholesale distribution will be.


Here’s to a good month; let’s keep moving it forward,


 Bill Bergamini