Last summer, HARDI held a casting call for the industry’s top performers and rising stars younger than 40 years of age. HARDI members across the country nominated the top talent among wholesalers, manufacturers and affiliated vendors to create the first-ever list of HARDI’s best and brightest.

HARDI leadership then evaluated the competitive pool of nominations and carefully selected the top 40 for recognition. We give you the 40 Under 40. Posted March 15th.

Chris Avram, 35

Branch Manager – Geary Pacific Supply

Avram leads by example and is committed to teaching people how to accomplish their tasks through proper training and supervision. He has implemented new processes and technology that have since been replicated at other branches. Avram has worked with an internal committee to develop educational training programs for new employees and is directly involved in branch manager training, encouraging participation in the educational programs offered by the industry.

Dave Bania, 37

Regional Sales Manager – Refrigeration Sales Corp.

Bania leads by example, never asking anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself, and displays a knack for reading people and defusing difficult situations with employees or customers. Bania was a key player on the opening of two new stores and one acquisition. He has proven to be a great mediator and mentor over the years and is trusted and respected by all at Refrigeration Sales Corp. and its customers.

David Blau, 30

Marketing Specialist – Gustave A. Larson Co.

Blau is considered one of the most respected emerging leaders at Gustave A. Larson Co. and is well respected by vendor partners. He developed an incentive program for all employees to sell obsolete and discontinued products, generating significant sales over the past two years. He has also created comprehensive sales tools to drive higher margin parts and accessory sales, leading to tremendous growth over the past two years.

Jack Boland, 32

Product Manager – The BellSimons Cos.

Boland is a hard worker who takes problems head on and sees them through. He learns quickly and has streamlined company tasks to make them more efficient, such as creating and executing audit systems to better track warranties. Boland works well with others and has successfully directed his team to reach their goals.

Bryan Boyd, 31

Vice President/General Manager – AC Supply

Boyd came to AC Supply at the time the company needed new business-management software and took charge of the project, becoming the resident expert. Most recently, Boyd unraveled an inventory shrinkage problem and changed procedures that made the difference in solving the problem. Boyd serves on the board of HARDI’s Southwestern region.

Mark Bray, 33

Director of Supply Chain – ACR Supply Co.

Bray has led several major initiatives at ACR Supply Co., resulting in improved customer service while simultaneously reducing costs. When encountering problems, he collaborates with cross-functional teams to discuss possible solutions and understand various perspectives before taking action. Bray serves as the vice chair of HARDI’s Distribution & Logistics Committee, is a member of the Advisory Board for the Industrial Distribution & Logistics program at East Carolina University and has been published in Distribution Center magazine and ACHR The NEWS.

Greg Cohen, 36

President – The Star Supply Co.

Cohen has taken the lead in implementing technology at The Star Supply, growing its B2B e-commerce presence. He has a knack for learning quickly and contributing thoughtful, relevant, helpful ideas. Cohen stepped away from his family business for a time to gain outside experience and valuable new perspectives to bring back to The Star Supply. He is an active contributor to various associations across the industry.

Denise Corbin, 33

President/Owner — WinSupply, Austin HVAC

Since taking over the Austin, Texas area, Corbin has led her team to grow business in both size and footprint. Corbin helped implement a more stringent inventory management system, leading to increased fill rates and tripling net profit – hitting the highest sales in company history in June 2015. Corbin volunteers her time tutoring eighth graders, helping to provide relief by rebuilding nearby homes after flooding.

Jeff Dykstra, 38

Field Sales Manager – Gustave A. Larson Co.

Dykstra has developed and implemented new marketing programs, using sales tools and analytics to significantly drive growth within the past year. He’s created a culture of communication, explaining data in a way that gets sales teams to support new programs and promotions. Dykstra leads by example when extracting data to make an informed decision and is a true team player, willing to help out wherever he can.

Christina Fennell, 35

Director of Logistics – Johnstone Supply, The Ware Group

Fennell is constantly on the lookout for ways to improve The Ware Group and the entire industry. She is committed to developing her people and finding opportunities to empower them and help them grow their leadership and confidence. Fennell diligently resolves issues by involving the right employees and creating effective processes.

Kelly Goldsmith, 28

General Manager – Packard Inc.

Goldsmith is an analytical problem solver who has been instrumental in bringing a new and exciting focus to Packard. She has been actively involved in marketing efforts, spearheading product development, brand identity and social media programs. She supports the community by volunteering at a local soup kitchen as well as local support of breast cancer awareness and the Wounded Warrior Project.

Brandon Gregory, 29

Corporate Purchasing Manager – American Metals Supply Co. Inc.

Gregory has been a leader in innovation. He has implemented software-based purchasing programs that have substantially increased the productivity of the purchasing department, improving turns and fill rates. He has been a speaker for user-led classes on business intelligence software and contributes time and money each year to local needy families during the holidays.

Timothy Hasselbring, 29

Inside Sales – Ace Supply Co.

Hasselbring is an extremely reliable performer who takes ownership of any problem that comes his way, doing everything in his power to answer a customer’s question or solve their issue in a timely manner. He is the “go-to” person for technical product questions as well as any new ideas that need to be implemented. Hasselbring participates in several events benefiting the Special Olympics, and autism.

Chuck Hitchcock, 34

Branch Manager – American Metals Supply Co. Inc.

Hitchcock was responsible for successfully introducing American Metals Supply Co. in a new market, achieving healthy-margin, eight-figure sales in just six years – reaching break-even status faster than any other startup operation in the company’s history. Hitchcock serves on several industry committees and is known for his tireless work ethic, outstanding integrity and versatile interpersonal skills.

Sean Ince, 33

Manager – Business Development & Nat’l Accounts, Pro One IAQ

Ince focuses on results, always considering the big picture and company vision. He coaches and supports his team, allowing them the freedom to achieve their goals in their own ways. Ince leads efforts in the area of technology when they produce results and value to the customer. Ince serves on HARDI’s Emerging Leaders Task Force.

Kristin Jordan, 34

Marketing Manager – AC Supply

Jordan has brought organization to AC Supply, from developing comprehensive marketing plans to coordinating AC Supply University. She has a strong proficiency in technology, leading efforts on website design, video messaging and the company’s online catalog. Jordan leads by example, taking roles that provide little recognition, from customer events to supporting a local youth charity and food bank.

Ryan Kiscaden, 30

Director National Accounts – Thermostat Recycling Corp.

Kiscaden stands out with his energy and commitment. He optimized data reporting for improved strategic planning and identified key areas of improvement with the Big Man On Planet competition, making modifications to double participation. Kiscaden’s efforts have demonstrated that the HVAC industry can take a proactive stance on an important environmental issue in a manner that helps the environment but also adds value to distributors.

Dan Lauterhahn, 39

Senior Vice President of Sales – Packard

Under Lauterhahn’s guidance, Packard implemented regional sales managers to support Packard’s existing independent and internal sales reps. The new structure resulted in quicker, better support for customers and an exponential increase in annual sales. Lauterhahn also serves as co-chair of HARDI’s Professional Development Committee and Emerging Leaders Task Force and supports his community as a volunteer baseball coach.

Phillip Martin, 34

Vice President, Sales Operations – cfm Distributors Inc.

Martin has been a large proponent of using benchmarking metrics to identify outdated industry assumptions, giving the company a clear picture of the necessary steps to becoming stronger and more profitable. Martin is an actively involved member of HARDI’s Emerging Leaders program, furthering the program’s growth and development.

Matthew McKinney, 27

Regional Business Director – ICOR International

McKinney directly impacts his 17-state territory, providing hands-on training and demonstrations when needed. He was also instrumental in developing a customer database platform used by all the regional business directors. In one state, he was able to help the multifamily housing sector by providing valuable information to directly save them thousands of dollars. Always willing to help, McKinney also serves in the Army Reserves.

Tony Meier, 36

Business Development Manager – Meier Supply Co.

Beginning in the lower ranks of the company, Meier has worked his way up, showing consistently strong performance. He has earned multiple certifications and served as chairman of the Meier Core Development Team, leading the development of various other personnel. Meier is currently analyzing the company’s inventory performance, evaluating the turnover and profitability and developing a plan to improve results across several major vendor lines.

Thomas Molloy, 32

Regional Sales Manager – Centrotherm Eco Systems

One of Centrotherm Eco Systems’ first hires, Molloy stands out as an effective manager and exemplary salesman who gives his time to train young technicians still in school, as well as seasoned technicians looking to improve their knowledge base. He has worked tirelessly to open new markets and has been instrumental in bringing information back from the field to the factory to innovate and create successful new products.

Renata Morgan, 31

Marketing Manager – Century AC Supply

Morgan has continuously proven to be an asset to various departments. She found ways to automate many sales processes and implemented custom reporting to turn data into insights. Morgan turned the marketing department into a value-add, providing design and campaign development to customers. She is regularly approached by other departments for her brainstorming insights and outside-the-box thinking. Morgan is a high-level, enthusiastic employee and is working with students at a local college on a marketing research project.

Brian Neustadt, 36

Vice President – Neuco

As leader of Neuco’s national accounts, Neustadt brings passion and energy to various customer groups and has seen marked improvements directly related to his efforts. He wastes no time taking ownership of projects and evaluating processes or departments for improvements. Neustadt also displays an aptitude for forging lasting and trusting relationships, earning employees’ loyalty and commitment.

John Newland, 29

Denver Manager – Hercules Industries

Newland aligned Hercules Industries’ sales efforts, combining the commercial and residential sales teams to create a dynamic sales group that can service both markets. He also aligned the sales team’s efforts with a newly developed division that services the bid and spec market, creating a streamlined bid process that helped double the division in a year and a half. Newland leads by example and often seeks to understand the work himself before delegating.

Patrick Newland, 36

Strategic Marketing Manager – Hercules Industries

Newland employs a positive attitude, connects easily with people and is a creative risk taker. A decisive and compassionate individual, he wastes no time taking action to move forward to accomplish a goal while considering the best interests of all parties involved. Newland contributes to the greater good of the industry, serving on the Affiliated Distributors Product Committee, and is an active contributor on various industry task forces.

Mike Pastorello, 35

Chief Operations Officer – Refrigeration Technologies

Pastorello has proven to be an invaluable resource across many departments at Refrigeration Technologies. Not only has he positioned Refrigeration Technologies to compete in a digital world by implementing various software tools, but he also leads the sales team on a global basis, works in the company’s chemical lab, assists with marketing initiatives, provides technical support and solves logistics issues. He is considered one of the most dedicated members of the Refrigeration Technologies team.

Trevor Piccione, 26

Territory Sales Manager – Aspen Manufacturing

Since joining Aspen Manufacturing, Piccione has helped the members of the team update their presentations and quoting templates, improving how quickly multifamily projects could be quoted. He continues to look for ways to help the rest of the team implement new technology. He is a quick learner who is eager to take on new assignments and listen to advice from his peers. He is always willing to help other members of the sales team, whether they are part of his immediate team or not.

JJ Pond, 35

President – Tulsa Winair

Through a commitment to innovation and customer service, Pond has grown his location, adding team members and increasing profitability. He is seen as a talented young leader who is adept at solving branch problems. In his spare time, Pond volunteers at local charities.

David Radmand, 38

Region Manager – Geary Pacific Supply

Radmand understands processes and the big picture and translates it to his teams so that they understand what they have to do and why it’s important. He transformed a regional hub to make it run more smoothly while also repairing and remodeling the facility to make it more appealing to customers and employees. Radmand also contributes his time coaching youth football.

Travis Roach, 31

Vendor Relations – Robert Madden Industries

As the leader of Vendor Relations for Robert Madden Industries, Roach is instrumental in developing relationships with suppliers that strategically fit with the goals of the company. In 2015, he organized the company’s first Field Market Summit planning meeting with suppliers, an event that garnered recognition and praise from suppliers. He gives back to the industry by serving on committees and councils for various groups across the industry.

Lauren Roberts, 30

Vice President – cfm Distributors Inc.

Roberts has created a culture at cfm Distributors that emphasizes a positive, performance culture and continuing education. She is deeply involved in solving problems at cfm, assisting in correcting order fulfillment processes, improving internal culture, and connecting employees and customers with continuing education resources. Roberts serves as a chair of HARDI’s Marketing Committee and on HARDI’s Emerging Leaders Task Force. In her spare time, she is a Big Sister in the Kansas City Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

Jose “Sam” Rodriguez, 33

Branch Manager – H.M. Sweeny Co.

Rodriguez has tripled his branch’s sales in just three years. He redesigned his store layout to make more efficient use of space and expanded his product offerings to accommodate customer demand. He pioneered a new educational club for his customers, presenting a monthly class with sessions filled to capacity each month. Rodriguez has given several public service radio interviews on the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Jen Schmitt, 34

Vice President/General Manager – Schmitt ProfiTools

As vice president and general manager of Schmitt ProfiTools, Schmitt constantly works with customers to understand their problems while exploring ways to solve them. She employs a customer-driven approach, displaying excellent listening, probing and brainstorming skills until the customer has a finished solution. Schmitt is active in many industry, association and buying group events and volunteers time to rehabilitate low-income houses in the St. Louis area.

Brian Sigrist, 31

Inventory Manager – Gustave A. Larson Co.

Sigrist is a leader when it comes to extracting data and explaining it in a meaningful way to resolve issues and answer questions. He has led the charge implementing the company’s inventory management visibility tool. By educating the rest of the staff, Sigrist has taken an unknown and made it into a positive experience for everyone and enabled managers to make educated, data-driven decisions. He has given back to the industry by presenting on forecasting strategies and best practices at industry meetings.

Jason Stokes, 27

Technology and Marketing Manager – Geary Pacific Supply

Stokes has a vast appetite for knowledge, making him fearless when tackling new projects. He has a unique aptitude for technology, evident in the new phone system and computer networks he implemented as well as in the “live” sales reports that allow branches to view goals progress in real time. He’s always willing to help teammates understand how to use the tools they have or do the task themselves so they can do it on their own the next time.

Brad Telker, 32

Director, Commercial Products – cfm Distributors

Under Telker’s direction, the company’s commercial sales team has grown its commercial sales gross margins by nearly double digits, making advancements to the company’s load calculation programs, quoting programs and marketing of new products. He creates an exceptional customer experience, asking the right questions and providing excellent follow-up, going so far as to visit job sites to determine the best solutions possible.

Christyn Zehnder, 30

Director of Marketing & Communications – Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC)

Many of TRC’s recent successes can be directly attributed to Zehnder’s efforts. Her promotional campaigns, including the Big Man On Planet campaign, have led to an increase in Web and social media traffic and two consecutive years of increased thermostat and mercury collections. Resourceful with a “can do” attitude, Zehnder has become TRC’s model for productivity, overcoming obstacles and building a project from the ground up.