COLUMBUS, Ohio — Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) has announced the speakers and activities for its Emerging Leaders Summer Conference that takes place July 17-19, 2016, in Chicago.

“The Emerging Leaders Task Force has carefully arranged the content to promote expertise in Financials & Profitability,” said Emily Saving, HARDI vice president of professional & program development.

Breaking Down the Profit Barriers – Dr. Albert Bates

Dr. Albert Bates, founder of the benchmarking and executive education firm Profit Planning Group and whose writing has been featured in the Harvard Business Review, will discuss barriers to profitability and how to break them down.

Many distributors have struggled with profitability over the past decade. Bates will demonstrate how to overcome those barriers by addressing three issues. First, he will review what we know about profitability that is actually wrong. Only when profit barriers are well understood can they be overcome. Second, he will lay out a game plan for making proper adjustments in key areas of the business. Third, he will identify how firms can ensure long-term success.

According to Bates, the result will be to improve financial results – not just a little, but a lot.

Rip the Roof Off – The Distribution Team

Jason Bader and his group at The Distribution Team will lead a hands-on session for attendees to simulate running a distributorship. Teams of Emerging Leaders will “rip the roof” off of an HVACR distribution company, making decisions and taking actions to lead their companies. Just like in real life, the company with the most net profit wins!

This innovative learning experience focuses on learning by doing, which is widely regarded as one of the most effective ways to sharpen one’s skills. The simulation will cover cash flow, customer profitability, inventory, receivables and purchasing — all with the intent to develop stronger financial leaders.

Leveraging Your Local Market Data – Brian Loftus

Brian Loftus, HARDI market research and benchmarking analyst who has served as an investment analyst for commercial and industrial sectors, will discuss various sources for valuable economic data and how attendees can use them to their advantage. Loftus will share his expertise on accessing this in-depth information to interpret past performance, assess the potential of new and existing markets, and build a solid basis for strategic planning.

The conference also brings back the mentor-led roundtables. This year’s mentors, selected for their strong financial acumen, will share their knowledge and expertise with attendees.

Financials & Profitability is one of six rotating topics for the Emerging Leaders program.

HARDI’s Emerging Leaders program is open to any employee of a HARDI member who has been recognized as having the talent and potential to advance to the executive level of the organization. For more information, contact Nick Benton,