BREA, Calif — Controls Group North America (CGNA) met in Chicago on Sept. 7-8, for its 2017 Fall Synergy Conference.  “Engagement ” was the theme of a very focused and elite event to connect and “engage” the Member distributors and preferred vendors of the top controls group in the industry. 

Scott Cochrane, CEO and president of Cochrane Supply, was the keynote speaker who shared the 50-year journey of his company, “From Parts to Smarts.”  As a leading distributor of building automation solutions, Scott outlined his strategy for success for the next 50 years in the fast-paced world of intelligent commercial buildings.  Every distributor and vendor in the room was intrigued and challenged by this outstanding presentation.   

A panel discussion followed with Dan Preston from Johnson Controls, Marc Bergeron from ProLon, and Mike Marston from EasyIO.  They joined three distributors to further explore Cochrane’s perspective in a lively discussion moderated by Eric Stromquist of Stromquist & Co. in Atlanta.  Mike Marston commented afterward that, "The CGNA conference in Chicago was an amazing experience.  The new ideas and willingness to embrace change made for a unique event.  EasyIO is very glad to be a part of this forward-looking group.”

The entire conference set the table for the final event: the “CGNA Inverted Trade Show.”  For the first time ever in CGNA’s 34 years, the preferred vendors “walked the show,” as the CGNA member distributors manned their booths, ready to connect and do business.  The response was quite amazing.  By turning the trade show “upside down,” there was new and fresh dialog initiated by the vendors that was welcomed by all parties. 

Jay Ranalli, president of Broudy Precision, said it well.  “The “Inverted Trade Show” was very good for us.  We spoke with several preferred vendors we were not doing business with, and we’re certainly going to take a closer look at working with them.”

Needless to say, the CGNA 2017 Fall Synergy Conference was a time of excellent “Engagement.” 

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Publication date: 10/4/2017