My name is Herb Woerpel, and I’m the new editor-in-chief of Distribution Center magazine.

I’ve served as the managing editor of The NEWS for the last five years and have 11 years of experience as a professional journalist.  

My goal in running this magazine is to provide you with the information necessary to help you succeed in business.

My face isn’t the only thing that’s new around here. In fact, the entire magazine has undergone a face-lift. I’m confident these changes will streamline your reading experience.


HARDI Annual Conference

My predecessor, Tom Perić, has served this industry for nearly 20 years, and while he is leaving the magazine, he is not leaving the industry.

Perić was kind enough to join me for the opening reception at HARDI’s Annual Conference, where he introduced me to several of the distributors he’s befriended over the last two decades. I can’t thank him enough for this.

One such individual was outgoing HARDI president Tom Roberts. For several minutes, Roberts embraced Perić and embellished him with praise, sharing how valuable he’s been to his company, his personal growth, and the industry. I felt like I had disappeared into the shadow of a giant.

Finishing with Perić, HARDI’s president turned to me and smiled that big Tom Roberts smile.

“I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” I said, acknowledging my wallflower status in the distribution sector.

“No you don’t,” he replied.

My eyebrows leapt to the top of my forehead.

“While Tom has done some great things, you need to do things your way,” Roberts continued. “How old are you?”

“I’m 36.”

“You’re the perfect age for this position,” he said. “We’re all trying to find ways to bring millennials into our businesses, and you’re able to speak their language. You’re going to bring new ideas and leadership that only you can. Don’t worry about filling Tom’s shoes, simply be you.”

Be yourself, unapologetically. Those are words of wisdom I’ll never forget.

I wondered if Roberts shared this same advice with incoming president Troy Meachum? Did outgoing vice president of government affairs Jon Melchi offer this insight to incoming government affairs directors Palmer Schoening and Alex Ayers? What advice had Emily Saving received as she stepped into her role as HARDI’s executive vice president? Would Donald Trump extend a similar olive branch to the next commander in chief — perhaps via Twitter?

Sometimes, it’s not about the shoes, no matter how scuffed the soles or shiny the polish. Instead, it’s all about the strides we take within them.

I hope 2018 is your best year yet.