PRO Group and Distribution America kick off annual meeting

Distributors met head-to-head with manufacturers such as Erickson at the Executive Planning Conference.

Marco Island, Fla. -- Home improvement product buyers and sellers are taking care of business here at the 10th annual PRO Group and Distribution America Executive Planning Conference.

The event brings together the nation’s top suppliers and distributors serving the independent home improvement industry. Event organizers calculate that a total of 2,791 business meetings will take place over two days, with each distributor conducting one-on-one meetings with key manufacturers.

Attendance is up, and so is optimism, organizers said.

“Business conditions are certainly stronger than they were going into last year's Executive Planning Conference,” said Dave Christmas, president of Distribution America. “The conference is well-timed as we look toward continued growth in 2014 and beyond.”

The Executive Planning Conference is celebrating its tenth anniversary of being hosted jointly by PRO Group and Distribution America.

“Participants tell us it is by far the best use of their time all year,” said Steve Synnott, president and CEO of PRO Group. “They don't talk about football or the weather in these meetings. They talk about features and advantages of products, trends and what is important to the distributors. At the end of each 20 minute meeting, distributors walk away with a clear plan with that supplier for the coming year.”

Synnott and Christmas see increased growth in the new year and anticipate the continuation of trends from 2013. "Our distributor members are seeing an increase in overall business conditions and they are gaining market share,” said Christmas. “We anticipate that continuing in 2014.”

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