#HARDISummit Highlights

BY Emily Frost
12/11/2020 - HVAC Networking

Thank you so much to our members who attended our 2020 Virtual Summit!

The new virtual format welcomed 349 wholesaler attendees from 127 member companies for a grand total of 695 attendees from 270 member companies present at the virtual event. The Products and Solutions Showcase sold out with 30 vendors.




Popular speakers included Kevin O’Leary, who not only discussed how he has pivoted operations since the COVID-19 pandemic, but answered many live questions from our members, tailoring his presentation to the HVACR industry. Another crowd favorite was Jim Donald, who emphasized the importance of building relationships not only with your customers but also your employees, in order to build healthy teams and organizations going into 2021. 


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Continuing from last year, we presented the research from the second annual State of the Channel report. Sessions that branched out of the State of the Channel included The Voice of Suppliers: 2020 and the Critical Role of Inventory, The Voice of Contractors: 2020 and the Future of Sales and Service Expectations, The Spotlight on Commercial Building Controls and COVID-19 & the Small Distributor: Staying Competitive in Uncertain Times.   


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Presenters Senthil Gunasekaran and Pradip Krishnadevarajan returned to explore the challenges facing small distributors and offered insights on how they plan to respond in the coming year. The pair continues their partnership with HARDI by introducing two new certification programs for 2021: Inventory Management and Pricing Management. 


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We wrapped up the Summit by announcing our new Board of Director members and Pillar Award winners.

BOD Members:

  • For Director: Loran Liu, Standard Supply & Distributing Company, Inc., Dallas, Texas
  • For Director: Brian Blaushild, Famous Enterprises, Akron, Ohio
  • For Director: Michael Gallagher, Design Air LLC, Kimberly, Wisconsin
  • For Chair: Jim Luce of Luce, Schwab and Kase Inc., Fairfield, New Jersey.

They replace Greg Toler, Andrew Barton, Steve Carboni, and Tom Boutette, whose terms have ended.

“The addition of Loran, Brian, and Michael is the latest achievement of the governance model installed by the Board in 2018,” says HARDI CEO, Talbot Gee. “This year’s was perhaps our most impressive set of candidates and Loran, Brian, and Michael bring unique talents and experiences specifically sought by our Nominating Committee. Their diverse skill sets will make immediate impacts on the next stage of HARDI’s strategic direction and growth, and our efforts to further wholesale distribution’s share of the HVACR channel.”


Pillar Awards:

Advocacy Pillar Award: Geary Pacific Supply & Ferguson Enterprises, LLC

Benchmarking Pillar Award: M&A Supply Company, Inc

Talent Pillar Award: Carrier Enterprise LLC

“It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of Ferguson,” says Ferguson’s Drew Hartsock. “Ferguson strives to be a leader in the HVAC/R distribution industry, and we are pleased to represent HARDI on the AHRI Safe Transition Refrigerant Task Force.  We look forward to continuing to support HARDI on future projects.”


Next year’s Annual Conference is expected to take place in-person at Palm Desert, California at the JW Marriott Desert Springs, December 4-7, 2021.

If you missed out on #HARDISummit, you can still catch all of the action by purchasing the OnDemand sessions, or if already registered, watch the playbacks.