CDA Members Gather for a Productive CDBX

Above, CDBX attendees gather for Tuesday's Awards Luncheon, generously sponsored by The Hershey Co.

Convenience industry distributors and suppliers from across the country gathered in Chicago Sept. 9-12 at The Westin Michigan Avenue for CDA's 2019 Convenience Distribution Business Exchange (CDBX).

“CDBX provides distributors and manufacturers in the convenience channel with a great opportunity to discuss issues pertinent to their businesses as well as plan for the upcoming year,” said Kimberly Bolin, CDA’s president and CEO. “This is one of our most popular events.”

Attendees lauded the success of CDBX, which included over 1,500 meetings that took place throughout the week, and took advantage of numerous networking opportunities.

To the left, at Tuesday night's reception are (l-r) Matt Domingo, RAI Trade Marketing Services Co., sponsor of Tuesday night's reception; Shannon Campagna, CDA; and Steven Potts and John Wall, Stephenson Wholesale Co.

"CDBX is the best event to find out what’s happening behind the scenes with our suppliers and partners," says Kenneth Batterton, GSC Enterprises Inc. "Because so many quality CDA members attend, suppliers see value in sending their top people, and those key influencers are ready to listen. If you can’t get it done at CDBX, you can’t get it done anywhere."

"We look forward to participating in CDBX each and every year. It's provides us with a great opportunity to engage with many of our wholesale partners, as well as other key industry stakeholders," explains Matt Domingo, RAI Trade Marketing Services Co. "We aim to optimize our time by sharing progress against our current and upcoming business plans, while seeking feedback from them so we can succeed together."

To the right, GSC Enterprises, Inc., Sulphur Springs, TX, strategizes with DOT Foods.

"I love seeing all the innovations and look forward to the one-on-one meetings with manufacturers," says Julie Carpenter, Cash-Wa Distributing Co. "CDBX provides the perfect place for open dialog regarding business growth, as well as the ability to discuss opportunities with other distributors. It provides new direction and the ability to network with others for the upcoming year."

"CDBX is one of the most productive industry events we attend all year," says Jason Ricard, Mondelēz International. "The opportunity to connect with the majority of our distributor partners over the course of three days is a great way to mutually grow our business together."

To the left, Mondelēz International meets with a team from Gem State Distributors, Pocatello, ID.

2019 Chair Charlie Casper, Hardec’s, presided over the CDA Annual Membership meeting, where new members for 2020 were elected. This included the association’s incoming 2020 Chair Scott Carrico, Richmond-Master Distributors. “Scott has served on the CDA Board of Directors as well as executive committee for the last three years,” says Casper. “It has been a pleasure to work with Scott in shaping the direction of CDA. Scott’s leadership and vision with the Education & Research and Industry Affairs committees has yielded very promising results. He is a very hard worker dedicated to the industry and CDA members. I have no doubt Scott will be very successful in leading CDA and for the betterment of our members.”

"Scott brings a long history of industry, business and association experience to the chairmanship of CDA, following in the footsteps of his father, Pat, who is a past chair of the association," said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. “He has been a tremendous advocate for the industry with his work on the Industry Affairs Committee, and also instrumental in shaping CDA programs in his service on the Education Committee.”

“I am humbled by having the honor to serve as chair and look forward to working with Kimberly, the CDA staff, executive committee, Board of Directors and CDA members,” says Carrico.

To the left, incoming 2020 CDA Chair Scott Carrico (center), Richmond-Master Distributors, is presented with his ceremonial gavel and green jacket by 2019 CDA Chair Charlie Casper (left) and 2004 past Chair Pat Carrico, Scott's father.

Also at the Annual Membership meeting, Chris Smythers, Merchants Grocery Co., was elected to serve as CDA's first vice chair, putting him in line to succeed Carrico as chair in 2021. Elected second vice chair was John Prickette, GSC Enterprises, Inc. In addition, Kellie Janssen, Henry’s Foods, was installed as the Executive Committee’s newest member. She has been on the Board since 2016 and is co-chair of the Education & Research Committee.

A highlight of this year's event was Tuesday’s Awards Luncheon, where CDA's Dean of the Industry award was presented to George Eversman, DOT Foods, by Kevin Barney, Atlantic Dominion Distributors, who described Eversman as a true visionary for the convenience distribution industry and someone who truly epitomizes what the award stands for.

In his acceptance speech, Eversman said he has been fortunate to be part of CDA events for the last 20 years.

“I still remember lots of people going out of their way to introduce themselves to me, being open minded about a business model that wasn’t prevalent in the industry at the time, and the CDA has been invaluable to us,” he said. “There is no way we could be where we are in terms of our convenience business without CDA. It is the number one thing that has propelled our business.”

To the right, George Eversman (right), DOT Foods, is presented with the Dean of the Industry Award by Kevin Barney, Atlantic Dominion Distributors.

“George has been a prominent figure in the industry and dedicated to CDA, in which he is very involved,” said Bolin. “He epitomizes what the Dean of the Industry award represents.”

CDBX ended midday on Thursday with farewells in the hallways and hotel lobby.

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