2013 IWDC Owners' Meeting a Success!


November 18, 2013

IWDC Owners and staff had another very successful Owners’ Meeting engaging 204 member attendees from all over North America. This year’s meeting focused on knowledge, leadership and adversity with a record line up of five tremendous speakers who left the audience with many powerful and thought-provoking messages.

Tuesday evening’s opening reception at the elegant north pool of the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne afforded all attendees quality time with friends and colleagues.

Wednesday opening business session started with new member and current member recognition and then a review of 2012 IWDC highlights:

  • 2nd highest sales, only eclipsed by pre-recession 2008
  • 2nd highest net income and total rebates, only eclipsed by 2006.
  • Highest total patronage dividend paid and average patronage dividend paid per member (2006 was second highest)

2013 is on a similar track fueled by growth with strategic vendors and growth through IWDC’s profitable MEMBER OWNED warehouse.  

IWDC’s staff updated Members on initiatives covering:

  • Marketing & Supply Chain
  • Expense Control vendors
  • Gas Programs
  • Information Technology

All programs aimed at increasing sales, profit and productivity.

Wednesday’s keynote speaker, Brent Tilson, CEO and co-founder of Tilson HR did an excellent job with an almost impossible task – conveying the status of the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) in less than an hour.  Owner’s left the presentation with a more clear understanding of the challenges.

Wednesday concluded with many members participating in the organized golf outing or catamaran cruise while others enjoyed the pool, beach and other many activities in the Key Biscayne area.

Thursday’s business session started with the announcement of 2013’s “Bob Jackson” Award winner, Kent Wilson of Four Corners Welding & Gas Supply located in Gallop, New Mexico. Kent graciously accepted this honorable award. Then, guest speaker, Larry Halt, President of Larry Halt International framed leadership concepts that will be reinforced at IWDC’s new Professional Development Course scheduled in March 2014. 

Following Larry, Thursday’s keynote speaker Captain Steve Ahlberg, Retired United States Navy Seal shared inspiring stories about what he coined the “secret sauce of great teams”. 

Charged up by Captain Ahlberg, members charged off to their respective Round Table Sessions sharing best practices and war stories.

After Round Tables concluded several dozen current and future leaders participated in IWDC’s Next Generation Group (INGG) luncheon / meeting chaired by Aaron Fischer of General Welding Supply Company and joined by Gary Pittsford of Castle Wealth Advisors and Larry Halt of Larry Halt International.

Friday morning’s business session began with a recap of Round Table sessions from Thursday followed by IWDC Member Recognition Awards that commended:

  • Western Gasco Cylinders Limited
  • Welders Supplies Limited
  • Four Corners Welding & Gas Supply
  • Haun Welding Supply

After awards, IWDC’s Controller and IWDC’s bank representatives updated membership on an expanded Commercial Credit Card program that will earn participating members significant rebates.

2014 IWDC Board of Directors were introduced and traditional gavel exchange between outgoing Chairman, Mike Barnes, Fresno Oxygen and incoming Chairman, Grant Cockshott, Welders Supplies LTD went off without a hitch. Grant then addressed fellow members on Welders Supplies’ proud heritage, continuity of independents and his thoughts on IWDC’s priorities as it relates to member engagement.

Following Grant, Friday’s first guest speaker, Gary Pittsford, President of Castle Wealth Advisors, addressed succession planning - transitioning the next generation while keeping businesses independent. 

Friday’s Keynote Speaker, Captain J. Charles Plumb, USNR, Retired POW captivated the audience from the start – a rousing -pulsating Vietnam era fighter pilot video clip. Captain Plumb unfolded his story as he paced back and forth in his 8’ by 8’ prison cell and left members with many many powerful messages.

Wrapping up the meeting, IWDC Owners gathered for the evening’s beautiful, outdoor cocktail reception followed by dinner and the evening’s entertainer, Comedian, Jimmy Dunn who brought nonstop laughter to the entire group. 

Networking and teamwork accomplish, sights were then set on their 2014  Owners’ meeting in Scottsdale, AZ!

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