Home » Industry News » 2021 NHPA All-Industry Conference Preview
All-Industry Conference Overview

2021 NHPA All-Industry Conference Preview

From navigating supply chain challenges and managing employee safety and morale to celebrating record sales and adapting to new consumer demands, you’ve persevered through extraordinary times. The challenges and successes independent home improvement retailers have seen over the last 18 months require innovative strategies from throughout the channel. It’s been nearly two years since the industry as a whole has had an opportunity to come together.

That chance returns Oct. 21-23 in Las Vegas with the NHPA All-Industry Conference held in conjunction with the National Hardware Show (NHS). This year’s conference—featuring the theme “Navigating a Changing Industry”­—is made for cultivating conversations with all industry partners, from retailers and wholesale representatives to manufacturers and vendors.

This event is key to getting a fresh start on product research, networking with your peers and discovering new opportunities to continue growing your operation in 2022.

Scroll down to see the lineup of speakers who will take the stage at the NHPA All-Industry Conference and gain insights into what the National Hardware Show offers the independent channel. Learn more about both events here.


National Hardware Show

Connect & Discover

The floor at the National Hardware Show is a place to explore new products, reconnect with vendors and your peers and to discover innovations that can improve your business. This year, alongside the core categories that are integral to any hardware operation, you’ll find new spaces to investigate. Whether you’re focused on enhancing your outdoor living offerings or your want to learn more about trends across all hardlines categories, the National Hardware Show is ready to deliver.

Get a preview of what’s new here and head to nationalhardwareshow.com for additional insights and to register to attend the industry’s most comprehensive trade show.

  • NHS Backyard. Attendees and exhibitors alike can make the most of the weather with a redesigned outdoor experience showcasing outdoor cooking and living. Hear from industry influencers on the NHS Backyard stage while sampling food from vendors and exploring the latest trends in this fast-growing and compelling category.
  • Habitat at NHS. HABITAT is a new platform that aims to explore the new ideas and technologies that are impacting our definition of the home and how we live. Explore this space online and at the show, with inspiring content, groundbreaking product displays and actionable insights.

Keynotes & Featured Speakers

NHPA has worked to find speakers and panelists who will share actionable insights and industry ideas that you can take home to your business. See the conference schedule on Page 48 to make a plan to attend this year’s keynotes, presentations and retailer panels.

Alex Genov

Keynote – Alex Genov
Head of Customer Experience Research, Zappos
Alex applies his experimental social psychology background and his passion for research, design and innovation to solving important customer and business problems. His goal is to help teams create products and services that make people’s lives easier and more enjoyable.

Dave RosenbergKeynote – Dave Rosenberg
Tactical Leadership Expert, Author
Dave is a veteran who flew the Navy’s first mission of Operation Desert Shield by accident. He operated multiple companies before starting Locked On Leadership, a consulting firm specializing in developing self-directed, high-performance teams.

Bill DarcyKeynote – Bill Darcy
CEO, National Kitchen and Bath Association
Bill joined the National Kitchen and Bath Association in 2006 as manager of marketing partnerships, and he quickly rose through the ranks to his current position as CEO. He has orchestrated many industry collaborations, including one with NAHB.

Grant FarnsworthGrant Farnsworth
President, The Farnsworth Group
Grant is president of The Farnsworth Group, a research organization that conducts customized research exclusively for the building products and home improvement industry.

Josh PriggeJosh Prigge
Consultant, Sustridge Consulting
Josh is a sustainability consultant, professor, published author and public speaker with more than 11 years of experience managing sustainability programs and initiatives for large organizations.

Rich BenninghoffRich Benninghoff
President and CEO, Malco Products
Rich has 22 years of business leadership experience with engineered products and solutions in the industrial and commercial markets. He has a degree from Dickinson College.

Panelists
Les Burch, President, Sashco Sealants
Geff Lynch, President, Lancaster
Paul Green, Chief Merchandising and Procurement Officer, True Value
Cody Goeppner. Director of Retail Operations, Bleyhl Co-op
Robin Smith, President & Co-owner, Petersburg Hardware
Jonathan South, Store Manager, Teghtmeyer Ace Hardware


Grant FarnsworthIntroducing Grant Farnsworth

Insights From an NHPA All-Industry Conference Speaker

Conference speaker Grant Farnsworth is president of The Farnsworth Group, a research organization that conducts customized research exclusively for the building products, home improvement and lawn and ranch industries by providing strategic insights that help companies better understand their customer, product, brand and overall market. For over 15 years, Farnsworth has consulted on qualitative and quantitative research for a variety of manufacturers, retailers and associations, ranging from Fortune 100 firms to start-ups. He continues to gain industry knowledge through efforts with organizations like Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing and the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI).

Presentation — The New Paradigm for Home Improvement
Speakers: Grant Farnsworth, The Farnsworth Group & Dan Tratensek, NHPA

This presentation will touch on all the pressing questions facing the home improvement industry in the wake of the last 18 months: How are retailers responding to changing consumer demands? How has the pandemic impacted pro buying habits? What do the next 18 months look like for the industry?

Q&A
What have you missed most about live events that you’re looking forward to experiencing again at the NHPA All-Industry Conference and National Hardware Show?
Seeing colleagues and feeling the energy of a show. The amount and type of attendees are a great visual representation of the activity in our industry. Also, seeing what companies are evolving and innovating through their product, brand and customer efforts.

What’s one thing retailers will take away from your presentation that can change the way they see their business?
The undeniable fact that customers are gaining control—and the sooner manufacturers and suppliers understand what they want, where they want it and how they want it—the more successful their organization will be.

What’s a misconception you often hear about trends in the home improvement industry?
That DIY is dead. It’s not true. Current home buyers may have been delayed entering the market, but DIY is alive and well.

What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career?
There is always going to be a new competitor, there is always going to be something that threatens and there will always be something that challenges—but that should not cause a kneejerk reaction. A change in direction must be for a thorough and thought-out reason.

What’s a home improvement tip that you had to learn the hard way?
Be prepared to redo your work if you want it to be done right.


Josh PriggeIntroducing Josh Prigge

Insights From an NHPA All-Industry Conference Speaker

Conference speaker Josh Prigge is a sustainability consultant, college professor, published author and public speaker with more than 11 years of experience managing sustainability programs and initiatives for large organizations. In 2017 and 2019, Josh was recognized as a top environmental leader in the business sector, receiving the Environmental Leader 50 award and Environment + Energy Leader 100 award.

Presentation — Top-Down Sustainability
Speakers: Josh Prigge, Sustridge Consulting

This presentation will show what companies can accomplish with sustainability and where to start. Discover how you can create a comprehensive approach that is built into your business strategy, from employee engagement to consumer buy-in. Learn why taking a sustainable approach is good for business and how it can deliver value for your operation.

Q&A

What have you missed most about live events that you’re looking forward to experiencing again at the NHPA All-Industry Conference and National Hardware Show?
As always, I am looking forward to meeting new people. It’s not easy to make personal connections over virtual meetings. I love meeting in person, grabbing coffee with people and learning about their work.

What’s a misconception you often hear about sustainability in the corporate or retail space?
That companies do not have the resources for it, or it will cost too much money to get started. Many sustainability initiatives around energy, water and waste reduction have such a quick financial payback in terms of reduced operating costs that it is a no-brainer for any CFO. And when you also consider the long-term paybacks of building customer loyalty, attracting new customers, recruiting, retaining and engaging employees, driving innovation and mitigating risk, you realize your company can’t afford not to establish a sustainability program.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The fact that I get to work with so many companies, both large and small and in different industries, to help them identify and implement programs to reduce their impact on the environment and society. The work I do directly addresses some of the most pressing issues our planet has ever faced.

What’s one thing retailers will take away from your presentation that can change the way they see their business?
That sustainability is not just the right thing to do for people or the environment—but that it is the right thing to do to create long-term value for your business.


The Industry’s Top Guns

Mike BrackinMike Brackin
President, Homco Lumber & Hardware
, Flagstaff, Arizona
Having grown up in the industry, Mike Brackin knew he would work in the company his father started in the early 1970s. Over the last 45 years, his goal has been to show everyone who works for HomCo Lumber & Hardware that they are a crucial part of the operation’s success. With a strategic vision dedicated to customer service, integrity and innovation, the company has developed a key position in its market serving a variety of retail, industry and commercial customers.

Ian McNaughtonIan McNaughtion
President, Gravenhurst Home Hardware & Parry Sound Home Hardware, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
Following a career in corporate marketing, Ian McNaughton opened his first hardware store in 2011 and his second location in 2015. He is a champion of social media marketing and is well versed in both internal and external strategic communication planning. His operations have been recognized for their commitment to community engagement and service, receiving the 12th annual Paul Straus Public Relations Award from Home Hardware Stores Ltd. in 2013 and the Proud of My Home Award for Best Home Hardware Store Over 6,000 Sq. Ft. in 2020.

Greg TemplemanGreg Templeman
President, Sunpro, Orem, Utah
A chance meeting at his daughter’s soccer game led Greg Templeman to an opportunity he couldn’t pass by. Sunpro is a family-owned and -operated business that started in Utah in 1938. It has since grown to 16 locations in Utah and Idaho and is the top lumber and building materials supplier in its trading area. Templeman says the company’s commitment to people—employees and customers alike—has helped it maintain and grow its reputation over the last 80 years.


October 21 — Thursday

CONNECTIONS & LEADERSHIP

9:00 A.M. – 9:45 A.M. Panel
Young Retailer Insights: The Future of Retail
Moderator: Scott Wright, NHPA
Panelists: Robin Smith, Petersburg Hardware; Cody Goeppner, Bleyhl Co-op; Jonathan South, Teghtmeyer Ace
On this panel, hear from NHPA Young Retailer of the Year honorees who have led their operations through a demanding time. They will discuss how their businesses evolved over the last 18 months to better serve customer needs and how they see the pandemic impacting retail well into the future.

10:00 A.M. – 10:45 A.M. Panel
Locked on Leadership: The Secret to Self-Directed Teams
Speaker: Dave Rosenberg, Founder, Locked On Leadership
You dread looking for your next hire. You do your best to interview and select the best candidate for the position. Then you hope the person who showed up at the interview is the same one that shows up at work, only to be disappointed once again. You’re dealing with a complex employment market and you can’t seem to attract the talent you need or hold on to the talent you have, limiting your ability to grow and thrive. The good news is that it’s not you or them. It is the framework in which you and your team perform. In this presentation, access the right tools, gain laser focus and learn the proper rules of engagement to transform your team into a high-performance, self-directed team everyone wants to be part of.

11:00 A.M. – 11:45 A.M. Panel
A Supplier’s Perspective
Moderator: Dan Tratensek, NHPA
Panelists: Les Burch, Sashco; Paul Green, True Value Co.; Geff Lynch, Lancaster
During this panel we will hear from industry-leading manufacturers and distributors who discuss how the channel has reacted to the stressors of the last 18 months and provide insights into where the supply chain might be headed as we move into 2022.

1:00 P.M. – 1:45 P.M. 
Top-Down Sustainability
Speaker: Josh Prigge, Sustridge Consulting
In this presentation, learn what companies can accomplish with sustainability policies and where to start. Discover how you can create a comprehensive approach that is built into your business strategy, from employee engagement to consumer buy-in. Learn why taking a sustainable approach is good for business and how it can deliver value for your operation.

2:00 P.M. – 2:45 P.M.
Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good: Taking Care of People & Business
Speaker: Rich Benninghoff, President and CEO, Malco Products, SBC
Encouraging creativity and collaboration, supporting wellness and giving back to the community are essential to creating a thriving work culture where employees feel motivated to contribute to a company’s growth and success because they are proud to work there. As a 100 percent employee-owned business, Malco Products’ core company values and business performance are driven by its greatest asset: its people. Benninghoff will discuss the company’s “Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good” campaign and how investing in the company’s interior workspaces and process equipment, external appearance and the local community helps improve employee morale and performance, while encouraging them to take pride in their work and workplace.

October 22 — Friday

STRATEGY  & TRENDS

9:00 A.M. – 9:45 A.M.
The New Paradigm for Home Improvement
Speakers: Dan Tratensek, NHPA and Grant Farnsworth, The Farnsworth Group
In this presentation, learn how pros’ buying habits changed during the pandemic and how this information can help you make strategic decisions for your business. This presentation will touch on the pressing questions facing the home improvement industry today. How are retailers responding to changing consumer demands? How has the pandemic impacted pro buying habits? What do the next 18 months look like for the industry?

10:00 A.M. – 10:45 A.M. Keynote
The New Normal for Kitchen and Bath
Speaker: Bill Darcy, CEO, National Kitchen and Bath Association
The pandemic has sped up the rate of change to almost lighting speed. Companies are now three times more likely to conduct 80 percent of their business digitally. And consumers? They want to change their homes to accommodate the new “normal,” with kitchen and bath being the top two choices for home improvements. In this presentation, Darcy will discuss these shifts and how they will dramatically impact the kitchen and bath industry—and your business—over the next several years.

11:00 A.M. – 11:45 A.M. Awards
NHPA Top Gun Awards
Moderator: Melanie Moul, NHPA
Panelists: Mike Brackin, HomCo Lumber & Hardware; Ian McNaughton, Gravenhurst Home Hardware; Greg Templeman, Sunpro
The NHPA Top Gun Awards recognize retailers who are pillars of innovation, commitment and passion for the independent home improvement channel. The retailers honored in this program have helped grow their operations through strategic leadership with consideration for their communities and their teams. Learn how these retailers plan for continued growth and are paving the way for future leaders.

2:00 P.M. – 2:45 P.M. Keynote
Focus on the Customer and the Employees as a Person
Speaker: Alex Genov, Head of Customer Experience Research, Zappos
This presentation will introduce a new way of thinking about how companies approach understanding their customers. This mindset is applicable to companies of any size—from startups to established corporations. Per Genov, once we realize that consumers are real people with real behaviors, emotions, motivations and goals, we will recognize that customer research has to have a common business objective and a coordinated set of methods across the organization. Using highlights from a Zappos case study, attendees will take away strategies to understand the person, not the “shopper” or the “user” and discover how to eliminate organizational silos when it comes to customer understanding. Attendees will also learn how to use results to inform their business as a whole and hear why company culture matters.

5:00 P.M. – 6:35 P.M. Awards
NHPA Retailers’ Choice Awards
Moderator: Dan Tratensek, NHPA
For more than 50 years, the North American Hardware and Paint Association has been helping retailers discover the best of the best products through its Retailers’ Choice Awards. Products selected in this program are chosen by retailer judges who scout the floor of the National Hardware Show to find new and innovative products that will drive sales and help independent retailers stand out in their markets. This program celebrates manufacturers for their innovations and encourages their support of the independent home improvement channel. By invitation only.

October 23 — Saturday

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE INDUSTRY

9:00 A.M. – 1:00 P.M.
Visit the National Hardware Show Outside
Explore vendors in the NHS Backyard and hear from a variety of influencers on the NHS Backyard stage throughout the day.

About Julie Leinwand

Julie Leinwand
Julie Leinwand is the Corporate Communications Manager and Editor for NHPA. She graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys baking fanciful desserts and spending time with her puppies and husband.

Check Also

building products market

HIRI Predicts Additional Growth for U.S. Building Products Market

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), the nation’s leading resource for market research concerning the …