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University of Innovative Distribution





CDA members at UID (L to R: Neal Deane, Merchants Grocery Company; Kevin Barnes, Stewart Distribution; Kurtis Kuhn, Henry’s Foods; Rich Faw, Capitol Distributing)

⇒"As a general manager, it is important for me to have knowledge in all areas of distribution. It is a great environment for learning and networking.” - Kevin Barnes, general manager, Stewart Distribution

⇒"The UID is an excellent environment to learn, network and expand my overall distribution base of knowledge. I've met distributors from around the world who distribute everything from flowers to lumber to HVAC equipment. The competition and struggles are real in each of these channels of distribution. We all can relate to that.” - Neal Deane, vice president and chief financial officer, Merchants Grocery Co.

CDA is a sponsor of the University of Innovative Distribution (UID) supported by Purdue University. Offered annually in March, UID is a powerful, four-day concentrated educational program focused on the unique needs of the wholesale distribution industry.

The UID experience is designed to enhance and fortify your knowledge, skills, and abilities with hands-on experience to support immediate application into your work environment.


Explore the 2021 Courses

Courses are held Sunday thru Tuesday from 8:00 to 11:30 am. and 1:00 to 4:30 PM. On Wednesday, there will be two 90-minute sessions and a panel presentation at lunch. The program will end around 1:00 pm on Wednesday.

Click here to see the courses offered by day and level of complexity, covering a variety of areas including distribution strategy, leadership / professional development, management, marketing, operations and sales.


Who Should Attend UID?

UID is designed for all personnel working in the wholesale distribution channel, including:

  • All manager-level personnel: sales, marketing, branch, operations, purchasing, inventory and human resources
  • CEOs
  • Anyone looking to improve personal performance and/or the company's bottom line!

Attendees can apply UID coursework toward earning the Professional Certificate in Innovative Distribution, awarded by Purdue University.