CDA members at the 2017 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.

University of Innovative Distribution website
Due to CDA’s affiliation with UID, CDA members receive a discounted “members-only” UID registration rate.

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.


UID faculty features renowned wholesale distribution thought leaders, including university professors, industry experts, authors and consultants. Sample courses:

  • Finding the Balance in Branch Management
  • The Foundations of Leadership, “They” KNOW it when “They” SEE it!
  • Feedback with Impact
  • Online Search Secrets to Better Selling
  • Value-Added Selling
  • Creating a Competitive Distinction
  • Sustaining Growth: Making the Leap from Lifestyle to Professional Management
  • Distribution in a Post Amazon World
  • Differentiating Your Distribution Company – A Winning Strategy
  • Powered Productivity: Tech Tools You Need to Get Stuff Done
  • Actually I Can… The Soft Skills of Leadership!
  • Preparing for a New Work Era: The Manager’s Guide to Dealing with the New Workplace
  • Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress, and Lead by Example
  • Leaders are not Born. They are Built!
  • Improving the Bottom Line
  • Effectively Working with Third Party Logistics Providers (3PLs)
  • Effective Warehouse Operations

Check out the UID brochure for a complete listing of courses and to register!