CDA's Day on the Hill


During CDA’s 2017 Day on the Hill event in Washington, D.C., a record number of CDA distributor members held over 60 face-to-face meetings with members of Congress and their staff. The event featured a memorable dining experience at the National Gallery of Art, sponsored by Altria Group Distribution Co., as well as a pre-meeting breakfast at the Capitol Hill Club, sponsored by RAI Trade Marketing Services Co. CDA extends thanks to the generous sponsors for their support of this vital event, and to the CDA members who joined together in Washington to educate lawmakers about important industry issues and the critical role convenience distributors play in local communities across the country.

Be sure and join us for next year's Day on the Hill event!


Take a look below to see what Day on the Hill is all about!

Photos of the Day on the Hill event. A wrap-up video of the Day on the Hill event.

Record Participation in 2017 CDA Day on the Hill

Above (enlarge), Day on the Hill attendees pose for a group photo inside the National Gallery of Art.

A record number of CDA distributor members came to Washington this week for the 2017 CDA Day on the Hill and urged approval of legislation to reduce over-reaching government regulations and to change the “predicate date” in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rule that threatens our industry.

In more than 60 meetings in Congressional offices across Capitol Hill, distributors expressed support for H.R. 1460, the Regulatory Fingerprints Act of 2017, intended to encourage federal agencies and bureaucrats to communicate with those who would be affected by proposed rules and regulations.

To the left (enlarge), CDA members meet with Majority Whip Scalise (R-LA) to discuss issues of concern to the industry. L-R, George Dowell, CDA Counsel; Kimberly Bolin, CDA; Jack Casanova, Church Point Wholesale; Tad Piner, Lyons Specialty Co.; Rep. Scalise; Legislative Aide; Jack Parker, The Corr-Williams Co.

Lawmakers were urged to support H.R. 1136, which would clarify the FDA deeming authority by changing the “predicate date” by which new tobacco and tobacco-derived products, like premium cigars and e-cigarettes, must undergo expensive and unnecessary regulatory hurdles imposed by the FDA.

Day on the Hill festivities began Tuesday evening with a uniquely memorable dining experience at the National Gallery of Art, generously sponsored by the Altria Group Distribution Co.

To the right (enlarge), CDA members meet with Rep. David Young (R-IA), the sponsor of regulatory reform legislation they promoted at the Day on the Hill event. L-R, John Thomas, CDA Counsel; Kimberly Bolin, CDA; Rep. David Young; CDA Government Affairs Co-Chair Ted Stessman, Farner-Bocken Co.; and CDA Chair Susie Douglas-Munson, Douglas Cos., Inc.

“This is a unique and memorable venue,” said CDA Chair Susie Douglas Munson, Douglas Companies, Inc., Conway, AR, as she welcomed attendees to Day on the Hill. “Thank you to Altria for making this happen and for their continued strong support for CDA’s Day on the Hill. This dinner is always a highlight and we are so grateful to you all for hosting us.”

Munson pointed out that one of her priorities has been to increase Day on the Hill attendance by CDA distributors and said she was pleased that this year’s turnout was the largest in the history of the event.

“We all say how vital government affairs is to our industry and how essential it is that we all get involved in bringing our concerns to these legislators and regulators…and this is an excellent opportunity to put words into action,” Munson said. Guest speaker at the dinner was Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales, which provides nonpartisan analysis of federal political campaigns.

“I think you’ll find a receptive ear with your Senators and these House members,” encouraged Gonzales. “They want to make sure they’re in tune with their constituents.” When discussing the 2018 midterm elections and the unpredictability of politics, Gonzales quipped, “I’ve ruled out ruling things out.”

Following the early morning legislative briefing, the group of intrepid distributors rode the Metro to the landmark Capitol Hill Club where RAI Trade Marketing Services sponsored an insightful breakfast program.

“It’s important that these lawmakers – those that have been re-elected and those that are brand new to Congress – hear directly from us about our businesses in their districts and states,” stressed Charlie Casper, Mydad Inc. dba Hardec's, Elizabethtown, KY and co-chairman of the CDA Government Affairs Committee. “They need to know how the laws and regulations they are considering impact our businesses in their states. And if we don’t tell them, who will?”

Casper lauded RAI for sponsoring the breakfast and expressed appreciation for the company’s ongoing support. “RAI has consistently backed this event and we are deeply grateful to them for the recognition as to its importance to our government relations program and to our industry,” said Casper.

To the left (enlarge), Charlie Casper (left), Mydad Inc. dba Hardec's, meets with Rep. Guthrie (R-KY).

Former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), now director of federal government affairs for Deloitte LLP, complemented CDA members for attending Day on the Hill and stressed the importance of involvement in the political process.

“The meetings you are going to have today are very important,” said Davis. “The contact that you have with your legislators in Washington, reinforced with what you do at home, really has an effect on what happens in D.C.”

After their meetings on Capitol Hill, CDA members reported that they were impressed with their reception by lawmakers and felt their efforts had made an impact.

“It’s truly been a fabulous event. I’ve met a lot of staffers for our Pennsylvania Senators and it’s gone really well,” said Jeff Allen, Allen Brothers Wholesale Distributors, Inc. “The feeling is that it’s intimidating to speak to a legislator, but I’ve learned that it’s really not—it’s what you need to do, especially in our industry.”

Rob Sincavich, Team Sledd, said “CDA does a wonderful job of making this event truly one that you’ll want to come back to. Our appointments are all set up for us and we just have to show up with the talking points they give us and it’s just really easy.”

To the left (enlarge), L-R, Dirk Smith, CDA; Randy Emanuelson, Team Sledd; Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA); and Jeff Allen, Allen Brothers Wholesale Distributors, Inc.

“This event is first-class," said Scott Carrico, Richmond-Master Distributors, Inc., pictured to the right with a legislative aide for Rep. Walorski (R-IN). "It was my first Day on the Hill and I was a little nervous, but with the support and with the help of everyone on the CDA staff, everything was seamless.”

“I think everyone in our industry needs to attend Day on the Hill," said Tad Piner, Lyons Specialty Co., LLC. "It’s also an opportunity to consult with industry peers about the various legislative issues. It’s a very good learning experience for anyone who is a member of CDA.”

To the right (enlarge), Scott Carrico (left) meets with a legislative aide for Rep. Walorski (R-IN).

“You all are the real stars and the muscle behind this Day on the Hill event,” said CDA’s Anne Holloway. “You are doing the heavy lifting on behalf of the industry and we are all very grateful.”

"It's exciting and humbling to be with CDA member distributors on Capitol Hill and to hear them talking with legislators about their businesses,” said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. “Wholesale distributors are faced with an array of complex challenges that include burdensome regulations, industry consolidation, and emerging technology. Today, they were able to share their stories on Capitol Hill. It's the political process at its best.”

To the left (enlarge), L-R, are Dirk Smith, CDA; Monica Maciag, McLane Co.; and Anne Holloway, CDA.

Quick Takes:

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L-R (enlarge), John Garver, Southco Distributing Co.; Ted Stessman, Farner-Bocken Co.; Kimberly Bolin, CDA; Rob Sincavich, Team Sledd; Kevin Barney, Atlantic Dominion Distributors; Blake Benefiel, Altria; Alex Baloga, PA Food Merchants Assn.; Jeff Allen, Allen Brothers Wholesale Distributors, Inc.; and April Garver, Southco Distributing Co. enjoy the reception at the National Gallery of Art. L-R (enlarge), Randy Emanuelson, Team Sledd; Donna Dunham, Stephenson Wholesale Co., Inc.; Cathy Emanuelson, Team Sledd; Dick Dunham, Steven and Amy Potts, Stephenson Wholesale Co., Inc. at the National Gallery of Art.
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(Enlarge) L-R, Kevin Barney, Atlantic Dominion Distributors; Dave Riser, RAI Trade Marketing Services Co.; and Dick Dunham, Stevenson Wholesale Co., Inc. at the Capitol Hill Club breakfast. (Enlarge) CDA’s youngest lobbyist on behalf of the industry, Ava Gummer, and her father Chad, Gummer Wholesale, Inc., discuss industry concerns with legislative aide to Sen. Portman (R-OH).
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(Enlarge) Jerry Abraham, S. Abraham & Sons, Inc., and Polly Reber, Michigan Distributors and Vendors Assn., in front of the office of Rep. Amash (R-MI). (Enlarge) Butch DiChiara (left), City Wholesale Grocery Co., Inc., discusses industry issues with a legislative aide from the office of Rep. Palmer (R-AL).

(Enlarge) Day on the Hill attendees in front of the Capitol Hill Club before Wednesday morning's breakfast program.