State association executives from around the country convened virtually this month for the eighth annual State Association Executive Summit (SAES), hosted by CDA and sponsored by Altria Group Distribution Co. and Reynolds.
“The SAES is a unique opportunity for this group to come together to share information, network and address the issues facing the industry,” said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. “Thank you to Altria Group Distribution Co. and Reynolds for their continued support of this event that brings together national, regional and state association executives.”
video above for a wrap-up of the event.
This year, attendees heard a legislative update from CDA’s policy advisor, Kathee Facchiano; a briefing, including an industry update and discussion of the illicit vape market, by Reynolds’ Matt Domingo; a briefing, including state activity and 2024 outlook, by Danielle Holloway and Amber Moore, Altria Group Distribution Co.; and a state of American politics discussion with Scott Jennings.
Jennings, founding partner of RunSwitch Public Relations and a conservative political commentator on CNN, shared his insights on current politics and the upcoming 2024 election. Jennings’ career has taken him across the country as part of four presidential campaigns and numerous federal and state races. He served in key roles in both of President George W. Bush’s campaigns before becoming Special Assistant to the President in 2005, serving under top Bush strategist Karl Rove.
To the right, Scott Jennings participates in an interactive discussion with SAES attendees.
“The summit is the best opportunity for association executives around the country to get together and discuss topics that are relevant to our specific roles in the industry,” said Dan Leaman, Michigan Distributors & Vendors Association Inc. “There may be differences from state to state, but there are so many similarities to what we do and it’s a great opportunity to learn from others. There is no other group that does what this summit does.”
“The summit is an opportunity to come together, be transparent and share ideas,” said Ann Ninness, Indiana Wholesale Distributors Association. “The topics not only keep us current but help us understand better what is going on at the national level. It is important to come together to understand what is ahead of us and how to do things better.”
To the left, SAES attendees gather for presentations and discussion.
Ryan Underwood with Kentucky Wholesale Distributors Association shared, “The value of the summit is truly the information that we all get from each other and the presentations. Being able to have those discussions about what is going on in other states can help us see what might be coming in our direction. When we get together, we form relationships, so we are able to reach out to others in different states and regions for insight and advice.”
The 2024 in-person summit will be held in Washington, D.C., October 22-23, 2024.