State Association Executive Summit

Above, Summit attendees enjoy the view overlooking the Capitol from the Alria offices in Washington, D.C.

Attendance was up for this year’s State Association Executive Summit, where executives from around the country assembled in Washington, D.C. to meet with counterparts to network, exchange information and learn both of challenges and strategies to deal with issues that confront them all as an industry. Enjoy this short video recap of the Summit.

“This is an exceptional group of individuals!” said Kimberly Bolin, CDA's president & CEO. Our industry is fortunate to have state association executives from coast to coast that work so well together and are willing to share their stories and throw out ideas to support one another. CDA members benefit immensely from the lines of communication being open at the state and national level.

Bolin noted, “there are many ways that this group can work together to protect and promote wholesale distributors in the convenience channel. Several initiatives were identified with goals ranging from distributor input for uniform tobacco tax reporting to activating on local, state and federal issues.”

To the left, Alex Baloga (left), Pennsylvania Food Merchants Assn.; Kimberly Bolin, CDA president & CEO; and Jeff Smith, North Carolina Wholesalers Assn. enjoy the view of the White House from the Top of the Hay.

Held at the historic Hay-Adams Hotel October 4-5, the event took place over a twenty-four hour period with executives arriving Wednesday and getting right to work. The substantial schedule provided the group with a wide variety of subject matter from Washington insights to legalization of marijuana to industry issues that directly impact members.

“I would strongly recommend attending the State Association Executive Summit,” commented Alex Baloga, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Assn. “It’s an important event for anyone concerned with future issues that might impact their members’ businesses and the industry as a whole.”

To the right, catching up at the Summit reception are (l-r) Jeff Smith, North Carolina Wholesaler Assn.; Polly Reber, Michigan Distributors & Vendors Assn.; Dave Riser, RAI Trade Marketing Services Co.; Jeff Smith, Virginia Wholesalers & Distributors Assn.; Beth Wymer, Ohio Wholesale Marketers Assn.; and Tom Briant, Minnesota Wholesale Marketers Assn.

“The Summit is an outstanding event which allows those of us involved in the legislative/regulatory process a time to network with those who do what we do,” said Greg Martin, Southern Assn. of Wholesale Distributors. “The updates from the major tobacco companies, as well as the other speakers on the program, are extremely informative and help me to do my job better.”

To the left, the executives enjoy lunch and a government affairs briefing at the Altria offices in Washington, D.C.

“I think this meeting is incredibly valuable. It’s an opportunity for executives to share ideas, find out what’s going on across the country and to talk about effective ways we can address issues that are important to the industry,” said David Tatman, Louisiana Association of Wholesalers. “It’s great to be in D.C. with other people that do what you do, and it’s just something that I wouldn’t miss.”

The recognition of the importance of this group and support by supplier partners AGDC and RAITMS is phenomenal. They provide a very unique and beneficial platform for this group to assemble.

To the right (l-r), Beth Gosnell, Florida Assn. of Wholesale Distributors; John Hoel, Altria Client Services, Inc.; Stacia Munroe, Illinois Assn. of Wholesale Distributors; and Wilson Croom, Colorado Assn. of Distributors enjoy enjoy the Summit reception.

Quick Takes

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Relaxing at the Summit reception are (l-r) Greg Martin, Southern Assn. of Wholesale Distributors; Marissa Ruffino, Louisiana Assn. of Wholesalers; Shannon Campagna, CDA; Meghan Loper, California Distributors Assn.; and David Tatman, Louisiana Assn. of Wholesalers. Networking at the Summit are (l-r) Alex Baloga, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Assn.; Tim Harris, Eby-Brown Co.; Jim Pulsifer, Altria Group Distribution Co.; and Ron Morris, Kentucky Tobacco & Candy Assn.
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Ron Morris (left), Kentucky Tobacco & Candy Assn.; Beth Gosnell, Florida Assn. of Wholesale Distributors; and Wilson Croom, Colorado Assn. of Distributors take in the view of the White House. The group poses for a group photo in the Hay-Adams Hotel.