Southern Leadership Division Discuss Top Challenges Virtually

The Southern Association of Wholesale Distributors (The Southern) held the 2020 Southern Leadership Division Virtual Business Resource Meeting on Nov. 10. Southern Leadership Division President Morgan Allain, with Franklin Supply, took the helm of the Southern Leadership Division (SLD) this year and immediately set out to develop a program that would focus on effective leadership, successful change management and diversity & inclusion. “Attracting, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce is essential for the wholesale distribution industry to sustain economic growth and financial opportunity,” said Allain. “Progress on D&I initiatives will only enhance the industry’s ability to deliver for their clients, which is why it’s a priority for the association.”

Risha Grant, founder and CEO of Risha Grant LLC, an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, utilizes diversity communication strategies, tactics and training as a catalyst to create an inclusive culture in every company. During her session, Risha encouraged the 175+ attendees to express their experiences that influence biases, while giving them easily applicable tools to dig deeper and push through stereotyping and assumption. In addition to Grant, Terry McKenna, founder of Employee Performance Strategies Inc. (EPS), discussed fundamental leadership precepts that never change, in addition to those new leadership responsibilities that are created when the world changes. Marty Howell, president of The Southern, also shared with the group his insights on the industry and leadership. The meeting ended with a virtual roundtable discussion amongst attendees on key issues and challenges facing the industry. For more information about Southern Leadership Division (SLD), visit