'Deft Storyteller' Flick to Keynote 2014 AWMA Event

Leadership expert, former NFL QB to bring timely message to convenience distributors

Tom Flick

Tom Flick

FAIRFAX, Va. -- The American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) has announced that leadership expert Tom Flick will present the opening keynote address Wednesday, Feb. 26 at the 2014 AWMA Marketplace & Solutions Expo in Las Vegas.

Flick is nationally recognized for his ability to communicate clear business solutions with humor, wit and insight. He draws from his experience as a former NFL quarterback and his extensive work in corporate America to provide actionable solutions that help people become peak performers both personally and professionally.

President of Tom Flick Communications, Flick's clients include Microsoft, Starbucks, Marriott, Hallmark Cards, Boeing, American Express, NASA, Ritz-Carlton Hotels and the U.S. Army Rangers, among others.

Flick's address will highlight the AWMA DEF Leadership Forum at 8:30 a.m. February 26, following a presentation of the AWMA Hall of Fame Award and a welcome address by Mark Davenport, division president, J.T. Davenport & Sons Inc., a division of Core-Mark International Inc. Davenport is the 2014 AWMA chairman.

"We are delighted to be able to present Tom Flick as our keynote speaker," said AWMA president and CEO Scott Ramminger. "He is a deft storyteller who inspires audiences to lead change, to recognize opportunities for growth and to adopt a leadership mindset. Our industry is in the midst of significant change, so his message could not be more timely."

Flick's presentation will help kickoff AWMA's newly redesigned convention format. The AWMA recently announced a new redesigned format for The AWMA Show. Now known as the AWMA Marketplace & Solutions Expo, the convention will feature a broader array of educational and networking opportunities and more show deals.

"A lot has changed in the past few years for all business enterprises, and the convenience distribution business is certainly no exception," said Ramminger. "At AWMA, we are determined to meet these new challenges and our new, redesigned Marketplace & Solutions Expo is one way we are doing that."

Ramminger said AWMA has spent the past year working with and listening to distributors and manufacturers, "and we are putting what we learned to work at this new, totally redesigned event."

Some of the key elements of the new Marketplace & Solutions Expo include:

  • New incentives for manufacturers to offer show deals and better ways of communicating those deals to distributors at the AWMA Buyer's Circle.
  • More educational opportunities, including Marketplace show floor seminars in the AWMA Solutions Café & Theatre.
  • A Knowledge Bar, where attendees can talk one-on-one with experts on topics ranging from business profitability to warehouse security to food safety planning.
  • *More peer-to-peer networking opportunities, including comfortable space on the Marketplace floor, where attendees can enjoy a beverage while learning from peers, one-on-one.

"The bottom line is that there will be more excitement, more new products, more education and more show deals, all in a compact, efficient format that makes sense in today's business environment," said Ramminger. "Our goal is to make this event an invaluable experience for both distributors and exhibitors alike."

The focal point of the AWMA Marketplace & Solutions Expo will be the trade show floor, where the industry's top suppliers will present their products and services, where much of the education program will take place, and where an industry reception will be held, along with prize drawings, a networking and Silent Auction lounge and a new products showcase.

"AWMA has taken a hard look at the Show, really listened to distributors and manufacturers, examined the state-of-the-art in meetings, and come up with a great new format," said Davenport, who takes over as chairman in January.

The AWMA is the only international trade organization working on behalf of convenience distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $85 billion in U.S. convenience product sales. Associate members include manufacturers, service providers, technology companies, brokers, retailers and others allied to the convenience retailing industry. In addition to convenience stores, their largest customer segment, convenience distributors also service grocery stores, drug stores, tobacco shops, mass merchants, newsstands, concession stands, gift shops, fundraising groups, restaurants, institutions and more.