NHPA All-Industry Conference Recognizes Top Guns, Retailers’ Choice Products

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Day 2 was a busy one for the North American Hardware and Paint Association’s NHPA All-Industry Conference, full of awards and accolades. NHPA awarded high-performing retailers in the industry, recognizing three Top Gun honorees for 2021. 

Mike Brackin, president of HomCo Lumber & Hardware; Ian McNaughton, owner of Gravenhurst Home Hardware; and Greg Templeman, president of Sunpro, were all honored as Top Guns. They shared their insights on hiring in a challenging job market, strategies for navigating supply chain issues and thoughts on the future of the industry on the NHPA Stage. 

NHPA also recognized top-quality products at the Retailers’ Choice Awards. A panel of independent retailers chooses the winners, with only 40 products chosen from the thousands on display at the National Hardware Show (NHS). Each of the product winners receives a plaque recognizing their product’s distinction and a Retailers’ Choice logo to use in all of their advertising or promotions for the winning product. The winning products are also featured in a special Retailers’ Choice product section in the January issues of Hardware Retailing and Paint & Decorating Retailer. Retailers’ Choice winners were recognized Friday evening on the NHS Backyard stage. 

On the NHPA Stage, Dan Tratensek, NHPA chief operating officer and publisher, and Grant Farnsworth, president of The Farnsworth Group, shared about the new paradigm for home improvement. 

“The pandemic has served as an accelerator for change in the industry and has pushed the gas pedal down on trends we were already seeing pre-pandemic,” Tratensek says. “The changes we’ve seen are not going to reverse—consumer behavior was altered and it is not going to go back.”

Bill Darcy, CEO of the National Kitchen & Bath Association spoke on the new normal for kitchen and bath and Jake Wilson, director of marketing and e-commerce for Wilco, presented on E-Commerce: What I Wish I Knew Then. Alex Genov, head of customer experience research at Zappos, provided insights on focusing on customers and employees as people. Finishing up the day, Tratensek led a panel, Retailers and Content Creators Pair Up on Programs, bringing together content creators to share how they collaborate with retailers. 

The last presentation of the day was Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Why You Can’t Afford to Ignore This Powerful  Movement. The panel included Ray Rhodes, director of diversity and inclusion for RX Global; Antoine Hinton, chair of the inclusion and diversity council for True Value Company; Cornell Verdeja-Woodson, founder of Brave Trainings LLC and director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Headspace; and Denise Medved, interim chief growth officer for Xamax Industries. 

Read about Day 1 of the NHPA All-Industry Conference here.

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