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Address Challenges, Expose Opportunities at IHI Conference Panel Sessions

Hear firsthand from your peers on today’s challenges and opportunities during three panel sessions taking place on the main stage at the Independent Home Improvement Conference (IHI Conference).

Beyond Survival: Creating Growth in a Flat Economy
Wednesday, Aug. 28 | 1:30 p.m.

After several years of unprecedented growth, the independent home improvement industry is heading into a different kind of uncertainty. Finding ways to keep your business growing is likely going to be more challenging, but there are many ways to maintain momentum even in a flat economy. Hear from a dynamic group of retailers who are making strategic choices to drive growth in their operations, regardless of what the economy has in store.

Panelists: Jeff Grasty, president and co-owner, Florida Paints; Dave Ables, owner, Three Sons Hardware and Tri-County Lumber; and Josiah Gates, chief operating officer, The Aubuchon Co.

Why Is This So Hard? Navigating the Labor Dilemma
Thursday, Aug. 29 | 1:15 p.m.

In an era where labor costs are on the rise and the search for the right talent becomes increasingly challenging, retail businesses are compelled to rethink their approach to workforce management. This panel offers a platform for attendees to glean insights from industry leaders who are pioneering unconventional methods for sourcing, retaining, motivating and compensating their teams. By exploring innovative strategies, attendees will gain valuable perspectives on how to foster productivity, build resilient teams and cultivate robust talent pipelines within their retail operations.

Panelists: Gina Schaefer, founder, A Few Cool Hardware Stores; Yilda Marte, director of human resources, Sunshine Ace; and Leonardo Osorio, director of human resources, Sunpro

Innovation Unleashed: Inspiring Stories From NHPA Top Guns
Thursday, Aug. 29 | 2:15 p.m.

For nearly two decades, the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) has honored outstanding retailers in the independent home improvement sector through its esteemed Top Guns Awards program. Join us for an inspiring panel discussion as these industry luminaries share their remarkable stories of innovation, community stewardship and strategic vision, demonstrating how their leadership has shaped the landscape of independent home improvement retail.

Panelists: Glen Morosohk, general manager, Ricciardi Brothers; Wendy Stine, president, Stine Home + Yard; and Darren Tomasini, president and CEO, Dazey’s Supply

For more information about the panels and the IHI Conference, visit IHIconference.org.

About Lindsey Thompson

Lindsey joined the NHPA staff in 2021 as an associate editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. A native of Ohio, Lindsey earned a B.S. in journalism and minors in business and sociology from Ohio University. She loves spending time with her husband, two kids, two cats and one dog, as well as doing DIY projects around the house, going to concerts, boating and cheering on the Cleveland Indians.

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