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NHPA All-Industry Conference

Attend the NHPA All-Industry Conference

The 2022 NHPA All-Industry Conference is live in Las Vegas April 5-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year’s conference theme, “Investing in People, Products and Technology,” will drive the educational presentations, retailer panel discussions and networking opportunities.

Conference speakers include successful retailers, home improvement industry leaders and experts who will discuss the topics and innovations affecting retailers today.

Keep reading to meet this year’s keynote speakers and hear from a member of the NHPA board of directors about what you can expect at the conference.

Kevin HancockIntroducing Kevin Hancock

Insights from an NHPA All-Industry Conference Speaker

Kevin Hancock is the CEO of Hancock Lumber, a 174-year-old lumber company with a sawmill division, a network of retail lumberyards, home design showrooms and a truss manufacturing facility, all in Maine and New Hampshire. The business has earned the “Best Places to Work in Maine” award eight times, and it was also recognized as the Maine Family Business of the Year and received the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence. In addition to leading his family’s business through the sixth generation, Hancock is a public speaker and an award-winning author.

What do you look forward to the most at the NHPA All-Industry Conference and National Hardware Show?
I enjoy hearing how other dealers are thinking about and handling the same challenges we’re working on within our own company. There are so many trends within the industry that affect all of us. I’m always coming back with either confidence in what we are doing or a fresh perspective on how we might do something differently.

If a retailer wasn’t planning on attending, what would you say to change their mind?
They have to change their own mind, but that makes me think of activity that is important but not urgent. It’s always easier to stay at the store. But as leaders of our companies, we’ve got to think about the core components of our role—to lead and be leaders within our industry. We need to get out and experience the industry on a national level. Our companies depend on us to keep up with the best practices, most progressive thinking and newest products within the industry.

What one business book would you recommend to others?
My favorite is “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras. It’s about endurance and the characteristics of companies that endure the test of time. The book looks at hundreds of multigenerational companies across decades and identifies the common characteristics of organizations that are able to be successful over multiple generations.

If you weren’t working in this industry, what would you do?
I probably would have been a teacher or a coach. That’s originally what I set out to do when I graduated from college, and without the family business, that’s the track I would have stayed on.

KEYNOTE Presentation
Employees First: Disrupting Assumptions for More Loyal Customers and Stronger Sales

Hancock Lumber president and CEO Kevin Hancock revisits and reclassifies several long-standing assumptions about business and discusses the social and economic benefits of creating an employee-centric company. The first mission of work should be enhancing the lives of the people who do it. Hancock explains how starting the flywheel of corporate success with the employee experience creates enhanced results for customers, communities and corporations.

Jackie SacksHear from Retailer and NHPA Board Member Jackie Sacks

Jackie Sacks of Round Top Mercantile Co. in Round Top, Texas, is a recent addition to NHPA’s board of directors. Continue reading to learn about her experience at the NHPA All-Industry Conference and what brings her back year after year.

What is one of your most memorable NHPA All-Industry Conference moments?
​The year I was honored as a Young Retailer of the Year. It was my first time attending the conference, and I left in complete awe.
I had no idea what to expect, and it was in that moment I realized what a great organization NHPA is. It opened up opportunities to attend future events throughout the years. I have sat on a few discussion panels and been invited to contribute to articles and projects ever since. It has helped to create professional relationships that are priceless.

What do you look forward to the most at the NHPA All-Industry Conference and National Hardware Show?
​The prize of the knowledge I’ll return back to the store with. Whether it’s finding that new product that fits exactly what we need to freshen up our inventory or a lesson learned from a fellow retailer that I can put in place to streamline a process.

Also, I enjoy the Young Retailer of the Year event. As a 2017 Young Retailer of the Year honoree, it brings a smile to my face to see and visit with the newest members of a very special group. It also offers a chance to visit with fellow alumni and catch up. I have been very fortunate to keep in touch with a few of my fellow classmates, which has been beneficial both personally and professionally.

What keeps you coming back each year?
I have always had a great connection with the entire NHPA crew, so the conference also allows me to catch up with them. I enjoy seeing the speakers and panels to get a feel for the current situations and a reassurance that I am not the only one experiencing issues or seeing unique trends within our customer base or industry.

​I enjoy getting to see the new items and visiting with new vendors at the National Hardware Show. I am always looking for the latest and greatest products to add to our business. Getting a first peek at items is helpful, especially when I have a customer inquiring about a product they saw or read about. And who doesn’t like an excuse to take a few days off and travel?

Would you like to share anything about your experience so far as an NHPA board member?
​I feel I am still a junior member of the board, but I have thoroughly enjoyed serving thus far and appreciate the opportunity.

I was fortunate to know most of the current members of the board of directors through prior engagements with the association.
The bond we share helps us to assist with the growth and outreach of our organization.

What one business book would you recommend to others?
I can’t say I have a go-to book, but I do recommend keeping some type of journal or notebook.

There are times I see an interesting product and jot it down because if I don’t, the odds of me neglecting it later are high. Also, my greatest ideas seem to come at the most peculiar times, so I have learned to write them down.

Grant FarnsworthIntroducing Grant Farnsworth

Insights from an NHPA All-Industry Conference Speaker

Grant Farnsworth is president of The Farnsworth Group, a research organization that conducts customized research for the building products, home improvement and lawn and ranch industries by providing strategic insights that help companies better understand their customer, product, brand and overall market. For over 15 years, Farnsworth has consulted on qualitative and quantitative research for a variety of manufacturers, retailers and associations ranging from Fortune 100 firms to startups. He continues to gain industry knowledge through efforts with organizations like Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing and the Home Improvement Research Institute.

In your opinion, what is the value of a trade event like the NHPA All-Industry Conference and the National Hardware Show?
First off, relationship development and management. It’s important to see the contractors and customers that we serve. These events allow us to still maintain some sort of face-to-face interaction, even in this new world, with people who are integral to our businesses.

Something I also personally enjoy is the observation piece. What’s the mood, vibe and traffic? What are we seeing? I think that engagement with the industry gives you a sense of the state of the industry at that moment.

If a retailer wasn’t planning on attending, what would you say to change their mind?
It’s an affordable and efficient way to connect with your industry and the people who drive growth—be it the customer, manufacturer or supplier. You’ve got the whole ecosystem in one location, which doesn’t always happen.

What one business book would you recommend to others?
I like “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The idea that you find something that differentiates you—that you go for something niche and become the best at it. Our whole firm is all about the niche. We don’t venture outside of building products, home improvement and lawn and garden. This is it, and it has been for over three decades. There are a lot of research companies, but very few have the focus that we do and 250 collective years of experience behind it. I feel very fortunate to work alongside my colleagues at The Farnsworth Group with the clients we do.

If you weren’t working in this industry, what would you do?
When I was a kid, I thought a marine biologist would be the coolest thing. That or a landscape architect. Oddly enough, both are outdoors all the time, and I do market research inside.

KEYNOTE Presentation
Industry Fundamentals and Customer Behaviors Impacting Home Improvement

Featuring recent research from The Farnsworth Group, this presentation will highlight key supply and demand factors impacting the future of home improvement. Although fundamentals are key to understanding where we’ve been and where we’re headed, it’s also important to understand changing customer behaviors that are impacting manufacturers and retailers. Research presented will include actionable data on contractor and DIY brand preferences, how shoppers use technology before buying and online and in-store shopping activities.

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