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NHPA Announces NHS Roundtable Moderators and Topics

The North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) is excited to announce the retailers and industry experts leading roundtable discussions and conversations at the 2024 National Hardware Show’s (NHS) Independent Retail Center.

2024 NHS will take place March 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. The Independent Retail Center is a space on the show floor where retailers can relax, network and gain insights from experts and content made possible by NHPA.

Continue reading to learn more about this year’s retailer and expert lineup and discussion topics. If you haven’t already, you can learn more about NHS and get your free exhibit hall pass at nhs-24.com/NHPA.


Retailer Roundtables

Meeting and Exceeding Sales Goals
Moderator: Joe Franquinha, Owner at Crest True Value Hardware and Urban Garden Center in New York
Tuesday, March 26, 3 – 4 p.m.
Increasing sales and customer counts is not always a linear path and can be reached in myriad ways. Hear from retailers who have successfully implemented aggressive growth strategies that have driven sales, improved customer counts and boosted conversion rates by focusing on different areas of the business.

Only 20 slots available, register for this roundtable session here.

Outside-the-Box Succession Planning
Moderator: Gina Schaefer, Founder and former CEO at A Few Cool Hardware Stores
Wednesday, March 27, 3 – 4 p.m.
When it comes to writing the next chapter for the future of your operation, planning ahead is key to ensuring your desires for your business come to fruition, even if that next chapter is still years away. Former retailer Gina Schaefer shares insights into the different options you should consider as you work on a succession plan and a look at the unique path she chose for her company’s succession plan.

Only 20 slots available, register for this roundtable session here.

Build Your Leadership Bench
Moderator: Kim Peffley, Director of Organizational Development and Consulting at NHPA
Thursday, March 28, 10 – 11 a.m.
Developing a strong contingent of future leaders is essential for the success and growth of your business. In this roundtable, join NHPA’s director of organizational development Kim Peffley to explore essential tips that can help you cultivate and develop your leadership bench. This discussion will inspire you to create a robust pipeline to leadership, ensuring the long-term success and growth of your store.

Only 20 slots available, register for this roundtable session here.


Meet the Experts

John Wheeler, CFP®, CPA/PFS, BCA, MBA, Valuation Specialist, Wealth Manager and Partner at Creative Planning, Castle Valuation
Tuesday, March 26, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Understanding your company’s value is key to establishing a secure future. Whether you’re looking to exit the business or to access capital for your next venture, having a current, comprehensive valuation is a critical component. Meet with John Wheeler, a valuation expert with 24 years of experience, to learn how to improve your business’s value and create an exit strategy for yourself.

Only 8 spots left, sign up to meet with John here.

Ajay Amin, Principal at Bolster Hardware
Tuesday, March 26, 1 – 3 p.m.
As principal for Bolster Hardware, Ajay Amin brings over 20 years of experience developing retail and restaurant brands. He currently leads mergers and acquisitions, finance and special projects for Bolster Hardware, which has 38 locations in seven states and more projects in the pipeline for 2024. Meet with Amin to discuss your goals and get his insights on making your next move.

Only 8 spots left, sign up to meet with Ajay here.

Brian Misenheimer, Vice President of Franchise Lending at Live Oak Bank
Wednesday, March 27, 1 – 3 p.m.
Relying on the guidance of experts when making strategic plans is necessary for success. As a senior loan officer on Live Oak Bank’s franchise lending team, Brian Misenheimer has over two decades of commercial banking experience, including lending to independent retail hardware store operations. Whether you operate a single store or a multistore chain, he can help you understand what makes sense for your situation. Meet with Misenheimer to identify the right opportunities and explore the financing options that best meet your needs.

Only 8 spots left, sign up to meet with Brian here.

Dave Gowan, Chief Financial Officer at NHPA
Wednesday, March 27, 3 – 5 p.m.
Dave Gowan’s experience as a small business operator informs his decisions and leadership strategies as chief financial officer and executive vice president of business services for NHPA. He regularly counsels retailers on best practices for improving key performance metrics and leads the NHPA Retail Marketplace, a platform for retailers to buy or sell an operation and post job listings. Meet with Gowan to discuss your future plans and learn more about the Retail Marketplace.

Only 8 spots left, sign up to meet with Dave here.


NHS Event Insights From NHPA’s Katie McHone-Jones

Hardware Retailing spoke with Katie McHone-Jones, NHPA director of member services and events, for insights into this year’s roundtables and other NHPA content at the Independent Retail Center.

Hardware Retailing (HR): What would you like to share about this year’s roundtable lineup at NHS?
Katie McHone-Jones (KMJ): I’m very excited about the three different topics we’re going to cover during our roundtables.

Gina Schaefer will share insights into the different options retailers should consider as they work on a succession plan and a look at the unique path she chose for her company’s succession plan.

Joe Franquinha will share his expertise and ideas on growing sales in his store by focusing on the customer experience and connecting with his community.

Kim Peffley, a former retailer with 25 years of experience in home improvement stores, will lead the discussion every leader should be thinking about, building your bench.

While all three of these experts will be sharing their ideas and strategies, this will be an open discussion for retailers of all sizes and locations to share their best practices and bounce ideas off one another.

HR: Retailer Gina Schaefer will be moderating a discussion on succession planning. Why is this such an important topic? What do you hope attendees will take away from this discussion?
KMJ: In the many years I’ve worked at NHPA, one thing has always stuck out to me—far too many store owners don’t have a plan for their business when they want to retire. I am passionate about this industry continuing to grow and evolve, and one of the ways retailers can do this is by planning for the future now.

Gina took a less traditional approach to passing on her company. I’m excited for her to share what she did so other owners can see there are a variety of ways they can transition ownership of their business.

HR: NHPA’s Kim Peffley will also lead a discussion on building your bench. For those who haven’t had the chance to hear her speak before, could you share some reasons why attending her session would be beneficial?
KMJ: Kim has this almost superpower where she listens to retailers and can help their businesses grow and flourish. She is passionate about the next generation of young leaders in our industry, and her insights into building a strong bench for the future are so important. She will share the knowledge she’s gained over her 30 years in this industry to help those who attend understand why they need to focus their attention on growing and building their bench.

HR: What can you share about retailer Joe Franquinha and the Meeting and Exceeding Sales Goals roundtable?
KMJ: Joe truly cares about each of his employees and the community he serves. Watching him and his team constantly come up with new ways to highlight their business and grow traffic has been fun to watch. Joe isn’t afraid to take risks, and I think that is one of the reasons his company is so successful. Anyone who attends this roundtable will be inspired to try something new in their store to drive traffic.

HR: What other exciting events and opportunities can attendees look forward to in the Independent Retail Center and at NHS?
KMJ: In addition to our three roundtables, we will also host four experts whom retailers can come and chat with in the Independent Retail Center.

Dave Gowan, NHPA’s chief financial officer, will be available to talk with retailers about best practices for improving key performance metrics and to share insights he’s gained from NHPA’s Cost of Doing Business Study.

Brian Misenheimer, vice president of franchise lending from Live Oak Bank will talk with retailers about identifying the right opportunities and exploring the options that best meet retailer needs when considering financing.

Ajay Amin, a principal at Bolster Hardware, currently leads mergers and acquisitions for his company. Ajay will be able to answer any questions other retailers might have about growing their businesses as a retailer himself.

Lastly, John Wheeler from Castle Valuation will help answer questions about what your store is worth and why getting valuations is so important.

NHPA is also excited to bring back our Foundations of Merchandising Management Live! course at NHS. This is a unique, industry-focused program for both new and experienced independent home improvement retail personnel responsible for managing merchandising functions at their stores. There are still spots available at YourNHPA.org/foundationslive.

Last but not least, we are also hosting our Retailers’ Choice Awards on Wednesday night. The Retailers’ Choice Awards showcase the best, most innovative products featured at the National Hardware Show. After the retailer judges select the winning products, we will host an awards ceremony highlighting those products.

About Julie Leinwand

Julie Leinwand is the Special Projects Manager for NHPA. She graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys baking fanciful desserts and spending time with her puppies and husband.

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