Stellar line-up for SWA conference
A STELLAR line-up of speakers, including Charles Wilson, chief executive of Booker, Alex Fisher, managing director of catering giant 3663, Debbie Robinson, Spar UK's recently appointed managing director and the US-based industry guru, Tom Kuzio, have been confirmed for the 2012 Annual Conference of the Scottish Wholesale Association (SWA) in June.
Kuzio, the former senior vice-president (sales) at PepsiCo International and now managing partner of business consultancy The Kuzio Group, will deliver a keynote address in which he will share his first-hand experience of heading up a key division of a global business, and suggest how that knowledge can be used to help build a world-class wholesale industry in Scotland.
In what promises to be an inspirational and entertaining presentation, Kuzio - who will open and close the conference business sessions - will touch on the importance of building trust in your team, and trust between retailers/caterers and suppliers in order to create a happy and stimulating working environment that lends itself to promoting significantly better results.
The crucial area of training and mentoring your people will feature prominently throughout the conference, themed 'Ahead of the Game', while marketing - both internally and externally - will also be highlighted in the presentations by Tom Kuzio and other speakers.
SWA president George Benson, who will host two business sessions at the conference and highlight the challenges facing members and the wider wholesale industry over the coming year, said: "I believe that we have built an outstanding business programme for our 2012 conference.
"We have attracted a host of high-profile speakers - many of them the most senior captains of industry from within the wholesale sector - and believe that this year's business programme is arguably our strongest yet.
"It is becoming increasingly clear to everyone within our industry that training is the key to growth and prosperity, and this will be the underlying theme of our 2012 conference. Our key message is that we have the right people, the right attitude and right skills to create a truly world-class industry. But we need to nurture those people and do everything we can to develop those skills."
Also speaking at the 2012 conference will be Asim Sarwar, managing director of United Wholesale (Scotland), the winner of Best Cash & Carry Depot and Best Retailer Development Programme in the 2012 Scottish Wholesale Achievers awards initiative; and Martin Williams, managing director of leading SWA member, Landmark Wholesale.
Presentations will also come from Jason Wouhra, director and company secretary of West Midlands-based East End Foods; and Denys Shortt, chairman and chief executive of DCS Europe, one of Europe's largest health and beauty businesses and the official UK sales and distribution company for leading blue-chips including Procter & Gamble, Gillette, Unilever and SC Johnson.
In addition, Scott Brady, the Association's independent lobbyist and consultant, will discuss the importance of lobbying and some of the Association's recent activity - and successes and challenges - in this all-important area. Meanwhile, Mike Greene, CEO of the respected industry research agency, him!, will explore growth and opportunities for wholesalers and suppliers alike north of the Border.
Suppliers addressing the conference include:
- Marcus Freer, sales director, SHS Sales & Marketing (GB)
- Colin Smith, commercial director, Müller UK
- Steve Kitching, managing director, Cott Beverages
- Karen Salters, joint managing director, Beverage Brands
For the first time at an SWA conference, a dedicated area will be made available to allow wholesalers to meet with suppliers on a one-to-one basis. "This is another new development for the Association," explained George Benson. "We know that individual wholesalers make their own arrangements to meet with suppliers during the course of the weekend so we want to make this as easy as possible for them - and, hopefully, encourage others to follow suit.
"A quiet room will be available exclusively for this purpose for the duration of the conference, open 24 hours, and we will be encouraging everyone to take advantage of the opportunity as there are few other occasions when so many wholesalers and suppliers find themselves under the same roof at the same time."
Places at the conference, taking place at Crieff Hydro in Perthshire from 14-17 June, are still available although you are advised to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Kate Salmon, executive director, said: "Our top-flight business sessions and opportunities to network make our conference a 'must attend' event on the industry calendar."
Please direct all enquiries about the conference to Kate Salmon or Margaret Wilson on 0131 556 8753, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find full details and a booking form for suppliers here.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012