2017 Schedule of Events

NOTE: This is a tentative schedule of events. All details subject to change. The on-site program supersedes all pre-printed materials.

– For Members Only –

TUESDAY, June 13

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Registration Desk Open

2:15 PM – 3:30 PM
Chair/Vice Chair Meeting

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Committee Meetings

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Finance & Budget Committee Meeting

5:30 PM – 6:30 PM
Executive Committee Meeting

7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Chairman’s Reception and Dinner – Antoine’s
For members of the Board of Directors and Past Presidents.


8:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Golf Tournament
Lakewood Golf Club
Register for golf during the online registration process.

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Registration Desk Open

9:45 AM – 2:00 PM
Cooking Creole

More Information
Cooking Creole is one of the hottest rages in the country. Enjoy a guided tour through some of the oldest streets in the United States as you make your way to your private cooking demonstration at the NO Cooking School. You get to be the judge and lunch on everything that is prepared!

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
SAWD Meetings With a Mission

More Information
Meetings With a Mission is a Southern initiative designed to encourage connections between attendees and those in the community for the purpose of doing good. We will be partnering up with a local charitable service organization, allowing us to roll up our sleeves and work alongside one another for a worthy cause.

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
SAWD Board of Directors’ Meeting

4:15 PM – 5:15 PM
SLD Board Meeting

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM
New Vendor Reception
For all buyers and first-time Vendors.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
New Vendor Reception
All invited.

7:15 PM – 9:00 PM
Dinner and Industry Awards

After Dinner – Until
Hospitality Suite – Open to all


7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Registration Desk Open

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Kick-Off Breakfast (Continental)

8:00 AM – 10:30 PM
Education Sessions

8:00 AM – 9:10 AM
Session 1: “The Paradox of Potential” – Thom Singer CSP

More Information
Having “high potential” does not mean performing at maximum capability. While many believe they are doing all they can, a huge number of professionals are frustrated because they are coming up short of their personal expectations (and the expectations of others). Beyond excuses and finger pointing, this interactive presentation gets to the heart of how people can accomplish more and enjoy their work.As more organizations focus on the “future of work,” this is about more than telecommuting and stand up desks. It is about getting excited about goal setting, realistic assessments, teamwork, successful human engagement, cross-selling, and other skills to help everyone everyone in your organization reach their highest potential.

Thom SingerThom Singer, CSP, has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience with firms such as RR Donnelley, Brobeck Phleger & Harrison LLP, Andrews Kurth LLP, Marsh Inc., and Wells Fargo Bank. He is an expert in human engagement and has trained thousands of professionals in the art of building professional contacts that lead to increased business. He has authored twelve books on the power of business relationships, sales, networking, presentation skills and entrepreneurship, and regularly speaks to corporate, law firm and convention audiences.

9:20 AM – 10:30 AM
Session 2: “Safeguarding Your People and Your Stuff” – Panel Discussion

More Information
Risk reduction often takes a back seat to profit generating activities, yet millions of dollars are lost each year – in our region alone – from illegal activities such as:

  • Cyber-attacks hijacking companies’ AR and demanding ransom payments,
  • Sophisticated warehouse break-ins or simple hijacking of trucks to steal cigarettes,
  • “Trusted” employees caught keeping a second set of books, or
  • Drivers using company gas cards to fill up their personal vehicles.

Not only can inventories and profits be put at risk but often your most valuable asset—your employees—can find themselves in harm’s way as well. We will discuss a variety of real-life examples from Southern members and industry friends that touch on fleet, facility, data, personnel, and inventory safety and security and explore:

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • How was it discovered?
  • How was it handled initially? Ultimately?
  • What changes were put in place to avoid it happening again?

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
General Session:
“Cooperative Significance: Being an Influential Leader at Work (and Beyond)” – Thom Singer, CSP

More Information
Most people want to feel significant: at home, at work, in their community, etc. But you cannot feel significant alone in a field. You need others. A person can fake success, but they cannot fake significance. Discovering what is important and interesting to other people is more important now than ever before. This program is designed to educate and inspire anyone to make relationships a priority while learning to lead and influence others. 

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
First Lady’s Social
Open to All Spouses and Guests.

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
FSMA Lunch & Learn – Steve Stomel, ProCat Distribution Technologies

More Information
If your company distributes any type of food product, you are subject to new regulations. In this session, Steve breaks FSMA down to the basics. Learn how it affects our industry and what distributors need to be doing. 

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM
State Association Executives & Political Affairs Luncheon

1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Individual appointments between buyers and sellers.

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
“Get Acquainted Reception”

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Awards Banquet
This evening is an opportunity to recognize some of the Southern’s award recipients… people who have each demonstrated extensive commitment to service and achievement in the industry.

After Dinner – Until
Hospitality Suite
Open to All.

FRIDAY, June 16

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Registration Desk Open

7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Industry Breakfast (Continental)

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Second Line Parade to “House of Deals”

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
“House of Deals”(includes brunch)
Hightop table show being held at New Orleans’ House of Blues.

12:45 PM – 1:00 PM
General Membership Meeting

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Keynote Address: “Taking Your Business to the Next Level” – Bryan Dodge

More Information
Bryan Dodge is one of the nation’s leading educators. Dedicated to empowering companies and people to be their best, Bryan is an expert on the topics of upward career growth, awakening potential, building loyal and committed teams, developing sales savvy, win-win negotiating, and balancing work and family. This keynote session is customized specifically for The Southern and will include the best of the best of Bryan’s material including:

  • Winning in a Competitive Market
  • Details That Set You Apart
  • Time Control
  • Enemies That Take Away Opportunity
  • Responsive Goal Setting and How to Expand Your Market

Bryan’s engaging personality and masterful delivery make this a must see program!

Bryan DodgeBryan Dodge’s 27 years of experience teaching and inspiring people of all walks of life to reach their full potential has made him one of the nation’s leading choices as a professional speaker/trainer for corporate events, conferences, and conventions. He incorporates experiences from his professional and personal life into each one of his presentations. Bryan has authored multiple books, hosted a weekly radio program for 8 years and includes as a part of his client list: 7-11 Corporation, Allstate Insurance, American Airlines, Bank of America, Hilton, Kraft Foods, and more. Bryan has been happily married for over 39 years and a dedicated father for 32 years of three wonderful children (and now three grandchildren) and definitely understands the need for professional and personal life balance.

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Distributors Forum
Representatives of All Distribution Companies are Encouraged to Attend. This meeting is open to Distributors only.

2:15 PM – 3:15 PM
Vendors Forum
Representatives of All Vendor Companies are Encouraged to Attend.

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Board of Directors Meeting

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Executive Committee Meeting

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
SLD Social – Party at Pat O’Brien’s
Open to All.

Join us for a private party at a location that is world renowned as the hospitality spot of New Orleans—Pat O’Brien’s! Established in the early 1900’s, Pat O’Brien’s is known the world over as the most popular and fun-filled establishment anywhere. We will enjoy our party in a private room, located on the second floor complete with full bar, dinner, copper grand piano and a private Bourbon Street balcony where some beads will be thrown! A piano player will entertain us on the baby grand piano as we enjoy plentiful drinks as well as an authentic New Orleans style dinner.

Pre-purchase your raffle tickets for a chance to win one of two $1,000 cash prizes. Proceeds will go to support the Education Fund. For your convenience, we have included a space for you to order your tickets right on the convention registration form. SAWD members have been sent tickets to pre-sell and tickets will be sold on-site as well.