2018 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 12

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

2:15 PM – 3:15 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 – Thoroughbred’s
For members of the Board of Directors and Past Presidents.


6:45 AM – 1:00 PM (Breakfast at the course begins at 7:00 AM, Shot Gun start at 8:00 AM)
Golf Tournament
Myrtlewood Golf Club
Register for golf during the online registration process.

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

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Lunch and Oyster Art Class CANCELLED

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
SAWD Board of Directors’ Meeting

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Family Fun Club

Are you looking for a fun activity to do as a family during the meeting? If so, then we have just the thing for you. Get ready to interact with others, compete, and have a lot of fun during our Family Club!

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
Welcome Reception
All invited.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Southern Shindig

Come join us as we celebrate everything “Southern.” Dubbed the Southern Shindig this celebration will showcase the South’s best attributes – great food, great friends and great fun for the whole family!

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: “Leading Change in the Rapidly Evolving Wholesale Distribution Industry” – Spencer B. Taylor, MBA , Principal, Lumen Leadership

More Information

Over the last several years we have experienced one of the largest economic swings in our nation’s history. When the economy shifts, we must be ready to change our approach to doing business. In this dynamic session, business change expert Spencer Taylor, MBA will present the following powerful tools you can take and apply in your company to ensure you are ready:

  • The 8-Step Harvard approach to leading change
  • 4 Principles of Innovation that will create a new competitive advantage
  • 2 Turn-Around case studies you can use to refine your growth strategy
  • How to Define your 3-year Leadership Roadmap
  • Mastering the 7 Elements of breakthrough leadership

Spencer TaylorSpencer Taylor began working in the convenience industry as a VP of Marketing in 1999. After serving in the active Military as an All-Source Intelligence Analyst and deploying 3 times to Iraq, he completed his undergraduate and graduate work in Business. He has served in leadership roles for over 15 years and has focused his last several years on building great leaders in Business. His current company, Lumen Leadership, helps companies build effective leadership development programs that drive results.

9:20 AM – 10:30 AM
Session 2: “Amazon: Predator, Partner and Role Model Catalyst? – Bruce Merrifield, Jr., President, Merrifield Consulting Group

More Information

Amazon’s ambition to sell any physical or digital product knows no bounds. Millennials – our next generation of customers (and customers’ customers) – are digital natives and Prime addicts. The product information, availability and pricing from Amazon will continue to explode. What does this mean for Convenience Store Distributors? How can we minimize Amazon’s hit to our channel? How might we experiment as resellers or participate in digital, customer-backwards, value channels? And, how can we be more effectively customer-centric as they have? Bezos wants “prime membership” to be a sanity test for all Americans.

Bruce MerrifieldBruce Merrifield started his consulting practice for independent distribution channels in 1980, after having spent 8 years working for a growth-by-acquisition chain of distribution companies. He has given speeches to 100+ trade associations and many global 1000 corporations, written countless articles for trade publications, and authored a book entitled “Electronic Commerce for Distribution Channels.” His time is currently split amongst consulting, contract turn-arounds, professional speaking, board seats and two startup businesses (one of them- Waypoint Analytics – provides a comprehensive cloud-analytics service for distribution companies.) Bruce has two wonderful, young-adult kids, lives in Aspen, CO; and enjoys mastering multiple sports.

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
General Session:
“”Ignite Your Goals”” – Gerry O’Brion, CSP, What Big Brands Know

More Information

What do you want for your business? For your life? The most successful people don’t leave accomplishment to chance. Learn simple steps to achieve more in your business and your life.

What you’ll get:

  • An easy, free technique that 96% of us don’t use
  • Simple and effective practices to achieve more today and every day
  • How to accelerate your success by 77%
  • A fully interactive, participatory experience
  • Leave the session with clear goals and a new commitment to accomplishing them

Who is this for:
• Anyone who is interested in increasing their momentum, accelerating their progress, and advancing their success.

Gerry O'BrionGerry O’Brion is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and marketing expert who helps companies thrive in good times and bad. This fun, engaging, interactive session has you immediately implementing the ideas you learn. 

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

1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
Individual appointments between buyers and sellers.

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Family Fun Club

We are extending the time and adding even more fun to Thursday’s Family Club.  Get ready to interact with others, compete and have a lot of fun!

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 15

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

8:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Registration Desk Open

8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
“House of Deals”
Hightop table “show”

11:15 AM – Noon
Distributors Forum
Representatives of All Distribution Companies are Encouraged to Attend. This meeting is open to Distributors only.

11:15 AM – Noon
Vendors Forum
Representatives of All Vendor Companies are Encouraged to Attend.

12:15 PM – 1:00 PM
Board of Directors Meeting

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Executive Committee Meeting

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
One More Thing…
Open to All.

“One more thing” is a new way to end our busy week with something fun and entertaining.  This year we are taking it to Broadway… at the Beach, that is. Shuttles will be running from the Sheraton to Broadway at the Beach starting at 6:00 PM. The Dueling Piano Bar at Crocodile Rocks starts at 8:00 PM and runs until 10:00 PM. Join us for an evening of music food, shopping and just plain fun at one of Myrtle beach’s most popular venues.

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.