2019 Annual Meeting 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.

TUESDAY, June 11

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 – The Williamsburg Inn
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
Gold Course
Register for golf during the online registration process.

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

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Optional Event

Join us at the Taste Studio for an in-depth look and taste of some of today’s most trending cocktails.  The Williamsburg Inn’s knowledgeable chef will guide you through the tastings and food pairings while sharing information, taking questions and enjoying fun conversation. Register for this event during the online registration process.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
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
Welcome Reception
All invited.

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Southern Dinner

Come join us for an evening of 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: “How to Turn Your Existing Software Systems and Data into a Competitive Advantage”- Adam Burke, Co-Founder, Nowsight

You probably have a hunch where your company and operations may be inefficient. But how do you quantify those hunches into actionable information and bottom-line performance? Hear how real-time, powerful, and easy-to-read dashboards with real-time alerts can help transform your CStore Distribution company.

Adam will discuss:

  • How you are sitting on the data you need it just may not be accessible in real-time on your factory dashboard.
  • What a morning report is, and how you’ll never again wonder what happened in your business overnight.
  • Savings and efficiencies other Southern members have discovered and implemented.
  • Motivational strategies to unleash record-breaking performance in productivity, output, and up-time.

ADAM BURKE is an experienced leader focused on rapidly growing businesses, radically enhancing team performance and solving problems in competitive industries. An MBA and engineer by training and serial entrepreneur by choice, his current company, Nowsight, combines Business Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence to unlock insights within your own operating business.



9:20 AM – 10:30 AM
Session 2: “Catching the CBD Wave…What you Need to Know” – Colin Gallagher, Founder and COO of Solari and Kelly Michols, CEO of Solari

4th tier cigarettes, e-cigs, and vaping products all contributed to profits in wholesale
distribution in the recent past…yet all are on the wane. Meanwhile, a new and potentially profitable opportunity has emerged with awareness fueled by Altria’s recent investment of $1.8 billion in Canadian cannabis producer Cronos Group. Distributors are casting a cautious eye on hemp and CBD products while trying to gauge risk vs. reward in this emerging category that most predict has extraordinary market potential.

Attendees will learn:

  • What is Hemp? What is CBD? How is Hemp different from Marijuana?
  • What is the difference between CBD and other Hemp-based products?
  • What is legal and not legal (federally) regarding Hemp and CBD? What is the “Farm Bill” and what does it mean to my business? What does the FDA think about Hemp and CBD?
  • What should you require from a Hemp/CBD supplier?

COLIN GALLAGHER is founder and the Chief Operating Officer of Solari. Prior to founding Solari, he was the Director of Operations and Business Development for Smoker Friendly International and focused on private label brands and the expansion of the Smoker Friendly Authorized Dealer Program. Before joining Smoker Friendly in 2017, Colin spent seven years in PwC Denver’s International Tax Services group.



KELLY MICHOLS, Chief Executive Officer of Solari, has over 20 years of senior executive experience developing worldclass sales and marketing teams in start-up and scaled growth stages. Prior to Solari, Kelly was President of Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) Lane Ltd.’s U.S. cigar and pipe tobacco division, leading the company’s U.S. Regulatory and Governmental Affairs functions.



10:45 AM – 12:00 PM
General Session:
“Hurdling Adversity- Creating the New Normal” – John Register, Founder and CEO, Inspired Communications International, LLC

Motivation is fleeting because it is primarily rooted in emotion. Inspiration is the mental stimulation to create something different
or new for us or for others. This session will motivate audience members to become more engaged at work and walk away with the necessary tools to strike a healthy work life balance by learning four ways to overcome life’s challenges. Participants will be encouraged to take ownership of their adverse situation (control what they can control) and be motivated to adopt “deer-like” qualities to hurdle their adversity, empowering them to create a new normal in their lives.

JOHN REGISTER is the President and CEO of Inspired Communications International, LLC, an experiential professional speaking company showing businesses how to hurdle adversity and create the new normal to win the medals in their life. From four-time track and field all-American to Gulf War Army veteran to amputee to Paralympic silver medalist, John has never allowed adversity to hold him back. John founded the United States Olympic Committees Paralympic Military sport program and served in a variety of capacities including special advisor to two U.S. Secretaries of State on disability foreign policy and a U.S. Sports Diplomacy Ambassador.(Envoy).


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.

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 14

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

“CBD FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)” – Jonathan Havens, co-founder/co-chair of the Cannabis Law Practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Are you afraid of missing out on the CBD craze? Before jumping in to any business related to cannabis or CBD products, it is vital that you understand the legal aspects of this explosive category.

JONATHAN HAVENS is the co-founder and co-chair of the Cannabis Law Practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP. He counsels state cannabis license applicants and awardees, ancillary service and product providers, investors, management companies, and various other entities that are affected by federal and state marijuana laws, such as long-term care facilities and higher education institutions. Before entering private practice, Jonathan served as a regulatory counsel with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).



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

8:45 AM – 11:15 AM
“House of Deals”
Hightop table “show”

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Distributors Forum
Representatives of All Distribution Companies are Encouraged to Attend. This meeting is open to Distributors only.

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Vendors Forum
Representatives of All Vendor Companies are Encouraged to Attend.

12:45 PM – 1:30 PM
Board of Directors Meeting

1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Executive Committee Meeting

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
One More Thing…Come Pub Crawl like a Colonial
Open to All.

Experience a historical pub crawl filled with drinks and revelry, where the stories of a libation’s origins are paired with pours of the drinks themselves. For an hour and a half, you’ll follow an experienced interpreter down DoG St., experiencing tavern debauchery, and re-living what it was like to walk in the sloshy shoes of our forefathers in days of yore. This event is only for those 21+ years of age. Includes (3) 8 oz. glasses of assorted beverages (sangria, brandy punch, beer). Register for this event during the online registration process.

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 during the online registration process.