The instructors invited to teach at the University of Innovative Distribution are renowned wholesale-distribution thought-leaders. They are university professors, industry experts, authors, and consultants. Although many of our instructors have been with UID since its inception, the program strives to recruit individuals who have the expertise and/or offer a unique perspective on problem-solving or addressing the latest industry topics. Find out more about our instructors below.
Gail is a professional speaker, university professor, humanitarian and sales and marketing executive, Gail provides audiences with specific and practical tools to achieve leadership, time management, business and communication success.
Jason is the managing partner of The Distribution Team. The Distribution Team specializes in providing excellence in inventory management training, business operations consulting and technology utilization to the wholesale distribution industry. Jason brings over 30 years of experience working in the distribution field. He has overseen various operational teams, managed small and large facilities, and served in an executive management capacity for the last 10 years of his distribution career.
Al is Chairman and President as well as founder of the Profit Planning Group, a research and executive education firm headquartered in Boulder, Colorado. The firm works exclusively in the area of corporate financial planning.
Dirk is the leading advocate of change and innovation throughout wholesale distribution. He delivers a new voice, a new energy, and a new outlook. He founded UnleashWD in 2012 after he noticed the trend of innovation bypassing wholesalers and distributors. UnleashWD is now setting a bold agenda for the 300,000 distributors in the country.
Don is a passionate and powerful teacher. He is gifted at communicating the skills, tools and disciplines that are critical to success as a sales professional in a demanding, tough selling environment.
Steve is the Chief Operating Officer for Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, a distributor with over 220 branches nationwide. He is also a Partner with Indian River Consulting Group. He has over 25 years of experience in distribution strategy, marketing channels, sales, operations and leadership. He is a published author, a highly rated speaker, a faculty member at the University of Innovative Distribution and serves on the boards of three large distribution companies.
Randy has extensive background in both distribution and manufacturing makes him uniquely qualified to address the issues that both types of organizations face in today’s market environment.vv
Joe began his sales career in 1978 and sales management responsibilities in 1984. In his career, he has worked with manufacturers, reps, and distribution. His company, Palmetto Associates, has worked with over 1700 customers throughout the world. He has worked with many of the major trade associations and is a long-time faculty member with UID.
Andrew, CEO of ShelfAware, is an entrepreneur, inventor, and business owner. Formerly the sales manager at the family distribution company, O-ring Sales & Service, he is now pursuing a new endeavor, a tech startup called ShelfAware, which is attempting to redefine industrial distribution by leveraging RFID technology, the internet, and the power of data. He is also lucky to work with his three equally talented and passionate brothers.
Mary speaks and advises on leadership, economics, productivity, and business growth. She is an internationally renowned author of eleven books. Mary's best-selling books, 15 Ways to Grow Your Business in Every Economy, Master Your World, and Why Leaders Fail, are used in 9 countries.
Michael is a dynamic speaker, popular business author, and both an NAW Research Fellow and the Managing Partner of the Indian River Consulting Group. The boutique firm has worked with distributors of all sizes up to those over $40 billion in revenue per year. Mike sits on the boards of several distributors and provides arbitration and expert witness services for manufacturers and distributors in contract disputes.
Steve is a keynote speaker, workshop leader and author of the New York Times Bestseller Decide: Work Smarter, Reduce Your Stress & Lead by Example. Decide has enjoyed global success and has been translated into 10 languages including Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish. Steve has spoken before thousands of audiences on the topics of leadership, performance, personal growth, and work/life engagement.
Kathy is a Professor, Supply Chain and Sales Engineering Technology and Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Faculty Success, Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University. She also serves as Advisor for the University of Innovative Distribution Executive Management Conference, appointed September, 2005.
Jim is a Dallas based business-to-business sales and sales leadership expert and Hall of Fame professional keynote speaker and trainer. Jim has the leading-edge solutions you need to increase your team’s competitive advantage. A leading go-to sales and sales leadership strategist for over three decades, Jim has been influencing, guiding and inspiring sales teams in more than 80 different industries to increase their sales, market share and profitability.
Anne’s career spans sales operations, planning and distribution in multi-national companies, including the use and implementation of enterprise IT systems on a global scale. A respected project manager, inventory practitioner, and enthusiastic teacher and team-builder, her passion is linking people, process and technology.
Paul is the owner and president of Tom Reilly Training. He began his sales career at the age of 16 in St. Louis, MO. He has sold car washes, painting services, jewelry, propane, construction tools and fasteners, and medical equipment. Paul has over fifteen years of business-to-business sales experience. For six of those years, he sold tools and fasteners for the Hilti organization. Paul joined the Hilti Master’s club in 2010 and was recognized in 2011 with Hilti’s three million dollar sales club. Paul Reilly is a salesperson at heart.
Sam is the founder of the #1-rated Know More! business improvement program and author of the award-winning and best-selling “Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling” book.
Lisa Ryan, CSP, helps organizations develop employee engagement strategies that keep their top talent from becoming someone else’s. Lisa is a Certified Speaking Professional and best-selling author of ten books, including “Manufacturing Engagement: 98 Proven Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Industry’s Top Talent.” During her twenty-plus year sales career, Lisa spent 13 years in industrial distribution, including seven years in the welding industry – and yes, she does weld. Lisa is a proud Cleveland native and received her MBA from Cleveland State University. She has been blissfully married to Scott since 1996 and they are the proud parents of two very spoiled cats.
Jon is president of Effective Inventory Management, Inc., a firm dedicated to helping manufacturers, distributors, and large retailers throughout the world get the most out of their investment in stock inventory. For over 20 years, Jon has helped over three thousand firms improve their productivity and profitability through better inventory management.
Colleen is president and founder of SalesLeadership a sales development firm. She is the author of Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages. Her newest book, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Leadership, will be published in May, 2020, by Harper Collins.
Jamie is an internationally recognized author, speaker and network TV news contributor who has worked with The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Holiday Inn and other global brands.
Skip's sixteen seasons as CEO for five professional baseball teams provides him with the ideal background to be a business coach that helps small businesses create championship companies. From 1986-2001 Skip served as CEO for five different professional baseball teams affiliated with the Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers.
Steve Yastrow is the author of three books, Ditch the Pitch, We: The Ideal Customer Relationship and Brand Harmony. Management guru Tom Peters said, “When Steve Yastrow writes, I pay close attention.” Seth Godin wrote that Ditch the Pitch “gives salespeople the courage to be human.” Steve’s in-depth, real world experience advising hundreds of companies and organizations inform his practical, proven approach to driving business results. He has been a keynote speaker for more than 20 years, speaking to hundreds of organizations. He is a former senior marketing executive with Hyatt Hotels and is now president of his own consulting firm, Yastrow & Company.