NRHA All-Industry Conference Features Full Slate of Keynote Speakers, Awards and Educational Sessions at the National Hardware Show®

Mar 29, 2018

(NORWALK, Connecticut, March 29, 2018)—Find the information and inspiration you need to strengthen your business at the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) All-Industry Conference. This can’t-miss feature of the National Hardware Show®, takes place Tuesday, May 8- Thursday, May 10 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

NRHA is a trade association whose guiding vision is to educate, advocate and associate on behalf of independent hardware and home improvement business owners. Through the All-Industry Conference, visitors will benefit from a series of educational seminars and networking opportunities. Each year, these powerful sessions and events draw retailers, manufacturers, wholesaler representatives and industry professionals to network, collaborate and inspire one another to excel. Best of all? Attendees registered for the National Hardware Show can attend the Conference at no additional cost.

“Though breadth of product, exhibitors from all over the world and inventors make the Show one of the most efficient trips for industry professionals to make, the added benefits of attending the complimentary NRHA All-Industry Conference really help attendees to maximize your time and move their businesses forward. Gaining insight from leading industry figures, learning about NRHA’s research initiatives and connecting with other independent retailers, all under one roof is invaluable,” says Rich Russo, vice president of the National Hardware Show.

“I think it’s critical in today’s competitive environment to take time away from your operation and gain a fresh perspective on where our industry is headed,” says TJ Comstock, owner of Northwest Hardware in Billings, Montana.

What’s New at the 2018 NRHA All-Industry Conference
The NRHA All-Industry Conference truly has something for everyone. From exciting awards and educational events to a full slate of can’t-miss keynote speakers, the Conference aims to educate and entertain. Learn more about this year’s new features and returning favorites!

3 Must-Attend Keynote Sessions
Three keynote sessions help attendees stay informed and inspired. From the stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones,” to the CEO of product discovery platform The Grommet, to the president of smart home product manufacturer TreeHouse, this year’s keynote lineup can’t be missed.

  • Meet the Stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones.”Mother-daughter duo Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, the stars of HGTV’s hit TV show “Good Bones,” will share their story of how they began rehabbing homes in their Indianapolis community and how their passion led to a successful construction company and a hit television show. Attendees can learn more about their work in filming their successful series, and how retailers can capitalize on the latest trends in home renovation.
  • Hear From TreeHouse Co-Founder and President Jason Ballard. As the co-founder and president of TreeHouse, the world’s first home upgrade company, Jason Ballard knows what the home of the future looks like. Ballard will share what retailers can do to best meet customers’ growing smart home product needs. He’ll also discuss the unique eco-friendly design of TreeHouse’s Dallas headquarters.
  • Discover the Next Big Thing With The Grommet CEO Jules Pieri. Product discovery platform The Grommet has successfully brought thousands of new and innovative products from 16 categories to store shelves. Pieri will explain how her company chooses which products to champion and how Ace Hardware’s recent acquisition of a majority stake in The Grommet influences its path forward.

Along with these great speakers and eye-opening research from the educational seminars, the Conference also offers opportunities to recognize the best of the best in the industry.

  • The Young Retailer of the Year program aims to identify and promote the next generation of independent hardware leaders.
  • NRHA’s Top Guns Awards program will include its first-ever all-female panel, giving Conference attendees an unfiltered look at what’s on the minds of leading retailers.
  • The Retailers’ Choice Awards once again honors products on the rise, giving attendees a glimpse at the latest items to enhance their inventories.

NRHA All-Industry Conference Schedule
From May 8-10, NRHA All-Industry Conference attendees are invited to a full program of insightful, informative seminars aimed to keep them up-to-date on what’s happening in the home improvement industry. Check out the full schedule below, and stay tuned to for further updates!

Tuesday, May 8
8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. | NRHA Village Stage Opening

9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. | Rooster Economics: Understanding Your Flock Can Help You Sell Your Business
Speaker: Andrea Ridout, Author and Speaker
Former independent home retailer Andrea Ridout will share how her own company was challenged by hardship and what she did to turn it around, save the business and eventually sell it—all with a little help from the company’s mascot, George the rooster.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Keynote: Small Business Management: Turning a Hobby into Something More
Speakers: Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk, Stars of HGTV’s “Good Bones”
Lawyer Karen E Laine and real estate agent Mina Starsiak Hawk started rehabbing houses in Indianapolis in 2007. The mother-daughter duo’s hobby became a business, which then became “Good Bones,” a hit show on HGTV. Their mission is to revitalize Indianapolis, one property at a time. Karen and Mina will share stories of how their passion led to a successful construction company and a hit television show, and how their work has revitalized the neighborhoods around them.

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. | Keynote: How TreeHouse Grew Its Roots and Where It’s Headed
Speaker: Jason Ballard, Co-Founder and President of TreeHouse
Jason Ballard will offer Conference attendees an inside look at what he sees as the “future of the home” and how retailers can help consumers build healthier, more sustainable and more beautiful spaces while limiting their carbon footprints.

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | Competing Online: Appealing to Multiple Consumer Generations and Pros
Speaker: Jim Robisch, The Farnsworth Group
More and more shoppers are venturing online in pursuit of a superior shopping experience. This session will include recent research from The Farnsworth Group and NRHA on what consumers and pros expect from their online shopping experiences and how retailers can match these expectations.

4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. | Collaborating to Win: New Approaches to Retailer-Supplier Engagement
Speaker: Daniel Duty, Founder and CEO of Conlego
Retail market dynamics are causing tension between retailers and their suppliers as both look for new opportunities to break new ground and lower costs. Instead of strategizing on how to “beat” the other side, former Target executive Daniel Duty will cover how to negotiate collaboratively to drive growth.

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | NRHA Independent Retailer Reception
NRHA invites all independent retailers attending the National Hardware Show to stop by the NRHA Village for a networking reception upon the close of the show floor. Mix and mingle with fellow independent hardware store, home center and lumberyard retailers and NRHA staff in a casual, welcoming setting. Light hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be provided.

Wednesday, May 9
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | How to Address Cybersecurity as a Small Business
Speaker: Scott Reynolds, CEO of Member Insurance
Data breaches have affected large corporations around the world, but research shows that 43 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses. Scott Reynolds of Member Insurance will discuss where these attacks originate and outline measures you can take to avoid being their next victim.

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. | Keynote: How to Discover the Next Big Thing
Speaker: Jules Pieri, CEO of The Grommet
The Grommet, a product discovery platform, helps retailers learn more about new and innovative products, but how does the company find them? It screens thousands of products each year, accepting only 3 percent of submissions. CEO Jules Pieri will discuss how the company evaluates new products and how retailers can spot emerging trends to enhance their inventory.

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. | Home Sweet Home Study: Amazon Edition
Speakers: Bill Brunelle, Independent We Stand and Dan Tratensek, NRHA
Bill Brunelle and Dan Tratensek explore the impact on local communities when consumers choose to purchase home improvement products on Amazon instead of their local home improvement businesses. Find out how much money remains in a community when consumers choose to shop bricks over clicks.

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. | NRHA Top Guns Awards
Each year, the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) honors some of the industry’s top performers with the Top Gun Awards. At this session, the first-ever all-female Top Guns panel will discuss current issues in the independent hardware channel and share how they’re forging new paths to stay competitive.

2:00 pm. – 2:45 p.m. | Reimagine Retail Ceremony & Winner Announcement
The National Hardware Show’s Reimagine Retail program will award one lucky retailer $100,000 to fund a business improvement project at their operation. Learn more about the top submission and meet the next Reimagine Retail honoree!

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. | Made in the USA Awards
Presented by: Made in USA | GBQ Partners
Sponsored by: Channellock & Mag Instrument

See which products earn a prestigious Made in the USA award. Winners are chosen by excellence in design, quality and innovation in the following categories: Best Packaging, On-Site Patriotic Marketing and Best New Product.

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. | PDRA Scholarship Presentation
Presented by: Paint & Decorating Retailers Association (PDRA)
The PDRA will present one lucky student with a scholarship to pursue their educational goals.

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living Awards
Presented by: Lawn & Garden Retailer
Find out which innovative products in this category will be awarded with a coveted Lawn, Garden & Outdoor Living award by a panel of judges.

4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. | Homewares Award
Presented by: HomeWorld® Business
Learn which homewares products will win the “Best in Class” designation at this program.

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | NRHA Retailers’ Choice Awards
For more than half a century, Hardware Retailing magazine has been singling out the finest products at the National Hardware Show with the Retailers’ Choice Awards. These products are selected by a panel of distinguished retailers who buy and sell products for a living. This program not only honors manufacturers for their innovations, but also helps retailers identify new products to check out at the Show.

Thursday, May 10
9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Last Chance Look From the Show Floor
Find out what caught the eyes of Show attendees from this panel of NRHA staffers, and hear from them what you may need to take time to see during the last day of the Show.

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. | New Product Launch Awards
Presented by: Amazon
Take a look at the products that have yet to hit the market and have no pre-negotiations, pre-sales and no exclusives. Browse the display area to view the winning products as voted on by a panel of industry judges.

11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | New Product World Awards
Presented by: DIY Network
Glimpse products that are just beginning to hit the market and learn how you can add them to your inventory.

1:00 p.m. | National Hardware Show Closes

Register Now
Join us to discover what’s next for the independent home improvement and hardware channel! Retailers who register for the National Hardware Show also gain free entry to the NRHA All-Industry Conference. Register today at

About the National Hardware Show          
The National Hardware Show® celebrates a rich history spanning nearly 75 years of serving the home improvement marketplace. From its early beginnings in New York during the post-World War 2 housing boom and eventual move to Chicago in the 1970s, to today’s current location in Las Vegas, NHS continually evolves through the industry’s involvement, commitment and passion to improving America’s quality of life through their homes. Today, NHS is the place for global manufacturers, associations, organizations and the media to get an unfiltered view of the industry, hands-on experiences, and access to the latest innovations and retail trends to enhance their business. For more information on the National Hardware Show, visit

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