Education Seminars | NBWA: America's Beer Distributors

Education Seminars

All 16 education seminars are included with your Convention registration -- no extra sign up necessary or additional fees. Following their original airing on Monday, October 5 and Tuesday, October 6, the seminars will be available on-demand on the virtual platform until October 31st, 2020. This year’s sessions will cover topics such as facility design, sales coaching, technology, profitability, how the industry is moving forward during the pandemic and so much more!


Airing on Monday, October 5 | 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET
Will be available on-demand until October 31

Tax Planning and Strategy in a Post COVID-19 World: Tax and Financial Topics Applicable to Beer Distributors
Gary Cassiello, CPA, ABV |  JGS, CPA, PC
R.J. Martucci, CPA | JGS, CPA, PC
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on individuals, businesses and the markets, the Treasury Department and IRS have taken major coordinated action. To say these are uncertain times is an understatement, but economic and market volatility provide opportunity to implement tax planning strategies. This session will include the tax credits available through the COVID-19 aid packages and how they pertain to beer distributors and effective tax planning, along with strategies that are available through the new legislation. Attendees will also learn about tax benefits that were in place prior to the crisis like R&D credits, cost segregation analysis and how to take advantage of them.  

Technology Tools for Beer Distributors
Tracy Neal | iSellBeer​
#Slack, Gong, Zoom and Podcasts are just a few of the important technology tools that beer distributors have yet to enthusiastically embrace. Each of these tools can be used to increase productivity, improve selling techniques with customers, enhance selling and increase connections with employees, customers and suppliers. In this session learn about virtual education and opportunities distributors can utilize to enhance and increase sales.   

2020 Beer Industry Review: A Look Back at Beer’s Most Interesting Year
Jim Kallies | Fintech
Lester Jones
Join Lester Jones, Chief Economist of the NBWA, and Jim Kallies, Director of Distributor Accounts – East from Fintech, for our seminar, "2020 Beer Industry Review: A Look Back at Beer's Most Interesting Year." During this review, we will utilize Fintech Data to dive deep into on and off-premise retailer purchase information, analyzing week-by-week brand and package details. We will also present a unique view of how the current events have changed and impacted industry trends through week 37 of 2020.

NA Brewing 101
Keith Villa | Ceria Brewing Company
While the last three years was considered the golden age of hard seltzers, the 2020’s will be known as the time that NA beers came to prominence. Attendees will have the opportunity for an in-depth review of the category to include consumer language and consumer trends as well as the legal definitions and labeling of alcohol-free, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers. Attendees will learn how these products are made and the differences between craft NA products and those made by large brewers, as well as imported NA beers.

Using Data to Win Where it Matters
Matt Dahlstrom | In:trench Consulting Group
Grant Barrett
 | In:trench Consulting Group
Darin Spence
 | In:trench Consulting Group
After labor and service costs, 30% of an average distributor’s accounts are unprofitable. Simply put, too much time and money are spent in these unprofitable outlets. These accounts rob distributors of valuable time needed to compete in the most important retail locations. Distributors will learn the methodology of segmenting accounts for profit, determining service levels based on return and finding the “net value” of a customer to drive financially underperforming accounts into the black.

Selling Successfully with Syndicated Data
Lori Scheiffler | Tamarron Consulting
Danelle Kosmal
 | Nielsen
Everyone regularly reads about syndicated data in industry publications, but does everyone know what the terminology means? And what about using the data in sales calls or to support MBOs? Commonly referenced syndicated data facts will be explained with an emphasis on how to use them to unlock sales with retailers. This session will also include a review of the Beer First Sell Sheets, both national and regional, as well as the supporting tools to customize presentations to retail customers. Don’t miss the opportunity to develop an effective selling story using a core set of syndicated data facts.

Profitability Through Energy Efficiency and Renewables
Shawn Verbrugghe | HotWattEnergy
This seminar will introduce attendees to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects as a means to reduce operating expenses, increase sustainability and social responsibility and help them build a roadmap for investigating and investing in these solutions. Distributors will learn about the different types of projects available specific to their facilities, the pros and cons of each, as well as approximate paybacks to the different solutions available, utility incentives and alternative funding mechanisms available to help pay for projects. We will also touch on indoor air quality monitoring and solutions to help keep your workplace safe.

Understanding the Latest Workplace Trends, Regulations and Best Practices
Theresa Gallion | Cornell Smith Mierl Brutocao Burton, LLP
Spend over an hour with a labor and employment attorney with more than 38 years of experience. Theresa Gallion has worked with NBWA members for over 20 years and understands beer distributors’ unique operational concerns. This session will focus on the latest workplace trends, regulations and best practices, in addition to the latest COVID-19 developments and guidance.


Airing on Tuesday, October 6 | 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET
Will be available on-demand until October 31

The “Secret Sauce” for a Successful Merger
Karen Kovtun | Ippolito Christon & Co.
Craig Van Horn | Ippolito Christon & Co.
Keith Hochheiser | Hochheiser & Akmal PLLC
Competing effectively in the “new normal” requires economies of scale. One answer to the constant disruption and pressure on profits is for beer distributors to strengthen themselves by combining forces and becoming stronger together. As a result, distributors are increasingly interested in exploring mergers. The main motive for combining businesses is value creation through operational synergies. Mergers can also resolve issues in succession planning and management retention strategies. Mergers are complicated transactions that can be easily derailed. With planning and coordination, the chance of a successful merger is greatly improved.

Gross Profit Dollar Focused Culture
Joe Verno and Wes Verno | Verno Consulting
For decades the beer industry has been focused on CE sales. CEs were how we kept score. But we all know distributors pay their bills with dollars not CEs. Hear a different perspective on the most important number in the beer industry vernacular, GROSS PROFIT DOLLARS. This session will look at all aspects of the beer industry through a lens that is focused on gross profit. Discussions will include using gross profit dollars to evaluate operating expenses, account profitability, SKU rationalization, compensation for sales reps, setting brand priorities, evaluating route productivity and profitability, supplier management and chain key account management. The supplier’s perspective of gross profit dollars compared to the wholesaler’s reality will also be discussed. After this seminar, attendees will start changing their culture and how they keep score.

The Three Pillars of Sales Leadership
Tom Fox | Fox Sales Coaching
The need for distributor supervisors and sales managers to transform into leaders has never been more important. Attendees will learn about the three pillars of sales leadership and how to build a system to effectively develop sales professionals instead of relying on favor-based relationship selling.

Technology Preparedness Planning and COVID-19 Lessons
Jake Sampson | Encompass Technologies
It’s always important to possess tools that help you run an efficient business, but when a crisis hits, are you prepared? Although we may face situations that are well outside of human control, you can take control of the tools you use to ensure your business keeps moving forward, no matter the situation. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, distributors everywhere have been forced to alter business practices while facing unprecedented challenges. There has never been more of a need for business tools that allow you to adapt to change quickly, work from any location and take advantage of e-commerce.

The “New Normal” of Beverage Distribution
Greg Ellis | PDC
Existing paradigms of beer and beverage distribution practices continue to be challenged. Some will flourish, and some will not. Adapting to the “new normal” business environment is an opportunity and catalyst for new, and some cases, long-overdue changes. For sure, we have learned the reliance on human effort alone is a potential “single point of failure”. Successful distributors must develop or redefine executable warehouse and delivery strategies to minimize risk, maintain or improve service and realize EBITDA — all at a lower cost. Scrutiny of product portfolios, shifting package demands, seasonality of labor and SKUs, definite changes in order complexity, and increased emphasis on technology to increase our “performance sustainability” are all combining as mandates for change. Storage, order fulfillment methods, advanced technology, delivery and information systems all need evaluation under new and future business demands. Approaches that historically were applicable may no longer be viable, but more importantly, the inverse may be true. PDC will demonstrate a methodical, unemotional approach required to determine the optimal combination of capital and ongoing operating costs. One common thread: change is here.

From COVID to Terminations, Hot Topics Facing Alcohol Distributors
Mike Madigan | Madigan, Dahl & Harlan
2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to the entire country. The alcohol industry has not been immune to these changes. This panel will address some of the COVID-related changes to alcohol laws and the operations of beer distributors. From employment law issues to changes in the sales of alcohol, distributors are challenged to stay ahead of this rapidly evolving landscape. And with some recent activities by suppliers seeking to terminate distributors without cause, 2020 has provided distributors many issues to prepare for.

Building and Expanding Your Online Ordering Capability
Beer Industry Electronic Commerce Coalition (BIECC)
E-Commerce growth has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, including investments by distributors into online ordering platforms. Whether working with their route accounting provider, brewer partner or engaging a third-party solution provider, distributors need a strategy that will address this new opportunity. The challenges are less about technology and more about culture and strategy as relationships with retailers and employees evolve in ways not seen since the shift from driver-sell to pre-sell. This panel will focus on the value of adding online ordering capabilities, ways to prepare your teams for the transition and will offer first-hand accounts from distributors that have begun implementing these solutions.

Addressing COVID Related Insurance Liability Challenges
Matthew Bossier BevCap Management
Jason Dixon
 | BevCap Management
How is your distributorship dealing with the many insurance challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic? Join us to hear about insurance liability issues during COVID, including: interruption of business due to illness at your facility, closed or impaired customer suppliers; third party claims alleging contraction at your location or through your employees; increased filing of disability claims; cybersecurity issues associated with working from home; large medical claimants increase due to longer in-patient stay for COVID treatment; and much more.