More than 70 distributors took part in HARDI’s first town hall meeting during the organization’s annual conference in Hawaii.

Before HARDI’s annual meeting got under way, officials let members voice their concerns.

The Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International held its first distributor town hall meeting as a precursor to its annual meeting Oct. 23-27, 2011, in Wailea on Hawaii’s Maui Island.

Created to provide a forum for HARDI distributor members to discuss issues impacting the future of HVACR wholesale distribution, the event was moderated by new HARDI President Bud Mingledorff, outgoing president Richard Cook and association Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Talbot Gee. It drew more than 70 distributor executives.

“We are very proud of our culture at HARDI of open meetings where any member and invited guests can attend; however, the downside has been that we have very few venues for distributor-only discussions on industry trends, policy strategies, and the general direction and performance of their industry association,” said Gee. “This first-ever distributor town hall was extremely well-received so I fully expect it to be a mainstay of future HARDI annual conferences for years to come, and thank you to our friends at ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) for giving us the idea.”

Of the numerous topics discussed, and in line with the “Set your course” conference theme, HARDI identified three issues to focus on for 2012. Those include weakening supplier and distributor relationships, eroding channel integrity that is creating long-term growth and profit problems, and the need for distributors to better understand each others’ strengths and weaknesses to better become true partners within the industry.