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NAHAD Members Gather in Arizona for Long-Awaited Convention Blog Feature
Jason Vaughan

By: Jason Vaughan on June 23rd, 2021

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NAHAD Members Gather in Arizona for Long-Awaited Convention

On the morning of Sunday, June 13, 2021, NAHAD members from across the country gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona for the organization’s 37th Annual Meeting & Convention. After missing 2020, NAHAD members were eager to again meet face-to-face and participate in an engaging schedule of educational sessions and networking events. Nearly 600 attendees were on site at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess Resort to reconnect — many for the first time — since the last in-person Convention in April 2019 in Las Vegas.

Click here to see the Convention photos.

NAHAD President Sam Petillo welcomed attendees and expressed his gratitude to the association’s members and staff. “I am very proud of NAHAD’s leadership for being bold and pulling together a Convention with all of the challenges we faced,” Petillo said. “I am so pleased to be able to stand in front of you and finally get this incredible industry back together. It’s the camaraderie that I’m looking forward to… we’re back in business again.”

After his welcome, Petillo introduced the first guest speaker of the Convention: economist and market analyst Connor Lokar of ITR Economics. In his presentation “Managing in an Uncertain Economy,” Lokar shared his perspective on the economy in 2021 and beyond. He addressed supply chain challenges, labor shortages, and ITR’s infamous prediction on the 2030 economic depression they predict is looming.

On Sunday afternoon members gathered for the presentation by Emmy award winner and best-selling author Ryan Avery. Avery spoke to the critical importance of effectively communicating with customers by making a true connection instead of looking to close a sale. Attendees learned words to eradicate from their vocabulary, as well as how to improve storytelling techniques.

The NAHAD Academy kiosk was open to demonstrate the expansive educational offerings available to members. The value of the Academy is evident in the numbers: at the end of 2019, 200 members were taking advantage of the courses. Now more than 800 are using the academy to train their employees on the importance of hose safety. The kiosk offered an early look at the new online ducting course and dates for an upcoming, in-person regional training program this October.

At the end of the first day, attendees met poolside for the Convention’s opening party. The causal, outdoor event was a perfect opportunity for NAHAD members to network and socialize. While warm, misters and shade offered relief from the Arizona heat.


The conference’s second day began with an exploration into artificial intelligence and how corporations are using automation to disrupt procurement and distribution. Ian Heller, founder and senior partner of Distribution Strategy Group, shared his expertise and offered strategies on how members could prepare for emerging technologies and new competitors. While a lot of information to digest, attendees left with practical tips they could immediately implement into their businesses.

NAHAD Members’ Luncheon on Monday started with the presentation of the 2021 George W. Carver Award. NAHAD President Sam Petillo recognized the 13 previous recipients of the award, several of whom were present at the luncheon. He then introduced 2021 awardee Thomas Paff of Campbell Fittings. “Tom is one of those rare individuals that have left an indelible mark, both on our industry and on those who are lucky enough to know him personally,” Petillo said.

Paff was unable to attend the Convention but thanked NAHAD colleagues via a short video. His son Tom Paff accepted the award on his father’s behalf and shared some lovely stories and sentiments about his father.

Petillo then welcomed Coach Herm Edwards to the stage for the Convention’s keynote address. Edwards, the current head football coach at Arizona State University, shared lessons learned and his insights on life as well as how to develop true leadership. He touched upon his career as a professional football player and coach and ESPN studio analyst, as well as his philanthropic work.


After Edwards’ inspiring address, NAHAD members took the afternoon to enjoy the resort’s amenities and continue conversations and make connections. On Monday evening, members enjoyed additional networking at the Manufacturer and Associate Hospitality Suites around the beautiful Fairmont property.

The final day of the Convention started with the organization’s annual business meeting, called to order by President Petillo. After the financial and programs reports, provided by NAHAD Treasurer Jason Westad and Executive Vice President Molly Alton Mullins, respectively, Petillo thanked two outgoing board members for their dedication and service: Ander Smulski of Eaton Hydraulics and Dave Heckler with Alliance Hose and Rubber. After a vote, Petillo welcomed three new members to the board: Roy Torres of SunSource-GHX Industrial, John Tattersall of Frank Murken Products, and Chris Schadewald with Eaton.

Petillo then presented the 2021 Executive Committee slate:

  • President: Jeff Scheininger, President of Flexline (New Jersey)
  • First Vice President: Jason Westad, Chief Sales Officer of FORCE America (Minnesota)
  • Second Vice President and Treasurer: Dave Heckler of Alliance Hose and Rubber (Illinois)
  • Immediate Past President: Sam Petillo of Singer Equities (Ohio)

Petillo thanked Karen Brandvold for her work as the chair of the Nominating Committee and then introduced 2021-2022 NAHAD President Jeff Scheininger. “Jeff is passionate about the industry, our organization, and his business,” Petillo said. “He’s detail-oriented, challenges the status quo, and has a very unique world view based on his experience.”

After the welcome, Scheininger presented Petillo with the NAHAD 2021 Eagle Award for excellent service to the industry and the association and began his first address as NAHAD president.

“It is a great honor to be allowed to serve as this year’s NAHAD president,” Scheininger said. During his remarks, he shared his personal journey, growing up in the hose business started by his father and then running the company since 1980. He highlighted the overwhelming changes in the industry — much of it enabled by NAHAD — such as the formation of the Hose Safety Institute and the introduction of industry-wide best practices.

“NAHAD will continue to be at the forefront of industry information, communication, and skills enhancements,” he said. “Just as in the past, we will need new tools, skill sets, and forward-looking insights to stay competitive and profitable. That’s where NAHAD comes in.”

At the conclusion of his remarks, the Annual Meeting of Members adjourned. Scheininger welcomed business growth expert Jeff Havens to the stage for the Convention’s final session. Humorous and full of energy, Havens focused in on how employers can take a simpler approach to the generational differences between older, more experienced workers and their younger, less experienced counterparts.

The highly anticipated Showcase of Hose Solutions opened immediately after the last session. More than 100 exhibitors set up in the Palomino Ballroom with displays highlighting the latest innovations in products and technologies. A grab-and-go lunch allowed attendees to casually walk the aisles and make last-minute connections with colleagues.

As the evening set over Scottsdale, Convention attendees had one last event: the Closing Party. Members met in the Palomino Foyer for an evening of Southwestern fare and fun and games. It was the perfect time for members to look back over the successful 2021 Convention and say goodbye, safe travels, and see you next year in Miami for the 2022 NAHAD Convention.


About Jason Vaughan

Jason is NAHAD's communications manager. Jason's responsibilities include drafting and helping to shape the message for all NAHAD communications. He ensures the tone is accurate and consistent across print, web, and social media. Jason leverages more than ten years of marketing and planning in the non-profit sector. Fun fact: he's also a certified architectural historian and holds a Master in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland.