Denver, CO (June 27, 2017) – Last week, 42 member distributors had the opportunity to meet with over 95 manufacturers at the mid-year Group Merchandising Conference (GMC) held at the Embassy Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont. The conference, which took place from June 19-22, created a high energy environment that made for one of the best conferences hosted by PRO Group.
The conference began with a meeting for member distributors of PRO Group to introduce themselves and a reception where they could meet with each other and manufacturers. Over the next two days, distributors had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with manufacturers in over 2000 30-minute appointments to discuss new products, build new relationships, and discuss current programs.
“New business possibilities were uncovered in partnership with Group Vendors exhibiting at the event, new peer relationships were facilitated and Group growth opportunities were identified during the three-day event,” said Steve Synnott, President and CEO at PRO Group. “This event was the first time Reliable Member Distributors came together with PRO Group to make it the most successful event PRO Group has ever produced.”
First time attendee Jeff Clapp, COO of General Hardware Distributors, a former Reliable distributor, appreciated the value of meeting with vendors. “Working together we all win. That was the overwhelming attitude from vendors and distributors alike.”
With each appointment, distributors had a chance to directly connect with individual manufacturers in person to work through any challenges and meet new manufacturers with innovative products they might be interested in.
“I was impressed with the energy and positive vibe from the entire group. The vendor community was as prepared as I have seen them,” said Mike Dawson, Retail Sales Manager at Horizon Distribution. “We had very productive meetings throughout and that should result in numerous growth opportunities for both HDI and many vendors. Our time in Chicago was very productive.”
Manufacturers also got the chance to make new business connections and get their products in front of a large audience. With one-on-one meetings, they were able to effectively address questions and tailor their presentations to their audience.
Roger Woodward, President of Alliance Distribution Partners, commented, “The PRO Group conference was a great investment of our time and resources. The event was very well done and the members were engaged and ready to do business. It was a very cost effective way to reach a number of quality prospects in a short period of time.”
To wrap up the conference, member distributors met to discuss the meetings and product lines in which they were most interested. They were also able to update the group on the progress of business to date.


PRO Group, Inc. ( is a multidivisional international merchandising and marketing organization with corporate headquarters in Denver. Its operating units include PRO Hardware, Reliable Distributors, GardenMaster, FARM MART and GOLDEN-LINK. With over 79 distributors operating over 140 distribution centers serving all 50 states, the Group’s combined sales volume exceeds $5 billion through its member distributors.
Photos available upon request. For questions, please contact Shari Kalbach at or 720-875-2226.