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NBWA’s unconventional convention still delivers

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Brian Gelner (left), NBWA Chairman, and Craig Purser, NBWA President and CEO, welcome virtual attendees on Day 1. All presentations and seminars will be available for on-demand replay through October 31 on the NBWA web site.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) held its 83rd Annual Convention and Product Showcase on October 5 and 6 without a single handshake or sip of beer. For the first time ever, the convention assembled beer distributors and suppliers in a totally virtual environment, a consequence of the surging Covid-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, says Gary Remley, Mickey Truck Bodies’ Northeast Regional Sales Manager and one of the company’s online attendees, “it was an important exchange of information, ideas and trendlines.” In addition to the keynote speakers, the convention included 17 education seminars and a virtual Product Showcase that allowed distributors to connect with exhibitors and learn more about their products inside a digital exhibit hall. Mickey Truck Bodies was the only body and trailer manufacturer featured in the Showcase. “We heard from several wholesalers as well as from NBWA staff members who were very grateful for our participation and continued support,” notes Gary.

“There is nothing traditional about 2020, but one thing that never changes is our industry’s strength when we work together,” said opening day keynoter Craig Purser, NBWA President and CEO.

The convention closed with the transition of the Chairmanship from Brian Gelner, EVP and CFO of Heart of America Beverage Company in Springfield, MO, to Patrick Blach, President of Blach Distributing Company in Elko, NV.

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