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SMA Marks 10 Years as a Differentiated Alliance

Walden-Mott Corp.  10-26-2016 17:27:46
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Strategic Market Alliance, the member-owned cooperative of leading Foodservice and Commercial Wellness distributors in the United States and Canada, has recently marked its tenth anniversary with special commemorations held at the group’s annual conference, Alliance™2016. As it does each June, the Alliance conference, which was held this year in Salt Lake City at the Grand America Hotel and Resort, brought together executives from SMA member companies and executives from its qualified suppliers for three days of networking, goal setting, and fun, all set in the context of SMA’s unique “Thirty-Minute Suite Meeting” format.

Special guests at Alliance™2016 included many of the organization’s original eight founders, the business leaders who banded together to form SMA in 2006. A reception and dinner were held in their honor prior to the formal start of the conference, with additional recognition made at points throughout the event. “It was an honor and a privilege to host our founders at the Alliance conference,” said Jack Dietrich, SMA’s Chief Operating Officer, and himself a founder of the organization. “The bonds of respect and common purpose that brought us together a decade ago are still so alive and vibrant at SMA, it’s something that’s very gratifying to be part of, and something truly differentiated in our industry.”

Additionally, SMA recently appointed a new chairman and a new director to the company’s board. Travis Brady, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brady Industries, was named Board Chairman. “I am honored and proud to chair the board of directors at Strategic Market Alliance,” commented Mr. Brady. “SMA is a dynamic, vibrant organization that is defined by a collaborative spirit and driven by a constant desire to improve and maximize value and benefits to its members, supplier partners and end-users.” Mr. Brady previously served, as the group’s Secretary – Treasurer, since 2013.

John Caldwell has been appointed SMA Board Vice Chairman. Mr. Caldwell, Vice President of Sales for Joshen Paper & Packaging, has served as an SMA Director since 2012.

Assuming the post of SMA Secretary - Treasurer is Mark Melzer, President of Milwaukee-based Nassco, Inc. Mr. Melzer has served as an SMA Director for the past two years.

Finally, Michael Nelson, President and CEO of Walter E. Nelson Company in Portland, Oregon, has been appointed to the SMA board, joining current directors, Greg Rogers, President of Cosgrove Enterprises, Inc., John Rosenau (Director Pro Tempore), President of Philip Rosenau Company, Inc., George Abiaad (on temporary leave of absence from the board), President of Royal Corporation, and Robert Tillis, CEO of Imperial Bag and Paper Company.

“Strategic Market Alliance is extremely fortunate to have the combined talents of Travis Brady, John Caldwell, and Mark Melzer, our new director, Mike Nelson, and our incumbent directors, Bob, George, and John, working collaboratively in service to the group,” said Richard McGann, SMA’s President and CEO. “The contributions of these individuals and of their respective organizations to the success of SMA cannot be understated, and is greatly appreciated by all of our constituents.”

Capping the organization’s anniversary year has been the wave of twelve new members that have recently joined SMA. These members, more about which will appear in tomorrow’s Walden’s edition, build on the foundation of distributor excellence that defines the member-owned group. “SMA is fortunate and proud to have so many of distribution’s finest operating under our banner, drawn together by highly collaborative, interdependent working relationships, where contribution and input matter, and where the expertise and experience of one individual member is readily shared for the benefit all,” Mr. McGann said.

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