Emerging Distribution Leaders

Emerging Distribution Leaders Program

The NBMDA Emerging Distribution Leaders Program is a curated, professional development initiative centered on you: the up-and-coming distribution professional. The program is designed to give a voice to emerging industry leaders within the wholesale distribution channel and provide opportunities to connect and build relationships through education, networking and involvement within the association.

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This initiative is designed for distribution professionals who want to strengthen their management and leadership skills, advance their careers and garner the following benefits:

  • Tailored educational opportunities
  • Networking forums with other managers in the channel
  • Direct connection to NBMDA volunteer leadership


Like many managers in our industry, I worked my way up the ranks but I didn't have access to higher learning. I had certain traits and talents that made others want to work with and for me but this program really taught me the hard skills of being a manager.

Aaron Olivarez, Senior Operations Manager, E.B. Bradley/West Coast Laminating

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During the program, emerging leaders will participate in a one-year program, comprised of the following events, education opportunities and cohort touchpoints. Click on each opportunity to learn more!

NBMDA Master Manager Program

Summer 2024 | Online

The Master Manager Program is a ten-week, peer cohort-based facilitated e-learning program. During the course, participants will learn the foundational principles and the most valuable strategies of a traditional MBA curriculum - at a fraction of the cost and time! The program features 10 e-learning management and finance modules, opportunities to connect with peers and subject matter experts over live Zoom, and the flexibility to access the curriculum from anywhere on your own schedule. Learn more.


October 22, 2024 | New Orleans, LA

University of Innovative Distribution In-A-Day (UID In-A-Day) is an annual one-day workshop held in conjunction with the NBMDA Annual Convention. This workshop is the perfect opportunity for sales, general, operations and branch managers to improve their leaderships and management in an abbreviated version of the full UID program.

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NBMDA Annual Convention

October 22-24, 2024 | New Orleans, LA

The NBMDA Annual Convention is the optimal opportunity to invest in the success of your business and personal development. At the convention, attendees have access to movers and shakers of our distribution channel plus innovative education sessions. This event gives emerging leaders the opportunity to establish new peer relationships, enhance their business strategy with insights from distribution experts and learn about how to take their leadership skills to the next level.

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University of Innovative Distribution (UID)

March 2025 | Indianapolis, IN

Since 1994, the University of Innovative Distribution (UID) has provided education focused on the needs of wholesale distribution professionals and companies. With its concentrated four-day format, UID has helped increase the effectiveness of hundreds of NBMDA member employees.

Students of the Emerging Distribution Leaders Program will be provided a special discount code to register for the 2025 UID.

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Who Are Emerging Leaders?

  • High-potential individuals at your company
  • Individuals that you are willing to invest in as a retention strategy
  • Individuals hungry for new responsibilities and opportunities, and are open to continuous learning



Participants must be nominated by an NBMDA member company's executive team and meet the following criteria:

  • Employed by an NBMDA distributor or supplier member in good standing
  • The member company is sponsoring an individual, not purchasing a spot
  • Must be nominated by a member of the company’s executive team (participants cannot nominate themselves)
  • The candidate should have demonstrated strong professional interest in building a career in the wholesale distribution channel
  • Able to participate in all key meeting dates and sessions over the course of the designated cycle