Applications Now Open

The NBMDA Emerging Distribution Leaders Program is a curated, professional development program 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 provides opportunities to connect and build relationships through education, networking and involvement in the association.

Designed for distribution professionals who want to strengthen their management and leadership skills and advance their careers, the program offers the following benefits:

  • Tailored educational opportunities designed for emerging industry leaders
  • Forum for emerging leaders to network with other managers in the channel
  • Opportunity to network with NBMDA volunteer leadership and learn more about the organization

Participants must be nominated by an NBMDA member company's executive team (see below for full eligibility criteria).

During the program, emerging leaders will participate in a one-year program, comprised of the following events, education opportunities and cohort touchpoints:

NBMDA Master Manager Program

Summer 2022 | 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.


November 1, 2022 | Chicago, IL

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 market knowledge and productivity, and get a sneak peek at the University of Innovative Distribution which takes place each spring at Purdue University. Learn more.

NBMDA Annual Convention

November 2-3, 2022 | Chicago, IL

The NBMDA Annual Convention is the optimal opportunity to invest in the success of your business. At the convention, attendees have access to top distributors, suppliers and service providers. This gives you the chance to establish new relationships, enhance your business strategy with insights from industry experts and learn about how others are adjusting to the "new normal" of today's world.

University of Innovative Distribution (UID)

March 13-16, 2023 | 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 3.5 day format, UID has helped increase the effectiveness of hundreds of NBMDA member employees.

Registration for the 2023 UID will open in November 2022. Students of the Emerging Distribution Leaders Program will be provided a special discount code to register for the 2023 UID.

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


  • 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