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AD celebrates its finest at 2023 North American Meeting

November 1, 2023 | By Anthony Capkun

November 1, 2023 – AD recently concluded its annual North American Meeting of the Electrical division, which brings together independent Member electrical distributors and suppliers from all over Canada, the United States and Mexico for a few days of business meetings and camaraderie.

(Unlike last year, when Canada’s airports were still stubbornly restrictive, things were refreshingly business as usual this time around… like the pandemic never occurred.)

The theme of this year’s gathering was “Be different”. During his keynote address, AD CEO Bill Weisberg asked Member distributors and suppliers to “lean into their differences”. Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two companies are exactly alike. We should all capitalize on our uniqueness to find success.

(Speaking of “Be different”, Scott Major with Source Atlantic was definitely helping me to be different, showing me how to use this really cool augmented reality headset. Photo below, with me on the right.)


Weisberg noted 2023 marked the 30th anniversary of AD Canada and, in 2024, it will be the 10th anniversary of AD Mexico. Congratulations to both!

Networking opportunities abounded at the meeting. For me, it started with the AD Women’s Community Network Reception, where everyone was welcomed to “foster community and connection with women of the electrical industry”.

Signify’s Christy Tilton—vice-president, U.S. Professional Trade Sales—was asked to speak and share advice with attendees. Because it aligns with the theme of “Be different”, one piece of advice Tilton shared is for women to build relationships outside of their comfort zone. Sit with someone new, or strike up a conversation with someone you’ve never seen before, as you never know where it will lead.

That same evening, after the formal Welcome Reception, meeting delegates were invited to stop by AD Canada’s “Canada Night”. (The next day, AD Canada’s president Rob Dewar, noted with a grin: “There are 270 Canadians at [this meeting], but over 400 showed up to Canada Night!”.)

But the highlight of the North American Meeting is, of course, the Spirit of Independence awards, which celebrate the year’s crème de la crème in categories such as annual sales, marketing, and community service.

The awards format was a little different; distributor Members of the Year were announced earlier at AD’s Spring Network Meeting. As such, we only know the winners in those categories, and not the runners-up. (And, as usual, we focus our attention on Canadian organizations and those doing business in Canada.)

Let’s start our congratulations with these Canadian electrical distributors:

Member of the Year – Tier 1 (Canada)


Member of the Year – Tier 2 (Canada)

Franklin Empire

All-In Member of the Year (Canada)

E.B. Horsman & Son

And kudos to these Canadian electrical suppliers and runners-up:

Canada Supplier of the Year – Tier 1

Ideal Industries (Canada) Corp.
Northern CablesWINNER

Canada Supplier of the Year – Tier 2

Priority Wire & Cable
Southwire CanadaWINNER

Moving on to awards for supplier partners whose businesses (typically) cross the Canada-U.S. border:

U.S. Supplier of the Year – Tier 1

Hammond Power Solutions
Legrand CablofilWINNER

U.S. Supplier of the Year – Tier 2

ABB Industrial SolutionsWINNER

Supplier of the Year, Marketing Excellence

Encore Wire

Finally, Southwire ended their night on a high note with the:

Giving Back Award


The next North American Meeting of AD’s Electrical division will be held October 28-30, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

AD is North America’s largest marketing/buying group for construction and industrial supplies. Its memberships comprises 850-plus independently owned member distributors with annual sales over $70 billion across 14 divisions and three countries.

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