Director’s Desk

Welcome Back to the Big Apple

By John Ospina

It’s been six years since we last hosted our Annual Convention in New York City. There are tons of things to do and places to see in the “City That Never Sleeps.” As a destination, this is one of the best locations in the country to visit. New York is famous not only for all its cultural attractions; it constitutes the largest municipal and regional economy in the United States. Wall Street, the home of the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, has been characterized as the world’s premier financial center. Where better to host our 2017 Annual Convention?

Our speaker lineup kicks off with GAWDA’s Chief Economist, Alan Beaulieu. His economic report is followed by a panel discussion on family businesses. The moderator is Daniel G. Van Der Vliet, executive director of the John and Dyan Smith Family Business Center at Cornell University.

th our featured Prize Program, which is sponsored by many of our attending supplier members. I strongly encourage all our distributor attendees to walk the floor and visit with our supplier exhibitors.


de the former head Football coach of Notre Dame, Lou Holtz. Lou’s career took him from coaching through broadcasting and numerous honors, including induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. We close that business session with a talk by the CEO of Praxair, Steve Angel. As a top industry leader, Steve will give us his unique perspective on our business.

We end our convention with our President’s Gala at Cipriani’s on Wall Street. This amazing venue has served as the home of the New York Merchants Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, the United States Customs House and the headquarters of the National City Bank. It will be a night to remember as we bring to a close the 2017 Annual Convention.

I look forward to seeing everyone in New York and as always, thank you for your continued support.