Educational seminars and networking opportunities provided valuable insights for IMARK members seeking to improve profits as more than 1,050 people gathered at Showcase 2006, IMARK Group's annual trade show and marketing conference, which was held March 31-April 1 in Chicago.

A continued healthy business climate in the electrical industry made for an upbeat mood at the meeting. “This year has started exceptionally well for most people,” said Steve Cunningham, president and CEO of IMARK Group, Oxon Hill, Md. “December, January, and February were record months in terms of purchases at the group level.”

The event featured a trade show with more than 125 product booths, a marketing awards banquet, educational seminars, in-depth discussion groups and one-on-one strategic business sessions between distributors and suppliers.

At an awards ceremony, awards were presented to the following electrical distributor members.

Excellence in Marketing and Sales Planning: DH Supply, Atlanta, Ga.; Bayou Electrical and Specialty, New Iberia, La.; and WEDCO, Reno, Nev.

Growth Achievement: Codale Electric Supply, Salt Lake City; Wildcat Electric Supply, Houston; and Granite Electrical Supply, Sacramento, Calif.

Committed to Marketing Excellence: Granite City Electric Supply, Quincy, Mass.; Treadway Electric Co., Little Rock, Ark.; Monti Electric Supply, Waveland, Miss.; and Duplex Electrical Supply, Port Washington, N.Y.

The following manufacturers also received awards.

Excellence in Marketing and Sales Planning: Cantex, Fort Worth, Texas; Juno Lighting Group, Des Plaines, Ill.; PW Eagle, Eugene, Ore.; Universal Lighting Technologies, Nashville, Tenn.; and TPI Corp., Johnson City, Tenn.

Growth Achievement: AFC Cable Systems, New Bedford, Mass.; Siemens Energy & Automation, Alpharetta, Ga.; Omni Cable, West Chester, Pa.; Arlington Industries, Scranton, Pa.; Picoma, Waynesboro, Pa.; and Thomas Lighting, Louisville, Ky.

Committed to Marketing Excellence: Ideal Industries, Sycamore, Ill.; 3M Electrical Products, Austin, Texas; and Ilsco, Cincinnati.

New Product Launch: Thomas & Betts, Memphis, Tenn.; Lithonia Lighting, Conyers, Ga.; and Universal Lighting Technologies, Nashville, Tenn.

Three companies received 2006 Product Select Awards. Selected from more than 50 product entries, the winners were: I-Beam Fluorescent High-Bay Lighting from Lithonia Lighting, Conyers, Ga.; The AnyBody Aluminum Conduit Body, Arlington Industries, Scranton, Pa.; and 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill, Makita U.S.A., La Mirada, Calif.

The product awards were based on the written evaluations of hundreds of IMARK members who attended the trade show booths and rated products based on their sales potential.

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