Menu Close

Due to business disruptions resulting from COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel both 2020 meetings. Click Here for more details.

Friendship
Through Business

“We believe there is more to business than simply interchanging goods and money.”

About the Hardware Group Association

The Hardware Group Association provides a forum for hardware industry executives to come together in a relaxed setting. It’s easier to get to know each other when you’re not worried about the normal pressures of business. In fact, members of the association say that of all the conventions and meetings they attend, HGA is the most valuable. Nowhere else can you find finer people or the opportunity to establish better friendships or strengthen business relationships.

2020
Officers

HGA officers come from leaders in the industry.

Current President

Keith Anderson
Anderson Metal Corp. Inc.

1st Vice President

Jonathan Mize
Blish-Mize Co.

2nd Vice President

William Hermes
Dutton-Lainson Co.

Secretary, Treasurer and Managing Director

Bill Axline
Hardware Group Association

Immediate Past President

Don Walker
Paint Sundries Solutions Inc.

A Brief History of HGA

In 1926 nine young salesmen for hardware manufacturers and two buyers for hardware jobbers met at Excelsior Springs, Missouri, for a weekend of golf. It seems these young salesmen were having a hardtime getting to know the buyers. So, a general manager of one of the men had told him to go “play golf, play cards for very low stakes, hoist a few and really get to know each other.” When the weekend was over, they found they had a common bond of friendship, and could always talk (as members do today) about the good times they had together and the shots they made or missed.

Next year, they invited more members of the industry to join them in a “good fellow get-together gathering of hardware men” which they affectionately called “Our Annual Fall Plowing.” The event was such a success, the 31 men that attended decided to make it an annual and national affair. They named the new organization THE HARDWARE GOLF ASSOCIATION. The September 1927 issue of
Implement and Hardware Trade Journal described its purpose: “It gives wholesalers a chance to meet in friendly competition those manufacturers from whom they have been buying, and some from whom they have not been buying, and chew gum, cigars, plug tobacco and the rag: and, incidentally, play golf.”

That was the beginning of an organization unique on the American business scene where buyers and sellers could come together in good fellowship without the normal pressures of business.

The annual tournaments were held at Excelsior Springs for 19 years 1926 through 1944. The Board of Directors cancelled the 1945 meeting because of wartime restrictions on transportation. For the next three years 1946, 1947 and 1948, the tournament was held in French Lick Springs, Indiana. In 1949, the Association moved its annual meeting to The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado, where it remained ever since, except for 1950 and 1956 when due to scheduling problems it returned to French Lick Springs.

Once again in 2020, the Board of Directors was forced to cancel both the Annual June Board Planning Session and the Annual Membership Conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the dedication of the many members who have provided leadership over the years, the objectives of the Hardware Group Association remain the same, to bring together the key leaders of distributors and manufacturers in a relaxed setting. In order to enhance the value of the association, the members are top executives of their respective companies.

Annual Conferences Cancelled for 2020

Even as the economy begins to reopen, business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt late into the year. Many companies have already begun to implement travel restrictions and cost controls for the remainder of 2020. Many events planned for the Spring have been rescheduled for the Fall. With this in mind, the HGA Board of Directors has decided to cancel both the Board and Committee Planning Meeting in June and the Annual Fall Conference in September.

Officers, Board of Directors and committees will remain the same for 2021. Current president Keith Anderson will join E.P. Altemeier as the only two officers to serve as president for two years.

The June Board and Committee Planning Meeting is scheduled for June 6-9, 2021 at the Sea Island Resort in Sea Island, Georgia.

The Annual Fall Conference is scheduled for September 7 – 10, 2021 at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We hope to see you then.

Renew Your Membership

Continue to be a part of the Hardware Group Association by renewing your annual membership. Don’t miss this opportunity to strengthen your relationships in the industry, network with key leaders of distributors and manufacturers, and have fun in a relaxed setting.

Contact Us

If you would like more information on HGA or have questions about membership or an upcoming event, please contact us.

Bill Axline
941-907-6004
hgabill66@gmail.com