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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.


HGA officers come from leaders in the industry.

Current President

Doyle Wallace
Wallace Hardware Co.

1st Vice President

Lou Oleksy
Hyde Mfg. Co.

2nd Vice President

Josiah Gates
Aubuchon Co.

Secretary, Treasurer and Managing Director

Steve Draeger
Hardware Group Association

Immediate Past President

William Hermes

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.

September 2024 Annual Membership Conference

On behalf of the HGA Executive Committee, thank you to those who attended our 98th Annual Conference. Our membership continues to grow and HGA continues to be the best venue for building relationships with manufacturers, distributors and regional retailers that serve our great industry.

September 3-6, 2024
The Broadmoor
Colorado Springs, CO

Don’t Forget to Book Your Hotel Room!
HGA Dedicated Reservation Link:
Or call 800-634-7711 and use the code HGA0924

Renew Your Membership

Continue being 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.

Board and Committee Planning Meetings

June 4 – 7, 2025
June 10 – 13, 2026 (Our 100th Anniversary Year)
June 9 – 12, 2027

Annual Membership Conferences

September 3 – 6, 2024
September 2 – 5, 2025
September 8 – 11, 2026 (Our 100th Conference)
September 7 – 10, 2027

Contact Us

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

Steve Draeger