Sessions & Events

Each year, the PEI Convention features industry-specific education sessions, technical Q&A and numerous networking events. These sessions and events provide opportunities to learn from pros in the industry, network with peers and gain a new perspective on their business.  






Ryan Avery
8:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m., LVCC

The clock is ticking. By 2020, more than 50% of your employee and customer base will be people of the Millennial generation. What that means is that the time is now to ensure your team has the skills and strategies to effectively communicate, motivate, engage and sell your services, products and business to this significant demographic. Ryan Avery, one of the Millennial generation's most profound speakers on strategic communication, negotiation and leadership, will dive right in and share the top strategies pulled from his best-selling book, Motivating Millennials. What you will learn:

  • The significant difference between Managing Millennials verses Motivating Millennials™ and the real reason one is costing you money, substantial headaches and energy;
  • The super efficient way to expertly identify the next generation of leaders who will grow your legacy and take your company to the next level in sales and significance;
  • How to deploy the simple, yet little-known solutions for turning Millennials into your top marketing allies and source of sales and referrals.

Get ready to turn your frustration into their motivation and to blow the lid off this extraordinary market segment we call Millennials.

If you are not a PEI 10-Groups member and would like to attend this breakfast and session, you are welcome to participate. Simply contact Bob Young at or 918-236-3966 to RSVP. The individual 10-Group breakouts will begin after the general session, as scheduled by each group's chair.

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m., LVCC

This special event will kick off the PEI Convention Give Back Initiative supporting Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages and personal letters of appreciation to active duty U.S. Troops and Veterans. Operation Gratitude's mission is twofold: "To lift the spirits and meet the evolving needs of the U.S. Military and First Responder communities and to provide volunteer opportunities for Americans to express their appreciation to all who serve our nation." 

Enjoy time networking with your peers in the industry. You do not have to be a member of PEI Women to attend. However, you must be female and registered for Convention. After you have registered for the Convention, please RSVP Sarah West at To find out more about the PEI Women program, visit

Ryan Avery
3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., LVCC

What’s costing you the sale? The win? In many cases, you may be missing relevant CONNECTION. In this session, Ryan Avery, acclaimed speaker and author, will demonstrate how to weave the communication threads necessary to build the relationships that help form customers for life. The kind of relationships that not only buy – but refer. Sound familiar? That’s where Avery brings out the game-changers. He will challenge you to stop “convincing” and start CONNECTING with customers and prospects that will grow your company to new levels of success. What will you learn?

  • How to build bridges using the right words, stories, and messaging to actively engage customers in the buying and referral process;
  • How to easily navigate generational and cultural hurdles to ensure we connect with people from a broad diversity of backgrounds;
  • What it takes to develop followers who will remain loyal, even in today’s competitive market;
  • How to effectively communicate for today’s customers.

Get ready to learn new sales strategies that sharpen your skills and create customers for life. 

Immediately following Avery's dynamic session, meet, mingle and enjoy complimentary drinks at the YE Reception. You do not have to be a member of Young Executives to attend. However, you must be between the ages of 21-45 and be registered for Convention. After you have registered for the Convention, please RSVP Kristen Wright at To find out more about the YE program, visit

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Westgate, Lobby Bar



A Global Intelligence Briefing for PEI Members | EPA Regulatory Update | A Bend in the Road | Back to Top


Herb Meyer
Former Special Assistant to the Director of the CIA, Vice Chair of CIA's National Intelligence Council and National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal Recipient
7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m., LVCC

$30--tickets can be purchased online when registering or by calling PEI at 918-494-9696. Spanish translation will be available.

President Trump and his national security team are starting to implement a new set of foreign and economic policies whose impact on global affairs—and on global business—will be enormous. So it’s more important than ever to understand the key trends in global politics and economics these new U.S. policies will be designed to affect.

In this riveting kick-off event, Herb Meyer will outline the national security, economic and even the cultural issues that now confront the U.S. government and dominate the news. He will provide a glimpse ahead to illuminate what changes and developments we might expect in the coming years.

  • What lies behind the astounding—and under-reported—growth of the world economy, which is bringing between 50 million and 100 million people out of poverty every year and creating a global middle class?
  • What opportunities does this global middle class create for American businesses? How can US companies reach a worldwide customer base that is now growing at a rate of 50 million to 100 million new customers every year?
  • What is “the war” really all about—and why has the Mideast been set on fire by so many revolutions and insurgencies? What is likely to happen in the months ahead, for instance in Iraq? And is Iran likely to get a nuclear bomb?
  • How will demographic crises in Western Europe and Japan keep those economies from growing, and what will be the impact of their economic weakness on our economy?
  • What demographic problems do we face in North America, and how will our businesses be affected by our own low birth rates and high rates of immigration?
  • What’s really going on in China and India, and how will these countries’ rapid industrialization affect us?
  • Is Vladimir Putin merely a nuisance—or will Russia become a serious threat to global peace and stability?
  • Why are the pessimists wrong? Why, despite all of today’s trouble and turbulence, will our future be safer and more prosperous than the doom-and-gloomers are telling us?

Register Now 


Carolyn Hoskinson, Director of EPA OUST, and other EPA Representatives
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., LVCC

Many requirements in the 2015 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations are scheduled to take effect on October 13—that is a mere three days after the end of this year’s convention. Carolyn Hoskinson, director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) and other EPA OUST representatives will answer your questions on State Program Approval (SPA), spill prevention testing, overfill prevention inspections, containment sump testing, release detection and walkthrough inspections.  

Register Now 


Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics, Chief Economist for Vistage International
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., LVCC

Brian Beaulieu, CEO of ITR Economics and chief economist for Vistage International, a global organization comprised of more than 14,000 CEOs, will present the current business cycle status of the US and global economy and where the economy is heading. Reliable leading indicators will be our guide to understanding what to expect over the 12 months following our PEI meeting in October 2018. We will look at the upside opportunities and what risks are ahead for the economy and the potential impact on PEI members. Global issues have been tossing prices upward and the trend(s) may not be sustainable as the global economy shifts to the downside of the business cycle. We think it is important to understand the difference between a potential slump in activity (2019) versus the extended upside potential looking further into the future. There will be challenges; chief among them is the ongoing labor shortage. Labor is a double-edged sword and we will talk about Management Objectives™ pertaining to effectively managing labor costs and other pressures stemming from business cycle changes. Key takeaways: What are the leading indicators telling us Understanding the context of short-term changes versus long-term trends Managing more confidently in the future.

9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m., LVCC

Brian Beaulieu
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., LVCC

This is a repeat session. See above for details.

John Eichberger, Director, Fuels Institute
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., LVCC

10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., LVCC


Noon - 4:00 p.m. 

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Westgate, Lobby Bar



PEI Membership Breakfast & Meeting | Safety Panel: Building a Culture of Safety | Let's Talk Taxes, Shall We? | Future of DistributionIndustry Reception | Back to Top

8:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m., LVCC

All PEI members are encouraged to attend the annual membership and complimentary breakfast meeting. PEI President Robert Peavey will address the group. PEI Executive Vice President Rick Long will provide his State of the Industry address. PEI officers for 2018 will be elected and new directors will be installed.Spanish translation will be available.

Blake Hess, The Oscar W. Larson Co., Buddy Bayliss, B C & C LLC, Stacy Irons, United Rentals Trench Safety, Derek Rethmeier, Western Pump, Inc., Art Sodermark, Platinum Engineering & Safety 10:00: a.m. - 11:30 a.m. LVCC

Just as your corporate culture includes and affects all employees, so should your safety culture. Leaders in safety management understand that having a strong safety culture leads to fewer at-risk behaviors, lower incident rates, lower costs and, believe it or not: HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY!

In a strong safety culture, everyone feels responsible for safety and pursues it on a daily basis; employees go beyond the call of duty to identify unsafe conditions and behaviors, and intervene to correct them. Employees look out for and actively care for their co-workers.

So, how do you go from safety in the workplace and transform it into a staple of your workplace culture? Easier said than done?

Join our panel of professionals as they discuss ways to deal with management and employee assumptions and beliefs, attitudes, values, incorporation of policy and procedure, accountability, bottom-line pressures, action to correct unsafe behaviors, motivation and employee buy-in. Art Sodermark, President of Platinum Engineering & Safety and the author of the popular “Safe Practices” department in the PEI Journal, will moderate the session. Buddy Bayless, Principal, B C & C LLC, Blake Hess, Director--EHS, The Oscar W. Larson Co., Stacy Irons, Region Product Development Management Safety, United Rentals Trench Safety and Derek Rethmeier, Director of Construction and Estimator, Western Pump, Inc., will round out the panel.

Bring your personal success stories as well as questions. Plenty of time will included for audience participation. Spanish translation will be available.


Gene Marks, CPA
10:00: a.m. - 11:30 a.m. LVCC

Taxes only cost you anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of your income so hey...why bother, right? Of course you should bother! Yes, taxes are boring. Accounting is boring. Numbers can be boring. But one thing that won't be boring will be this presentation by Gene Marks. It can save you and your business lots and lots of money. 

Gene Marks, a certified public accountant, has for more than 12 years written regularly on business topics for the New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine and many others. He also writes weekly for the Guardian. Gene is the author of six best-selling books on business management and appears frequently on Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and both SiriusXM and ABC News radio where he discusses the latest economic, political, management and tech trends business leaders need to know.

In 2018, one of the biggest trends is taxes.

During Marks' lively and fast-paced presentation, you will learn the latest ways you can save money both individually and for your business. Relying on the latest news, rules, legislation and very dumb humor Gene will explain to you about tax rates, little-known deductions, important credits and even ways that the new tax law can help you attract and retain employees. He'll share examples, stories and specific ways this information will apply to you, so that you can leave this presentation with a list of ideas to bounce off your accountant.

So join Gene Marks for a little tax education. You'll save a lot of money.

Ian Heller, COO/President of Modern Distribution Management
10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., LVCC

What does the future holds for the distribution industry? How will Amazon Business and other digital disruptors are apply artificial intelligence to drive ordering by voice, camera and the Internet of Things to take “tail spend” purchases away from traditional distributors? Ian Heller, president of Modern Distribution Management and former VP of Marketing for Grainger, HD Supply and other companies, will dive deep into this topic. Heller also will reveal how Amazon is using a different approach to managing cash so it can drive earnings at low gross margins. He’ll wrap up with recommendations about how distributors can fight back to build market share of their own.

Noon - 3:00 p.m., LVCC 

5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., LVCC

Join us at the PEI Industry Reception Tuesday night, October 9, immediately after the trade show closes. Your badge is your ticket to enjoy complimentary libations, hors d'oeuvres, live music and, most importantly, each others' company!


NACS Closing Session

8:00 a..m. - 9:00 a.m. Westgate Hotel McCormick Place Convention Center

PEI attendee registrants are invited.

Register Now | Rates



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