Posted June 22, 2022

STAFDA’s San Diego Educational Workshop Speakers Announced

Sessions will cover high-performance work teams, bold selling skills, adapting to the pandemic, how to ditch the sales pitch and more. 

Consider the cost of specialized continuing educational courses, whether it be classes at the local university, an online series, or bringing a trainer into your facilities. Now, consider the cost of a badge to the Annual Convention & Trade Show of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA), your team can choose from six, business-focused workshops featuring top-tiered speakers. Talk about ROI!

Plan now to get the most from your educational spend during STAFDA’s 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show, October 30 – November 1, in San Diego.

Sunday, October 30, STAFDA offers four, 90-minute Educational Workshops. Each session repeats following a brief break, so attendees can attend two of their choice. The speakers and topics include:

David Burkus
Dr. Kevin Elko
Ken Rutkowski 
Steve Yastrow
Bob DeStefano
Alan Beaulieu

Building High-Performance Remote & Hybrid Work Teams, David Burkus — STAFDA found David Burkus and this program at a National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) meeting. It’s undeniable that today’s new work environment includes those returning to the office, those continuing to work remotely, and a hybrid of both.

Burkus will focus on the key challenges managers face – from hiring to onboarding new employees from a distance, building a culture remotely, tracking productivity, communicating speedily, keeping all team members engaged, and avoiding burnout.

He’ll share the tools needed to survive and thrive as a leader in today’s new era of remote work teams.

Ranked as one of the world’s top business leaders by Thinkers50, Burkus works with companies across all industries including Google, Stryker, Fidelity, Viacom and the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Bold Gold Standard, Dr. Kevin Elko — When you see success, you will see boldness. The Bold have a strong belief in one thing, they stay focused on that one thing, and they go after it with all they have.

Their energy comes from believing in what they are doing, themselves, and are unapologetic about it. They understand they will not receive unless they ask, so they don’t see a “NO” as rejection but part of “YES” because the more you ask, the more you hear YES. Dare to be BOLD and have your team match you: B – Have a strong belief in your goals and vision. O – Take ownership of all challenges. L – Lean in and assert yourself as a leader. D – Deliver on all you say and do.

Dr. Kevin Elko is the #1 sports psychology performance consultant in the U.S. and has 31 Superbowl and National Championship rings to prove it. He has consulted with the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and others. He is also the author of four books.

What is Your Pandemic Pivot?, Ken Rutkowski — A well-known business talk radio personality, innovative strategist, and business futurist, Ken Rutkowski has been getting rave reviews for this presentation.

Because of his access to what is happening in business through his interviews, partners, and company boards he sits on or consults with, Ken is considered one of the premiere experts in business tech, new media, and the digital economy.

As the creator and host of “Business Rockstars,” he has the #1 business radio talk show in the U.S. As a thought leader, networker, super connector, serial entrepreneur, and influencer across multiple industries, Ken has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, BBC, Wired, Business Week, and more.

Ditch the Pitch: Influence Through Improvisation, Steve Yastrow — Steve Yastrow was a featured speaker at the March 2022 University of Innovative Distribution (UID) where this session resonated with attendees.

As a sales advocate, Yastrow encourages salespeople to “tear up your sales pitch and instead improvise persuasive conversations.” It’s about letting go of pre-written scripts and learning how to identify the details that make each customer unique. From there, the salesperson can navigate the conversation focusing on the right message for the right customer. He’ll show STAFDA attendees how to differentiate themselves not only from their products, but on the highly personalized relationships they create with their customers.

Yastrow is the former Vice President-Resort Marketing for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, and a B.A. from Indiana University.

Sunday afternoon, attendees may participate in a 90-minute, Targeted Workshop featuring STAFDA’s endorsed Online Marketing Consultant.

Online Marketing in a Post-COVID World, Bob DeStefano — Variants of the global pandemic continue to alter how companies navigate ongoing uncertainty. Online marketing and sales exploded during the height of the pandemic and STAFDA members had to change their sales tactics overnight.

The power of online isn’t going away as life starts to shift back to “normal.” The changing needs of customers, combined with how mobile technologies have revolutionized the workplace, will be covered to create a roadmap for success in the connected world.

DeStefano began his online marketing career during the birth of the internet in the early ‘90s serving as a strategic planner for Dean Witter, Discover & Co. specializing in online marketing strategies.

As president of SVM E-Marketing Solutions, a leading B2B online marketing agency he founded in 1995, DeStefano works with Fortune 500 businesses to STAFDA members and family-owned entrepreneurs helping them leverage online marketing to achieve bottom-line results.

Tuesday, November 1: features STAFDA’s Economic Advisor, Alan Beaulieu, one of the pre-eminent economists in the country. He’s also one of the best speakers when it comes to taking a complicated topic and making it understandable. During his Economic Update, Alan will discuss the influence of the past year regarding inflation, recession rumors, the effects of the war in Ukraine, the now-endemic pandemic, and what the future holds for the economy, especially in the STAFDA channel.

Online registration for STAFDA’s San Diego Convention & Trade Show begins from the members-only section of at 8:00 a.m. (Central) on June 27. The workshops are included in the Convention registration fee, and only STAFDA members may attend.

Non-members are encouraged to visit to review and complete membership applications. For more information or photos, please contact Catherine Usher, Member Services Director, 262/784-4774 or