Posted January 5, 2022

ISA names Breen president

The Industrial Supply Association has named Brendan Breen to be its president, assuming the role effective immediately.

Brendan BreenBreen has served as executive vice president, following the departure of previous CEO and president Ed Gerber. After announcing Gerber's departure in October, the ISA board of directors advertised the open position. Nearly 100 candidates applied for the role, including Breen.

“It was important that we spent adequate time reviewing and discussing all the candidates who applied for this job. Frankly, it says something about ISA that so many individuals wanted the job. In the end, we unanimously landed on the best candidate for us and our members. Brendan has the experience, the vision, and the passion to lead ISA into the future,” said Maria Ford, president of North American Commercial Industrial at Stanley, Black & Decker and ISA chair.

Breen brings 15 years of progressive association executive-level experience to this new opportunity. He began his career in Washington, D.C. leading several organizations with a focus on membership engagement and development. Prior to his time with ISA, he served as the executive director for a number of associations, developing programs and initiatives that drove revenue, created sustainability, and established stronger value. In 2017, he was recruited to ISA as director of operations shortly after Gerber joined the team.

More recently, as vice president of strategic initiatives, Breen led ISA’s efforts to work more closely with its members to connect the dots between ISA’s programs and initiatives and the members’ unique challenges and goals. He also led all sales efforts, working closely with volunteer groups, and connecting personally with members. In mid-October, Breen assumed all leadership responsibility, on an interim basis, while the ISA search committee looked for the next leader of the association.

“ISA didn’t skip a beat. Brendan jumped right in and took control. His ability to lead ISA while navigating a very busy time for the association showed he has the chops to take ISA to the next level. We are clearly in good hands," said David Ruggles, president of Martin Supply Inc. and ISA vice-chair.

Breen’s first 90 days will be heavily focused on reimagining the ISA 22 Convention slated for April 11-13, 2022 in Houston with a hybrid virtual component. ISA has not held an in-person convention since April of 2019.

“I am excited to get back in person with this industry and apply all the lessons learned during these last two years," Breen said. "This can’t be a check-the-box year. This event has to feel different because our companies, our channel and our world are different after two years of a pandemic. We have new challenges, opportunities, and goals and ISA 22 has to deliver on all of that. It’s time to build the channel for the future.” 

Following the convention, Breen plans to continue to build on the solid foundation laid by Gerber and the ISA board. Breen shared that this role presents an amazing opportunity to create new value for the members of ISA.

“Our focus of Leading the Channel Forward and our mission of developing the strategies, tools, and education needed to stay relevant throughout change gives the ISA team the direction and confidence to produce more for the members," he said. "I want to thank the search committee, the ISA board of directors and, most importantly, the members of ISA for allowing me to lead this channel forward.”