GMDC Rebrands Association and HBC Conference Names; Adds Education Resources

PHOENIX - In an effort to preserve the positive value of GMDC and have a name behind the letters that has relevance, Colorado Springs, Colo.-based nonfoods trade association General merchandise Distributors Council (GMDC) has rebranded to become the Global Market Development Center.

According to the association, which announced the rebranding at its annual General Merchandise Marketing Conference held here this week, this new name more accurately articulates the association's role in serving globally focused wholesalers, retailers, and suppliers via business building events, timely consumer and business insights, education, training, and information resources.

"The renaming process and subsequent decision to change has been a passionate and positive experience by the members of our boards," said Dan Nelson, GMDC s.v.p. and c.o.o. "[They are] a group of executives who care very much about GMDC."

According to GMDC president and c.e.o., David McConnell, Jr., this initiative should be characterized as part of an evolution for the continued growth and expansion of the association. "Since our founding in 1970, we have been the premier trade association for GM and HBC," he said. "Originally organized to serve general merchandise distributors and the supermarket nonfoods industry, the evolution process really began in earnest in the 1990's when we opened our membership to other channels of trade."

GMDC now serves wholesalers and retailers in drug, convenience, value, ecommerce, catalog and mass retailing, as well as the supermarket channel. "We discovered that we had significant brand equity in 'GMDC,' but not in our name, 'General Merchandise Distributors Council.' It wasn't relevant to a significant segment of our membership and prospective members. It just wasn't working."

GMDC also renamed its fall marketing conference event to address the significance of the health and wellness movement in retailing. Formerly the fall Health and Beauty Care Conference, it will now be known as the Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference.

"We see Wellness as an important new opportunity for our members and made the decision to expand our fall event to include this powerful growth area," said McConnell. "We will be supporting the inclusion of Wellness into our program with an expanded participation by health and wellness oriented suppliers as well as valuable business sessions and workshops that explain the potential of the Wellness opportunity for all our members, including the general merchandise supplier community."

GMDC also unveiled a new series of professional development programs designed to help member companies build their businesses.

The programs are offered through GMDC partners Mercuri International, Dallas, and CrossKnowledge, Paris, France.

According to GMDC,
"These programs should prove to be a significant benefit to our GMDC members," said GMDC v.p. of business development and c.m.o., Keith Wypysynski. "[They will] provide members access to over 160 online training modules that will facilitate their employee training through highly effective modules."

The initial offering of 160 online training modules include topics in the areas of management techniques for managing people, teams, and themselves; persuading, selling, and negotiating; and on management fundamentals in finance, marketing, and strategic planning. Plans call for additional modules created specifically for GMDC members based on GMDC research and customized learning topics. Future programs include "blended" learning, which combines in-person training with online training.
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