HRG Anniversary Celebration & Growth Summit — One Guest’s Recap, part 2

January 20, 2022By Behind the Shelf Blog

As mentioned in One Guest’s Recap, part 1, many memories were shared and relationships established or strengthened during last September’s HRG Anniversary Celebration and Growth Summit. One guest, Jeff Guillebeau of International Paper, summarized his experience, writing, “Top 41 Reasons HRG’s Anniversary Growth Conference Was Awesome!” With his permission, we are sharing part 2 here.

20. Reference to “Leadering: The Way Visionary Leaders Play Bigger” by Nancy Giordano. Active Leadership!

19. Idea: Develop a one-page business plan.

18. Jerry Jendusa: “Every problem is an unforeseen opportunity”

17. Overture: Summit intro by Dawn Vogelsang (president of HRG). And the four principles governing HRG: transparency; positive energy; thankfulness (Appreciation for a job well done!); and willingness to change.

16. Dawn: HRG’s openness and communication plan – “Rumors fill a void left by lack of communication.”

15. Dawn’s exceptional leadership and great introductions at Awards Ceremony and Growth Summit!

14. Ensemble Panel: Staying in Rhythm. Moderated by Dave Wendland. Panelists: Elmer Moore, executive director, Scale Up Milwaukee; Jonathan Koch, Dean of Business School, WCTC; and Dawn Vogelsang, president of HRG.

13. Julie Bonnell’s Commitment Card: “Have a Customer Facing Communication Everyday”


11. Patrick Nettesheim, founder of Guitars for Vets, and his inspiring presentation at dinner Wednesday evening.

10. Elmer Moore’s declaration: “You are who you are, but you can do more.”

9. The exceptional group of people who made the trip to honor HRG’s 41 years!

8. Jerry Jendusa’s quote: Prefer to say, “Make it a great day,” instead of “Have a great day.”

7. One of Dave Hamacher’s goals in starting HRG: “Improve productivity of inventory, space, and people in drugstores.”

6. HRG’s willingness to change and adjust with time…and create new business opportunities!

5. Dave Hamacher’s courage and vision to start D.P. Hamacher & Associates 41 years ago.

4. HRG owners’ courage to buy back the company from private equity owners after 16 months of a failed experiment.

3. HRG and its suppliers and customers at the Growth Summit were so very warm and welcoming, with a wonderful spirit. What a great culture you have, HRG!

2. HRG respect for history and legacy…giving due honor to Dave Hamacher and his legacy throughout the event!

1. Getting UnStuck! For a brief 10 minutes, I wandered the Growth Summit wearing Dave Wendland’s name tag. An incredible freedom…however brief, to be unstuck and have a definitive plan for growth, enduring positive spirit and awesomeness!! 

As Jeff concluded, “Thank you for our friendship and for inviting International Paper and me, to the very fine HRG celebration of 41 years! Infinite good wishes for at least another 41!