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Highlights from the 2021 Rheem Distributor Summit

December 7, 2021

Staying current with the latest updates, advancements, and products is a distributor’s best way to remain competitive in the industry. We were thrilled to bring back our Distributor Summit this year and see so many returning friends and colleagues and welcome new faces to our growing and thriving network.

This year especially, Rheem felt it was important to bring channel partners together on some of the bigger agenda items, including the pending M1 regulations that go into effect for 2023, supply chain solutions, product launches and innovations, and to lay the foundation for the upcoming 2022 Pro Partner Conference.

“With ties dating back more than a decade, we’ve reinstated events like this to benefit the entire industry—from distributor to contractor to end-users—bringing the latest training and most integral issues of the HVACR business to the forefront,” stated Matthew McLaughlin, Director of Wholesale for Rheem Air Conditioner. “When you work with Rheem, expect an open dialogue on what’s happening in the industry and proactive solutions so our distributors can remain in-the-know and ahead of the curve.”

To ensure this event is truly impactful for their distributors, Rheem brings everyone to the table, including distribution reps from across the Rheem family of brands—Ruud, Sure Comfort, Russell by Rheem—as well as global Air and enterprise executive leadership; reps from air conditioning sales and marketing teams, engineers, and product managers; and many more. As we know so well, every facet in the HVACR industry is made stronger and better by sharing our knowledge and experiences to improve our products, experiences, and practices. 


The goals for this year’s Distributor Summit were clear and focused, with preparedness underscoring many of the key takeaways. This year’s education and conversation was centered on:

– The 2023 regulatory guidelines

– What to know about global supply chain issues, and how Rheem is prepared to stay agile and safeguard from risks

– Highlighting the marketing resources available to distributors, so that they can restock their toolbox with robust, proven marketing programs and accessible tools as the industry moves into 2022

– Preparing for Pro Partner Conference 2022


2021 Distributor Summit Agenda

The 2021 Distributor Summit was structured to easily allow distributors to receive the information they need to be successful and informed. Some of the top priorities for the summit included:



  • New Regulations. One of the most important aspects of a distributor’s job is to stay educated and proactive about new regulations and protocols. In a well-attended session, Karen Meyers, Vice President of Government Affairs, and Allison Skidd, Senior Manager, Global Regulatory Affairs, discussed how to prepare for upcoming 2023 regulatory deadlines and what developments Rheem has made for a new line of energy-efficient products. They also talked about how decarbonization is trending and what the increasing influence and demand around heat pumps means for new product development. The session ensured that our distributor partners are aware of not only the product changes for 2023 but also the importance of prepping for the refrigerant change taking place in 2025 and M1 industry efficient changes based on Department of Energy guidelines for nationwide regulation.

  • Supply Chain. The past 20 months have been a rollercoaster of issues, and everyone was closely watching how the pandemic shutdown affected supply chains globally. While global supply chains are still in flux, preparedness has helped the Rheem supply chain stay agile and stocked for what the market demands. “When we talk about the Rheem supply chain, our procurement team has done a tremendous job working with our supplier partners around mitigating risks that would potentially impact our shipments out to our channel partners,” said Matthew. “It’s at events like this that we share our continued plans to ensure our distributors and contractors are informed on how we plan to continue to keep investing in mutual growth.”

  • New Product Announcements. One of the most energizing parts of the summit is when we talk shop about the latest advancements, tech-forward products, and current issues that will impact the near and distant future of HVACR. With climate change a constant factor, new products such as the Rheem® Commercial Renaissance™ Line offer energy savings of more than 30% compared to current baseline technology, translating to lifetime savings of thousands of dollars. With smart features, enhanced serviceability, and easier installation, the Renaissance Series is changing the game.

  • Pro Partner 2022: Lastly, throughout the summit there was a lot of chatter and palpable buzz about the upcoming Pro Partner Conference. Rheem expects it to be one of the most well attended Pro Partner Conference it has ever had—over 5,000 attendees are expected to descend upon the MGM in Las Vegas in March 2022 to experience the exciting innovations, tech-forward advancements, lively discussions, and, of course, headlining speakers and awesome main stage entertainment. Register now to secure your spot for the industry’s biggest event, welcoming back old friends and partners and ushering in a new, exciting chapter in HVACR.


Overall, the 2021 Distributor Summit exceeded our expectations. We shared valuable insights and important regulation information from leaders in the industry across the country to help distributors read, analyze, and react to the changing—and this year, unpredictable—nature of the market. Much has changed since our last Distributor Summit, but the mission remains the same: We want distributors to always be in the know and aware of what’s happening in their marketplace. As always, Rheem remains committed to our role in improving efficiency practices, the importance of connectivity across all channels, and advancing innovative, future-forward solutions. And in doing so, we are already talking about what the next Distributor Summit will hold.


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