The theme for the fourth annual Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week will be "Maximizing Opportunities in Challenging Times."

This distributor/supplier executive conference will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel and the Orange County Convention Center, Feb. 16-19, 2009, in Orlando, Fla.

"This is far more important than just a name for the conference," says Marc Karon, HDAW '09 co-chairman and president of Total Truck Parts in Florida. "The independent distributor market is facing very challenging times and as distributors we can identify and maximize these opportunities through the conference program.

"The softening economy, all of the new technology and new systems are having a big impact on the market for replacement parts and service on commercial vehicles," Karon explains. "The volunteer leadership is developing an outstanding program for the independent distributors attending this premier business conference. This program will equip them to hit the ground running when they return home to their businesses. We intend to show that there are numerous opportunities for growth through our conference program'.

The HDAW education committee, made up of industry volunteers, recently met in Chicago and has been actively working on the program. The committee of over 30 industry leaders has identified major areas of interest to the independent distributor.

"Our post-conference survey and a recent topic-poll of all HDAW '09 attendees have given us a clear path to address these challenging times," says Joe McAleese, HDAW co-chairman with Karon and president and CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. "With several hundred responses to our attendee surveys, we are working to prepare an outstanding conference program that will provide tools and information that will make a difference for the participants, as soon as the conference concludes."

Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week is an all-industry, independent distributor focused, all-inclusive, business to business conference that features a distributor information and education program, pre-scheduled one-on-one business meetings, networking opportunities with receptions and meals, a HD Industry awards program and luncheon, and a product expo, all in one place and in less than a one week period.

HDAW is presented by a joint operating committee of industry leaders from American Council of Frame and Alignment Specialists (ACOFAS), Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN), Heavy Duty America (HDA), Heavy Duty Distribution Association (HDDA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Heavy Duty Remanufacturing Group (HDRG), International Truck Parts Association (ITPA), Overseas Automotive Council (OAC), Power Heavy Duty, Service Specialists Association (SSA), Truck Pride and VIPAR HD Parts.

For more information on conference registration or for exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities at HDAW 2009, contact Bill Glasgow Sr., conference manager, at 708-226-1300 or e-mail