MDM’s Tom Gale Receives ISA’s Lifetime Achievement Award - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

MDM’s Tom Gale Receives ISA’s Lifetime Achievement Award

The association’s annual John J. Buckley Award honors an individual in the MROP channel for their longstanding service in the industrial supply industry.
Tom ISA award photo

Lead photo: MDM’s Tom Gale gives his remarks upon receiving ISA’s 2024 John J. Buckley Lifetime Achievement award at the ISA24 Convention in Charlotte, NC on April 16. (ISA photo)

The Industrial Supply Association has bestowed its top annual honor to MDM’s own Tom Gale.

At ISA’s annual spring convention on April 16, the group presented the longtime MDM steward with the John J. Buckley Award, which honors an individual in the MROP channel for their longstanding service in the industrial supply industry.

“Tom Gale’s impact on the industrial supply industry is immeasurable,” ISA CEO Brendan Breen said in recognition of Gale’s achievements. “His dedication to innovation, integrity, and excellence has set a standard for industry professionals worldwide. We are honored to celebrate his remarkable contributions with the John J. Buckley Lifetime Achievement Award.”

ISA’s previous John J. Buckley Award recipients have included:

  • 2023: Craig Vogel – Stanley Black & Decker
  • 2022: Karl Weiler – Weiler Abrasives
  • 2020: Jack Schron – Jergens Inc.
  • 2019: Alan Gilbert –  Quality Mill Supply
  • 2018: Phil Thompson – Industrial Supply Company
  • 2017: Dan Judge – NetPlus Alliance
MDM’s Tom Gale gives his remarks upon receiving ISA’s 2024 John J. Buckley Lifetime Achievement award at the ISA24 Convention in Charlotte, NC on April 16. (MDM/Vesna Brajkovic photo)

In his acceptance remarks at the Charlotte Convention Center the morning of April 16, Gale recognized MDM founder Van Ness Philip, who started the company as a newsletter in 1967, as well as Rusty Duncan, who was MDM’s publisher for eight years in the 1990s and brought Gale on in 1992 while spearheading the company’s MDM Analytics division. Gale has since held roles of publisher, president and CEO, while also serving as a key editorial voice and face of the brand over his more than three decades with the distribution market research and media company.

Under Gale’s leadership, MDM has helped countless distributors — from small independents to multinational market leaders — craft their business strategies for success via the firm’s diversified content offerings. In that time, MDM evolved from a publication focused on industrial and electrical distribution coverage to a multimedia-driven data and analytics organization serving the entire distribution landscape.

“I am deeply honored to receive the John J. Buckley Lifetime Achievement Award from ISA,” Gale shared. “This recognition is a testament to the collective efforts of the fantastic team at MDM over the past 20 years and the incredibly generous support of the industrial supply community. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue contributing to the industry’s growth and evolution.”

Related: NetPlus’ Jennifer Murphy Earns ISA Women’s Influence Honor

In a news release for the award, ISA noted how MDM was the first significant publication to share product available market data with the industry, and that while technology and the Internet have transformed that process, MDM was the first and continues to develop, produce and share ongoing market intelligence insights that impact members who serve this market.

“Gale’s career within the industry has been marked by his commitment to excellence and innovation, earning him widespread recognition and admiration from industry professionals,” ISA stated.

ISA photo

On the ISA24 stage, Gale reflected on the fragmented and diverse strength of the U.S. economy, and distributors’ role in maintaining it. He emphasized that the future of distribution — particularly with independent firms — is all about change management and how companies leverage change and innovation as they move forward.

Gale will help lead an “MDM SHIFT: Sales Transformation for Channel 2.0” educational session during ISA24’s April 17 morning agenda.

Gale noted how the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors’ (NAW) mid-January acquisition of MDM has given added oxygen to MDM’s research, analysis and coverage of the distribution industry and the complementary membership benefits of MDM and NAW.

Gale also made sure to dispel any notion that receiving this award means he’s set to leave the industry real soon.

“A couple of people have asked, ‘So you’re getting this lifetime achievement award, does that mean you’re out of here?’ No, it’s going to take more than that,” he quipped in his speech. “I’m more energized than I’ve been in a long time to build and help others, as well as with the transition to take MDM and combine with NAW. We’re undergoing our own transformation,  so I’m excited to stick around and help with that.”

It was the second major award garnered by Gale in 2024. At the end of January, NAW likewise presented Gale with the group’s third annual Distributors Deliver Award which recognizes the efforts of wholesaler-distributors and individual efforts to benefit the industry and those within it.

Related Posts

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.