BrandSource Summit awards members, celebrates women and looks forward
BrandSource’s annual Summit & Expo took place Feb. 28- Mar. 2 at the Marriott Orlando World Center. The summit took place alongside the ProSource Summit and featured product training, informative showcases, sales meetings, educational seminars and a keynote speaker, all with the intention of giving members a resource to grow their businesses and increase their revenue.
Members were able to watch the company’s annual State of the Union address, as well as several awards presentations, such as the Women in Business Trailblazer and Retail Salesperson of the Year awards ceremonies.
The Expo’s Young Professionals Game night, 5K Run and the Butch DuBose Golf Tournament also took place, giving members the option to socialize outside of a business-oriented setting.
State of the Company Address
BrandSource CEO, Jim Ristow, gave a State of the Company address where he emphasized the company’s growing membership and increased sales while warning of the dangers of complacency in the retail industry.
“We are going to build the Brand where it can make the members money, not spend their money to build the Brand,” he stated.
The address also included a tribute to BrandSource’s retiring CFO, Kathy Maloney. Maloney was called to the stage to be honored for her 26-year tenure with the company. She had previously announced that she will be retiring in June and that this Summit would be her last.
Seminars and WIB Lunch
The Summit also included a number of seminars by educational speakers, designed to inform and motivate members. Presentations included:
- Brad Huisken’s “We Can’t Wait for Customers, Go Get Them”
- Jeff Korhan’s “How to Use Social Media to Differentiate Your Business”
- Victoria Cook’s “Outstanding Customer Service with Fish, Fries & Pickles”
The Whirlpool sponsored Women in Business Luncheon took place Monday and included four female executives who gave speeches on empowerment, education and inspiration. The executives included,
- Leigh Donadieu, senior accounts manager – buying groups for Electrolux Corporation
- Carol Campbell, vice president of NAPCO Media and founder of Women in Consumer Technology
- Elizabeth Door, vice president of North America-Global Strategic Sourcing at Whirlpool Corporation
- Dawn Secklinger, Head of Talent & Leadership Management at LG Electronics
Moderated by Anitra Brase, the executives talked about staying true to your story, the resources on how to connect and network with other individuals in your industries, how to build up your leadership teams, statistics on how women are taking over male dominated industries and how to successfully build teams and bridge gaps within your industry.
Several awards presentations took place, giving BrandSource members the opportunity to be honored for their individual commitment over the past year.
Winners of the 2015 BrandSource Salesperson of the Year awards included:
- Rick Caldwell of Oldfield’s Inc.
- Michael Dal Pozzo of Dick Van Dyke Appliance World
- Frank Switalski of Don’s Appliances
Leigh Donadieu took home the Women in Business TrailBlazer award and BrandSource regional manager, Chad Evans, won the Premium Player award.
The Young Professionals group hosted a game night and a 5K Run/Walk to support Disabled American Veterans. Marc Fisher of Origin Acoustics won 1st place in the men’s competition with a time of 21:17 and McKenzie Colby of Dan’s Appliances won the women’s competition with a time of 22:13.
The 5K raised $4,000, all of which was donated to the Disabled American Veterans.
The Butch DuBose Golf Tournament took place Sunday.
The summit also featured the Women in Business Lounge, open during Expo show floor hours on Tuesday. The lounge offered a place for women to recharge in a serene environment with complimentary manicures and mini massages.
A champagne & desserts reception was held in the evening celebrating working women in all industries.
Raffle giveaways were also held - John Ridgely of Ridgely-Arrow Industries won an Expert Warehouse 77” TV valued at $25,000. Don Hillebrand of Don’s Appliances won a Ford pick-up truck in the Whirlpool Ford Truck Giveaway.
The next BrandSource Convention will take place in August in Las Vegas.