Perhaps no one is more synonymous with the appliance industry in general, and Whirlpool Corp. in particular, than Sam Abdelnour.
A regular presence at trade shows, buying group conventions and big-box sales floors, the company’s North American sales VP is hanging up his hat next month after 40 years with the majap manufacturer.
“I’ve been blessed with an amazing 40-year career at the best company in the world,” he said in a statement.
During his tenure, he led the vendor’s retail and builder channel sales efforts, spanning independent showrooms and national chains to sub-divisions and high-rises, and launched its “Real Whirled” sales training program, which has transformed over 600 staffers into Whirlpool evangelists. Indeed, many went on to earn accolades in the company’s Winner’s Circle Sales Competition, another of Abdelnour’s programs.
Last month Abdelnour received an accolade of his own: the first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the BrandSource buying group, recognizing his “outstanding lifetime of service to the retail industry.”
“Congratulations to our friend Sam on his retirement,” said BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow. “Sam has been serving the industry and the independent channel for 40 years and we are honored to present him with [our] first annual Lifetime Achievement Award.”
Abdelnour joined Whirlpool in 1978 as a 23-year-old sales account manager, and joined the national sales organization in 1996 following successful stints in category marketing and merchandising.
He will be succeeded next month by key account general manager David Cichocki, at which point the road warrior plans to “spend more time with my family — which now includes two grandsons,” Abdelnour said.