Las Vegas - AVB/BrandSource announced its Dealers of the Year here on the eve of the buying group's fall convention and buy fair.
The 16 members, selected by their peers, "best exemplify what it means to be a BrandSource dealer," the group said. (See list of award recipients, below). BrandSource noted that many of the winners co-brand their stores with the BrandSource logo, which helps provide their businesses a higher profile through the group's national advertising and sponsorships.
In addition, Kevin Werner was named BrandSource regional manager of the year.
Yesterday's award presentations were followed by the show's traditional 90-minute "Stampede," where members took advantage of special convention buys, and the annual BrandSource private concert, headlined this year by singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins.
The convention, which runs through Wednesday at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, kicks into high gear this morning with a welcome address by AVB/BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence, an industry town hall discussion with GE Appliance CEO Jim Campbell, and the opening of the buy fair floor.
The 2010 BrandSource Dealers of the Years are:
- Paul Gwilliam and Chris Wilhelmsen, Asien's Appliance, Santa Rosa, Calif. Opened in 1948, the company passed through three generations of the Asien family until Paul Gwilliam and Chris Wilhelmsen partnered with Larry Asien in 2004.
- Bobby Dollar, Bobby Dollar Appliance and Bedding Showroom, Thomasville, Ga. Dollar started the business in 1983 with $3,700 cash and a $12,000 loan. It went on to become one of the largest independent dealers in northern Florida and southern Georgia.
- Jerry Caston, Caston's TV & Appliance, Newhall, Calif. Four years after retiring, Jerry and son Rick returned to the business with a fresh remodel, expanded product offerings, an outside-sales staff, and seven-day-a-week delivery.
- Darryl Belval, Central Appliance, Greenfield, Mass. Said Belval, "We have customers that look for the BrandSource brand. We couldn't do what we do today without it."
- Dan and Ann Terfehr, Dan's Appliance, Fairmont, Minn.
- Rick Denning, Denning's Showkase, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
- Chris Geis, Geis Electronics and Appliances, Batesville, Ind. Geis started the business in 1961 as a radio shop with money borrowed from a family member, and has grown it into a full-line electronics, appliance and mattress dealer.
- Tom Jessup, Jessup's Major Appliance Centers, Venice, Fla. Said Jessup, "We're not really that unique or different from what others do, but we're better at what we do than others are at what they do."
- Jerry Blanchard, Miller's of Mill Hall, Mill Hall, Pa. Every Miller's customer receives a box of homemade candy packaged in a hand-crafted box following the sale.
- Jerry Blanchard, Murdale True Value, Carbondale, Ill.
- Shawn and Teresa Driscoll, Nodak Supply, Fargo, N.D
- Steve and Elaine Patterson, Pattersons Home Appliance Center, Kingston, Tenn. Pattersons was selected as the Roane County Small Business of the Year in 2009 and Best Appliance Store of Roane County for 12 years consecutive years.
- Jeff Griffith, Radio Lab Brand Source, Lubbock, Texas. Griffith's father and uncle started the business in 1946 when radios were big business and TV was virtually unknown.
- Robin Richards, Richards Brand Source, Charlotte, Mich. Quoting biblical proverb, Richards said, "A good name is worth more than great riches."
- Tom and Carol Vincent, Walt's Sherwood Appliance, Sherwood, Ore. Said Carol, "We love our customers and treat them in such a way that they hesitate to walk out our door and face the harsher world."
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