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Nationwide Taps Bilas As Exec. VP

Winston-Salem, N.C. – Nationwide
Marketing Group (NMG) has hired former GE Appliances sales VP Dave Bilas as
executive VP.

Bilas, widely popular
within the independent dealer channel, was succeeded last month by Michael
McDermott in a surprise move at GE.

Bilas’ appointment
fortifies the management ranks of the $12 billion buying group, whose president
and co-founder, Ed Kelly, retired in January. Following Kelly’s departure,
executive VP/director Robert Weisener was named CEO and director Les Kirk
became COO.

In his new role, Bilas will
be responsible for overseeing Nationwide’s appliance and electronics marketing
and merchandising divisions, headed by Adam Thomas and Richard Weinberg in
appliances and Mike Decker and Doug Schatz in CE. He will fully transition into
the new post by midsummer, the group said.

“David brings with him
years of executive and management experience in highly respected companies
within the retail industry such as GE, Whirlpool and Hitachi,” said Weisner.
“He has demonstrated considerable strength in areas particularly critical to
the independent dealer and understands the challenges they face which will only
enhance our ability to service our membership.”

Bilas, whose father owned
TV sales and service stores in Southern California, said he has “always been a
strong advocate of the independent dealer throughout my personal life and
professional career. I am very excited to join Nationwide to continue serving
this channel and enhancing their position in the market.”

Added Kirk: “We have a
very committed and highly experienced senior leadership and executive staff at
Nationwide from our merchandising and marketing divisions to our field team. David
is an excellent addition to our organization and I am certain is the right
person to continue strengthening relationships with our vendor partners and
providing quality service to our member dealers.”