SMITHTOWN, N.Y. — Bill Trawick is retiring after 15 years as head of the NATM Buying Corp. and more than half a century in the CE and appliance industry.
He plans to hand over the reins of the 44 year-old buying group at its annual meeting in September, when a new executive director is expected to take the helm, and will formally step down in December.
Trawick, 69, said, “The decision is very difficult when you enjoy what you’re doing,” but he wanted to enjoy some quality years with his wife, who retired five years ago.
He entered the business in 1963, working for Intercounty Appliance, a Long Island majap and CE buying co-op and a member of the NECO Alliance.
There he met the management of P.C. Richard & Son, which he joined in 1967. He left 29 years later as sales VP, to take the same position at Conn’s. Trawick spent three years with the Texas chain before succeeding Saul Gold as NATM’s head in 1999, and would later serve as a director on Conn’s board.
During his tenure at the buying group Trawick brought P.C. Richard and Abt Electronics back into the NATM fold, and helped steer the membership through the worst of the recession in the late 2000s.
Looking ahead, he said the group will “need to make some changes,” some of which are already underway, and will open up membership to fill the vacuum left by Conn’s, which began encroaching on other NATM dealers.
Trawick said his successor will be drawn from the ranks of the industry’s vendor or retailer communities, and that a number of quality contenders have already thrown their hats in the ring. He said interested candidates are invited to contact Scott Hymas, CEO of R.C. Willey and president of NATM, at (801) 461- 3904, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trawick added that he gave notice early to allow for a smooth transition. “NATM has been around for over 40 years,” he said. “It’s moving forward.”