SIOUX CITY, IOWA — Vance Pflanz, 75, president of Pflanz Electronics, a veteran CE retailer, was praised by industry leaders just before and after his passing on Thursday, March 27.
Pflanz’ participation with industry associations, BrandSource and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), was praised for his willingness to share his retail experience of 55 years and his involvement with a variety of local charities.
BrandSource reported prior to its March 16-19 convention in Orlando, Fla., that Pflanz suffered a stroke and released an “appreciation” in which he was described as “a dedicated and loyal member who has consistently gone above and beyond expectations to serve his industry as well as his community.”
During the convention, the group’s consumer electronics division, ProSource, named Pflanz to its Hall of Fame.
In a statement, BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence said, “Vance is a remarkable individual with a unique combination of attributes. He’s exceptionally smart, highly skilled at marketing, well-liked by his customers and colleagues, and he’s fearless when it comes to embracing change. That’s rare. Vance has made major contributions to our members and to the industry. We salute him.”
In a statement from CEA, president and CEO Gary Shapiro said, “Our association has lost a true friend and leader in Vance Pflanz. Vance helped grow our association and create deeper ties between dealers and manufacturers by championing retailers’ participation in CEA. We owe him a strong debt of gratitude for his service, his leadership and his legacy of programs to help support independent retailers.”
Pflanz was a longtime volunteer leader at CEA, helping to oversee the merger of the Professional Audio Video Retailers Association (PARA), where he served on the board, with CEA in 2004. He helped found and served as chair of CEA’s Audio-Video Retailer Division from 2010 through 2011, and was a member of the Retail Leadership Team of CEA’s Retailer Council since its inception.
CEA said Pflanz was a strong advocate for independent retailers. By trying to “get footprints” in dealers’ stores, Pflanz was influential in the development of “CE Demo Days,” CEA’s successful national retail promotions. He also helped develop CEA’s Great Ideas Meetings and Workshops for retailers, as part of his strong support for, and belief in, the importance of continuing dealer education.
To help keep the company front and center as the area’s electronics expert, Pflanz produced five-minute weekly radio spots and an hour-long radio call-in show to spotlight new technologies.
BrandSource quoted Spencer Kalker, president of Image Crafters, store design and strategic planning consultancy, about working with Pflanz, saying in part, “He’s always positive, upbeat, engaged in the industry and eager to learn,” said Kalker. “He also wears his community hat 24/7. We worked on a Boys Club of Sioux City home-theater project last year, and he wanted to make sure everything was perfect. It wasn’t just a job. Doing it right was extremely important to him.”
Pflanz also worked with organizations including Albums for Alzheimer’s and Make-A-Wish Foundation, as well as a variety of community projects, here.
His survivors include his son Scott and his wife Mindy Pflanz, his daughter Mona and her husband Brian Hodgins, and five grandchildren.