Like a one-two punch, two of this industry’s most venerable retail leaders are stepping down at year’s end as the heads of their respective buying groups.
Bob Lawrence, a former Maytag manager, has headed BrandSource for the past two decades, growing it from a fledgling buying co-op into a sophisticated, $13 billion CE, appliance and home furnishings powerhouse with some 4,500 member dealers across the U.S. and Canada.
Bill Trawick, as president/executive director of the NATM Buying Group for the past 15 year, has led a collective of strong-willed entrepreneurs running some of the largest regional and multi-regional retail businesses in the nation.
He caps off half a century in this business, having also lent his merchandising and operational talents to P.C. Richard & Son, and more recently Conn’s.
Over the next several pages we pay tribute to these two men, in pictures, in praise from their colleagues, in a heartfelt remembrance by editor at large Steve Smith, and in their deeds.
May the wind always be at your backs, Bill and Bob.