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BrandSource Builds Bikes For Charity

Phoenix, Ariz. — There was an extra item on the agenda at BrandSource’s annual executive leadership conference here earlier this month.

 Nearly 200 dealers, staff and vendors of the $13 billion buying group broke off into teams and built 24 bicycles for local charities including the Boys & Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House and The Salvation Army.

Besides brightening Christmas for two dozen families, the effort also served as a team-building exercise, in which each group had to complete a series of trivia and physical challenges to “earn” bike components.

“It wasn’t a contest to see who could build the bike the fastest,” said outgoing BrandSource CEO Bob Lawrence, who spearheaded the campaign. “It was a great team-building exercise and one of the best I’ve ever witnessed. We’re also making a meaningful impact on the lives of underprivileged kids. It’s a great way to celebrate the holidays and cap off the year.”

The bicycles were decorated with streamers, ribbons and cards, and were delivered to their new owners fully-assembled along with a helmet and protective gear.

BrandSource co-sponsored the event along with Serta, Tempur Sealy, Ashley Furniture, Electrolux, Whirlpool, GE and LG, and awarded prizes for the three best-decorated bikes.

“At the end of the day, everybody walked away really appreciating the experience,” said Lawrence. “As a team, we created a pathway to help at-risk kids have a better life, and that means a lot.”

Lawrence steps down this week after leading the group for more than two decades, and will be succeeded on Jan. 1 by former ProSource co-president Jim Ristow.