BrandSource, the $14 billion buying group, is looking to groom the next-generation of industry leaders with its first-ever Young Professionals University (YPU) gathering.
The event, to be held May 18-20 in Orange County, Calif., will bring together members of the group’s under-40 Young Professionals division for three days of seminars, social networking and business guidance by current membership.
Led by BrandSource marketing director Jennifer Baldwin, the division was created in 2014 to serve as a breeding ground for future leaders in the CE, appliance, furniture and bedding industries. To date it has drawn a mix of young, highly motivated independent dealers, sales representatives, buyers, sales managers and vendor partners looking to share new ideas and grow their businesses, Baldwin said.
The inaugural YPU will include team-building events, seminars, roundtable discussions and workshops, along with a beach BBQ, a tour of a Bosch appliance facility, and an interactive vendor/member mixer.
Attendees will also be treated to keynote speakers Tim and Kris O’Shea who will present “The O’Shea Report: Change 180,” a humorous and informative look at how to use humor to deal with the ups and downs of change. The duo has previously presented to such Fortune 500 companies as McDonald’s, General Motors and Hewlett-Packard.
The event will coincide with BrandSource’s Power Dealer meeting, which draws the group’s largest-volume dealers. The overlap will afford the Young Professionals the opportunity to mingle with veteran BrandSource members, learn from their vast experience, and make valuable contacts, while addressing the issue of succession planning.
“We want the young retailers to know that this is still a viable industry in all categories — consumer electronics, major appliances, furniture and bedding,” Baldwin said.
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