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USA Joins NARDA As New Service Division

The United Servicers Association (USA) has become the new service division of the North American Retail Dealers Association (NARDA) under a merger agreement between the two trade groups. The plan was announced here last month at the 2007 Service & Retail Convention (SRC), which was held at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel.

Under terms of the merger, USA will assume one of seven seats on NARDA’s newly reorganized board of directors. NARDA’s Leon Barbachano, CEO of Allen & Peterson Cooking & Appliance Center in Anchorage, Alaska, will remain chairman.

“USA members are well known for being among the best of the best servicers,” Barbachano said, “and will bring NARDA additional expertise in the service arena, further demonstrating NARDA’s commitment to the service segment of the business.”

USA was created by and for repair businesses 15 years ago to help fellow servicers compete in the marketplace through financial services, government relations, and educational, management and marketing programs.

For the past two Februarys, NARDA, USA and the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) have combined their conventions and educational institutes into one larger event which they dubbed the Service & Retail Convention. That partnership, said USA board president Paul MacDonald, “laid the foundation for one cohesive association that can bring greater value to our members and better address challenges and opportunities. Industry consolidation is here to stay. We are not only better off as one organization, but are excited about the many potential opportunities ahead.”

Over 500 independent retailers, service business operators, technicians and educators attended last month’s second annual SRC. “With 51 exhibitors and 86 educational sessions, our 507 attendees received the best and broadest range of education being offered at any industry event,” said Dick Glass, president of ETA. “Our goal was to provide the members with actionable ideas and outstanding networking opportunities.”

Sponsors of the 2007 SRC included CEA and Whirlpool (gold level); Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, Sub-Zero, Viking and Wolf (silver level); Electrolux and Mitsubishi (bronze level); and GE, NEW, Philips and Sharp (supporters).

NARDA, headquartered in Glenview, Ill., is a not-for-profit educational trade association for independent CE, majap and furniture retailers and now servicers. Its members account for more than 3,500 storefronts and $11 billion in annual sales.