Women In Business Gather For Fifth Consecutive Year

By Alan Wolf

In its short five years, BrandSource’s Women In Business (WIB) gathering has become a fixture of the group’s bi-annual Convention and Summit agendas.

In its short five years, BrandSource’s Women In Business (WIB) gathering has become a fixture of the group’s bi-annual Convention and Summit agendas.

Formed in 2014, WIB was created to support female professionals in the appliance, furniture, mattress and consumer tech retail categories. Based on the underlying themes of empowerment, education and inspiration, the group regularly explores such topics as finding, connecting and networking with other female professionals; successfully building leadership teams; earning recognition in a male-dominated industry; bridging the gender gap in one’s professional life; and finding comfort and satisfaction in one’s personal life.

At this year’s Convention, the Women In Business Cornerstone Award was bestowed to Janys Hutchings of Hutch’s Home Furnishings, who delivered a heartfelt speech at Monday afternoon’s WIB luncheon on what BrandSource and Women In Business means to her. Hutchings, a principal of Hutch’s and a full-time teacher, was cited for her fierce commitment to her company, her community and to BrandSource before the Convention’s attendees during the General Session on Sunday.

Other WIB luncheon speakers included Hosanna Vrontikis, a beloved area sales manager for luncheon co-sponsor GE Appliances, who reminded all of their “superpowers” and recalled her early struggles as one of the few women in appliance retail. In an interesting twist, an individual who had refused to hire Vrontikis because of her gender tried to recruit her years later. She politely declined his job offer.

Also addressing the crowd was Chad Lyon, Managing Director of Electronics, Appliance and Music for luncheon co-sponsor Wells Fargo Capital Finance. Lyon, who was one of the few men in the room, expressed his pride in supporting WIB and his appreciation for being a part of the group.

Lyon also lauded a luncheon presentation by communication expert Dr. Audrey Nelson, an internationally recognized trainer, keynote speaker and consultant who has helped such clients as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. State Department increase their productivity through winning communication strategies.

Nelson’s presentation, “The Art of Conscious Communication,” addressed the loss of the “human moment” in our digital communications, such as email, text and even voicemail. Unfortunately, she noted, these new technologies are also reshaping our interpersonal communications, with the result that many individuals “operate on automatic,” even in their face-to-face conversations. Her answer: bring communication into consciousness, and her address provided some tools to help convey our intended messages and to enhance everyday encounters. – BrandSource Member Relations Lead Arlene Soto contributed to this story

Formed in 2014, WIB was created to support female professionals in the appliance, furniture, mattress and consumer tech retail categories. Based on the underlying themes of empowerment, education and inspiration, the group regularly explores such topics as finding, connecting and networking with other female professionals; successfully building leadership teams; earning recognition in a male-dominated industry; bridging the gender gap in one’s professional life; and finding comfort and satisfaction in one’s personal life.

At this year’s Convention, the Women In Business Cornerstone Award was bestowed to Janys Hutchings of Hutch’s Home Furnishings, and WIB members gathered for a Monday afternoon luncheon highlighted by a presentation by communication expert Dr. Audrey Nelson.

Nelson’s presentation, “The Art of Conscious Communication,” addressed the loss of the “human moment” in our digital communications, including email, text and even voicemail. Unfortunately, she noted, these new technologies are also reshaping our interpersonal communications, with the result that many individuals “operate on automatic,” even in their face-to-face conversations. Her answer: bring communication into consciousness, and her address provided some tools to help convey our intended messages and to enhance everyday encounters.

Cornerstone winner Hutchings, a principal of Hutch’s Home Furnishings and a full-time teacher, was cited for her fierce commitment to her company and to her community, and was lauded on stage before the Convention’s attendees during the BrandSource General Session on Sunday.

YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.