Young Professionals University to Convene in New Orleans

By Alan Wolf, YSN

Class will be back in session for members of AVB’s Young Professionals (YP) organization Nov. 5-7.

That’s when Young Professionals University will convene at the Hyatt Centric French Quarter in The Big Easy for three days of training sessions, expert presentations and opportunities to enjoy the sights, sounds and cuisines of New Orleans.

For those unaware, the under-40 Young Professionals wing 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 helped allay succession concerns and is set to steer AVB through its second half-century, based on its mix of young, highly motivated dealers, sales representatives, buyers, sales managers and vendor partners, all looking to share new ideas and grow their businesses.

Class will kick off on Nov. 5, when attendees will hear from AVB’s very own HR head Jenny Rice on HR best practices and BrandSource Merchandising Director Grant Hancock will share industry trends and consumer insights to help YP members develop effective merchandising strategies. They will be followed presentations by Linda Schwefel, Managing Partner of, who offer ways to improve one’s personal and professional communications skills while increasing self-awareness, and AVB E-Commerce & Catalog Director Eric Hunter on the online revolution and the importance of branding.

The next day will bring an economic overview by Wells Fargo Senior Economist Sarah House, and a presentation by generational expert and past Summit keynoter Jason Dorsey on fast-tracking one’s career and success. Other sessions, courtesy of AVB Marketing, will feature:

  • Senior Product Manager Laura Dake with a deep dive into LINQ;
  • Director of Client Services Jennifer Crowley on the latest in Google trends and tools; and
  • Digital Strategy Marketing Manager Alisha Starelli, who will “connect the dots” from digital advertising to website behavior.

Of course, it won’t be all work in New Orleans; extra-curricular activities will include a Whirlpool-sponsored tour and dinner reception at Mardi Gras World for a behind-the-scenes look at the float-building process, and for the adventurous, a Swamp Tour sponsored by Samsung.

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YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.