By Andy Kriege, YSN
Bill Pleasants Sr. joined an exclusive club this week: He became an octogenarian.
Pleasants is a longtime BrandSource patron and the president/CEO of Plaza Appliance Mart, which operates four locations in and around Charlotte, N.C. His birthday, on Feb. 24, marks a remarkable milestone for a man who looks, lives and works like he’s much closer to 50 than 80.
The day was marked by a festive celebration with employees, complete with a custom birthday cake and party favors. The festivities will continue this weekend when the milestone will be commemorated by family and friends.
Although the day-to-day operations of the business are now managed by his son, Bill Jr., the elder Pleasants still comes in every morning to make sure all is running smoothly before cutting out in the afternoon, often to take in a round of golf. He also keeps busy with a property development adjacent to his home called Pleasant Valley, in which he is a stakeholder, and is partnered with a builder putting up a spec home in the development that bears his name.
While serving as a long-term president of BrandSource, Pleasants probably logged more miles than any other member. Besides traveling the world to negotiate vendor programs for the group, he crisscrossed the country to share his business acumen with dealers in distress, and was always there to lend a hand with operational advice and encouragement. The good news: “They’re all still in business, which is a point of pride for me,” Pleasants said.
Pleasants is an inaugural member of the BrandSource Hall of Fame, inducted in 2019. As AVB CEO Jim Ristow remarked, “We want to recognize individuals like Bill who have been great stewards of this industry, of their own business and of BrandSource. He is living the American dream and will leave a very meaningful mark for years to come.”
Not surprisingly, the younger Pleasants also had some wonderful things to say about his father and mentor. “He has helped so many people both locally and in their businesses across the country, I am honored to call him my dad,” he told YSN. “I feel blessed beyond measure, and I pray that God will bless him with many, many more strong years.”
Bill Jr. added that because his father was a former military man, having served in the U.S. Air Force, “You had to walk the chalk every day. He was strict, but I have really come to appreciate his tenacity now that I work with him and not for him.”
As for the man of the hour, when asked if he has any plans to quit the business he has been so passionate in building, Pleasants often points to a cemetery across from one of his showrooms and quips, “I won’t stop working until I am on the other side of the road.”
Here’s to many, many more years on the right side of the road, Bill. Happy Birthday!
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.