North Atlantic Region treasurer Barbara Logel of Logel’s Appliance celebrates her Legacy Women in Business Award.
By Dori Easterson, YSN
Every year, the BrandSource Women in Business (WIB) group honors one woman who stands out from the rest and represents the best in the industry. Last year in Las Vegas, BrandSource recognized Mary Putnam from GE Appliances as the Cornerstone recipient, and who knew that it would be the last time members would meet in person for over a year?
Despite COVID keeping members apart for Summit this year, there were, as always, numerous nominations for this year’s award. It is always a difficult decision for the WIB committee to choose just one recipient with all the great and accomplished women in the field.
For her long service to her business, her community and to BrandSource, this year’s Legacy Women in Business Award winner is Barbara Logel, 81, owner of Logel’s Appliance in Strykersville, N.Y. Logel was nominated by her daughter, Jennifer Lingenfelter, who wrote in her letter to BrandSource about her mom’s dedication to the North Atlantic Region.
“Mom has been the treasurer for the North Atlantic group for approximately 30 years,” Lingenfelter said in her letter. “The job of treasurer is so involved. Other group members have no idea how much time she spends outside of our own business — tracking dues, payments, signing up new members — it’s very frustrating and she keeps plugging away with a smile.”
Logel and her husband Edward started their appliance business in 1963 when they were in their early 20s. In a town of less than 1,000 people, community is everything and Logel has always been a significant part of hers. She has lived in Strykersville all her life and grew up in the house right next to her store. When her seven children were young, she was involved in 4-H as a community club leader and served on the local 4-H board.
For almost 30 years, Logel has raised funds for numerous churches and organizations in the area. Additionally, she is chairperson for the Sheldon Historical Society’s annual yard sale, which attracts thousands from surrounding states and Canada. Logel Appliance also contributes by holding a scratch-and-dent sale during the event. Logel is also highly engaged with her church, performing in the choir and being a part of the social committee.
“She basically volunteers her time in whatever group that needs help even if she doesn’t ‘officially’ belong,” Lingenfelter said. “She also helps put on funeral luncheons for up to 200 people when needed; small town with big families.”
Besides being the treasurer for the North Atlantic Region, Logel is dedicated to BrandSource. She attends all the region meetings as well as national events. “I have always been a big fan of BrandSource,” Logel said. “I find that if you participate, you get so much out of BrandSource. And to top it all, we make very, very good friends and we help each other. It’s what I always liked about BrandSource. The leadership team does a lot for us and we really appreciate it, but we get so much more back from each other.”
Although the pandemic has changed countless things, Logel said it hasn’t changed the people in her community.
“People haven’t changed,” she said. “I think they like the smaller stores, they feel comfortable. They seem to be afraid of the bigger stores. They trust us to be responsible for them. We have been able to get a lot of new customers that we’ve never seen before. It is probably the digital and online stuff that brings them in,” she said, referring to their AVB Marketing website.
Logel was presented the 2021 WIB Legacy Award during the virtual 2021 Summit. “I was shocked,” Logel said. “I’ve been doing this work for BrandSource for so long with our group that it was just a pleasant surprise.”
Besides her dedication to the region and her community, Logel still finds time to go to the local gym twice a week for yoga and to play cards with the ladies.
“She still does the payroll and fills in for sales and brings in the mail every day,” said Lingenfelter, who is now the president of Logel Appliance. “Her accounting knowledge blows me away. Ask anyone else on the North Atlantic Board — she’s a financial tiger. Even if she just stops in for an hour or two, her positive attitude and ability to engage customers while they wait for a salesperson or information is invaluable.”
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.