BrandSource: The Next Generation – Part 1

By Rich Lindblom, YSN

You don’t have to be a Trekkie to have heard of the long running TV series, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, well today I want to introduce you to the next generation of BrandSource Dealers.  Let’s call it BrandSource: The Next Generation.

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Mark Patterson, Joe Legato and Sam McVay, three guys who I believe are just that, the Next Generation of BrandSource dealer. 

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of talking to or getting to know these guys, let me introduce you to each of them along with their thoughts on the industry today.  First up is Joe Legato.

Joe Legato

I’ve known Joe the longest and often kid him that I was the first friend he ever made in BrandSource, he might deny it but I’m sticking to my story.  Bill & Rod’s Appliance was established by Joe’s grandfather, Rod in 1963 and his parents, Kim & Linda took over in 1977.  After graduating from Northwood University with a dual major in Entrepreneurship and Marketing, Joe started working in the family business and I met him shortly thereafter.  I could tell right away that Joe had a good head on his shoulders and watched as he worked with his parents to grow the size of their company dramatically in only a few short years.  In 2015 at the ripe old age of thirty, Joe agreed to purchase Bill & Rod’s from his parents so they could start thinking about retirement.  If you ask me, Joe is a cross between P.T. Barnum and Steve Jobs.  Many of you may recognize him from the videos his company posts online featuring Joe in crazy outfits or hosting beer & appliance reviews.  He has an uncanny knack for bringing attention to his store in new and unusual ways that most people would never think of.

You know, there’s an old adage, with Age comes Wisdom and while that may quite often be true, after talking with these three guys, I sure don’t believe that being old is a requisite for being wise. 

During the interview process, we touched on a variety of topics and I think despite their young ages (compared to me anyways) they have a keen insight into our industry that everyone could benefit from regardless of their age.  I asked them all the same questions and found their answers to be insightful yet uniquely different.  Here were Joe’s thoughts …

Q – What is the one piece of advice you would give your eighteen-year-old self if you could go back in time?

JL – “Pay close attention to your financials, learn what they are telling you, and lead with tough love so those around you know that you care how they develop.”

Q – What do you believe is the biggest challenge your company faces or will face over the next few years?

JL – “Over the next few years the biggest challenges will be scaling excellent service. Being able to grow services to support our customers that have purchased from us.”

Q – What is your favorite part of your job?

JL – “My favorite part of the job is creating processes and casting vision for our team.”

Q – What is the least favorite part of your job?

JL – The least favorite part is calling someone back from a note on my desk with only a name and a phone number.  Walking in blind, no matter what the situation is, is my least favorite.”

Q – Why do you get out of bed every morning and go to work? 

JL – “My motivation is creating a legacy of hard work ethic for my kids.  My hope is that they see me going in with a positive outlook toward work and come home with a heart filled with joy to see them.”

This is the first of a three-part series on the Next Generation of BrandSource dealers.  In the second part, I’ll share my chat with Mark Patterson of Patterson’s Appliance in Tennessee.

When I write my articles, I have three goals in mind and those are to Motivate, to Educate and to Entertain.  If I have done at least one of those three, then I’ve done my job.  I always enjoy hearing from members about something I wrote, so don’t be shy about letting me know what you think about something I wrote at egvrich@gmail.com.