Entered AVB’s hallowed Hall of Fame, Class of ’21
By Andy Kriege, YSN
After a one-year hiatus, the AVB/BrandSource Hall of Fame induction ceremony made a comeback last August at the 2021 Convention in Nashville.
First introduced three years ago, the honor is bestowed on those who have demonstrated an outstanding lifetime of service to the retail industry. As AVB CEO Jim Ristow explained, “We want to recognize individuals who have been great stewards of the industry, of their brands and of BrandSource. These are people who embody the American dream and will leave a very meaningful mark.”
The 2021 Hall of Fame class included four exceptional people who were selected by the AVB/BrandSource board of directors and the executive team for their lifetime of achievement and commitment to independent retail.
Tom Balistreri was among this year’s inductees honored at the Convention in Nashville. Balistreri joins a select fraternity of ground-breaking retail pioneers enshrined on a newly revealed Wall of Fame that includes all prior inductees from past years.
In addition to his involvement in BrandSource, Balistreri has been an integral part of the rapid growth and success of Colder’s Furniture, Appliances and Mattresses since joining the family business in 1983. He’s currently a co-owner and serves as Vice President of Merchandising for the greater Milwaukee retailer.
In 1998 Balistreri began serving on the board of his buying group, MARTA Cooperative of America, and was instrumental in forging its 2006 merger with AVB/BrandSource. He soon became chairman of AVB’s new MARTA division, which was rebranded as Resource Plus and served as the forerunner of the Power Dealers chapter. Resource Plus has since been fully integrated into the AVB family, where Balistreri continues to lead many of the group’s successful initiatives.
“Being part of this extended family has allowed our business to grow in some very competitive categories and through some very tough times,” Balistreri said. “I am truly grateful and humbled to be a part of it all.”
Congratulations Tom and the Hall of Fame Class of 2021!
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress, and CE dealers.