Harry Buntyn receives a parting gift from fellow Region Manager Tim Clements.

Longtime South Atlantic Region Manager Harry Buntyn calls it a career

By Andy Kriege, YSN

Last month’s annual meeting of the South Atlantic Region marked the end of an era, as it was the last time Harry Buntyn would help officiate.

The longtime Region Manager formally stepped down at the gathering, which was held at the Mill House in Charleston, S.C. There, friends and colleagues recounted Buntyn’s many accomplishments over his two decades with AVB, and also celebrated the industry veteran’s birthday.

To say Buntyn has made an impact in the appliance industry is an understatement. Harry has served independent retailers in one capacity or another for over 50 years and has seen it all. In the process, he has touched the lives of many people and is leaving an enduring legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

Buntyn (center) celebrates his birthday with BrandSource buddies (from left) Tom Bennett, Tim Clements, Jarred Roy, and Kevin Werner at last month’s South Atlantic Region meeting in Charleston, S.C.

“I started with South Atlantic in August of 2001, so I’m in my 21st year,” Buntyn recounted. “Prior to that I was with GE Appliances for 30 years and before that I was with Goodyear Tire Retail Stores, where I sold, purchased, advertised and delivered appliances for three years. I feel like the appliance industry is like the Hotel California — ‘You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.’ Atleast that’s the way it played out for me for the last 54 years.” 

Buntyn’s successor, Loren Atchley, who has been training under Harry for the past few months, has now officially assumed the Region Manager post. “It was phenomenal that Harry stayed on and took so much time to work with me and bring me up to speed,” he said. “I am so grateful for the insight he has given me, and I’m really excited to be taking the baton from him with such great momentum.”

See: Meet the South Atlantic Region’s New Manager

Buntyn’s favorite part of the job has always been working directly with the members and supporting them in any way they needed. “The most satisfying thing for me is to see them take some of the tools that we give them and seeing that it really made a big difference in their businesses,” he said.

Longtime friend and colleague Bill Pleasants Sr., who hired Buntyn more than 20 years ago, put it this way: “His dedication to the independent dealer really impressed me. We thought he would do a great job at that time, and boy he really has.” Over the years, Pleasants — a principal of Plaza Appliance Mart and a former BrandSource president — became close friends with Buntyn, as they share much of the same business philosophy and dedication to helping dealers stay in business and remain competitive.

Buntyn with longtime friend and colleague Bill Pleasants Sr. at the recent AVB Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The official announcement that Buntyn was stepping down and moving on was made during a presentation at the recent AVB Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Buntyn was touched by the tribute and reflected on his tenure with the group. “I was tremendously humbled and honored to be recognized for my service,” he said. “Over the years I’ve been a part of the tremendous growth of this group. I have continued to work so long because I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work.”

He added, “It really feels like you are making a difference every day here.”

As for the future, Buntyn has no major plans beyond playing more golf, working in the yard a bit, and enjoying some travel.

YourSource and the extended BrandSource family wish Harry well as he pivots from chasing dealers to chasing golf balls.

BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress, and CE dealers.

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