Jon Satkowiak of The Warehouse, Cindy Conrod of TC Appliance and Nick Bondarek of Kimball’s
battle it out in the Michigan Region’s version of Jeopardy game show event at their recent gathering in Traverse City, Mich.

A: He is Michigan Region’s Jeopardy Genius
Q: Who is Brad Cole?

By Andy Kriege, YSN

The highlight of Michigan’s summer region meeting was a realistic production of the hit TV game show “Jeopardy.” The live action game of Jeopardy was the brainchild of Region Manager Brad Cole, who played the part of the late, beloved host Alex Trebeck flawlessly. The game followed the format of the TV version, including the opening and closing theme music, player introductions and three rounds of competition including Jeopardy, Double Jeopardy, and Final Jeopardy.

Three members of the Michigan Region were selected to face off live on stage:  Jon Satkowiak of The Warehouse in Mio, Cindy Conrod of TC Appliance in Sturgis and Nick Bondarek of Kimball’s Appliance in Port Huron.

The three contestants were queiried on a variety of questions related to BrandSource and Michigan Regional categories. BrandSource President Tom Bennett was on hand to adjudicate any disputes.

Cole originally put the game together for a Jeopardy-themed competition at his church. He assembled a complete stage with a scoreboard, monitors and live buzzer switches that cut each other out. “It was a fantastic experience for both the players and the audience. The room was packed, with standing room only in the back full of great people having a wonderful time,” he said.

While he did acknowledge that it was a lot of work pulling it all off, he was quick to point out “my wife Lucy, daughter Karina and son Alex were a huge help in making the event such a success.”

Conrod, of TC Appliance, said the game was not only fun, but also a bonding experience.

“We had a blast!” she said. “The Michigan Region is a close group of fun people who truly care about each other. It is always a pleasure being together. I would highly recommend that each region meeting do something that is both fun and educational. Activities like these make us come together as a group and make us stronger. Michigan Region rocks!”

Adding even more authenticity to the game, real commercials were inserted and acted out by members and vendors. That included a law firm seeking participants for a class action suit brought by retailers suffering from BACKORDERITIS.  Another hilarious commercial was for an all new Super Gorilla Glue. The skit starred board member Neil Boff and JJ Brown from GE, who found themselves in a sticky situation, proving just how sticky the new glue really is.

Satkowiak, who was the runner-up, expressed his admiration for how well the game was executed.

“I’m sure it took a lot of thought, planning and hard work to pull this off,” he said. “I think it was a real home run. I truly feel blessed to be a part of this group. We are like a large family. I couldn’t imagine being in this industry and not being a member of this group.”    

While the competition was fierce, in the end it was Bondarek of Kimball’s Appliance who outshined the others and captured the title. He not only took home the coveted trophy, but more importantly he secured undisputed bragging rights for the great state of Michigan.

Bondarek said he really enjoyed playing and appreciated the efforts of Cole and his family.

“They really put a lot of work into the game and it turned out really nice,” he said. “During all the stuffiness of COVID, it sure was some welcome fun. I had no idea what to expect, but as it turned out, I knew most of the answers.” He credited his victory to his more than 22 years in the group and paying attention at the meetings.

In the end, Conrod threw down a challenge to Bondarek. “I would love to do this again so I can take away those bragging rights from Nick,” she said. “Maybe I will sneak into his store and steal that trophy!”

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