Ja-Mar co-owner Shauna Runkle, right, hoisting a Leadership Conference championship belt with
Mid-America Region President Crystal Brewer

Shauna Runkle’s Ja-Mar TV was tops in a People’s Choice competition

By Alan Wolf and Andy Kriege, YSN

BrandSource member Shauna Runkle has many reasons to be proud.

Besides running a successful business with her husband Jim and dad Troy Rose, their company — Ja-Mar TV Appliance & Bedding of Portland, Ind. — had its community standing validated in a recent People’s Choice awards competition.

According to The Commercial Review, the award-winning area newspaper that conducted the contest, Ja-Mar not only took top honors in the appliances category, but also captured more votes than any other county business, spanning 39 different categories.

But the tally shouldn’t come as a surprise, given Runkle’s transparency with customers and her can-do attitude. “If I say, ‘Here’s the price,’ then here’s the price,” she said in a 2019 profile in YourSource magazine. “We’re up front, and it’s worked very well for us. And on service, our guys know their stuff.”

The loyalty she’s engendered within the community was demonstrated long before the newspaper poll, when a tornado ripped the roof off her warehouse four years ago and the townspeople helped move her inventory out of the driving rain to the safety of the showroom. “I bet I ended up with 30 people,” Runkle told YourSource. “People who just stopped by and helped us move stuff. People brought food. A restaurant sent employees to help.”

One year later, when inventory was scarce during the pandemic, Runkle paid it forward by sharing a rare shipment of freestanding freezers with her fellow Mid-America Region dealers. “Anything I can do to help another member,” she explained. “I want all of us to succeed.”

As she did Ja-Mar, when the company, founded by grandparents Jack and Mariana Payne in 1970, was facing a crossroads. Following back-to-back tragedies in 2000 — the loss of her mom Kris and a devastating fire — her dad was ready to call it quits. Runkle had recently returned to Portland from a finance career in Indianapolis to raise a family and at the time had no intention of minding the store. “But my dad literally looked at me and said, ‘Either you come in full time or I’m closing up,” Runkle recalled. The rest, as they say, is history, or in this case, herstory.

“Ja-Mar has been a part of my family since I was very little,” she told YourSource. “It’s very important to me to keep my family’s legacy going. I hope that my grandparents and mom are watching down on us with pride and a smile, knowing that we are continuing what they started.”

YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.

Upcoming Events