Kathie Giorgi of Frank DeClemente’s received her company’s second Dealer of the Year Award at Convention 2023.

Kathie Giorgi continues her dad’s legacy

YSN Staff

BrandSource member Kathie Giorgi is the owner of Frank DeClemente’s, the Cranston, R.I.-based appliance business founded by her father Frank in the 1970s. The winner of two BrandSource Dealer of the Year Awards, the company continues to embrace the credo established by her late dad of “treating customers the way you would want to be treated.”

Giorgi recently spoke about her company and career path and offered some advice for young women just starting out.

How long have you been with Frank DeClemente’s?

Forty-one years.

Why did you decide to join your dad’s business?

I was an elementary school teacher on summer break. My dad asked me to fill in for a vacationing employee. Thus began my participation in the appliance business on a part-time basis, working after teaching and on Saturdays. 

What do you love about your job?

First, I love helping customers choose appliances for their dream kitchens. Second, I love the challenge each day brings and feeling at the end of the day that it was a good one. 

What do you see in the future for Frank DeClemente’s?

To continue being known for excellent customer service, attention to detail and caring attitudes, and continued success. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

No matter how difficult a problem is, take a minute to assess and remember, tomorrow’s another day. 

What’s a change or improvement you’d like to see in our industry?

I would like to see women recognized as owners of appliance businesses and being successful at it.

What’s your proudest accomplishment and why?

My father died suddenly in January 2004. Although he and I had talked of my one day taking a more active role, I was suddenly thrust into running the business. I am extremely proud that the business has been able to maintain a strong presence in the community and has done well.

Being honored as the North Atlantic Region’s Dealer of the Year, 20 years after my father was honored as the first Dealer of the Year in the Northeast, had be one of my proudest moments. 

If you couldn’t be in the career you’re in, what would you do instead?

I would probably be involved in education. 

What advice would you give a young woman starting out, especially in a male-dominated field like appliance retail?

First and foremost, always believe in yourself. You can succeed at whatever you set as your goal!

What three things would you pack if you were going to spend a year on a deserted island?

My family, a bathing suit and plenty of pina coladas!

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

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