Region members join forces for fall meeting

By Andy Kriege, YSN

Members of BrandSource’s Pacific Rim Region convened in Napa Valley earlier this month to learn, collaborate and celebrate in a picturesque, postcard-like setting in the heart of California’s wine country. 

Besides deep-dive training sessions on digital marketing and HUB, attendees received industry updates from major vendors as well as the latest economic and marketplace reports.

A highlight of the event was a visit to the nearby Signature Kitchen Suite Experience & Design Center. As outgoing region president and Bedroom Express principal Ira Fruitman recounted, “The experience at the LG venue was profound, memorable and unforgettable. The facility had multiple chefs preparing an endless variety of delicious food, and I found myself having a new appreciation for LG and its Signature Kitchen Suite.”

Attendees tour the LG facility.

Back at the region meeting, representatives from Samsung, Whirlpool, Speed Queen, GE, Tempur Sealy, Serta Simmons, R&B Wholesale, Citi & TD were well prepared, interesting and informative, Fruitman said. “We covered a lot of ground over the three days,” he noted. “We had super participation from all of those in attendance who had many great questions for our vendor sponsors. It was very productive.”

Past Pac Rim president Mark Pardini of Pardini Appliance & Mattress concurred. “It was one of the best region meetings we have ever had,” he said. “Attendance was great and all the presentations were spot on and relevant to the current business environment.”

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Citi’s Mike Nigro did Kenny G proud with his saxophone serenade.

Dinner on the final night was served on a gorgeous hilltop setting overlooking the Napa Valley vineyards, all set to an unexpected musical serenade. As Fruitman recalled, “As I walked up the hill to the dinner, I heard some great saxophone music but couldn’t really tell where it was coming from. Then I realized it was one of our very own, Mike Nigro from Citi.  We were all treated to world-class views, great music and a well-prepared dinner. It was awesome in every way.”

Topping it all off was a surprise birthday celebration for Fruitman by his Pac Rim friends. “As far as birthday’s go, that was way more than I could have asked for,” he said. “I am very blessed to have such a wonderful family here in this buying group.”

Outgoing Pac Rim President Ira Fruitman, right, receives a birthday surprise.

He added, “I would like to thank the dealers who took time from their busy schedules to attend the meeting, the vendors who helped support the meeting as well as the support from AVB BrandSource that made it happen.”

Newly-elected Pac Rim President Cameron Illingworth of Urner’s will succeed Fruitman in January and begin his three-year term in office.

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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