GE Appliances’s Lindsey Freibert (left) is on top of the world, commemorating her 40th birthday with a run to an Arizona mountain top with sister Sara.
This Woman in Business loves working, helping others and horsing around a bit
By Andy Kriege, YSN
Lindsey Freibert’s career at GE Appliances (GEA) began rather inauspiciously. Her second day on the job was the first day of BrandSource’s March 2020 Summit, the exact moment the pandemic began to shut down the world.
“Even though my start with GEA was a bit rocky, it’s been like a homecoming for me,” she said. “I started my career in the appliance industry in 2006. I then left for several years to try my hand at numerous other things, but always yearned to come back. As corny as it sounds, coming back to the appliance world has been a dream come true for me.”
Freibert’s early career endeavors took her far away from what she values most — being close to her extended family back home in Louisville, Ky. “I was gone from my hometown for almost 20 years and came back when the loss of a close friend reminded me that we aren’t promised tomorrow,” she said. “I come from a close family, so being close to them and spending time with them is important to me.”
Freibert’s official title at GEA is national account sales director-retail, but she works exclusively with BrandSource members. Her duties include planning and executing in-person events, along with coordinating closely with the AVB merchandising and marketing teams. In addition, she also visits dealers on-site to get a better understanding of their business needs and challenges. “I love the diversity of the interactions I have,” Freiberg said. “I learn something new every day.”
Running Like Crazy
As if her job doesn’t keep her running around enough, Freibert spends her spare time … you guessed it, running. She runs four or five times a week for a total of about 25 miles, and is also a coach/mentor for local runners training for upcoming races. “If you’ve spent five minutes around me, I’ve probably talked to you about running,” she said. “I’m slightly obsessed with my pastime, but I assure you I will never make the Olympic team!”
Leaving a Little Time to Horse Around
Freibert’s equestrian fascination is a product of her Kentucky roots. “I began riding at age 4 on the backside of Churchill Downs. When you’re from Kentucky, riding horses is kind of a requirement,” she said.
Not afraid to get dirty or perspire, she volunteers to help maintain the 35 miles of trails on the farm where she boards her horse, Pronto. “On Labor Day, when everyone else is headed to the beach for one last summer fling, I will probably be out in the woods clearing brush off the trails with a chainsaw,” Freibert said.
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Women in Business Involvement
Freibert recalled stumbling upon an AVB Women in Business (WiB) event while attending that first BrandSource show. “I remember vividly running into a group of women heading into a book club for WiB as I was heading off to a meeting,” she said. “I made a note in the back of my mind that I needed to track down one of those women and find out what the group was all about.”
Later that day she attended the Summit General Session where her colleague Mary Putnam, GEA’s VP of marketing, received the WiB Cornerstone award. “I watched those women on stage speak so highly of Mary, and was so moved I began openly weeping next to my new boss.”
Witnessing the support the WiB members had for one another convinced Freiberg that she needed to be involved with the group. “That day made such an impact on me that it still gives me chills thinking about how blessed I am to be a part of this women’s group,” she said.
Since then, Freibert has attended nearly every WiB event and has taken inspiration and practical knowledge from every session. “The speakers have been great, although the biggest takeaway has been the connections I’ve made with the amazing women in this community,” she said. “I am consistently in awe of these women, who I am now blessed to know and call my friends.”
Kelsey Hinton, a principal at John’s Appliance & Bedding in Dayton, Fla., knows Freibert well. “Lindsey represents GE with a consummate professionalism and the kind of flawless ease you can only be born with,” she said. “She has an infectious joy in what she does, and it is evident that she is kind and cares. She is an inspiration to other women in the appliance industry and a pleasure for anyone to know.”
YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.