AVB’s Andy Kriege Closes a Chapter

…and begins a new one

By Alan Wolf, YSN

The current issue of YourSource magazine sadly marks the final edition for its founding publisher Andy Kriege.

AVB’s longtime GM of communications has put down his writing pad to plow new pastures after dutifully serving BrandSource for nearly a decade.

His main focus was keeping members in the loop, beginning with the 2015 launch of YourSource by his Wisconsin-based publishing business. Four years later, the now full-time AVB GM led the expansion of the franchise with the birth of YSN and its four weekly newsletter editions, while juggling myriad duties behind the scenes.

Across both printed and digital pages, Andy informed, entertained and touched the industry with heartwarming profiles and slice-of-life sagas of dealers, vendors, suppliers and staffers. In the process, he forged close bonds with his readers that reflected his respect for and commitment to the independent entrepreneur.

The Voice of AVB

“He truly was the voice of AVB and its members,” said his boss, COO Dave Meekings. “Not only was his production first rate, but he sincerely cared for and understood our members, which allowed him to truly tell their stories.

“We’re sad to see Andy go,” Meekings added, “but are incredibly happy we had him on board for the last nine years. In that time he laid the foundation for AVB to communicate to members and connect them to each other and the industry.”

AVB’s Communications Director Dori Easterson can attest to that firsthand, having worked for Andy’s Valley Marketing publishing company back in the day. “I am grateful that Andy brought me in to help start YourSource magazine back in 2015,” she said. His superpower, she agreed, “was building relationships with members and vendors, and he will be missed by all. It won’t be the same without him.”

Leaving a Legacy

The breadth of those relationships can be measured by the wealth of industry well wishes, including Brad Cole’s. “Andy is like one of the family at the Michigan Region,” said the principal of Cole’s Appliance & Home Furnishings and the region’s president and manager. “We looked forward to his attending our region events and then reading his write-ups on YSN. He will not only be missed for his professionalism, but more importantly we will miss his friendship.”

The sentiment was echoed by Jason Horst, VP and marketing director at Famous Tate.  “We have appreciated Andy’s years of commitment to highlighting news within our independent dealer community and making us all look good,” Horst said. “We will definitely miss his enthusiasm while bringing to light key issues that affect our businesses.

 “While we have a great relationship with so many members of the AVB team,” added Horst, “Andy was like a friend and was always interested in what was going on in our world, both personally and in our work. Thank you, Andy, for all your contributions!”

On a Summit safari with AVB’s Chad Evans.

Andy’s caring extended equally to AVB’s affiliates. “Andy has always been a welcoming face at AVB and a friend,” agreed Kara Morgan, director of marketing and member services at the New England Appliance Group (NEAG). “I looked forward to our discussions, whether member-, industry- or NEAG-related.”

Or personal.

“We always laughed and enjoyed sharing personal stories with each other,” Morgan said. “Andy took his job seriously but always remembered to add a personal touch. He will be missed greatly and is wished the best in his next adventure in life.”

The secret to his stamina.

Vendors and suppliers will also miss the Kriege connection. “I fully enjoyed getting the opportunity to work with Andy over the years,” said Missy Hodges, sales & operations buy group manager at Whirlpool Corp. “He has always been dedicated and supported our industry.  He will be missed and will do fantastic things in his new adventure.”

Sam Kuhlman, co-owner of DuPage Industries, a 67-year-old appliance installation parts provider, had this to say: “Andy has been a friendly face behind the scenes since I started with our company, going to shows, regionals and meetings. Never one to shy away from talking with members, vendors and staff, I was always amazed at how he could keep it going at the end of the day.”

“It’s hard to find anyone as genuine and caring as Andy,” Kuhlman added, “and he will be sorely missed. His one and only fault was being a Brewer’s fan, but hey, we can’t all be perfect, can we?”

No, but when it came to caring about our industry and sharing its stories, Andy came awfully close.

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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