The BrandSource Leadership Conference Dec. 6-8, 2017, in Scottsdale, Arizona, brought together representatives from all 16 of the buying group’s regions, plus The Rental Industry Buying Group (TRIB) and ProSource divisions.
The Tustin, California-based organization’s annual event offered information sessions, product presentations and networking opportunities. It also raised $75,000 for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The amount was more than double the previous year’s donation.
At the show, a rotation of the buying group’s vendors made presentations and unveiled new product lines and pricing programs. BrandSource members were able to talk directly with vendors and work on strategies for the next quarter.
Top-of-the-line Radio Flyer wagons—with cushioned seats, Bluetooth speakers, monster tires and canopies—were used to deliver vendor-provided refreshments to BrandSource members during the rotation and then were donated to Toys for Tots.
Jim Ristow, chief executive officer of BrandSource and its parent company, Associated Volume Buyers Inc., also gave a state of the union address on what the group accomplished in 2017 and what to expect in the first quarter of this year.
In a team-building event, participants were divided into their respective regions to compete in a pizzeria challenge. They had to try their hand at dough throwing and pie making, designing a pizza delivery box, and creating a 60-second commercial for their imaginary restaurant. Teams also were judged on the quality of their pizzas. The Greater Midwest Region won with its “island surprise” pizza topped with pineapple, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and fresh tomatoes. For their win, they took home gift cards and a pizza recipe book.
The announcement of the Toys for Tots donation was a big moment for those at the event, especially Marine Lance Cpl. Sam Decker, who addressed the gathering. “We are so grateful to organizations like BrandSource that make it a priority to help us care for people who need a little extra, especially during the Christmas season,” he said. “Thank you so much for this incredible gift.”