We had the chance recently to sit down with BrandSource chief executive officer, Jim Ristow, as he explains the power behind the annual Leadership Conference.
What is the Leadership Conference?
“Once a year, we get the leadership team and the BrandSource region boards together. They all fly in for the conference. This year we hosted in Sacramento, where our AVB Marketing offices are located. We have region boards, made up of a board of directors. All of the members of the board are BrandSource members. They conduct business within their regions and help to develop and encourage members in their regions.”
How is business conducted at the Leadership Conference?
“Our senior leadership team has a national board meeting first and then we have the region boards come in after. Each board has their designated room and meet there along with participating key vendors. They have high-level discussions about what is happening with that specific vendor and what is happening with the region. The senior leadership team floats between those meetings as well as the marketing team. Once those rotations are done, there is a general session address with a year to date update from me and John White for the marketing team.”
Why is the Leadership Conference such an important member event?
“Members will tell you this is their favorite event of the year. It is a time to connect in a face to face, two-way dialogue between BrandSource and the region boards, and vendors and the region boards. It is truly designed to empower the region boards to improve their team on the local level back home.”
What are the major benefits of the Leadership Conference?
“Leadership is all about helping our members do better business. Members get exposure to high-ranking vendors and people in the community that typically would not be coming into their store. Vendors also love this event because they have the chance to meet with dozens of members in a 2-day period. It really helps members and vendors understand the industry in a short period of time. Leadership provides the best local feedback and ability to talk with the key influencers around the country in a 2-day period of time.”
Why was Leadership hosted in Sacramento this year?
“In the past, we have hosted the Leadership Conference in Arizona, however, this year we wanted to make a change for the benefit of our members. Sacramento is where our AVB Marketing office is located. Our national board truly wanted our members to get the chance to see the facility and really understand the marketing company. This aspect of the business is so important to member success.”
To wrap-up, Jim commented, “The Leadership Conference is a year in review for BrandSource and its members. We focus on what happened this year and what the plans are for the year ahead. It is so important for us to help members focus on their future business plans. Leadership gives them the chance to learn about the industry and prepare for a prosperous new year.”