APRO member TRIB Group‘s annual Meeting of the Minds and 40th Anniversary Celebration, held in late February in Atlanta, Georgia, was an unforgettable experience for all attendees. Over the course of four days, TRIB members gathered in the city where the buying group was founded to take part in a wide range of events, including a tour of Truist Stadium, discussion sessions, a Hot Show, a record-setting trade show, mechanical bull riding, and plenty of networking.
TRIB Group Executive Director Dennis Shields expressed his delight at marking such an important milestone for the group in its hometown, saying, “Atlanta is our hometown, so it’s a pleasure being here to celebrate our 40th anniversary.”
The weekend kicked off Saturday afternoon with a full-to-capacity, behind-the-scenes private tour of Truist Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves.
Sunday, the first full day of activities, started off with TRIB’s annual membership meeting, followed by discussion sessions. Participants engaged in lively presentations on a variety of topics, including All About Club Programs, Getting Your Word Out!, Smart Technologies, State of the Appliance Industry, and Store Audits. After lunch, a special session offered members an opportunity to connect with peers to discuss and resolve specific business challenges.
The Hot Show at the Battery on Sunday evening was a big hit as always, with participants bidding on specials showcased on a wall of screens. TRIB Group employee Karl Wicker was honored during the Hot Show for his 19 years of service to the industry; Wicker is approaching retirement, when he and his wife will move to Arizona to spend more time with their four grandchildren. The high Hot Show energy continued with an after-party at PBR Atlanta, where attendees enjoyed food, drinks, and mechanical bull riding!
Monday began with a special membership meeting. APRO President Michael Bennett, CEO of Buddy’s Newco LLC dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings, provided an APRO update, and invited TRIB Group board members and staff to the stage for a champagne toast to 40 years of the organization.
“We want to toast TRIB and all its work in supporting the RTO industry,” said Bennett. “Wishing you more success in the future, and all the best for your organization and its members! Cheers!”
The membership meeting continued with the presentation of TRIB member awards. Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners.
- Top Gun Award – Ashley Furniture
- Rising Star Award – Leopard Mobility
- Soaring Eagle Award – Affordable Furniture
- Rookie of the Year – Dialectic
- John D. Blair Hall of Honor Inductee – Kevin Silvers, New Generations King of Promotions
- Lowry Shrader People’s Choice Award – Alex Rindone, O’Rourke Sales Co.
- James B. Baber Vendor’s Choice Award – Pam Lowers, Bestway Rentals
- Norman W. “Slats” Slatton Sr. President’s Award – Mark and Zale Kohler, Woodville Rental
- Executive Club – Nektova, O’Rourke Sales Co., RES Marketing, and Whirlpool
After additional discussion sessions, the trade show opened with a networking lunch with show exhibitors. This year’s trade show was TRIB’s largest yet, with more exhibitors occupying more square footage on the show floor than ever before.
Tuesday started with a TRIB Group member breakfast and product discussion, providing highlights and product discovery from the exhibit hall floor. Finally, the event wrapped up with a second day at the exhibit hall, featuring special deals for members making purchases that last day.
Congratulations to TRIB Group for 40 years of supporting the RTO industry – here’s to many more years of success!