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Buddy’s Leadership Focuses on Evolving Beyond

APRO CEO Charles Smitherman (R) chats with Buddy’s franchisee and RTOHQ: The Magazine current cover model Jerry Marshall.

Buddy’s Newco LLC dba Buddy’s Home Furnishings, held its Annual Leadership Meeting in early August in Orlando, Florida. The multi-day event, held at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, focused on “Evolving Beyond” and continuing Buddy’s growth and success.

This year’s Leadership Meeting hosted about 250 attendees and began with a meeting of Buddy’s Franchise Advisory Board. The next morning, CEO Michael Bennett led the General Session with a “State of the Union” address, followed by updates from company leaders Mitchell Lee (Franchising), Nina Shively (Purchasing), Roy Griffaw (Marketing), and Mike Zagar (Operations). APRO CEO Charles Smitherman also spoke to attendees before Bennett’s final remarks. The rest of the day comprised an energetic Vendor Show, an exciting Hot Show, and a, like, totally awesome 80’s-themed party.

“We owe our vendors a huge thank-you,” said Bennett. “By joining us and building strong relationships with our Buddy’s family, we bring the best products to our customers together.”

The following day’s Business Meeting began with Buddy’s Peak Performance Awards for top store performers, regional managers, and Store of the Year – which went to David Allen of Cookeville, Tennessee. Participants enjoyed keynote speaker Joseph Kopser, author of Catalyst: Leadership and Strategy in a Changing World, followed by a presentation from Kyle Euen of franchise business-management services company ProfitKeeper. Finally, Buddy’s Director of Training and Communication Chris Warso and Learning Management System Administrator Sarah Bennett provided a demo of training information and standard operating procedure for the company’s paperless system, as well as updates on Buddy’s University.

“Buddy’s Annual Leadership Meeting is always a highlight of the year, and this year was no different,” said Bennett. “We intentionally set aside this time to celebrate our people, inspire our team, and ‘Evolve Beyond’ into the future. It’s all about making Buddy’s better, and we’re better when we’re together!”

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