If you asked a few kids to name their favorite things, odds are that most of them would put toys and pizza at the top of the list. BrandSource wrapped both of those things together for an exciting and meaningful event at its Leadership Conference, held Dec. 6-8 in Scottsdale.
As part of the ever-popular team-building exercise held during the annual Leadership Conference, BrandSource raises money for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation and this year exceeded everyone’s expectations by bringing in $75,000 for the organization – more than double last year’s gift. This is the second year BrandSource has had the privilege of being one of Toys for Tots’ one-star partners.
The Leadership Conference brings together representatives from all 16 BrandSource regions plus TRIB, The Rental Industry Buying Group, and ProSource divisions as well as BrandSource vendors from across the industry. Over two days, BrandSource region members heard presentations by a rotation of vendors who unveiled new product lines and pricing programs. It was a great opportunity for members to talk directly with vendors and work on strategies for the next quarter.
BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow also spoke to members in a “state of the union” address, filling them in on what’s been accomplished this year, what to expect for the first quarter of next year and giving members a chance to voice any issues or questions they have regarding the group. It’s a valuable opportunity for members from every region to be heard, and is always well-received.
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.
The highlight of the Leadership Conference was, as always, the team-building event. This time, region representatives competed to make the best pizza in a comprehensive challenge: contestants had to try their hand at old-fashioned dough-throwing, make the pizzas, design their own pizza delivery boxes and create a 60-second commercial for their imaginary pizzeria.
Each team was judged on the taste of their pizza and the Greater Midwest Region won with its “Island Surprise” pizza with pineapple, pepperoni, Canadian bacon and fresh tomatoes. For their win, they took home prizes of 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 spoke to the group about the organization and the importance of donors such as BrandSource.
“We are so grateful to organizations like BrandSource, who make it a priority to help us care for people who need a little extra, especially during the Christmas season,” said Decker. “Thank you so much for this incredible gift.”
The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation was founded in 1947 by Marine Reserve Major Bill Hendricks to provide toys for kids at Christmas. According to Toys for Tots, the organization gave out 18 million toys to 7 million children in the last year.