Aurora, Ohio — As Baby Boomers retire and shopping patterns of consumers evolve, it’s more important than ever for showrooms to effectively recruit and retain a new generation of employees.
During the 2019 LPG Spring Expo, Executive Director Jeff MacDowell announced that a special interest group for young leaders was being formed. Since then Jessica Schussler, Showroom Manager of Lion Plumbing Supply / The Kitchen + Bath Design Studio, has been actively building interest in the group and engaging with other volunteers as they discuss goals and potential directives. A core group of member volunteers have been developing a mission statement and identifying both short- and long-term initiatives.
They’ve also chosen to rebrand the official name — to NextGen.
“After organizing our thoughts and evaluating the type of impact and awareness we want to create, we’ve decided that NextGen best reflects our values,” Schussler commented. “Ultimately, we are starting a dialogue that will be the voice of our generation and are building a bridge that improves the level of communication and understanding between our generation and others.”
Additionally, NextGen’s FLEX (Future Leaders and Entrepreneurs Exchange) program will provide unparalleled networking opportunities between both members and vendors.
“Millennials on the vendor side have also expressed interest in being part of this group,” said Schussler, “and we welcome insight from their perspectives. It’s all about encouraging idea sharing and promoting education that will help participants grow individually while positively impacting our showrooms and workplaces as well.
“Together, we want to forge a strong foundation for NextGen that will be relevant to our generation and those who follow. Our messaging will emphasize the advantages of making this industry a career, the opportunities ahead for decorative showrooms and our partners, and the great value that being part of LPG brings to all of us.”
LPG’s MacDowell also expressed his support and the need for this forward-thinking group.
“This is a time of rapid change for showrooms and the retail environment,” MacDowell said. “It’s more important than ever for our collective futures to have an engaged collection of young leaders who are open to sharing ideas and focused on elevating Luxury Products Group and all of its parties.”
Luxury Products Group was created in 2009 by the members of Omni Corporate Services Ltd. Inc., which is now IMARK Plumbing. The original goals for LPG were to be the avenue for showroom members to share ideas and solutions that will enhance their businesses and give them an opportunity to partner with highly respected decorative plumbing and lighting vendors. LPG has become the most award-winning decorative buying group in the U.S. and earned a reputation for developing innovative initiatives that strengthen its members’ and vendors’ businesses. Now a vertical within IMARK Plumbing, LPG showrooms are capitalizing on opportunities and demand from their local markets for true luxury plumbing and lighting lines available from the group’s vendors around the globe.