Name: Nicole Riddle
Job Title: District Manager
Years in the Industry: 8
Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Name: Nicole Riddle
Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021
Describe your current role.
I am a district manager for the largest buying group in the country. I cover the Midwest territory of members and partner with manufacturers on increasing sales.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being a Mom to my 13-year-old son, Brady! Work life – I am most proud of connecting members with other members who have formed lifelong friendships that go beyond networking and business-to-business relationships.
What do you like best about your job?
No day is ever the same. ProSource has over 80 programs with the leading vendor partners in the CI industry — I have learned a multitude of things on categories I was not familiar with, and now am able to consult on. I love that our group is a family, from the members to the vendors to the ProSource team. We always have each other’s backs and are empowered to steer our own ships.
What technology are you most excited about at the moment?
Lighting!! Lighting in general has been a hot topic — consumers are noticing “bad and good” lighting in restaurants, hotels and, most importantly, their homes. This is a space our members/integrators can easily move into and profit from. Dealers can start with tape lighting in theaters, under cabinets and on stairs — to down lighting — landscape lighting. Especially right now, coming out of the pandemic, consumers are continuing to invest in their home, and lighting is top of the list!
Who in the CE or technology industry do you look up to, and why?
Two people – my Dad, whose career has mostly been in the appliance industry but has taught me that people are people, and no matter what degree or thing you are the best at, the art of humans and listening to what people need is the most important skill you can have. And my boss, who always is in my corner. I have worked for him for eight years and he is the boss you would always hope to have at some point in your career — one who gives you tough love and teaches you the way, then lets you fly on your own. A boss who pushes you outside your comfort zone because he believes in you. I wouldn’t be anywhere near the employee I am without him.
What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
Find a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you think are dumb. Take risks and be confident.
What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
Innovation. Dealers not being afraid of change, being nimble and embracing new categories — for example, lighting, lighting control, and shades. Creating a one-stop shop for their clients — to be able to provide total solutions for the home — and providing them with brands that make it easy.