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VSDA Creates Autonomous Branch for Indies

29 Mar, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

The Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) is organizing an autonomous branch of the trade group devoted entirely to independent video retailers, VSDA president Bo Andersen announced today alongside a contingent of VSDA members.

The new “I Group” will have its own board of directors separate from the VSDA board and a dedicated staff.

Mark Vrieling will serve as the interim chairman of the group, dubbed iGroup in its beta phase.

Andersen called it a “bellwether day” for the trade organization, which has often faced concerns over the past few years that the VSDA has forsaken its charter mission as the advocate for the independent retailer.

“In many respects, today the VSDA is returning to its roots,” Andersen said.

Slightly less than half the yearly VSDA budget will go to the newly formed group, Andersen said.

The VSDA will allocate 75 percent of dues from independent specialty retailers to the new group, as well as 25 percent of associate dues, 50 percent of revenue from trade events and 50 percent of investment income. And iGroup will likely have three to four dedicated staff members, Andersen said, once budget details are hammered out.

The idea sprang out of an informal gathering of committed independent retailers who worked alongside the VSDA to organize the new branch.

iGroup's main goals are simple, Vrieling said: to boost the bottom line for current IVRs and to excite new and lapsed membership. The iGroup's board of trustees is made up of current VSDA board members Vrieling (chair), Terri Schumacher (vice chair/secretary), Todd Zaganiacz (treasurer), Adrian Hickman, David Batten, Martha Sims, Tom Warren, Nick Novakovich and Kathy Slocum, as well as Ken Dorrance, who is not currently serving on the VSDA board.

The name is likely to change as board members survey their fellow video retailers. The group will work to develop a network of indie retailers, and create and implement educational support to help the independent video retailer market carve out its share of the thriving home entertainment market, iGroup organizers said.

The group will be announcing specific programs and plans between now and the VSDA Convention in July.

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