wogan s. badcock, jr.
As president of the Florida company founded by his great-grandfather, Wogan S. "Wogie" Badcock, Jr. (b. 1932 d.1996) paved the way for extensive growth and innovation in the retail furniture industry. During his 30-year tenure with W.S. Badcock Corporation, Mr. Badcock honored the company's tradition of excellence while modernizing and improving business processes. A targeted marketing strategy, combined with a mix of affordable, quality furniture, and easy in-store Badcock terms made it possible for average, working class citizens to afford attractive home furnishings. Mr. Badcock expanded the chain to more than 300 stores throughout the Southeast, providing entrepreneurial opportunities for more than 200 associate dealers in six states. He also built three additional distribution centers to serve the stores and the company's nearly 200,000 in-store credit account customers.
Mr. Badcock successfully incorporated new concepts while maintaining the family-like atmosphere of the company. To foster the connection with both corporate employees and associate dealers, he created the company newsletter, the W.S. BeeLine, which is still published today. He also oversaw the computerization of billing procedures, records and inventory systems and the production of the company's first merchandise catalog. To position the company as a leading furniture retailer, he emphasized advertising including the company's television sponsorship of the George Jones and Tammy Wynette Show. He later recruited musician Mel Tillis as a spokesperson, and also encouraged the company's sponsorship of the Winston Cup Car # 12.
From an early age, Mr. Badcock's civic and community involvement reflected a commitment to youth and education. He was a trustee for the Lakeland YMCA, a lifetime member of the Florida Boys Ranch and initial endower of the Lakeland Boys and Girls Club. He served on the boards of Florida Southern College, the University of South Florida and Polk Community College. Mr. Badcock partnered with other Lakeland area businesses to form the Polk Education Foundation & Business Partnership to support the school system, and he worked with the Southern Scholarship Foundation to provide rent-free housing to qualified students at select Florida universities. "Badcock will treat you right" has been the corporation's slogan since its inception; Mr. Badcock truly lived up to the motto, both in his career and his personal life.