It was a night of surprises at the annual Awards Night for the VDTA-SDTA! Judy Patterson, our long-time President was inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with former Vacuum and Sewing Dealers Trade Association owner Charles Dunham (CD Management). Judy has spent her entire career serving this industry, and we could not think of anyone more deserving of this award. Congratulations Judy! And from the bottom of our hearts--Thank You!
Judy Patterson was born February 9, 1952, in Osceola, Iowa. In 1970, Judy graduated from Clark Community High School. She began working for Electronic Data Systems (EDS) in July 1972. EDS was in Des Moines, Iowa, and owned by Charles M. Dunham.
In 1980, Charles met J.R. "Dick" Beall and together they partnered to form the International Association of Floor Care and Sewing Professionals, which later became known as the Vacuum & Sewing Dealers Trade Association. This association was and still is today dedicated to supporting the independent floorcare, sewing machine/quilting supply retailers and other members of those industries around the world. The association exists to educate and promote independent dealers of home cleaning and sewing equipment to increase their market share. They promote programs designed to enable the industry to be more competitive and improve the trade.
Judy was the executive coordinator of the association and was instrumental in developing fiscal budgetary policy, meeting planning procedures and contract bidding requirements. She helped in the creation of the association's newspaper, the VDTA News (first printed in August 1981), and she helped make the first VDTA Trade Show and Convention become a reality in 1982. To thousands of vacuum and sewing dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada, the VDTA was a dream come true. They finally had an organization they could turn to for help and information. In 1996, Judy was appointed as president of the association upon the death of Mr. Beall. In her new position, Judy oversaw the association's finances, contract negotiations with the organization's suppliers, advertisers, and convention facilities, and she assumed the position of managing editor of the VDTA News: Floor Care & Sewing Professionals.
Judy was deeply dedicated to independent vacuum and sewing dealers. Her tireless efforts and commitment gave rise to many programs designed to help everyone in the vacuum cleaner and sewing machine business become more successful. She helped foster an atmosphere of cooperation between and among dealers, distributors, and manufacturers. Judy was continually initiating the growth of the association by launching venues to further education within the industry. She grew the winter conventions while starting regional summer conventions in locations that rotated around the United States and Canada. During the conventions, she coordinated keynote speakers, top-notch seminars, workshops, and stage demonstrations led by industry leaders. She organized a model store of the future, set up town hall meetings, new product showcases, as well as top-notch entertainment, door prizes and raffles. She also started yearly Sew Fun Cruises and organized Round Bobbin Sewing & Quilting Expos throughout the United States.
Judy's mission was to join dealers together so they would have the opportunity to share secrets of the trade and accomplish their goals. She helped members receive education related to changes and progress in the industry and gave them avenues to learn new ways to meet their daily challenges. Judy strived to preserve, encourage, and support the value of the independent vacuum and sewing machine dealer until she retired in March of 2020. She has earned the honor of being included in the VDTA Hall of Fame.
Mike and Judy Patterson at the 2021 VDTA-SDTA Awards Night. A special thanks goes to Mike for making sure Judy got to the show!! And Thank You for your help over all these years at VDTA-SDTA.
Judy gives a heartfelt message to the members in attendance. Not a dry eye in the room!
And....several of the industry suppliers gave impromptu gifts as a Thank You! So many expressed their gratitude for all that Judy has done to help build VDTA-SDTA.