Roger Kimbrell started in the vacuum industry with The Hoover Company in 1958. In 1961 he left Hoover, joining FedWay Department Stores selling vacuum cleaners and major appliances. Following FedWay, Roger joined the Black and Decker company in their field sales department. While at Black and Decker, Roger became a partner with his brother, Gerald, in the opening of Amarillo Vacuum. In 1967, Black and Decker transferred Roger from Texas to Omaha, NE, and he sold his half of Amarillo Vacuum to his brother. Roger spent a year in Omaha and decided he wanted to get back into the vacuum industry. He resigned his position with Black and Decker, and formed a partnership with Lonnie Duncan in Oklahoma City at Oklahoma Vacuum Co. In 1972, he returned to Texas in partnership with Gerald, his brother, operating American Vacuum Co. in Dallas.
In 1974 Roger bought Gerald out, and through his leadership, American Vacuum grew to five retail outlets — all in the greater Dallas area. In 1988, Roger sold American Vacuum and joined his brother, Gerald, at ProLine Distributors where he traveled North Texas and Oklahoma.
In 1992, Roger joined the staff of the VDTA as associate executive director in Des Moines, IA. Then, in 1994, Roger rejoined ProLine Distributors as an independent territory sales representative, returning to his first love of selling vacuum cleaners and visiting with the many friends in the industry he has made over the years.
Roger consistently presents sales seminars at the annual VDTA Conventions in Las Vegas and at the summer conventions. He has supported the independent dealer network by sharing his knowledge during the conventions for the past 20 years. His seminars have been called “legendary” because he shares the basics of what dealers need to do in order to be successful. He shares the basics that build exceptional futures.
Over and above Roger’s superior product knowledge and work ethics, he is truly committed to helping the independent vacuum dealer network take their business to a higher level. He supports the VDTA whenever he has the opportunity, always talking about the merits of being a member. He has served graciously as a member of the VDTA Advisory Board of Directors, always contributing ideas for improvement and betterment of the industry.
Over the years, Roger has redefined and reshaped dealerships, turning the old time “vac shack” into floor care professionals. He has shown great leadership in bringing protected lines to his dealers, and following up with sales ideas and store upgrades. All he expects in return is for the dealers to be fair, honest, and make a good living.
Roger is active in his community as well. He is a very active and loyal member of the Bolivar Baptist Church in Sanger, TX. His list of contributions and service work within his church is lengthy. In all of his endeavors, Roger makes a deep impact thanks to his dedication, generosity, energy and passion.
2004 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee