Industry executives including David Ackery are mourning the loss of Noel Gericevich who has been described as “one of nature’s gentlemen”.

Noel’s history in the industry started with Archie Martin & Sons in Perth as a salesman. The business subsequently became Archie Martin Vox as part of the merger where Noel progressed to national buyer for consumer goods and was based in the Perth and later Brisbane head offices.

He returned to Perth as Philips state manager in the early 1990s and was instrumental in the process of Philips moving into the Hytek Marketing group as an agency line, where Noel was a partner in this division alongside his good friend and colleague Les McCarthy for 19 years.

“This was a very successful period for Philips in the WA market,” McCarthy told Appliance Retailer.

“Noel was the definition of the consummate professional. He did exactly what he said he would do and the stores from top to bottom loved Noel for it.

“He gave everything he had to every task with a genuine and positive commitment. He fought his battle with cancer for over two and a half years. He will be sorely missed by the industry and personally. Even in the last two years we discussed business every day as Noel’s input was always valued,” McCarthy said.

Harvey Norman executive director, David Ackery told Appliance Retailer he first worked with Noel when he was working at Panasonic and he was the ‘browngoods’ buyer for Vox when Brian Coppin’s company took over Chandlers in the 1980s.

“I have known Noel for over 35 years and he was one of the most genuine people I have met. When I was the proprietor for Harvey Norman at Osborne Park – I also worked with Noel when he was with Philips.

“He was one of nature’s gentleman and if Noel said he was going to do something – it was done.

“I don’t remember anyone having a bad word to say abut Noel – but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t stand his ground in a negotiation – he always remained calm when sharing his point of view.

“He was a hard worker who would be in a store one day representing the brand and then the next day he would be in some of the franchised stores working on sale events – as this is what the industry would be about. It was a different time and a different era in those days, whereas these days it has become extremely transactional.

“The one thing that hasn’t changed in this industry is that people still do business with people and despite the numerous mechanisms that are now in place, customers are still purchasing from people and Noel was the epitome and best example of this in our industry.”

Noel is survived by his wife Leonie, three children and eight grandchildren.