Nationwide Marketing Group is saddened to learn of the recent passing of a longtime friend and partner of the organization William Ward. Bill, who passed on March 22, had a long and storied retail career that began at an Austin Dillard’s store and ultimately saw Bill and his sons become vendor partners of Nationwide through their CMIC Data firm. CMIC is a retail consulting group that specializes in appliances and consumer electronics.
Here is more about Bill:
William Ellis Ward, age 82, passed away on Monday, March 22, 2021 at home in San Antonio with his family by his side. He was a devoted husband to his wife Carol; father to sons William, Robert, and Matthew; and grandfather to Olivia and Hava.
Bill began his 30-year retail career at the Austin Dillard’s Department Store, which was the first Dillard’s Department Store in the country. He was subsequently transferred to Tulsa and then Dallas. In Dallas, after 13 years with Dillard’s, he began working with Federated Department Stores. The next move was to Shreveport where he was the Vice President of SR Superstores, a chain of appliance and electronic stores, and helped to expand the chain of stores into East Texas.
“Retiring” at age 55 in Colorado Springs, Bill became a consultant for the appliance/electronic industry. In the early 1990’s he quickly realized an opportunity to streamline the retail merchandising process by developing a software/database company, CMIC Consulting, and selling the system to independent dealers through Nationwide Buying Group. Two sons, Rob and Matthew, currently manage the company.
Having fallen in love with the majestic beauty of the San Juan Mountains, Bill and Carol built their summer home near Lake City, Colorado, three miles from the Continental Divide and from the headwaters of the Rio Grande River on the western slope. Family and friends enjoyed many years of relaxing next to the sounds of Wager Creek, building campfires to roast hot dogs, hiking and jeeping along the Alpine Loop, and the fishing and wildlife of the area.
Another passion was a lifelong love for history. Sitting at his grandmother’s knee and hearing her tell stories of their family life in Mexico as members of the Blalock Mexico Colony, he was inspired to research and document this little known story of American emigration from Oklahoma to Chamal, Mexico in the early 1900’s. As a result of his research and the power of the internet, he was able to discover current descendants of the original colonists who met for yearly reunions, a number living here in San Antonio, and to share his work with theirs. Many close friends were made over the last 20 years through the Blalock Mexico Colony reunion organization.
Bill always gave much credit to the community of Alamo Heights in which he was born, raised and educated and the many friendships that have endured over time. Born on Easter Sunday April 17, 1938 his parents were William Elmer Ward and Olive Rae Young. He is survived by his wife Carol of 56 years, their sons: Bill (Olga), Rob (Marissa) and Matthew (Jessica); his granddaughters, Oliva and Hava; and his brother, Donald Ward.
Nationwide Marketing Group works on behalf of thousands of independent appliance, furniture, bedding, electronics, specialty electronics, custom installation and rent-to-own dealers helping them grow their businesses and thrive on their own terms. With more than 5,000 members operating some 14,000 storefronts, Nationwide Marketing Group is the largest buying, marketing and business support organization of its kind, representing billions in combined annual sales across the membership. For nearly 50 years, the organization has remained committed to the independent channel, empowering members with the scale, sophistication and efficiencies they need to compete while delivering the unmatched business intelligence, tools and resources required to win in an ever-changing business environment.