Appliance business merges with repair service in seamless transition


Two business owners met by chance and changed the direction of their lives.

Three men, Chris Sevigny, Mark Garlitz and Vernon Yoder began working together in early Fall 2022 at Highpoint TV & Appliance, 102 S. Grant St., Salisbury. The closure of the property occurred on December 22 and January 2. The Salisbury shop became the ‘new’ Highpoint TV & Appliance with Sevigny as new owner.

How the merger happened

“Chris Sevigny, the new owner, came to Highpoint TV & Appliance to purchase a pair of Speed ​​Queen washer/dryers,” Garlitz said in an email. “During my conversation with Chris, he asked me how the business was going. I kind of laughed and said, ‘We’re busy. Very busy! In fact, I wish I was 35 again!’ That said, I wish I had the strength and determination of my youth, but being so busy at 62 has been challenging at times.

“We talked about how there seems to be a trend back to the ‘small business’ days. People Hear About Supporting Your Local Business – Supporting Small Businesses There seems to be an increasing number of complaints about the lack of service from the big department stores and how all of these things help make Highpoint a good place to sell can service.”

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Sevigny said he also services appliances and he oversees the Oakland area, Garlitz said.

“I was really looking forward to having him as I know only too well that the Oakland/Deep Creek Lake area is in dire need of an Equipment Service Technician. For Highpoint, the lake was just too far to travel,” Garlitz said. “Chris then asked the question, ‘Have you ever considered selling your business?’ I giggled again and said something like ‘weird you should ask that!’

Yes, my business partner – Vernon Yoder – and I have been discussing what it would be like to retire.

Would we find a buyer? Was there anyone who had experience maintaining equipment? Could we find someone who is a good seller, good servicer, good businessman? To be honest, it didn’t seem very likely that we would find anyone.

As it turns out, Sevigny has owned and operated Diamond Appliance Repairs in Oakland, Maryland since 2019.

A portion of the Highpoint TV & Appliance inventory is displayed on the retail floor.

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“This is a business I started with a need for a repair service in the area. We’ve quickly grown into a reputable repair company that the public can trust,” Sevigny said in an email. “I explained who I am and that I had no idea about such a great shop nearby. I asked him to talk to his partner about partnering and/or selling the business.”

The merge is in progress

They came forward and said they were selling but wanted to stay on board and transition the business seamlessly. “A native of Romney, West Virginia, Sevigny has lived in Garrett County Garlitz as a partner for almost 20 years.

“That conversation led to phone calls, additional visits to our storefront, and lots of discussion about how we could work together to make this work,” Garlitz said.

“After several meetings behind closed doors between the three of us, we quickly realized that we run our businesses very similarly,” Sevigny said. “Commitment, reliability and confidence in customer service. Highpoint is a destination for new and used equipment that comes with a warranty that we recognize. Big department stores don’t offer the same level of service.”

“The key point – Chris always wanted his own storefront. He already had his own service company. He really needed a source of equipment to offer his service customers more than just a boxed store experience,” said Garlitz. “So we executed the plan and decided that Vernon and I would sell Highpoint to Chris, continue working for Chris in our current positions, and see Highpoint TV & Appliance for many years to come.”

Garlitz will stay at his desk and help Sevigny run the business, order the equipment, schedule service calls and keep everything neat and tidy.

“I hope that I can pass on my business knowledge to Chris and that one day Chris will say to me, ‘I can take it from here,'” Garlitz said.

Yoder’s role will be slightly different. He will continue maintenance but will also be responsible for two other service workers, Hunter Meyers and Ethan Smith, providing technical support to help them repair their equipment.

“As we get the new Highpoint up and running, we’re working even harder for now. But we can see a future where the union of Diamond Appliance and Highpoint TV & Appliance gives us the opportunity to sit back and relax a little and watch as Chris takes the business we’ve created to an even higher level of excellence and… customer service,” said Garlitz.

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service extension

“The merger of Highpoint and Diamond will allow us to expand our service areas, train younger technicians and create good local jobs,” said Sevigny. “Mark and Vernon are true leaders in this industry. They have been able to adapt in technology over the years and keep up with many changes. They are humble and genuinely don’t realize what they have accomplished and inspired us to maintain the strong name Highpoint aims to be the leader in on-premises equipment sales, service and installation just carrying on the tradition.”

Garlitz wants the company they created to be taken to an even higher level of excellence and customer service.

“Chris is a man on a mission,” he said. “He came to our store with a plan to organize, organize, organize. Our stocks are now organized by appliance type and size. Our parts are neatly organized by category. New signage covers the storefront walls and the exterior of our store. I’m excited. I’m confident that Chris will succeed in continuing Highpoint’s tradition of excellence.”

Another interesting story behind the merger between the two companies is that Garlitz and Sevigny attend the same church, Crossroads Church in Oakland.

“He goes to the 9 o’clock service. I go to the 11 a.m. service, so we never met,” Garlitz said. “But we share a belief in God and the same values ​​– driven by biblical principles. How cool is that?”

Sevigny also shares his appreciation for Rockwood Hardware’s Merle Carolus “for inspiring Mark and Vernon to start their own business and for supporting them throughout the process. Merle has owned and operated Rockwood Hardware for over 50 years,” said Sevigny. “He pioneered small town equipment repair and service and has always guided and helped Highpoint over the years. I would also like to thank Dick Donaldson for helping with deliveries and being a great friend and supporter over the years.”