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Ruff Resigns, Replacement Sought

By Home Furnishings Business in on January 2006 by Powell Slaughter

The North Carolina Department of Commerce is moving fast to find a replacement for Jeremy Ruff, who left his position as director of the Furniture Enterprise Office in High Point last week to join wood furniture manufacturer Woodmarc as its CEO.

Ruff spent the past year-and-a-half running the FEO, which promotes the export of furniture from companies with significant presence in North Carolina.

Peter Cunningham, director of the NCDOC's International Trade Division, said he's seeking an individual with the kind of experience Ruff brought to the table. Ruff's career includes serving as CEO of the Powell Co. and as president of Lane Furniture's wood division.

"He made such a big contribution, even in the short time he was here, to our efforts to help North Carolina companies compete in a global environment, and we wish Jeremy all the best," said Cunningham.

In addition to supporting the FEO's trade function, he added that Ruff's experience and contacts brought a valuable consulting aspect to the job.

"I'm moving quickly to fill the position, and ideally we'll have someone in place in time for April market," Cunningham said. "We're looking for someone with senior management experience in the furniture industry with the contacts and ability to work closely with furniture companies."

The position, listed as economic developer, has been posted under the Department of Commerce heading on the N.C. state personnel office's Web site.

Applications are being accepted through next week.

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