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Brought to you by Home Furnishings Business

Globe Express Names Regina Cross VP Northeast Region

By Home Furnishings Business in on April 22, 2013  Globe Express Services has named Regina Cross vice president-Northeast Region and U.S. compliance leader.

Based in New York City, Cross is a licensed customs broker and 25-plus year veteran of the international freight forwarding industry, with background in import and export regulatory compliance, as well as strong experience in the development and implementation of compliance tools/security initiatives such as C-TPAT and TSA CCSF.

Prior to joining GES, Ms. Cross spent eight years with UTi Worldwide, Inc., a global freight forwarder and integrated contract logistics company, where she most recently served as vice president-Northeast Region. Prior to that, she spent 17 years at Yusen Air & Sea Service, serving as Corporate License Holder with responsibility for import and export operations, regulatory compliance and training for 32 U.S. branch offices.

She reports to Oliver Huber,president North America, with dotted line responsibility to President and CEO Michael C. Hughes.
€œLike the many leaders who have joined our team recently,€ Hughes said. €œRegina shares our passion for rapidly growing the business, €˜thrilling our customers,€™ and values driven people leadership. In addition to her regional and compliance responsibilities, she will have a seat at the leadership table as we execute our One Company€“One Global Team strategy.€

Furniture Hall of Fame Elects New Officers

By Home Furnishings Business in on April 22, 2013  The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation has elected new officers and board members, and appointed new members to the Hall of Fame Legacy Board.

George Cartledge III of Grand Home Furnishings has been elected Board president; William D. Kimbrell, Star Furniture, first vice president; Michael Amini, AICO/Amini Innovation Corp., second vice president; and Bill Markowitz, The Veneman Group, secretary-treasurer. Randy Ford, Leggett & Platt, Inc., will continue to serve on the executive committee as Board chairman.

New director serving a three-year term is Ralph Scozzafava, Furniture Brands International.  Joining the Legacy Board are Donald Belgrad, consultant and Don Dreher, DMI Furniture, Inc.

€œThe strength of any organization starts with its Board of Directors, so we have reached out to the industry€™s leaders across all segments,€ Cartledge said. €œIn our transformation during the last few years, we have grown our initiatives to include The History Project, preserving our memorabilia, oral histories and book publication, our Wall of Fame and an expanded website. We need a strong Board with vision to ensure that our history is preserved as we embrace our history in creative and relevant ways.€

Re-elected members serving an additional three-year term are Alex Bernhardt Jr., Bernhardt Furniture Co.; Jerry  Epperson Jr., Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd.; Bill Markowitz, The Veneman Group; and Doug Wolf, Wolf Furniture Enterprises, Inc.

Kindel Back at High Point

By Home Furnishings Business in on April 22, 2013  High-end furniture maker Kindel Furniture has returned to High Point Furniture Market after a three-year absence.

Grand Rapids-based Kindel also announced its strategic plan to build a portfolio of American-made, fine furniture brands. The company has engaged Grand Rapids, Mich.-based DWH to help identify strategic growth opportunities including potential acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances with companies that manufacture high-end residential and institutional furniture in the United States.  The company believes its reputation for exceptional craftsmanship and superior attention to detail as well as its manufacturing and marketing resources provide a strong platform that can help acquired or partner entities grow.

At April Market, Kindel is showing new designs in the IHFC Interhall, space 201. The company last attended the fall market in 2010.

Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams Is 1st SFC Corporate Sponsor

By Home Furnishings Business in on April 22, 2013   Upholstery vendor Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams has become the Sustainable Furnishings Council's first top-level corporate sponsor with a $10,000 donation.

CEO Mitchell Gold is one of the board members responsible for bringing the idea of a corporate sponsorship program to the SFC board back in February, when it was approved and set the challenge to the board to recognize corporate sponsors at three levels with board approval necessary for each company.

Gold took a leadership position by challenging other board members to come forward at the $10,000 corporate sponsorship level in the hope that other corporations would follow suit. So far, Lee Inds. , Room & Board, Robin Wilson Home( , Harden Furniture, Circle Furniture, Naturepedic  and others are now on board as corporate sponsors.

The three new levels of corporate sponsorship are: Sustainer, $10,000-plus; Friend, $5,000-$9,999; and Colleague, $2,500-$4,999.

€œThis Earth Day should be more important than ever before,€ said Gold. €œAfter hurricane Sandy, severe weather conditions throughout the country and other natural disasters--these are all signals that climate change is real and happening. Our industry needs to continue to take this seriously, and I felt that it was time to step up and become even more aggressive supporters of SFC and I€™m excited to be part of  the effort.€

When the corporate sponsorship program was put in place, it was also decided that the membership structure of SFC would change moving forward. In the past, any company that paid dues and was willing to demonstrate some level of commitment to the cause would receive the window decals and SFC Web site listing indicating that they were a member of the organization, thus implying that every company was at the same place in terms of their level of sustainability practices. The organization will continue to welcome companies in "all shades of green" and to call out as Exemplary those that meet stringent requirements. But now the structure will be changing--there will be Contributing members who simply pay dues, but only Qualifying and Exemplary members will be listed in the Find Eco Friendly section of the company€™s site, and receive showroom signage. Contributing members are encouraged to make use of SFC resources to move to the Qualifying member level.

The board began to examine the membership structure more carefully, and the Standards Committee has revised the list of best practices. They are working on honing the application and membership verification process to make it more credible. The new membership application will be distributed at the April High Point market. The organization also has plans to encourage companies to move to Exemplary.

€œI am delighted that Mitchell brought this idea of corporate sponsorship to the board,€ said Susan Inglis, executive director of SFC. €œIt will not only increase our visibility within the industry, but also our stature in the movement.  The organization€™s growth and evolution that this current effort brings to capitalize on our good work with corporate sponsorships will alleviate our dependence on member dues. It is a very important step that will ultimately increase our effectiveness in the home furnishings industry and the world of sustainability organizations--I am so grateful to Mitchell for the leadership role he has taken on with SFC, his company€™s long-standing commitment to the environment, and for his generous corporate financial contributions.€

Therapedic Partners with Istikbal in Turkey

By Home Furnishings Business in on April 22, 2013  Bedding producer Therapedic International has partnered with leading Turkish furniture brand Istikbal.

Istikbal will begin producing and selling mattresses and box springs under the Therapedic name immediately, making it the first Turkish licensee for the company.

€œThe popularity of U.S. branded sleep products continues to grow around the world. With Turkey€™s growing middle class, consumer purchasing power is continuously increasing and we saw an opportunity to introduce Therapedic products to a new audience,€ said Therapedic President and CEO Gerry Borreggine. €œIstikbal is a brand name recognized throughout the world and a well-respected company in Turkey that will represent the Therapedic brand with dignity and strength. We are eager to begin this partnership.€

Istikbal has been a leader in the Turkish furniture industry for more than 50 years. Part of Boydak Holdings, Istikbal produces furniture, home textiles and mattresses. The company currently has more than 1,000 dealers throughout Turkey and exports to more than 100 countries worldwide with 5,000 international sales points.
€œAs a leading U.S. bedding manufacturer, the Therapedic name is valued around the world. We are thrilled to partner with such a prominent brand that shares our vision of providing customers with high quality products at value prices,€ said Mehmet Bilici, president of Sunset International Trade, LLC and the official U.S. representative of Istikbal. €œAdditionally, we look forward to using our extensive resources and influence in Turkey to bring the Therapedic brand to showroom floors throughout the country.€

Therapedic currently has licensees on six continents, in locations including Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Trinidad, Jamaica, Ecuador, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, New Zealand, Australia and China.