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From Home Furnishing Business

SHFA Now a Full Member of NAHFA

Members of the Southern Home Furnishings Association have voted to close the association and become full members of the North American Home Furnishings Association.

Previously, SHFA members were affiliate members of NAHFA. The move allows the SHFA members and volunteer leadership to eliminate duplicate efforts and focus on networking activities that better serve retailers. SHFA members remain active in regional events and initiatives and continue to enjoy all the benefits associated with membership.

In recognition of the rich heritage and important achievements of the Southern Home Furnishings Association and as tribute to its leaders, the group has set up a scholarship at High Point University to support and encourage the future generation of home furnishings professionals. 

“We wish to thank all SHFA members for their past, present, and continued support,” said Britt Sams, Sams Furniture & Mattress Center, Henderson, N.C., and SHFA president. “Our members were the reason the SHFA was such a fine organization and they will be instrumental in making the Southern Region an effective group within the NAHFA.”

SHFA also bestowed its final Willis Award of Merit to David Gardner, Warrenton Furniture Exchange, Warrenton, N.C., during its last conference in September in Myrtle Beach, S.C. 

Gardner, president and third-generation owner of Warrenton Furniture Exchange, took over the business upon his father’s retirement in 1988. He won numerous awards and recognitions over the years, and most recently Warrenton Furniture Exchange was named the Best Place to Buy Furniture by The Lake Magazine.

More than 50 attendees attended the Willis Award celebration, including Garder, his wife, Cathy, their extended family, past Willis Award recipients, and fellow SHFA members. A special champagne toast, offered by Marc Schewel, Schewel’s Furniture, Lynchburg, Va., closed the evening, honoring David and his many accomplishments.

For more than 57 years, the Willis Family championed the outstanding achievements of home furnishings retailers in the SHFA area. With a proud history shared, David exemplifies the characteristics of the Willis Award of Merit recipients.

“I am humbled to be in the company of my fellow recipients, whose journey and fellowship I so deeply admire and respect,” Gardner said. “This could be a sad night as we end a wonderful tradition, but we must celebrate the wonderful legacy that the Willis Family started 58 years ago, one that all recipients are so proud to be a part of.”

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