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From Home Furnishing Business

AHFA Sets Upholstery Summit

The American Home Furnishings Alliance has set its Upholstery Manufacturing Summit to be held Sept. 25 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Hickory, N.C.

Domestic shipments of upholstered furniture grew 6.3 percent last year and 2.8 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to Jerry Epperson, founder and managing director of Mann, Armistead and Epperson Ltd. in Richmond, Va. Epperson is among the presenters for the fall Summit, and he will provide attendees with an overview of economic conditions that have impacted growth in upholstery. 

Additional presenters include Jay Reardon, who founded Reardon Advisors in December after his departure from Hickory Chair, where he had led the company as president since 1996. Known for his expertise in lean manufacturing, Reardon recently joined high-end upholstery and casegoods manufacturer Guy Chaddock to help implement the company’s growth and development plan.

Graham Dail, a senior consultant with The HR Group, will speak on the top 10 issues related to employee management. Prior to The HR Group,  Dail worked for two major textile manufacturing companies. He has more than 30 years of experience in all levels of training, human resources and professional development.

Harry Watt, a business improvement specialist with the North Carolina State University Wood Products Extension, will speak on frame construction. Watt has worked in the wood products industry since the 1970s, and has been at the Wood Products Extension since 2005, helping companies build new plants, improve equipment and implement new business strategies to remain competitive. 

AHFA’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Bill Perdue will present, “Between a Rock and Hard Place: Upholstery, Caught Between California and D.C.” He will share updates on flammability regulations on both the state and federal levels, along with California’s Proposition 65 and other key regulatory issues for upholstery manufacturers. 

Finally, a panel of upholstery industry suppliers will share best practices and new products. 

As an additional feature, AHFA has invited all testing labs that are certified to test to California’s TB 117-2013 flammability regulation to exhibit at the conference and answer attendee questions on the requirements within the new regulation.

AHFA has negotiated a discounted room rate of $92 at the Crowne Plaza in Hickory. Registration for the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. program is $99 for AHFA members and $149 for non-members and includes lunch. Online registration is available, or e-mail Patricia West for a registration form. 

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