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New ICFA Retail Award to Honor Mary Fruehauf

The International Casual Furniture Assn. has created a new retail award to honor the late Mary Fruehauf, who was CEO of Fruehauf's in Boulder, Colo., until her death from cancer in 2015.

Called the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award, it will honor a casual furniture retailer who exhibits creativity and invokes the spirit of the late industry leader’s unique approach to igniting excitement and emphasizing the fun in outdoor living.

“Mary was a dedicated and passionate person whose creativity of expression sparked a sense of enjoyment and discovery in her customers, community, and the national casual furniture industry for over two decades,” said Mariah Maydew, who succeeded her as president and CEO of Fruehauf’s. “We are thrilled that the ICFA is honoring her imagination and the many ways she inspired others.  She would love the idea of a ‘Retail Genius’ award to recognize the creativity of others in our industry.”

The first winner of the award will be announced at the ICFA Educational Conference, which takes place Jan. 16-18 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The winner will be honored with a distinctive trophy befitting the whimsical style of its namesake.

The competition will be judged by industry veterans and close personal friends and colleagues of Mary, including  Mariah Maydew; Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee, owner of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala.; and Brian Lawrence, president of Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, Calif. 

All ICFA retail members are eligible to compete for the award, and entrants are required to present a unique and creative display, event, promotion, or concept.

“The winner will accomplish this in the most original, creative and memorable manner,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA executive director, “capturing that extra element that makes a retail formula successful while closely channeling Mary’s spirit to create a unique and fun shopping experience.”

Eligible retailers are invited to submit descriptions and supporting documentation for up to three related or individual displays, events, promotions, or concepts in the form of photos, videos, screenshots and other downloadable media.







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