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From Home Furnishing Business

Hall of Fame Recognizes 9 Future Leaders

The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation has announced it will recognize nine rising stars at its Future Leaders Dinners, during Spring High Point Market.

Future Leaders, representing diverse categories across the industry, were selected as an emerging leader who is 25 to 35 years of age, willing to join a guided discussion with inductees about leadership and innovation, an innovator, a leader among peers, and highly engaged with the home furnishings industry.  Their roles with their companies varied widely.

The dinners, including emerging leaders and Hall of Fame inductees, will feature a guided discussion on leadership and innovation, led by Steve Pond, the founder of FurnitureToday.

“In preparing to pass the torch to tomorrow’s leaders, it is important to take the time to recognize and encourage the rising stars,” says David Gebhart, president of the Foundation board of directors. “We have found that these small dinners among just five future leaders and five Hall of Fame inductees provide inspiration and lifelong significance.  At the same time, the inductees have shared that they are equally inspired by the creativity and enthusiasm of the next wave of leaders.”

At the April 3 dinner hosted by Foundation Board Chairman Jeff Child of RC Willey, the future leaders will include Suzanne Guy, vice president of business development, Prestige Arts & Art Trends; Jay Lorenzo, sales representative, Aico; Jessica Norby, sales and marketing director, Artiste Furniture, a division of A.R.T. Furniture; Matt Schewel, director of store operations, Schewel Furniture Company; and Kayla Wallace, vice president of client relationships, Inductees include Aminy Audi, chairman and CEO, L. & J.G. Stickley, Inc.; John Bray, chairman and CEO, Vanguard Furniture; Jena Hall, president and chief creative officer, Jena Hall Associates; and Samuel Kuo, cofounder and chairman of Samson Holding Ltd.

The future leaders at the April 5 dinner, hosted by Foundation Board President David Gebhart of Global Views will include Ashley Childers, creative director/designer, Emporium Home; Jason Phillips, vice president, Phillips Collection; Troy Pittenger, vice president of finance, Norwalk Furniture; and Shane Pohlman, director of furniture, Nebraska Furniture Mart. Inductees will include Donald Belgrad, former president and CEO, Schnadig International Corp; Art DeFehr, CEO, Palliser Furniture Ltd.; Keith Koenig, co-founder and president of City Furniture; Paul B. Toms, Jr., chairman and CEO of Hooker Furniture Corp.; and Ron Wanek, founder and chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.

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