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From Home Furnishing Business

AICO President Martin Ploy to Retire After 55-year Furniture Industry Career

After more than 50 years in the home furnishings industry, AICO President Martin Ploy has announced he plans to retire in early November.

Ploy has been part of AICO’s executive leadership team for the last 20 years, coming on board as vice president of sales and marketing in 2002. He has been the company’s president since 2010.

“Martin’s manufacturing, retail, sales, marketing, managerial background, and unique communication skills have been a great asset to our company and our industry. His broad breadth of experiences has always provided us with a unique and solid perspective as to how we should value our employees, customers, and our suppliers, with an aggressive drive and critical eye on building our business for the future,” said AICO CEO Michael Amini.

Ploy has had a diverse career in the industry with his experience in retail as well as wholesale. Prior to joining AICO, he was the executive vice president for retailer RB Furniture, key accounts executive for Kanowsky Furniture, and executive vice president of sales for BenchCraft Furniture.

He also has a long record of involvement in a variety of non-profit organizations. As a store manager for RB Furniture in 1974, he became president of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and then served as a volunteer ‘listener’ for the Ventura Hotline. In 1980 he got involved with the Home Furnishings Chapter of City of Hope and eventually served as president in 1984 and 1985.

In 1989 was honored as the Humanitarian of the Year by the Home Furnishings Chapter and was presented the prestigious Spirit of Life Award.

His passion for City of Hope has grown over the years. He currently serves as member of the International Home Furnishings Industry Advisory Board. He is active in generating support for both The Spirit of Life Dinner in High Point and the West Coast Golf outing in Southern California. Also, he is always a leading fund raiser for City of Hope’s Walk for Hope, where Ploy has served as captain of the AICO All-Stars for the past 12 years.

Another important philanthropic effort has been his support of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation. He was a member of the executive committee for four years and served as chairman last year. Ploy continues to be an important advocate and fund raiser for the Hall of Fame.

Among his many awards and honors is the Pillar of the Industry Award he received in 2018 from the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn.

“Martin has had an indelible impact, not only as the president of AICO, but throughout his illustrious career in the home furnishings industry, and in the charitable work he has done,” added David Koehler, AICO’s executive vice president. “He has always been an action-oriented leader with a resolute focus on ‘doing it now.’ He is truly a unique, one-of-a-kind leader who has given so much to so many people.”

In retirement, Ploy said he plans to travel, spend more time on the golf course and catch up on his reading, among other things.

“Stepping away from the world of furniture after 55 years will certainly be an enormous change for me. I have enjoyed this industry so much, and the extraordinary people that make this home furnishings community so special,” said Ploy. “Throughout my career, I have been so fortunate to work with great leaders and teachers that helped me grow and develop. I hope in some way, I’ve been able to do the same for others.

“But I guess the hardest part about leaving is missing the truly dedicated and caring people of AICO, especially Michael.”

AICO will celebrate Ploy’s career at High Point Market with a cocktail reception its showroom on Saturday, October 22nd, from 4-6 p.m. The showroom is space C-802 of the International Home Furnishings Center.

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