Sarah Vandeguchte, right, one of HFA member Art Van Furniture's 77 local inspirational heroes, with her sister who nominated her, Carmen Diekevers.
Sarah Vandeguchte, right, one of HFA member Art Van Furniture's 77 local inspirational heroes, with her sister who nominated her, Carmen Diekevers.

Art Van recognizes local heroes as part of its new branding campaign

As part of its new branding campaign, “Inspiration Lives Here,” Home Furnishings Association member Art Van Furniture decided this fall to recognize and reward unsung heroes who quietly inspire others through simple acts of kindness and selfless displays of courage.

Individual stores began revealing their heroes in December.

Art Van recognized Nicole Lompra of Gaylord, Mich., for the work she does with children with special needs. Another Art Van store recognized Kristen Calery-Corbiere of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., for her hard work and dedication volunteering outside of her school social worker job. Angela Becker, a college freshman from Crystal Lake, Ill., was also recognized. She distributes bags of toys, games, toiletries and more to foster children and children living in shelters.

Shoppers encouraged to nominate people

Each of Art Van Furniture’s 77 locations across the Midwest selected a deserving inspirational hero in its community. Art Van encouraged shoppers to nominate someone they knew who positively impacts others through words or deeds.

“Inspirational heroes are everywhere; in our own homes, at our workplaces, and in our community,” said David Van Elslander, community spokesperson for Art Van Furniture and son of founder Art Van Elslander. “It’s the small acts of kindness that make such a big difference, like lending a hand, eliciting a smile or donating one’s time. We hear stories every day in our showrooms about wonderful people, and this is our way of thanking them for their efforts.”

Gary Fazio, CEO of Art Van Furniture, agreed. “Our customers have inspired us to give our best for six decades,” said Fazio. “We give them the best shopping experience and products in our stores. And we give our best to their communities through our meaningful, impactful charitable initiatives.”

Looking for ways your store can give back to your community? Check out these suggestions from other HFA members who were recently honored for doing just that.

[In Gary Fazio, Art Van finds its man]

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