Hall of Fame seeks future industry leaders

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The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation is looking for rising stars in the industry.

Recent classes of Future Leaders have included Home Furnishings Association members Matt Schewel of Schewels Home, Kristen Trapp of RC Willey and Cameron Wanek of Ashley Furniture Industries.

Nominations may be made until Jan. 15 through the foundation’s website. Nominees should be younger than 40, innovators, leaders among their peers, strong communicators and highly engaged with the industry as a long-term career, a news release said. Past honorees have represented retail, home accents, case goods manufacturing, upholstery manufacturing, finance, furniture design, technology and sales, among other categories.

Those selected will be honored at a dinner with Hall of Fame inductees during the High Point Market in April 2021. The dinner will feature a discussion on leadership and innovation led by Steve Pond, the founder of Furniture Today.

Encouraging a new class of leaders

“In addition to honoring the exceptional leaders who have built our industry, we are focused on inspiring and encouraging a new class of leaders,” Martin Ploy, president of the foundation board of directors, said in the news release. “These small dinner settings, with just five future leaders and five Hall of Fame inductees, impart lifelong inspiration and significance to both the honorees as well as the inducted members of the Hall of Fame, who are equally interested in the views of emerging leaders.

“Selection as a Future Leader is an outstanding honor,” Ploy added. “Our hope is that companies and individuals will nominate someone they would like to spotlight with this prestigious industry recognition.”

The Hall of Fame inductees are Todd Wanek, president and CEO of Ashley Furniture Industries; Irv Blumkin, CEO of Nebraska Furniture Mart; the late Robert G. Culp III, co-founder of Culp, Inc.; Robert J. Maricich, chairman and CEO of International Market Centers;  and Allan H. Palecek, chairman and founder of PALECEK.

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