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  • Clint Engel

Tri-State honors Epperson, Smith at awards dinner

PHILADELPHIA - The Tri-State Home Furnishings Assn. drew nearly 120 retailers, representative and other guests to its Annual Awards Dinner here, honoring industry analyst Jerry Epperson, Hooker Furniture's Tom Smith and several others.
     Smith, a Hooker representative and past president of the association, received TSHFA's highest member honor, the Hall of Fame Award, for, among other things, his ongoing legislative efforts, particularly relating to out of-state sales tax collections.
     Epperson, managing director of Richmond, Va.-based Mann, Armistead & Epperson, was named Tri-State's 2012 Person of the Year and also was the guest speaker at the Nov. 13 dinner at Crowne Plaza-Philadelphia.
     Epperson offered reasons the furniture industry should be optimistic about the future, including an increasingly "home centric" consumer, the recovering housing market and banks and businesses that are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash, waiting for a confidence boost before they invest. The industry, he said, can't use the recession as an excuse anymore.
     "If you're here tonight, congratulations; you're a survivor," Epperson told the crowd.
     The one downside, however, may be the recent presidential election. That could have provided the trigger needed to unleash confidence, but without much change in Washington, he said, "We just don't have any reason to think things are any better than they were."
     Also honored at the event were Artie Fecera and Fecera's Furniture of Reading Pa., named Tri-State's Harry C. Kahn Retailer of the Year, and J.J. McLaughlin of Best Home Furnishings, named Buzz Hoffman Representative of the Year.
     In addition, Chrissi Kriner of Beiter Home Center, Williamsport, Pa., received the Congeniality Award "for consideration and professional approach to the industry," and got a big laugh when she pulled out a scroll with names of people she wanted to thank that stretched up and over the podium and spilled out along the floor.
     Also, N.B. Liebman Furniture of Mechanicsburg, Pa., won the Retail Display Award; Bill Jennings, Mainline/Global, took the Young Representative honor; Wasim Kasez, Cohen Bros., Wilmington, Del., received the Young Retailer honor; and multiline representative Jerry Cohen received the Senior Service honor for his longevity and service to association and the industry.
     Tommy Leflein, representative for Lexington Home Brands and incoming Tri-State president, presented a mentoring award to Simon Kaplan, Larry Young and Irwin Friedman (in absentia) of Crest Furniture of Dayton, N.J.

Patrick Cory,
Patrick Cory, left, Cory Home Delivery; Jerry Epperson, Mann, Armistead & Epperson; Tommy Leflein, Lexington Home Brands; and Eddie Massood, Thomasville Home Furnishings of New Jersey, Fairfield, N.J.
Ray Isser, left, Tom Mitchell and Jerry Dorfman, Superior Mattress; and Gary Diamond, Diamond Furniture, Philadelphia.
Ray Isser,
Anne Marie
Anne Marie Smith; Tom Smith, Hooker Furniture; Nicole Smith; and Robert Petril, Design on the Edge.
Charles Liebman, left, N.B. Liebman Furniture, Mechanicsburg, Pa.; Joe Beiter and Chrissi Kriner, Beiter Home Center, Williamsport, Pa.; and Rich Silverman, World Imports.
Charles Liebman,
Steve Vecchio, left, Light-Parker Furniture, Conshohocken, Pa.; Kevin Creedle, Affordable Furniture; and Mike Holmes, Home Furnishings Market, Phoenixville, Pa.
Artie Fecera, left, Jeremy Reeser, Connie Fecera, Annette Fecera and Chris Fecera, Fecera’s Furniture, Reading, Pa.
Artie Fecera,
Rich Cohen,
Rich Cohen, left, Steve Cohen and Jerry Cohen, Cohen Associates.

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