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Larry Thomas

Northwest Furniture Xpress founder Carl Abernathy to retire

MORGANTON, N.C. — Carl Abernathy, president and co-founder of specialized furniture carrier Northwest Furniture Xpress, announced he is retiring on March 31.

 Carl AbernathyCarl Abernathy

Abernathy, 64, has worked in the transportation industry for 43 years. He and several partners founded Northwest in 2011as a carrier specializing in delivering furniture to the Pacific Northwest and two Canadian provinces.

He said Northwest CEO Eric Clarke will assume the duties of president, while Grant Laidlaw, vice president of sales, will now oversee sales and marketing.

Abernathy said he has fully recovered from a stroke suffered in 2012, but believes the timing is right for his retirement because of the strong management team in place at Northwest.

He will continue to reside in Valdese, N.C., and North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

He began working in the transportation industry in 1970 when he landed a part-time job with Fredrickson Motor Express in Charlotte, N.C., while in college. He later was promoted to regional sales manager.

He then opened a terminal for Old Dominion Freight lines in Hickory, N.C., and in 1980, helped found Cargo Transportation in Claremont, N.C.

In 1991, he became a partner and executive vice president of specialized furniture carrier Four Truckers in Morganton, N.C., where he remained for 17 years and helped the company become a transportation leader in the home furnishings industry.

In 2008, Four Truckers and five other furniture carriers merged to form Worldwide Logistics, and he became the new company's vice president of pricing and marketing.

He resigned from World Wide Logistics in 2011 and teamed with his former partners at Four Truckers to start Northwest Furniture Xpress.

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