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IHFRA's North Central group named Chapter of the Year

HIGH POINT — The International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn.'s North Central group has been named the organization's Chapter of the Year and will be honored during next month's High Point Market.

The North Central chapter is based in Minnesota and has members in that state, the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska.

According to IHFRA, the North Central association was established in 1935 and was strong for many years. However, it had deteriorated to the point of inactivity until 2009, when a group of reps decided to revive the chapter membership.

From 20 "diehard" members in 2009, the chapter grew to a roster of 48 and is on track to meet its goal of 55 members this year, officials said. Doug Baines, the chapter's president, attributes the growth to a strong national benefits program and good local benefits as well.

North Central organized a furniture-related golf outing with dealers and reps, and has hosted a boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka and also a suite at a Minnesota Twins baseball game.

To bolster their roster and support their fellow reps, North Central hosts functions at High Point Market twice a year and at Las Vegas Market once a year. It also has a local furniture market twice a year.

"We are growing and having fun doing it," said Baines.

The chapter will receive the award at the 79th annual IHFRA Presidential Gala and Awards Dinner to be held on Friday, April 19, in the International Home Furnishings Center ballroom. Information on the event is available from IHFRA at (336) 889-3920 or by e-mail at ihfra@ihfra.org. Reservations can also be made online at www.ihfra.org.

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