Seven members named Deans of IHFRA for 2012

 Image of Hank HolsteHank Holste Image of Barry WhiteBarry White
 Image of Jeffrey LaKritzJeffrey LaKritz Michael L. Burton Jr.Michael L. Burton Jr.
 Image of Russell BienenstockRussell Bienenstock Image of Brad PyneBrad Pyne

HIGH POINT — Seven members of the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn. will be honored as 2012 winners of the Charles B. Costar Dean of IHFRA Awards.

They will be recognized at the annual IHFRA Presidential Gala on April 20, the eve of the spring High Point Market.

The Dean of IHFRA Award recognizes quality of service and dedication to IHFRA and the member's chapter. Recipients have set outstanding examples for others to follow, according to the association. In recognition of Charles Costar's service and loyalty as a longtime member and officer of IHFRA, the award was renamed after him in 2007.

Information on the Presidential Gala, which will be held in the International Home Furnishings Center ballroom, is available by contacting the IHFRA office at (336) 889-3920 or e-mailing Reservations also can be made online at

This year's Deans include:

• Hank Holste, first vice president of the Midwest Furniture Club in Chicago and a sales representative since 1977. He represented Baker Furniture for more than two decades in Minneapolis, Houston and Chicago and currently represents Harden Furniture in Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

• Barry White, a rep in South Carolina for more than 40 years. He is a longtime member of the Virginia/Carolinas Chapter and is a recipient of the chapter's Ed Vosburgh Sr. Memorial Award for outstanding rep. He represents Bernard's, Craftmaster Furniture and Mobel Furniture, and has won Salesman of the Year awards twice.

• Jeffrey LaKritz, a member of the Michigan Chapter since 1972, who has served on the chapter's board for years. He represents StyleCraft, Nuevo Living, Holland Barstool and Naos.

 Image of Les NeffLes Neff

• Michael L. Burton Jr., vice president of the HRFG of Southern California Chapter and an IHFRA member. He represents Robert Michael Ltd, USA Premium Leather Furniture and Uniters N.A. in southern California and southern Nevada and is a third generation furniture man - his grandfather, Larry Brooks, owned and operated Park View Furniture and his father, Michael J. Burton, has been in the industry for 35 years.

• Russell Bienenstock, editor-in-chief and CEO of Furniture World Magazine and the author of more than 23 educational guides that on furniture and interior design topics. He is active in industry organizations and serves as secretary of the Greater Metropolitan Home Furnishings Assn.

• Brad Pyne, who serves on the board of the Greater Metropolitan Furnishings Assn. and has been in the industry for 25 years. He represents AICO and Synergy Home Furnishings and previously worked as a corporate merchandise manager for Rowe Furniture and a rep for BenchCraft in New York.

• Les Neff, who held selling and buying positions at retailers Goods Furniture and Bruener's before becoming a rep with England Furniture in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey in 1997. He received England's Large Territory Top Sales Award and the Mr. D Award in honor of founder Dwight England. As a member of the Tri-State Chapter, he received the Congeniality Award for his industry work and engagement, and was the chapter's Rep of the Year in 2010.

Furniture Today Staff | Staff Editors

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