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3 saluted at Bedding Conference

Named Retail Giants of BeddingNamed Retail Giants of Bedding were Jim McIngvale, left, Gallery Furniture, Houston; Kyle and Wayne Johansen, HOM Furniture, Coon Rapids, Minn.; and Steven Stone, BedMart, Wilsonville, Ore.
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Two furniture stores and a bedding specialist were honored as Retail Giants of Bedding at Furniture/Today's biggest-ever Bedding Conference here.
     The award winners were Gallery Furniture of Houston, HOM Furniture of Coon Rapids, Minn., and BedMart of Wilsonville, Ore. The three were saluted for excellence in mattress retailing at a gala awards dinner that was one of the highlights of the Bedding Conference, which had record attendance of more than 350 and once again drew strong reviews from participants.
     The awards dinner was sponsored by Comfort Solutions, whose president, Dave Roberts, welcomed conference attendees in a video introduction.
     Noting that the conference theme was "Connecting with Consumers," Roberts presented a lighthearted look at how Comfort Solutions does focus group research to connect with mattress consumers. Roberts played the roles of the various consumers, including a young mother, another woman, a biker and an exercise enthusiast. He capped off his virtuoso performance by performing a rap song.
     Each of the winning retailers was saluted in a video tribute.
     Gallery Furniture's dynamic CEO, Jim McIngvale, was honored for his long commitment to the mattress category, embodied in his persona of Mattress Mack, a retail superhero who touts the importance of mattresses.
     McIngvale was inspired to create that character almost 30 years ago after he saw a retailer wearing a tire to pump up his tire business. So he donned a mattress suit and became Mattress Mack, a name that he still answers to these days.
     He's built Gallery Furniture into a furniture and bedding powerhouse with a homegrown mix of relentless and clever promotions, charitable events and educational programs. And bedding has been the foundation on which he built the business. "Our mattress sales have fueled the business the whole time," McIngvale said.
     Brothers Wayne and Rod Johansen of HOM Furniture were honored for their unwavering commitment to the mattress category, which started decades ago when they operated a waterbed retailer.
     When that category encountered choppy seas, the Johansens switched to traditional beds and home furnishings and morphed their business into HOM Furniture, a full-line home furnishings retailer.
     And they haven't stopped there. The hard-charging Johansens, with three retail brands in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin, have added Gabberts, a high-end, design-oriented specialist, and Dock 86, a warehouse concept, to their portfolio of stores.
     Mattresses remain at the heart of HOM's world. "A vibrant mattress department is key to our total product mix and shopping experience at HOM," said Wayne Johansen, chairman. Rod is CEO and president.
     Also honored at the awards dinner was BedMart President Steven Stone, whose family history in furniture prepared him for his career in retail.
     He opened his first sleep shop more than two decades ago and has grown the business one mattress at a time, he said. His independent spirit and a thoughtful approach to the mattress business are paying big dividends, bedding observers say.
     Today Stone's mattress empire is thriving. Based in Wilsonville, Ore., he operates 28 stores in Oregon and Washington under the BedMart Mattress Superstores and America's Mattress banners. And more growth is coming: Stone expects to open six to eight more stores in the next 12 months.
     The awards dinner was preceded by an outdoor cocktail reception, sponsored by Serta.

Henry, left, and Tim McRee, both of Wm. T. Burnett & Co.; Mike McQuiston and Ron Clevenger, both of Symbol Mattress.
Henry, left,
Kasey Payette,
Kasey Payette, left, and Brittany Proctor, both of FurnitureDealer. Net; Ray Allegrezza, Furniture/Today; Alex Macias, Del Sol Furniture, Phoenix.
Kevin Castellani, left, Furniture/Today; Bob Sherman, Serta International; Eric Spitzer, Spring Air.
Kevin Castellani,
Louis Bachicha,Louis Bachicha, left, Sealy; Jennifer Sinha and Kostas Chronis, both of Sears Holdings, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Todd Miller, left, Tempur-Pedic; Rebecca Sudbeck, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Omaha, Neb.; Rick Anderson, Tempur-Pedic.
Todd Miller,
Bill Koslo,Bill Koslo, left, and Ron Wanek, Ashley Furniture Inds.; Dwayne Welch, HSM.
Dennis Hoy, left, Furniture Marketing Group, High Point; Alfredo Lopez, El Dorado Furniture, Miami Gardens, Fla.; Ron Passaglia, Restonic.
Dennis Hoy,
Owen Shoemaker,Owen Shoemaker, left, Comfort Solutions; Craig McAndrews and Joe Paviglianti, Mattress Firm, Houston.
Gerry Borreggine, left, Therapedic; Tom Rehwinkel, Carolina Mattress Guild.
Gerry Borreggine,
David Weinstein,David Weinstein, left, Horich Hector Lebow Advertising; Len Burke, Klaussner.
Kristi Griggs, left, of G-Force Marketing, is presented with a Waylon Jennings gold record plaque after winning a raffle staged by Roger Magowitz, right, of the Seena Magowitz Foundation.
Kristi Griggs,
Celebrities JohnCelebrities John Salley, left, and Tia Carrere join Cellupedic’s Kevin Park to welcome guests to the company’s after-party event.
Roger Magowitz, left, Mattress Firm, Houston; Jim McMahon, former quarterback for the Chicago Bears; Glenn Haneberg, Back To Bed, Itasca, Ill.; Mark Quinn, Leggett & Platt.
Roger Magowitz,
David Dolan,David Dolan, left, Mattress King, Denver; Nelson Bercier, Sit ‘n Sleep, Gardena, Calif.; Jeff Bergman, PureCare by Fabrictech.
Carmi Fredman, left, Glideaway; Guy Eckert, Outlast Technologies; Dan Schecter, Carpenter Co.
Carmi Fredman,
Lisa Stansbury,Lisa Stansbury, left, Fred’s Beds, Wilmington, N.C.; Brent Limer, HSM; Don Wright, Wright Global Graphics; Jason Blalock, Furniture/ Today.
Jared Bell, left, and Clive Goldin, both with Protect-A-Bed; Dave Orrico, Nationwide Marketing Group; Mike Graham, Protect-A-Bed.
Jared Bell,
Wayne Johansen, left, HOMWayne Johansen, left, HOM Furniture, Coon Rapids, Minn.; Mike Tilki, Latex International; Dave Powers, GBS Enterprises; Tony Coleman, HomeTex Inc./ DreamFit.
Todd Miller, left, Dave Hansen, Rick Anderson and Chad Colony, all with Tempur- Pedic North America.
Todd Miller,

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