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FMCA celebrates 51 years

WASHINGTON - The Furniture Manufacturers Credit Assn. celebrated 51 years in business serving industry credit managers during its annual shareholders meeting at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel here.
     Some 43 people representing 19 members companies participated in the Sept. 19-21 program, which included educational presentations, interchange sessions, networking and the group's annual awards presentation.

Accepting the FMCA Heritage Award for their companies are Graham White, left, Stanley Furniture; Matthew Grove, Spring Air; Drew Marshall, Theodore Alexander; Eddie Garner, Sealy; Norma Yount, Ferguson Copeland; Glenn Hendren, Legacy Classic Furniture; Nancy Cannon, Bernhardt Furniture; Bennie Corbett, Universal Furniture; Derick Apple, Joseph Dean; and Brian Spencer, Home Meridian International.

Home Meridian Internationa
Jim BumgarnerJim Bumgarner, Furniture Manufacturers Credit Assn., and Dean Berrier, Sealy, received FMCA’s highest honor, the R.K. Rudicil II Award.

     FMCA members were greeted by U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., who welcomed them to D.C., and told them, among other things, of his hobby of memorizing high school mascots and how he is able to name mascots throughout the Tar Heel State.

     Members heard from Bill Marcum, associate professor of finance at Wake Forest University, who discussed the world economy and markets and how China and Europe will continue to affect the U.S. economy.
     Marcum covered positive and negative trends, including an increase in corporate profits - although this is primarily due to reduced labor costs and inventories, he said. He also noted the 26% increase in housing starts since the recovery began, but added in his presentation that the massive, so-called shadow inventory of 1.5 million homes - either in foreclosure or held back from the market until home the home market stabilizes - remains a concern.
     In a two-part session with FMCA members, Betsy Page Sigman, distinguished teaching professor at Georgetown University and an expert on technology, social media, electronic commerce and information systems, talked about supply chain management as well as social media marketing. Among other things, Sigman noted how outsourcing, offshoring and the "reshoring" initiative - which involves efforts to bring jobs back to the United States - can have an impact on credit management.

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., with Angie Mills, Bernhardt.

U.S. Rep. Howard Coble
Norma Yount, Ferguson CopelandNorma Yount, Ferguson Copeland, was honored for outstanding work during her third term as Furniture Manufacturers Credit Assn. president.

     Sigman also covered the application of social media in the business world, noting how it can be used as a communications tool and to increase networking and business opportunities.
     At its annual awards banquet, FMCA recognized leaders in the industry's credit sector. Norma Yount, credit manager for Ferguson Copeland and FMCA's outgoing president, was recognized for an outstanding year and presented with the Past Presidents plaque with three gavels representing her three terms in the post.
     Dean Berrier of Sealy and FMCA Executive Vice President Jim Bumgarner received the R.K. Rudicil II Award, the association's highest award, recognizing outstanding achievements and service to FMCA. Rose Knight of Fairfield Chair received the Steve Osborne Credit Manager of the Year award, and Sheilda Breedlove of Spring Air received the Central North Carolina Credit Manager of the Year award.
     Heritage Awards, presented to member companies that have supported FMCA throughout the year "on a higher level," according to a release, went to Bernhardt Furniture, Ferguson Copeland, Home Meridian International, Joseph Dean Co., Legacy Classic Furniture, Lexington Home Brands, Rowe, Sealy, Spring Air, Stanley Furniture, Theodore Alexander and Universal Furniture.

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     Bernhardt is the only member company that has qualified for the Heritage Award every year since its inception.
     FMCA member shareholders also elected a new slate of officer after the meeting. They are Ron Teglas, Lexington Home Brands, president; Wendy Tester, Vanguard Furniture, vice president; Dave Carpenter, La-Z-Boy High Point, secretary; and Dean Berrier, Sealy, treasurer.
     The group is planning its 2013 annual meeting for Sept. 18-21 at the Sheraton Music City in Nashville, Tenn.

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