ADL honors Fazio, Ireland and Natuzzi
David Perry -- Furniture Today, June 28, 2011
Industry leaders Pasquale Natuzzi, Gary Fazio and Kathy Ireland were honored by the ADL's National Home Furnishings Industry division. The event, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, raised more than $650,000 for ADL projects.
Natuzzi, president and CEO of Natuzzi, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which honored his achievements in building Natuzzi into a world force in the upholstery category and in the process "democratizing" the leather sofa, long considered a product only for the elite, ADL said.
Natuzzi was introduced by Morty Seaman, founder of Rooms to Go of Seffner, Fla.
ADL presented American Heritage Awards to Fazio, CEO of Simmons, and to Ireland, CEO and chief designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide.
Fazio was saluted for almost 40 years of bedding manufacturing and retail experience, which included two stints at retail and two stints in manufacturing. He began his career as a bedding buyer at Federated Dept. Stores, and spent 20 years at Sealy and almost 10 at retailer Mattress Firm. He joined Simmons as CEO last year.
Fazio was introduced by his longtime friend and colleague, Simmons President Tony Smith.
Ireland was honored for her work with Kathy Ireland Worldwide, a well-known company in the home furnishings industry with numerous licensees in that industry. She was also recognized for her philanthropic work supporting a number of non-profit organizations.
She was introduced by Neil Goldberg of Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, who serves with Joe Laneve of Bloomingdale's as chairman of ADL's National Home Furnishings Industry division.
Goldberg and Laneve both addressed the group. They said that Natuzzi, Fazio and Ireland "have demonstrated their commitment to benefiting the lives of others and advancing the goals that are central to ADL's mission."
The keynote presentation was made by former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who said the diversity of Americans is one of their greatest characteristics. He said that the United States is not a melting pot but is instead "a stained glass window in a church or a temple, with fragments of different cultures."
Cuomo saluted ADL for the work it does "to bring people together."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is a civil rights/human relations agency that fights all forms of bigotry. Its mission statement says the group defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights in America and around the world.