AHFA awards Ashley's Ron Wanek Distinguished Service Award
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, November 14, 2011
LA JOLLA, Calif. — Ron Wanek, chairman of Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture, received the American Home Furnishings Alliance's prestigious Distinguished Service Award during the group's 2011 annual meeting at The Lodge at Torry Pines here this past weekend.
Wanek, who founded Ashley Furniture Inds. in the early 1970s, has transformed the company from a modest manufacturer of occasional tables to the largest domestic furniture manufacturer as well as the top furniture retailer in the U.S. with combined sales of $5.3 billion.
In presenting the award, Farooq Kathwari, chairman, CEO and president of Ethan Allen, recognized Wanek for his vision and leadership and for running the largest vertically integrated company in the home furnishings sector.
Wanek, who acknowledged growing up as a "poor farm boy in Minnesota," said he was intrigued watching family members augment the revenue from the farm by building furniture. "I knew from the time I was about 8 years old that I wanted to be in the furniture business," Wanek said.