Wanek receives National Speakers Assn. Philanthropy Award

ron wanekTAMPA, Fla. — The National Speakers Assn. recently honored Ron Wanek, founder and chairman of Ashley Furniture Inds., with the Nido R. Qubein Philanthropist of the Year Award.

This award, presented last month at the association’s annual awards banquet in Orlando, Fla., honors individuals, inside and outside of NSA, who have made a significant contribution by being examples of philanthropy and stewardship.

“The Philanthropist of the Year Award recognizes Ron for his generosity, a man who knows no boundaries, living his life by the guiding principle that a rising tide raises all boats,” said Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University. “Throughout his endeavors, Ron has worked tirelessly and has given generously to a multitude of his favorite causes.”

“Being selected as the 2017 Philanthropist of the Year recipient is a humbling moment for myself and my family. I am truly honored to receive such a prestigious award,” said Wanek, who with his wife Joyce stated the Ronald & Joyce Wanek Foundation in 1998 as a vehicle for giving to organizations in the furniture industry, education, children in need, the arts, veterans and medical research.

Most recently, the Wanek family created a $50 million cornerstone foundation grant to The City of Hope to find a cure for type 1 diabetes. Additional grants for medical research have been given to The Mayo Clinic Heart Research Program, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and other medical research organizations across the country.

Additionally, the Wanek family has also provided millions of dollars in funds and in-kind services to assist local schools and universities, as well as more than 1,000 scholarships during the past 10 years to help offset the escalating costs of higher education.

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