Six candidates nominated to Furniture Hall of Fame
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, July 9, 2012
High Point - Six industry leaders in manufacturing, retail and design are candidates for election this year into the American Furniture Hall of Fame. They are:
► Howard G. Haas, who was president and CEO of Sealy for 19 years, increasing revenues from $32 million to $550 million without the acquisition of a competitor or supplier.
► Jena Hall, a furniture designer who has created successful licensing programs and designed for a number of manufacturers and retailers. She also was the founding president of WithIt, the women's leadership and development network, and is an advocate of City of Hope and the Anti-Defamation League.
► Clement M. Lange Jr., who grew Best Chairs from a five-person operation repairing furniture and truck seats into Best Home Furnishings, a leading manufacturer of residential upholstery.
► Kevin M. O'Connor, president and CEO of Samson Marketing, which includes Legacy Classic, Universal Furniture and Craftmaster. He has served in leading roles for the High Point Market Authority, the High Point Premarket, American Home Furnishings Alliance, the American Furniture Hall of Fame and the City of Hope.
► Melvyn L. Wolff, who transformed Houston-based Star Furniture from a small, low-end, credit-oriented store into one of the country's most successful retail furniture operations, now owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
► Thomas E. Wright, who is the co-founder and former chairman of Wright of Thomasville, a supplier of labels, in-store display graphics, and point-of-sale products to the mattress, upholstery, case goods, floor covering and rug industries.
"This year's slate of nominees is a very impressive group representing a wide cross section of the industry and individuals who have made groundbreaking contributions to their companies and the industry," said Randy Ford, president of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation. "These six individuals have each demonstrated great leadership, innovation and generosity throughout their long careers. They are true industry giants whose achievements have earned the respect of their colleagues and competitors alike."
Foundation members will vote between July 9 and Aug. 3 on which nominees will be inducted into the hall. Inductees will be announced at the Hall of Fame banquet on Oct. 14 during the fall High Point Market.
Under the new selection system, the inductees will be determined by the combination of the voting and a points-based rating system of each nominee by the Foundation's Industry Fellow Selection Committee.
Officials said the candidates were selected from open nominations and by the Industry Fellows Selection Committee based on their contributions to the growth and development of the furniture industry in America with a focus on four standards: enduring excellence, superior accomplishments, innovation and creativity, and philanthropic generosity.