HOM Furniture honors Witmer as Vendor of the Year
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, January 22, 2013
COON RAPIDS, Minn. — HOM Furniture here honored top performing employees and suppliers during its annual awards celebration this month at the Crown Plaza Hotel and Ballroom in St. Paul, Minn.
The Vendor of the Year Award went to Witmer Furniture Inds. of Abbotsford, Wis., which continues to produce American-made furniture despite the growing competition from imports, the retailer said.
The honor recognizes a manufacturing partner committed to growing its product category with the retailer. HOM CEO Rod Johansen told his employee audience of nearly 1,000 people about Witmer owner Kevin Schlinkmann and "how his support improves the furniture business," according to a release.
Witmer has grown from a small wood bedroom maker in 1981 to one that can accommodate many Top 100 Furniture stores today. Johansen told the crowd that Witmer "has enjoyed a long history with HOM (since the retailer's) beginning in the waterbed business decades ago."
The manufacturer also has received a Certificate of Commendation from the Wisconsin governor's office and has been nominated twice for the Governor's Award for Manufacturing Excellence.
HOM, a Top 100 company operating HOM Furniture stores, Gabberts Fine Furniture & Design Studio and Dock 86, also recognized Dee Maas of upholstery supplier Huntington House as its Factory Representative of the Year.
"Dee has been instrumental in growing Huntington House sales volume with Gabberts," in Edina, Minn., HOM said.
Johansen called Maas, "an example of a tenacious representative who diligently contacts sales staff and guides them through their questions, making the sales experience comfortable for the consumer."
HOM also honored about 60 employees for outstanding performance and achievements in areas including sales, store management, accounting and customer service.