Dinner honoring Rogers, Yost raises $750,000 for ADL
David Perry -- Furniture Today, June 18, 2013
NEW YORK — A tribute dinner here last week for Sealy CEO Larry Rogers and Art Van Furniture CEO Kim Yost raised $750,000 for the Anti-Defamation League.
The two were named American Heritage Award winners and were honored at a black-tie dinner at the Grand Hyatt that celebrated the ADL's centennial year.
Neil Goldberg, CEO of Raymour & Flanigan, Liverpool, N.Y., announced the figure during the tribute dinner. Goldberg, chairman of the ADL's National Home Furnishings Industry section, praised Rogers and Yost as "shining examples of all that is not only good but great in this industry."
He reviewed ADL's work to combat hate, racism and intolerance with various programs and initiatives. "Those who hate," he declared, "won't inherit this earth."
The keynote address for the evening, which attracted a who's who list of home furnishings executives, was delivered by Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, N.J., who cited several examples of good works resulting from "a conspiracy of love."
ADL officials Barry Curtiss-Lusher, national chair, and Abraham Foxman, national director, also addressed the group.
In his comments, Rogers said he was "humbled and grateful" for the recognition from ADL. He said leaders seldom gain recognition without the help of others, and cited his wife, Donna, his colleagues at Sealy, and his customers and vendors for their help in his career.
He also singled out his business partner, Mark Sarvary, at Tempur Sealy International, who shared his dream of how a global bedding brand could be created.
In his comments, Yost said that Art Van, in its metro Detroit base, "knows about ethnicity, working with diversity, and coming together to work as a team." He saluted Art Van Elslander, Art Van's longtime leader, for his contributions to the industry.
Yost, who has written two books and is working on a third, urged the attendees to live their lives with purpose, drive and passion.
For more photos from the event, see the June 24 print issue of Furniture/Today.