Success at Recent Markets Brings New Businesses to Tupelo Furniture Market

Tupelo, MS – According to Tupelo Furniture Market show officials, the event, now in its 27th year of operation, has experienced increased growth in new exhibit sales, especially in the last 18 months. A number of economic factors, both regionally and nationally, seem to be driving sales for the market.

“Generally speaking and over the last two years, economic indicators show sustained growth in jobs, and the housing market has stabilized,” said Kevin J. Seddon, president of the Tupelo Furniture Market. “It may not be optimal yet, but when these two measurements continue to move ‘northward,’ our market and the furniture industry begin to see gains.”

Seddon’s positive interpretation of the economy may be debatable, but the increase in what would be considered first-time exhibitors to the Tupelo Furniture Market is not. In just over 12 months, Tupelo has sold exhibit space to nearly 100 companies that have not shown in Tupelo in many years.

“We have had great success in selling new business over the last 2 ½ years,” explained Seddon. “We are definitely pleased with our ability to attract companies and have them showcase product in Tupelo. However, the most recent trend we have noted is that our attrition rate has decreased from market to market; thus the overall number of companies staying with us has grown.”

The total number of companies that will show in Tupelo at the next furniture trade event, February 5-8, 2015, already exceeds the two previous markets, Seddon noted, and the expectation is that the net increase in total companies showing will be substantial.

According to Barbara Garrison, director of buyer recruitment for the Tupelo Furniture Market, the reason for the net gain in exhibit space sales in Tupelo is simple — the companies that show in Tupelo are having success and are writing more orders during the market. “In the last few years we have redoubled our efforts to attract new and quality buyers to Tupelo, while also working diligently to strengthen our relationship with retailers that regularly attend our event. It’s clear that our efforts are reaping rewards for companies that exhibit with us,” said Garrison.

Executives at companies such as Kith Furniture, J Henry and Symbol Mattress all concur with Garrison, especially as it relates to their most recent experiences in Tupelo. “Our attendance was up 70%, and every buyer came in ready to order,” said Brett Tilley, sales manager for Kith. “We write more orders in Tupelo than in High Point,” added Virgil Henry, president of J Henry. “This past market was the best we’ve had in five years,” explained Jimmy Taylor, sales manager for Symbol Mattress.

Some of the industry-leading companies that have added Tupelo to their trade show schedules include Pelican Reef, Panama Jack Outdoor, Capel Rug, Jaipur Rugs, Sunny Designs, Forever Green Art, Green Gables, Artistic Leather, Horizon Home, American Woodcrafters and Kangaroo Trading, among many others.

“We are very excited about the fact that so many companies have chosen to show in Tupelo for the first time, said Adam Cleveland, COO for the Tupelo Furniture Market. “However, we are also pleased that so many of our long-term exhibitors are having great success in Tupelo. We expect this growth to continue and look forward to a great market in February.”

The 2 million-plus square feet of space for the upcoming Tupelo Market is selling quickly, according to Cleveland, but space is still available for the spring, February 5-8, 2015 event. Companies interested in securing remaining space should call 800.844.0841. For more information on exhibiting or to register to attend as a retailer, go to
www.tupelofurnituremarket.com.

###

Contact:
Kevin J. Seddon
Tel. 662.842.4442
Cell Phone. 662.816.5964
E-mail. kevin@tupelofurnituremarket.com

Surya’s Miles for Meals Campaign Raises Over $69K for School Lunch Program in Rural India

CALHOUN, Ga. — Nov. 11, 2014 — Surya’s third annual ‘Miles for Meals’ campaign exceeded expectations, raising $69,603 for Akshaya Patra, an NGO-run meal program that provides daily hot lunches to thousands of school children in villages in Northern India where Surya’s artisan community resides.

Surya_Miles_for_Meals_Half_Marathon_ParticipantswAs part of Surya’s third annual Miles for Meals fundraising campaign, 48 Surya employees, customers and partners participated in a half marathon event.

On Saturday, Oct. 4, more than 48 Surya employees, customers and partners ran a half marathon in Cumming, Ga., to raise money for Akshaya Patra, which means “inexhaustible vessel” in Sanskrit. Surya employees also secured donations through creative fundraising initiatives that included an ice bucket challenge, car wash, ping pong tournament, yoga class and sale of handcrafted items and baked goods. Many Surya customers also contributed funds to the campaign.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this year’s Miles for Meals results,” said Satya Tiwari, president, Surya. “For many children, the lunchtime meal they receive from Akshaya Patra is their only meal for the day and it can make such a big difference in the lives of not only the children but also their families and the community. The Surya team truly went above and beyond this year, far exceeding our fundraising goal of $50,000, and we look forward to raising even more money for this important cause next year.”

Miles_for_Meals_Check_FinalwSurya President Satya Tiwari holds a check for $69,603, which will be donated to the Akshaya Patra Foundation to provide midday meals to 4,600 school children in rural India.

In addition to the money raised by the Miles for Meals campaign, an additional 250 school children will receive meals for a year thanks to members of Surya Rewards, Surya’s customer loyalty program, who donated their Surya Points in October to Akshaya Patra.

“Surya’s Miles for Meals program demonstrates the compassion and heart of the entire Surya organization and its amazing employees and partners,” said Emily Rosenbaum, Akshaya Patra USA CEO. “This year, Miles for Meals runners and donors have supported 4,600 children with midday meals for a year. What an incredible feat this is and one that will be reflected in the smiles and joy of the many children who now have a chance to get the education and nutrition that will help them to truly thrive as adults. Our thanks go out to all who made this happen!”

Since its inception in 2012, Surya’s Miles for Meals program has raised more than $140,000 for Akshaya Patra. The organization delivers a hot, nutritious midday meal to 1.4 million children daily, and $15 feeds one child for an entire year.

To learn more about Akshaya Patra and Surya’s commitment to social responsibility, visit www.surya.com/social-responsibility.

About Surya
Surya is the premier one-stop source for coordinating home accessories for a broad range of lifestyles and budgets. An expert at translating the latest apparel and interior design trends, Surya artfully combines color, pattern and texture to offer more than 30,000 fashion-forward products, including rugs, pillows, throws, wall decor, accent furniture, lighting, decorative accents and bedding. The brand also provides innovative display, merchandising and training solutions to support retailers in successfully promoting and selling home accessories. Surya currently exhibits in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, High Point, Las Vegas, New Delhi and Toronto. To learn more, visit www.surya.com.

Media Contact:
Kathleen Bowley
kathleen.bowley@surya.com
706.625.4823 ext. 213

NAHFA Welcomes New Board Members

Roseville, CA, November 7, 2014— The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) held its annual membership meeting, Sunday, October 19, at NAHFA’s Retailer Resource Center (RRC) during the High Point Market.

NAHFA’s president, Rick Howard, Sklar Furniture, Boca Raton, FL welcomed incoming president, Mary Cramer, Cramer’s Home Furnishings, Ellensburg, WA. The 2015 slate of officers also includes: president-elect, Jeff Child, RC Willey, Salt Lake City, UT; vice president, Steve Kidder, Vermont Furniture Galleries, Williston, VT; secretary/treasurer, Jim Fee, Stoney Creek Furniture, Stoney Creek, ON, Canada; and chairman, Rick Howard.

David Masin, Masin’s Furniture, Bellevue, WA, Tom Olinde, Olinde’s Furniture, Baton Rouge, LA, and Dorian Sims, Stacy Furniture & Accessories, Grapevine, TX were voted in as new board members. David Harkness, Harkness Furniture, Tacoma, WA and Claudia LeClair, Fiesta Furnishings, Scottsdale, AZ joined the executive committee and Jesus Capo, El Dorado Furniture, Opa Locka, FL and Alex Macias, Del Sol Furniture, Phoenix, AZ were elected for a second term as board members.

“We’ve made great strides in the last 18 months with the merger and the initiatives we’ve undertaken,” said NAHFA’S CEO Sharron Bradley, “Under the board’s direction we’ve increased our educational programs and regional outreach efforts to members. We’ve hosted a successful networking conference, grown our government relations efforts, added new membership programs and strengthened our relationships throughout the industry. I know we can keep that momentum going with our incoming officers and board members and build on the successes we’ve achieved. “

Officers and board members officially begin their terms on Jan. 1, 2015.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit nahfa.org.

Surya Set to Unveil New Hospitality Lighting and Rug Collections

webHospitality_lamps_SuryaCALHOUN, Ga. — Nov. 5, 2014 — Surya will introduce a new line of hospitality lighting along with a collection of eco-friendly rugs at Boutique Design New York (BDNY), which takes place from Nov. 9-10 in New York City.

The new lighting line includes a selection of contemporary guest room lamps available in a range of rich finishes and textures and priced in the one hundred dollar range. The lamps feature a USB port and electrical outlet for convenient charging of portable devices, and are compatible with both LED and standard incandescent light bulbs. Designers can choose from multiple base and shade options, providing optimal design flexibility. All designs will be stocked and available for quick shipment.

Surya will also showcase a collection of hand-knotted rugs constructed of PET yarn made from recycled plastic water bottles. The rugs, which feature classic and transitional designs in fashion forward color palettes, have been designed to provide the look of a high-end, handcrafted rug while offering durability and ease of care at a very accessible price point.

“We are excited to launch our newest collections for the hospitality market,” said Tom Etheridge, vice president of Hospitality, Surya. “Our goal is to make it easy for designers to create distinctive guest rooms that not only provide a great guest experience but also help to build brand awareness for the hotel or property. We look forward to sharing these new products with BDNY attendees and to further expanding our product offering to include even more innovative and sustainable options specifically designed for the hospitality market.”

BDNY attendees are invited to explore Surya’s new lighting and rug collections at Booth 848 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Click here to access a high res image of the new hospitality lamps.

About Surya
Surya is the premier one-stop source for coordinating accessories for the hospitality industry. Experts at translating the latest fashion and decor trends into products that are both beautiful and durable, Surya’s experienced design team collaborates closely with each customer to create inspired designs that set guest rooms and public spaces apart. When install dates are tight, customers can choose from a selection of more than 30,000 in-stock rugs, pillows and lighting products in a wide array of colors, patterns and textures. Environmentally conscious, Surya uses sustainable and eco-friendly materials, including natural dyes, renewable fibers and recycled materials, whenever possible. Surya currently exhibits in Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, High Point, Las Vegas, New Delhi and Toronto. To learn more, visit www.surya.com.

Netsertive Launches Localized Landing Pages to Drive Marketing Success for Brands and Retailers

Latest Enhancements Provide Real-Time Updates of Brand Content Embedded Directly Within Retailers’ Websites

MORRISVILLE, NC – November 4, 2014 – Netsertive, a marketing technology company that automates unified brand-to-local digital marketing, today announced the availability of localized brand landing pages to ensure a consistent local consumer experience. Netsertive’s latest release gives brands the power to effectively market to local consumers through compelling content found directly on local retailers’ websites.

Brands struggle to balance local retailers’ desires to promote their offerings with the risk of those same retailers lacking the time or resources to use the most recent, branded content on their websites. When consumers can’t find relevant information, there is a chance they will turn to competitors. Furthermore, local marketers rely on services provided to them, to aid in creating customized branded landing pages, while ensuring brand compliancy. Brands need a consistent, local consumer experience and must have a seamless, easy-to-use way of effectively marketing their offerings through retailers in their network.

Netsertive’s localized branding extends digital capabilities to marketers in an easy-to-consume, turnkey interface, leading to a more personalized brand experience for customers. Embedded directly within retailers’ websites, unlike traditional landing pages which are standalone sites, Netsertive’s Brand Landing Pages allow for seamless localized searches. When a consumer searches for a brand and clicks on its ad, through Netsertive they are instantly connected to a local partner’s personalized landing page which provides all of the retailer’s necessary information, including email, phone number, links to social pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), hours of operation and a map of the retailer’s location. This allows consumers to buy from the brand while having the intimacy of their local dealer.

“Serta’s digital advertising reaches millions of mattress shoppers every time we promote a national event, and we want our retailers to capitalize on this,” says Andrew Gross, senior vice president of marketing for Serta, America’s leading mattress manufacturer. “Netsertive’s localized landing pages allow our retailers to integrate the Serta brand and event message seamlessly to their website, with Serta and Netsertive doing all of the work so they can focus on servicing their customers and closing more sales.”

In addition to Brand Landing Pages, Netsertive announced upgrades to features including Business Listings and Marketing Asset Management (MAM), which enables all partners to have self-service access to Netsertive’s platform and campaign assets.

Business Listings
According to Forrester, 92 percent of U.S. retail sales still take place offline. In today’s digital world, Netsertive’s Business Listings allow the masses to be found online. Previously, businesses had to spend hours going through online directories where their address, phone number, location, etc. were listed, and send in update requests to fix errors. Since the Internet is where customers go to research their purchases, Netsertive allows businesses to verify the accuracy and completeness of their online presence and manage their information from within Netsertive’s platform. This boosts online visibility, positively impacting their search ranking and at the same time, makes it painless for local customers to find and contact their business. Netsertive is taking Business Listings one step further by offering a syndication tool which can tell the outside world which brands retailers carry.

Marketing Asset Management (MAM)
Netsertive also announced enhancements to Marketing Asset Management, which allows brands to manage, control and track the distribution of their assets, marketing materials, sales tools and creative materials. Brands often can’t afford the resources and budget to fund a broad digital marketing solution for all of their retailers and they need one easy portal for them to access their compliant marketing assets, tools and other resources.

Netsertive introduced a brand-focused tool to enhance marketing assets, giving retailers easy and consistent access to focus on driving revenue for the brand. Folders and previews are provided to keep assets organized with accuracy and consistency so channel partners use the right assets in the right manner. It also provides the ability to set permissions controlling who can view and use the assets. With this feature, digital marketers can execute effective, hyper-local marketing campaigns to capture the attention of the in-market online shopper.

“We are dedicated to driving retailers to get up and running with Netsertive, making it easier for brands to bring retailers into the digital marketing age,” said Brendan Morrissey, CEO and co-founder, Netsertive. “Local retailers need to turn online activity into sales opportunities and to do that, they need the necessary tools to make their relationships with brands seamless.”

About Netsertive
Netsertive empowers product brands and local channel partners with a unified digital marketing presence to drive local sales. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the company uses its Digital Channel Marketing Platform and proprietary Learning Engine technology to connect local customers to the channel partners of its brand clients. Netsertive takes the complexity out of digital channel marketing and enables local businesses, multi-location retailers and global brands take the lead — by making every marketing dollar work harder and every message reach farther. Founded in 2009, the company has a history of rapid growth, a world-class team, and the strength of venture capital funding from top firms RRE Ventures, Harbert Venture Partners and Greycroft Partners. Additional information about Netsertive is available at www.netsertive.com.

New England Region of the NAHFA Hosts 6th Annual Holiday Bash

Roseville, CA, November 3, 2014— Members of the North American Home Furnishings Association’s (NAHFA) New England region will host their Sixth Annual Holiday Bash, December 11, from 6-9:00 p.m. in Framingham, Mass.

The Association invites all members of the home furnishings industry to enjoy an evening of camaraderie and networking at Papa-Razzi, one of the area’s premiere Italian trattorias. There’s no cover charge and the food and drinks are complimentary.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating the holidays with Association members and local friends in the New England area,” said Mary Frye, NAHFA’s executive vice president. “Bringing members together to network and celebrate is always rewarding.”

The Holiday Bash is hosted by the New England Region of the NAHFA. RSVP by December 2 at events@nahfa.org or 800-422-3778. For event inquiries contact Richard Tubman (978) 263-4509, Kirk Simon (508) 528-0501 or Steve Kidder (802) 316-9003.

About the North American Home Furnishings Association:
The North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) was founded in 2013 with the merger of the three largest home furnishings retailer associations in the U.S. The NAHFA is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers, with more than 1,800 members representing more than 7,000 storefronts across all 50 states and several foreign countries. Association offices in the East, West, and Central United States provide its members with programs, resources, services, and a unified voice in government relations by partnering with home furnishings industry suppliers, vendors, affiliates, and other organizations. For more information on the NAHFA visit www.nahfa.org.

Kingsdown Wins 2014 North Carolina Manufacturer of the Year Award

Award recognizes top manufacturers for growth and innovation

MEBANE, NC – Oct. 28, 2014 – Kingsdown, Inc., a leading sleep solutions company, was honored with the 2014 North Carolina Manufacturer of the Year Award in a special ceremony during the McGladery Manufacturing Summit on October 28 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Now in its third year, the North Carolina Manufacturer of the Year Award recognizes the top small, mid-sized and large manufacturers in North Carolina, the fourth largest manufacturing state in the country.

“We are honored to receive the award for mid-sized manufacturer of the year as we also celebrate our 110th anniversary as a North Carolina-based company,” said Frank Hood, Kingsdown President and CEO.  “I am very proud of all our associates for the hard work and relentless attention they’ve placed on quality and innovation. Through hard work and determination, Kingsdown has grown to be a global company with facilities in over 20 countries and we are proud to say it all started in North Carolina.”

“Our employee owners have worked hard to make Kingsdown a premier bedding manufacturer both domestically and internationally,” said Kingsdown EVP Operations, Joe Schmoeller. “This award is a recognition of their dedication to producing the highest quality products in the bedding market.”

The North Carolina Manufacturing of the Year Awards are led by McGladrey and Fifth Third Bank, in cooperation with the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce. Nominees were judged by a panel of manufacturing industry specialists based on their achievements in growth, innovation and job creation.

Kingsdown has experienced a great deal of recent growth thanks to the company’s advancements in innovation, highlighted by the launch of its industry-pioneering Sleep Smart bed and enhanced bedMATCH™ Diagnostic System – patented products that integrate science and technology to provide customers with a personalized mattress selection and sleep experience. These innovative solutions are backed by years of research and development at the forefront of science and technology.

Along with its technologically advanced solutions, Kingsdown offers a diverse array of quality, traditional mattresses. From its ultra-luxurious Haute Couture Collection that is carefully hand-built leveraging high-fashion Parisian styling in addition to the world’s finest and most comfortable raw materials, to its high-quality Tradition Collection and Passions Collection built with handcrafted artistry, and styling that both represents yesterday and today’s fashions. Kingsdown’s diverse portfolio provides something for everyone – no matter their budget.  

Kingsdown’s possesses the highest quality standards in the mattress industry by thoroughly testing every mattress style for eventual wear and tear in its own facilities. Kingsdown verifies its results through third-party testing, independent laboratories and finally testing each mattress robotically to make sure that each consumer’s mattress possesses the exact support level expected.

For more information about Kingsdown’s complete product portfolio or to locate a retailer near you, visit www.kingsdown.com.

 

About Kingsdown, Inc.

Kingsdown, Inc., a leading sleep solutions company founded in 1904 in Mebane, N.C., develops diagnostic technology and a diverse portfolio of handcrafted mattress products that are rooted in extensive scientific research. From the company’s beginnings 110 years ago, Kingsdown emerged as an industry pioneer by inventing patented mattress components and manufacturing processes, thus inventing the luxury bedding niche. Today, the company’s market leadership thrives as Kingsdown continues to develop innovative products and consistently ranks as one of the largest bedding manufacturers in the world. Kingsdown has state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and provides sleep solutions for leading retailers in more than 20 countries on five continents. For more information, visit www.kingsdown.com

###

Groovystuff announces “Popular Vote at Market” Winners for Fall High Point Market design competition

October 29, 2014

DALLAS, TX – Groovystuff is pleased to recognize Xin Li from Auburn University, David Roan from Florida State University, and Megan Ziesmer from University of Minnesota for their innovative contributions to the home furnishings industry by placing first in the “Popular Vote at Market” for the “Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge” at The High Point Market October 19-24, 2014.

Mr. Roan, Ms. Li and Ms. Ziesmer placed first from their respective schools. They competed with over sixty other classmates who participated in an education to industry collaboration with Groovystuff for the fall 2014 academic semester. Under the guidance of design direction from the Groovystuff staff via Facebook, students were tasked with developing a residential home furnishings product utilizing the reclaimed materials found in the Groovystuff product line.

David Roan Product BoardMegan Ziesemer Product BoardXin Li Product Board

The class was then given a sponsored space at the High Point Market in “The University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation” to showcase their creations to the trade professionals attending the annual market. Each student display included a 20” x 30” product board, ¼” scale model and 42” tall pedestal for each of the student models. Students then interacted with trade professionals and gathered feedback on their designs for future production. Trade Professionals attending the High Point Market then voted on the marketability of the student designs.

Each of the students will be receiving a cash prize and will be the first of their class to have his/her design go into quotation and production by Groovystuff.

When asked what it meant to participate in the education to industry outreach program, Mr. Roan had this to contribute: “To be able to correspond with a real company and go beyond the conceptual into thinking practicality and marketability was an invaluable experience. Every designer needs to have their ideas put through the wringer at some point to experience the challenge of designing for other users and tastes. I’m thankful to have been a part of this!”

Groovystuff’s not-for-profit 2013 ICON Award Winning “University Hall of Innovation & Job Creation” and “Groovystuff by Design: Connecting Education with Industry Challenge” represents a breakthrough approach to the nurturing of home furnishings design talent in partnership with leading U.S. colleges and universities.

To read more about the High Point Market, visit http://www.highpointmarket.org. For more information, please visit http://www.groovystuff.com or www.facebook.com/groovystuff.

###

About the company: Founded in 1998 by Chris Bruning, Groovystuff utilizes reclaimed materials in the design, production, and distribution of rustic, contemporary, and eco-friendly commercial and residential furniture, lighting, and home decor at upper-medium to high-end price points. Designed for today’s lifestyles and inspired by yesterday’s antiquities, Groovystuff now offers eight unique residential and commercial collections: Prairie, Iron Horse, Adirondack, Back to the Roots, Kodiak, Rocky Mountain, Antares Lighting and the recently launched Moonshine reclaimed steel drum collection. Each group features pieces designed with the foundation of style, value, longevity, and preservation of natural resources. Based in Dallas, Groovystuff has permanent showrooms in High Point, NC (The Suites at Market Square, G-1025), Las Vegas (World Market Center, B-146), and once a year at the International Casual Furniture Market in Chicago, IL (The Merchandise Mart, No. 8-9036A).

2014 STORIS User Conference a Success

MOUNT ARLINGTON, NJ–May 2014 — STORIS, a leading supplier of Retail Software Solutions and Services for Big Ticket retailers, reports their 2014 User Conference (UC14) ‘The Difference is You’ was a success. The conference, held at the Wyndham Hamilton Park Hotel in New Jersey October 8th through October 10th, was completely sold out with over 175 retail attendees and 8 vendor partners.

The conference focused on the STORIS Clients as a differentiator in their 25 years of success in both the industry, and as a top employer in the State of New Jersey. This year’s event kicked off with a Welcoming Reception where Clients, Employees and Vendors networked and enjoyed a Casino Night themed cocktail event. On the morning of the first full day Doug Culmone, Chief Operating Officer at STORIS, delivered a comprehensive “Welcome Address” that highlighted recent product improvements, company accomplishments, key client additions and STORIS’ technology roadmap. A Superhero themed film starring STORIS employees was premiered. The video recapped STORIS’ corporate values and introduced the exciting new Windows® 8 Touch Capabilities, added to the STORIS eRoam Mobile Solutions Suite. Complementing the STORIS eRoam iPad application, this Windows® 8 integrated touch technology makes the complete STORIS Vision9 software package accessible through any Windows® 8 tablet on-the-go.

Don Surdoval, Chief Executive Officer, discussed how technology has become a crucial investment to retailers and that STORIS values its long-term Client partnerships. “STORIS is not just a software product or group of employees, it is a community with a common goal of seeking improvement. It is customers working with us to improve our products and services, and customers looking to us to help improve their operations and solve problems.” Don wrapped up the opening by reflecting on STORIS’ recent “Best Place To Work in NJ” award and commenting, “If we’re the best place to work, then our customers are the best people to work for.”

UC14 proceeded as a highly educational and enjoyable event offering over 35 seminars and collaboration sessions to STORIS Clients. The selection of sessions covered a wide range of topics and varying levels of participation. Conference seminar categories included functional and technical topics, in addition to collaboration and business training focused sessions. A ‘Consultant’s Corner’ was also available for clients to seek assistance and engage one-on-one with STORIS’ experienced consulting, training and client services specialists throughout the conference.

Seminar topics included: Reimagining Payment Processing, an open forum exploring how to improve the payment application process for Clients utilizing extended receivables; The View You Want for the Data You Need, an overview of the capabilities of STORIS’ unique reporting tool Personal Report Viewer; Excel with Data Importing, a review of processes, benefits, and how to use Excel to save time importing data; Improving Your Vision with AU, a session covering best practices for keeping up to date and managing Automatic Updates (AU); Appliance Retailer Panel Discussions, an open discussion about the unique challenges faced by retailers in the appliance industry; Furniture Retailer Roundtable, a collaboration session where suggestions were discussed to improve operational efficiency and growth, Principles of Project Management; a business training seminar sharing the basic techniques and best practices for managing projects successfully.

In addition to the educational opportunities, a Product Pavilion showcased STORIS’ latest products and featured third-party partner sponsors. Attending sponsors included ecUtopia, MicroD, Rocket, Dispatch Track, AcceptanceNOW & Tender Retail. Although the focus of the conference was on education and collaboration, the group took the second evening off and ventured into New York City to network and socialize offsite.

Overall, STORIS Clients and Partners had an enjoyable and productive conference. STORIS Client and conference attendee, Tom Berta from FFO Home of Muldrow, OK expressed “You said that we (Clients) were the difference, and you showed it through your actions. The conference was not only informative (and very much so), but it was more enjoyable than I can put into words. Thank you so very much, and hats off to everyone.”

About STORIS Inc. Founded in 1989, STORIS continues to be the leading provider of Retail Software Solutions and Services to Big Ticket retailers of ALL sizes. STORIS’ Vision9 software solution provides retailers with a single ERP solution including point of sale, supply chain management, customer care, accounting, business intelligence and more. For more information, please visit http://www.storis.com/

American Furniture Hall of Fame Inducts Four New Members

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 19, 2014 — Four industry leaders have been inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame. Joining the current 94 Hall of Fame members are Hershel Alpert, former president of Alperts, Inc.; Bernard Castro, founder of Castro Convertibles; Harry M. Cornell, Jr., chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt Inc; and Jena Goldman Hall, president and CCO of Jena Hall Associates.

The international banquet was attended by leading retailers, buying group members, interior designers, manufacturers, suppliers and other foundation members.

“Each year, it is humbling to learn about the great personal accomplishments and contributions to our industry made by the individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame,” says Bill Kimbrell, president of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation. “They are role models in every sense of the word and it is a reminder that our industry is full not just of ingenuity and leadership, but of generosity to others expressed in time, talents and resources. We are pleased to honor them.”

 

Hershel AlpertHershel Alpert (b. 1932 d. 2010) began his career working for his father’s furniture store. When his father sold the business, Mr. Alpert and his brother founded Alperts Inc., a furniture showroom and warehouse in Seekonk, Mass. After it was sold to General Cinema Corporation, Mr. Alpert continued as president, growing the business to 15 stores in four states. In 1985, Mr. Alpert, his brother and another partner bought it back. Mr. Alpert served as president and CEO for the next 35 years, during which Alperts was awarded the Brand Names Foundation Retailer of the Year and the Retailers Association of Massachusetts Retailer of the Year. He served as president and chairman of the National Home Furnishings Association and its Foundation, and in 2005 was named NHFA Retailer of the Year. In 2007, the partners sold the business with the stipulation that its 155 employees would retain their jobs. Rather than retiring at age 75, Mr. Alpert founded Alpert Consulting and served as a faculty member and Senior Executive in Residence at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Bernard CastroBernard Castro (b. 1904 d. 1991) and his wife, Theresa, started with $400 in 1931 and built what would become Castro Convertibles, a manufacturer and retailer selling more than five million convertible sleeper sofas through its own 48 stores on the East Coast. An Italian emigrant who worked as a furniture apprentice while earning a degree in Interior Decoration, Mr. Castro invented many patented convertible mechanisms and gave consumers up to a million choices with 100 styles, thousands of fabrics and 10 bed sizes. The company had two large upholstery plants and a separate steel mechanism plant. An advertising genius, the specialty stores became destination showplaces for interior design trends. Mr. Castro generously donated his time and resources to the home furnishings industry and his community. He received the prestigious Horatio Alger Award and an honorary doctorate from Mercy College, among many other honors. A true American patriot, he was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, a supporter of the Florida National Guard and an honorary Green Beret.

Harry Cornell Jr.Harry M. Cornell, Jr., chairman emeritus of Leggett & Platt Inc., built a small regional company into a Fortune 500 giant. He transformed the company from five plants and $7 million in annual sales into a $4 billion company with 130 plants in 18 countries. His many milestones include the initial public offering of Leggett & Platt common stock in 1967 and the 1979 listing on the New York Stock Exchange. As a supplier that manufactured component parts, created the machinery to make them and produced the raw materials, Mr. Cornell expanded Leggett & Platt into eight industries. A past president of the American Innerspring Manufacturer’s Association, he received the Award of Exceptional Service from the National Association of Bedding Manufacturers and CEO Awards from Financial World for five years and The Wall Street Transcript for three years. At the University of Missouri, his alma mater, the Business School was dedicated in 2002 as Cornell Hall, where he funds the Cornell Leadership Scholarship and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law. In 1998, he was named Citizen of the Year in Carthage, Missouri, home of Leggett & Platt.

Jena Goldman HallJena Goldman Hall, president and CCO of Jena Hall Associates, has created licensed programs including Jena Hall’s Inspirations from the Old Country for Broyhill Furniture as well as developing products and integrated marketing for American Leather, Johnston Casuals, DMI-Wynwood, Pennsylvania House, Vanguard Furniture, and aspenhome where she served as Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Design. She has curated the launch and design of the HGTV Home Furniture for Bassett Furniture. In addition, Ms. Hall has created numerous merchandising concepts for retailers including JCPenney, Robb & Stucky, Macy’s, Domain, Ethan Allen and Thomasville Interiors. A five-time Pinnacle Award winner, she is credited with introducing innovative features and functions formerly reserved for custom made and contract furniture into the mainstream furniture market. The  founding  president of  WithIt,  the  women’s  leadership and development network, Ms. Hall is a tireless advocate of City of Hope and the Anti-Defamation League. She has served on the High Point Market Authority Board and Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library Advisory Board. She has received the WithIt Founders Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Furniture Hall of Fame Industry Fellow and the City of Hope Spirit of Life Award.

 

Under the new selection system, the inductees were determined by the combination of a vote of the membership and a points-based rating system of each nominee by the Foundation’s Industry Fellow Selection Committee. The voting period began June 30 and ended July 31.

Platinum level sponsors are headlined by AICO/Amini Innovations; Ashley Furniture Industries; La-Z-Boy, Inc., Leggett & Platt, Inc.; and Zenith Global Logistics.

Gold sponsors: Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc.; Art Van Furniture, Inc.; Berkshire Hathaway Furniture Companies; Casana Furniture; FEI Marketing; HSM Solutions; Palliser Furniture Ltd.; Planned Furniture Promotions; Tempur Sealy International Inc.; and Vaughan-Bassett Furniture, Inc.

Silver sponsors: A.R.T. Furniture, Inc.; American Leather; Culp, Inc.; El Dorado Furniture, Inc.; Flexsteel Industries, Inc.; Grand Home Furnishings; Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc.; Klaussner Furniture Industries Inc.; Raymour & Flanigan Furniture and Simmons Bedding Company.

Copper sponsors: aspenhome; Badcock Furniture & more; Carpenter Company; Castro Convertibles; Century Furniture; City Furniture; CR Laine Furniture Company, Inc.; Furniture World; HomElegance, Inc.; International Market Centers; Rooms to Go; Samson Holding; Stoney Creek Furniture; Therapedic International; Wolf Furniture/AFC; and Zuo Modern.

#     #     #

The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is an international, industry-wide organization founded to honor those individuals whose outstanding achievements have contributed to the continued growth and development of the U.S. furniture industry, as well as to research, collect and preserve our cultural, economic and artistic history. Membership includes eligibility to vote for inductees into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, and the opportunity to help preserve the history and heritage of the industry. The organization is based in High Point, North Carolina at 202 Neal Place, and can be reached at 336.882.5900.