The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. will recognize 10 Future Leaders as promising rising stars at two dinners on April 11 and 13.
The dinners, limited to just five emerging leaders and five Hall of Fame inductees, will feature a guided discussion on leadership and innovation led by FurnitureToday founder Steve Pond.
“We have long recognized leaders but have done little to create future leaders. With these dinners, not only are we exposing our future leaders to exceptional inductees, but we are introducing them to the Hall of Fame,” says Jeff Child, President of the Foundation board of directors. “We are hopeful that this evening will not just encourage them, but inspire them to long-term significance in our industry.”
At the April 11 dinner hosted by Foundation Board Chairman Bob Maricich of the International Market Centers, the future leaders will include Cameron Wanek, Senior Director of strategic execution and data management, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Harrison Hood, Sales Manager, indoor furniture, Glen Raven; Jaclyn Jimenez, Sales Representative, Southern California and Hawaii, Universal Furniture; Jonathan Peykar, Vice President of Nourison hospitality, Nourison Industries; and Alex Kirsch, Vice President of client solutions, FurnitureDealer.net. Inductees include Aminy Audi, chairman and CEO, L. & J.G. Stickley, Inc.; Alex Bernhardt, chairman, Bernhardt Furniture Co.; John Bray, chairman and CEO, Vanguard Furniture; Jena Hall, President and Chief Creative Officer, Jena Hall Associates; and Kevin O’Connor, former President and CEO, Samson Marketing.
The future leaders at the April 13 dinner, hosted by incoming Foundation Board President David Gebhart of Global Views will include Kristen Trapp, Buyer for motion and reclining, RC Willey; Brittany Duncan, Creative Implementation Officer, kathy ireland Worldwide®; Ryan Mahoney, Senior Vice President of furniture leasing, International Market Centers; Luiza Fogaca, International Sales and Brand Ambassador, Caracole; and Tori Valentinas, Fashion and Design Manager, Thomasville. Inductees will include Art DeFehr, CEO, Palliser Furniture Ltd.; Ron Wanek, founder and chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.; Steve Kincaid, CEO, Kincaid Furniture; Hassell Franklin, chairman and CEO, Franklin Corporation; and Bill Fenn, former President and CEO, LADD Furniture.
Ten companies, representing diverse categories across the industry, were asked to select an emerging leader who is 25 to 35 years of age, willing to join a guided discussion with inductees about leadership and innovation, an innovator, a leader among peers, and highly engaged with the home furnishings industry. Their roles with their companies varied widely.