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American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation Names New CEO

Patrick Chapin will head the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame organization as current CEO Karen McNeil moves into her role as Chief Vision Officer. 

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Patrick Chapin, American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation
Patrick Chapin has been named CEO of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation.

The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation has named Patrick Chapin as Chief Executive Officer. In his new role, Chapin will lead the opening of the industry’s new home as a place to gather, to learn and to honor.

Karen McNeill, who has led the organization for 16 years and was promoted to Chief Vision Officer in March, has been elected to the Board of Directors and will become its President in January.  In addition, she will lead the installation of Phase 2 of the exhibits, focus on new educational events and building the Home Furnishings Leadership Institute at High Point University.

Prior to joining the Hall of Fame, Chapin served as president and CEO of Business High Point-Chamber of Commerce. During his six-year tenure, the Chamber experienced exceptional growth in revenue, membership, sponsorship and fundraising. Chapin has been recognized by The New York Times, Forbes and other media for leading the development of Congdon Yards, a public-private initiative with the goal of transforming and revitalizing downtown High Point, including the renovation of 225,000 square feet of historic hosiery mills. He shepherded a $50 million philanthropic investment from David Congdon and the Earl and Kathryn Congdon Family Foundation and directly raised an additional $17 million from public and private donations.
“The Hall of Fame experienced extraordinary growth, including expansion of our programs, the purchase of a building, the launch of the Leadership Initiative and the development of a world-class executive education program during Karen’s leadership,” says Caroline Hipple, President of the Foundation Board of Directors and President of Norwalk Furniture. “Patrick is perfectly positioned to expand on our core strengths and take the Hall of Fame to the next level, as we continue to chronicle our history, celebrate our leaders and unite the industry across all roles.”
“In less than six months, the Hall of Fame will become a living hub of activities with a forward-facing museum and discovery center for home furnishings. Patrick brings dynamic ideas and a fresh perspective to High Point and to the industry,” says McNeill. “He is a proven leader with tremendous operations experience and a demonstrated passion for transformational change.” 

In June 2019, the Hall of Fame purchased property at 311 N. Hamilton Street, hired Freeman Kennett Architects, and engaged ROTO, a global exhibits firm, to begin the process of constructing a new permanent home. The 23,500-square-foot building and museum will open in April 2023.

“The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame is a nationally recognized organization known for inspiring and educating present and future leaders while honoring the exceptional individuals from the past”, Chapin says.  “Our new home, with world class interactive exhibits and immersive technology, will be an incredibly powerful and beautiful venue for the industry, community and visitors to celebrate, discover and be inspired.”

While with Business High Point, Chapin also forged an innovative partnership with SCM, an Italian manufacturing company to create The Generator, the first industrial-grade production and prototype facility in the United States supporting entrepreneurs, designers and furniture makers. He created the Congdon Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership and was instrumental in the founding of THRIVE High Point, a program for minority- and women-owned businesses, which has engaged more than 400 businesses. 
Previously, Chapin served as President and CEO of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce in Central Florida, Executive Director of the Sarasota YMCA and in multiple management roles with the Walt Disney Company.
He has been recognized as “Top C-Suite Executive in the Triad” and “Power Player” by the Triad Business Journal, “Top 10 Men to Watch in Central Florida” by the Orlando Business Journal, “Citizen of the Year,” District 5 - Orange County, Fla., and “Rotarian of the Year” in Orlando, Fla. In 2016, Chapin became a living kidney donor, and he continues to do donor advocacy and awareness work.

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