Myrtle Hayworth Barthmaier, the President and Chairwoman for 27 years of Hayworth Industries will be inducted as a Trailblazer and will receive the industry’s highest honor as a member of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame on October 17, 2021 during the Induction Celebration at the Sheraton Greensboro Four Seasons. She becomes the seventh woman inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Born in 1894, Barthmaier was a mother of five, and pregnant with her sixth child, when she unexpectedly lost her husband in 1928, and soon found herself facing Black Tuesday: the start of the Great Depression. Yet, with no prior manufacturing experience, the four companies – Hayworth Roll and Panel, Alma Desk Company, Myrtle Desk and Liberty Veneer – not only survived but thrived under her leadership. She continually upgraded equipment and expanded the plants, set new standards by reorganizing the production lines, and established a coast-to-coast sales and distribution network. She alone led the companies until her eldest, Charles E. Hayworth Jr. returned from World War II and join his mother in the family business. He was inducted into the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame in 2002.
“Mrs. Barthmaier was a force to be reckoned with, known to streamline plant operations, she personally sought to secure new business by driving long distances over unpaved roads to secure new customers. When necessary, she even operated machines in the plant to get orders out the door on time,” says Caroline Hipple, Board President. “She was a saleswoman who opened and maintained showrooms in High Point, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. She was personally involved in the design of products and insisted on setting high quality standards by controlling the process from veneer stage to delivery. By working side by side with her employees, the exacting Mrs. Barthmaier became respected and loved – all the while raising a family of six children. We are inspired by her determination, resilience, servant leadership, innate understanding of business, organizational skills, unquestionable ethics, commitment to her customers, and the common sense approach to solving problems.
“At a time when there were no women in management – much less running the operations of four inter-related companies — she was greatly respected by her peers in the worlds of residential and contract office furniture manufacturing,” Hipple continues. “She well represents our four pillars: enduring excellence, superior accomplishments, innovation and creativity, and philanthropic generosity. As we move toward the groundbreaking of our new permanent home, we want to underscore our mission to preserve our stories and to honor the leaders who have impacted our industry. This is a leader whose story should not be forgotten, for her innovations during at a time when manufacturing was in the midst of great change, as well as for her determination to succeed against all odds.”
The Class of 2021 inductees includes Irv Blumkin, CEO, Nebraska Furniture Mart; Robert G. Culp III, Co-founder, former Chairman and CEO, Culp, Inc.; Robert J. Maricich, Chairman and CEO, International Market Centers; Allan H. Palecek, Chairman and Founder, Palecek; and Todd Wanek, CEO and President, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. The Leadership Speaker for the event will be John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, hosted by interior designers, entrepreneurs and television personalities Hilary Farr and Brian Patrick Flynn.
To purchase 2021 Induction Celebration tickets or to become a sponsor in support of an inductee, visit seizethismoment2021.com.