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Furniture First Honors Retiring Board Members

Furniture First recognized three retiring board members at its recent symposium in Arlington, TX.

05/30/2024
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Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture in Tupelo, MS; Matt Meusey of Wagner’s Home Furnishings in Missoula, MT; and Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First
From left, Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture in Tupelo, MS; Matt Meusey of Wagner’s Home Furnishings in Missoula, MT; and Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First

Furniture First honored two retiring board members at its general membership meeting earlier this month. Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture in Tupelo, MS, and Matt Meusey of Wagner’s Home Furnishings in Missoula, MT, received plaques recognizing their service.

Mike Albert of Pilgrim Furniture City in Milford, CT, was unable to attend the meeting, but was also recognized for his board service.

The meeting kicked off the cooperative’s annual symposium in Arlington, TX. More than 370 retailers and sponsors attended the three-day meeting — the largest attendance for Furniture First. Highlights of the symposium included the retail-centric Best Idea competition and a keynote by Ryan Estis, a sales and leadership expert. 

In the Best Idea competition, Furniture First members, in groups of 10 per table, presented an idea that made a difference to their business. Ideas ranged from marketing strategies to operational processes that make life easier and business more profitable. At the end of the session each table voted on a winner.

At dinner, each winner presented their ideas to attendees, who voted for the Best Idea in the Room via the event app. This year’s winner was Pam Miller of Miller Home Furniture & Mattress in Falls Creek, PA, who shared a strategy that leveraged a customer loyalty program to offset operational expenses.

Ryan Estis shared several of the themes of his new book Prepare for Impact: Driving Growth and Serving Others through the Principles of Human-Centered Leadership. Attendees received a copy of the book courtesy of Furniture First partner and symposium sponsor, TD Retail Card Services.
 
Following the symposium, the Furniture First board and staff remained in Arlington for a planning meeting. Several new benefits and initiatives will be developed as a result of the planning.

“It’s great to kick off the tenure of our new board members with an in-person planning meeting,” said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First. “It helps them to get to know our staff better and understand the full scope of the services we offer.”

Retailers beginning their board terms include Matt Huber of Belfort Furniture in Dulles, VA; John Lott of Lott’s Furniture in Waycross, GA; and Michael Fiacco of Old Brick Furniture in Albany, NY.

Next year's symposium will be held at Hilton West Palm Beach & Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, FL, June 2–4.

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