Having served as the High Point Market Authority’s president and CEO for 11 years, Tom Conley plans to retire from the position at the end of 2022. Long-time employee and current COO, Tammy Covington Nagem will succeed Conley in the role by unanimous vote of the board of directors.
Drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the trade show and association management industries, Conley has led the Market Authority since 2011. During his tenure, High Point Market achieved record marks as it rebuilt from the 2008 economic downturn, built on its momentum to diversify buyer attendance and become more designer-friendly, and navigated a global pandemic, being one of the first large events to return in person after restrictions began to ease.
Throughout his career, Conley has served as president of several associations, including the American Fishing Tackle Manufacturers Association, the National Housewares Manufacturers Association, the Steel Service Center Institute, and the Toy Industry Association. He also worked in the association management field with International Travel Management Partners, The Sanford Organization, and his own consulting firm, TPC & Associates.
“I’m thankful to have spent the last decade leaning into the home furnishings industry and applying my career experience to the great work being done at the High Point Market Authority,” shares Conley. “Our role within the industry requires a fair amount of juggling amongst our various stakeholders, and I’m proud of what our team has been able to accomplish. I will cherish the contacts I’ve made within the industry and look forward to staying connected.”
“Tom’s ability to strategically assess a scenario and then align the players to drive results has left High Point Market well-positioned for continued growth,” says Alex Shuford, Chair of the High Point Market Authority’s board of directors and CEO of the Rock House Farm family of brands. “The board of directors commends him for his years of service to the Market Authority and the home furnishings industry, wishing him success in whatever future endeavors he chooses to pursue.”
Next HPMA Leadership
Tammy Nagem will succeed Conley, assuming the role of President and CEO beginning January 1, 2023. Hired as the second employee at the Market Authority, Nagem has served the organization for more than 20 years in various capacities and was named Chief Operating Officer in 2011.
“Tammy’s transition into this role will allow for a seamless continuation of momentum, while also generating new opportunities. She brings a wealth of institutional knowledge to the position in addition to her strategic acumen and deep industry connections,” says Shuford. “The board of directors looks forward to the work we will do together with her.”
“The mission of the Market Authority has been my focus for the past two decades, but furniture has been in my blood for much longer, having grown up around it in Martinsville, VA. I’ve also fallen in love with the High Point community so this work is a bit of a passion project for me,” comments Nagem. “I applaud Tom for the successes of the past 11 years and am embracing the opportunities that lie ahead. My first order of business is to hire a vice president of marketing so we hit the ground running in 2023.”
Conley’s final Market is the upcoming Fall 2022 Market, scheduled for October 22-26. Registration will open in late July.