Jerome’s Furniture was selected as Retailer of the Year based on their contributions to the home furnishings industry, service to their community and their personal business achievements and company leadership.
The Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) announced that Jerome’s Furniture of San Diego is the winner of its annual Retailer of the Year Award. Lee Goodman, President & CEO of Jerome’s Furniture, along with store owners Jerry Navarra, Chairman, and Ann Navarra, Vice-President of Finance, will be honored with the award.
“It’s such a special feeling, frankly, to be recognized by the industry you love so much and enjoy being such a part of,” said Goodman. “For each of our employees, this is a tremendous honor that everyone greatly appreciates,” said Goodman.
Jerome’s Furniture was founded in 1954 by Jim & Esther Navarra, and is still owned and operated by the Navarra family. The 370 employee company features seven Navarra family members, four of whom are third generation retailers. Jerry and Ann Navarra joined the business in the early 1970’s and oversaw the opening in 1979 of their first satellite store in San Marcos. Over the next 10 years, new Jerome’s locations were added in Chula Vista, El Cajon and Scripps Ranch. In 2000, the original store in downtown San Diego was replaced with a large format unit on Morena Boulevard. In 2005, the company streamlined its operations by opening a 450,000 square foot distribution center.
Connection with family continues to play an integral role in the management of Jerome’s and their dealings with their extended workforce. “The strong intra-family ties and commitment to ethical standards are heavily infused into the company’s foundation,” said Jerry Navarra. “Our success resides in our long-term commitment to our customers, community, employees and their families,” said Navarra.
Honoree Lee Goodman, himself a fourth generation member of the industry, also appreciates the values instilled in him by his family and their direct link to his success. Having entered the industry at age seven, emptying ash trays and filling coffee cups in his grandfather’s store, “Summerfields Furniture” in Boston, MA, he fondly recalls his first sale of a lamp at age eight. “I still have my little blue commission tag,” said Goodman.
“When you grow up in this industry, it becomes part of your DNA. It’s just in your blood,” said Goodman. “My earliest childhood memories all involve my grandfather’s store and family celebrations at Washington’s Birthday sales. The industry has been my family ever since I can remember. It was always such a natural feeling. Through my family, I really gained a great exposure to the industry,” said Goodman.
A 1993 graduate of the University of Connecticut, Goodman worked his way through the ranks from his earliest sales at his father’s (Joe Goodman) store, Bob’s Discount Furniture in Connecticut, and developing into Jerome’s Chief Operating Officer in 2006. He accepted his current position of President & CEO in July 2007.
As a company, Jerome’s has always taken an active role in their community through the local Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) programs, the San Diego Women’s Foundation and the Business Link at University of San Diego which fosters relationships and collaboration between the University and corporate community.
Recently, Jerome’s partnered with local ABC television news affiliate, 10 News, on their program Extreme Makeover My Hometown, with a donation of over $10,000 worth of furniture to the project to redo a San Diego women’s shelter. Most recently, Lee Goodman worked with the San Diego Furniture Bank (SDFB) founded in November 2007, in connection with the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA). The SDFB assists victims of all national disasters. Goodman sits on the NHFA Board of Directors, executive committee and is chairman of the NHFA industry technology committee. Goodman also serves on the National Furniture Bank Association (NFBA) task force. Jerry Navarra has been a member of the San Diego Better Business Bureau Board of Directors for more than 10 years. Ann Navarra sat on the Board of Directors for both NHFA and WHFA throughout her career of 35 years and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the City of Hope in 2001.
Jerome’s also participated in 2007 San Diego wildfire relief programs to benefit hundreds of residents who lost homes in the wildfires with special tax consideration to Red Cross and FEMA beneficiaries and discounts on furniture and delivery. The tragedy touched the company in a personal way when a long-time employee of 24 years and his family lost their home in the fires. “Jerome’s warehouse was closed for three days and our business was evacuated. The blessing was that we were able to support our employee. We went through a very tumultuous time during that period, making this award even more special,” said Goodman.
Jerome’s Furniture was selected as Retailer of the Year based on their contributions to the home furnishings industry, service to their community and their personal business achievements and company leadership. Goodman and the Navarra’s will be honored on May 20, 2008 at 6:45 p.m. at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona with an exclusive dinner celebration and awards presentation. The event will take place as the grand finale to WHFA’s May 18-20 all-new 2008 conference & expo.
For more information on Jerome’s Furniture, please contact Adeline Williams, Public Relations Director for Jerome’s Furniture at (858) 753-1549 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on taking part in the Retailer of the Year dinner celebration on May 20, 2008 please visit www.WHFAconference.com or call Cindi Williams, WHFA Events Manager at (800) 422-3778.
About the WHFA and NHFA
The Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA) is the largest affiliate of the NHFA, representing more than 1,100 independent home furnishings retailers in more than 2,800 stores in 12 western states.
National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA) is the nation’s largest organization devoted specifically to the needs and interests of home furnishings retailers. NHFA’s membership comprises 2,800 corporate entities representing 10,000 stores in all 50 states and several foreign countries.
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