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American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation Names Karen McNeil As CEO

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Karen McNeill Harris has been promoted to chief executive officer of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.  She previously held the title of executive director, a position she’s held since March 2007.  

“Karen has been instrumental in building the Hall of Fame Foundation into more than just an annual banquet, but a respected organization on a new course to preserve our stories and history,” says Donald Belgrad, president of the Foundation. “She and her team have led us through a rebranding, infused new energy into the Hall of Fame, and guided us back to our mission to focus on the history of our industry as we preserve our past to fuel our future.” 

Since 2007, marketing initiatives have strategically included a repositioning of Foundation programs with a broader focus on preserving the industry’s history and memorabilia. Under her leadership, the organization has launched Phase 1 of a new Web site, with plans to make this a one-stop shop for industry information; added celebrity hosts to the annual Induction Banquet; and redesigned the Affie award given to all inducted members into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor. This summer, the Foundation will launch a cataloging system of its memorabilia and will host a call for books and memorabilia throughout the industry. 

With the help of a grant from the Furniture Foundation, the Foundation has digitized 31 previous recorded oral interviews so the words of our industry’s leaders are not lost.  These priceless gems will be available in beautiful bound books later this year. 

The Foundation is collaborating with other industry organizations to save the history, be a resource to colleges and universities and promote a greater understanding of the U.S. furniture industry. 

McNeill Harris is also CEO of McNeill Communications Group, Inc., a strategic communications, public relations and marketing agency which specializes in home furnishings.     

The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is an international, industry-wide organization founded to honor those individuals whose outstanding achievements have contributed to the continued growth and development of the U.S. furniture industry, as well as to research, collect and preserve our cultural, economic and artistic history. Membership includes eligibility to vote for inductees into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, and the opportunity to help preserve the history and heritage of the industry.  The organization is based in High Point at 202 Neal Place, and can be reached at 336.882.5900. 

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