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American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation Announces Six Nominees For Induction In October

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 Stella Harris

 Darrell Harris



 Mike Massood

 George Massood



 Bob Timberlake

 Manuel Capo



 Gerald Birnback

 Thomas Day

The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. announced the 2010 nominees for election into the American Furniture Hall of Fame. The voting period begins June 28 and ends July 30. Only members of the organization are eligible to nominate, second and vote.

The six nominees are: Gerald Birnbach, Manuel Capó, Thomas Day, Darrell and Stella Harris, Michael and George Massood, and Bob Timberlake.  This is the first time that the Hall of Fame has accepted partners who work and function as a team to be nominated as a single nomination.

"This year’s slate represents some of the best from the breadth of our industry, including retailers, manufacturers, designers and suppliers," says Jeff Cook, president of the Foundation. "Each stands for leadership and innovation in their fields and has positively impacted the home furnishings industry. It is an impressive slate."

The slate was selected from nominations by Foundation members who submitted a biography of the nominee including detailed information about professional achievements, personal standards and civic involvements. Each nomination was seconded in writing by another member.

Their background is as follows:

Gerald Birnbach (b1931) was the tireless leader of Rowe Furniture Company where he started as a salesman in 1956. Later as chairman, he grew the upholstery manufacturer into a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange before it was sold to Sun Capital in 2007. Committed to domestic manufacturing in Virginia and Missouri, his vision has been to offer the consumer choice through color, freshness and fashion; good value; and speedy delivery, always with an eye on progressive merchandising and mentoring his people. 

Manuel Capó (b 1925 d 2009), grew his family business, El Dorado Furniture, into one of the top 50 of more than 35,000 furniture stores in the United States. As chief executive officer, he led the charge in exceptional customer service, targeting ethnic markets, offering same-day delivery, promoting the store as a brand and giving back to the community and industry. He created the unique concept of a "main street" with realistic building facades, old fashioned street lamps and benches opening into galleries. All seven of Capó’s sons worked side-by-side with him, along with 10 of his 20 grandchildren.

Thomas Day (b 1801 d 1861), was a free black business owner and master craftsman who became a leading furniture maker in the mid-1800s. His distinctive furniture and architectural details reflected Rococo, Gothic and Greek Revival styling. He purchased land to harvest his own lumber, mechanized his woodworking operations, and showcased his furniture in shop windows. Once commissioned for plantation homes, his designs are now considered highly prized antiques collected by individuals, museums and educational institutions.

Darrell and Stella Harris (b 1943, b 1945), founded and have grown Furnitureland South into the world’s largest 1.3 million-sq.-ft. retail furnishings showplace and an international furniture destination selling to consumers in more than 50 countries. Focused on adding value for the consumer, the family company has pioneered styled vignettes, a "green" gallery to promote sustainable practices, a national delivery team, and shopping amenities such as orientation movie theaters, a full-service restaurant, a coffee house and a lounge.

Michael and George Massood (b 1924, b 1927) have worked hand-in-hand at MGM Transport for more than 50 years to deliver furniture with great efficiency, based on their commitment to excellence and integrity. The Massoods have spearheaded innovative concepts including an order consolidation system, full-service assembly and repair facilities, barcode technology to ensure accurate movement of goods, web-based tracking of shipments, a quick ship program to expedite deliveries, and a cross-regional distribution system. They also are involved in Thomasville Home Furnishings and Bassett Home Furnishings of New Jersey.

Bob Timberlake (b 1937), an internationally recognized artist who has become the brand, partnered with Lexington Home Brands in 1990 to create "The World of Bob Timberlake." The coordinated lifestyle displays of his products include furniture, textiles, wall décor, floor coverings, lighting, tabletop, gifts, books and collectible items in 20 licensed categories. The groundbreaking success of his theme-based furniture collections reflect his sportsmanship, personality and love for his family and are cross marketed not only in furniture stores, but gift stores and many other distribution channels.  

New members will be announced and officially inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame at the annual banquet celebration on October 17, 2010 at the High Point Market.

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 www.furniturehalloffame.com.

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