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Berkshire Furniture's President, Eric Bernstein To Be Honored At December Gala Event

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Eric Bernstein, Berkshire Furniture

The Metropolitan Home Furnishings Association (MFA) announced that Eric Bernstein, President, of Berkshire Furniture has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 Howard Liveright Memorial Award.

Berkshire Furniture of Union, N.J., a retailer serving the tri state area for moderate to high quality furniture, is a service-oriented family owned business. The Howard Liveright Memorial award honors prominent members of the furniture industry for distinguished service.

“Eric is one of the nicest people you will ever meet,” says Tommy Leflein, a member of both the GNYHFA and MFA boards. “ And this guy does it all. He fixes furniture, delivers the goods, is always out on the sales floor and takes care of advertising. Most important, he is very popular with his customers and the reps he works with. He treats everyone with respect.”
This year, for the first time, the award will be presented at a jointly held formal dinner and dance that includes members of both the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association and Metropolitan Furnishings Association at The Landmark, located on Route 17 South, East Rutherford, NJ, Saturday evening, December 4th, 2010.

Mr. Bernstein will share the spotlight with two other individuals, one honored by the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association (GNYHFA). Jeff Katz, General Manager of The Fulton Stores has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 Jerry Gans Memorial Award.  The other, Metropolitan Home Furnishings Association recipient, Chris Clarizio, a furniture representative for Klaussner Home Furnishings and widely known for his work with the Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation, will be named Dean of IHFRA.

A commemorative Journal is being prepared so that friends, family and business associates can honor Eric Bernstein, Chris Clarizio, and Jeff Katz with a personal congratulatory message.

“This important event presents an opportunity for New York and New Jersey retailers, reps, manufacturers and suppliers to network with industry friends while enjoying great food, an open bar, music and dancing,” said Kevin Snyder, President of MFA. “We’ve taken great care to hold this year’s dinner and dance in a central location. The Landmark is a great facility. We’ve even added a sushi bar this year.”

For more information about the event, to make dinner reservations or reserve space in the Journal to honor Eric Bernstein, please contact, Alan Granetz, email: metrofurnassoc@gmail.com telephone: 908-725-3460. Production questions about the Journal should be directed to Russell Bienenstock, 914-235-3095 or 2010journal@furninfo.com.

About Berkshire Furniture and Eric Bernstein: Berkshire Furniture, located on Route 22 in Union is one of New Jersey’s oldest family owned furniture stores.  Originally named Bernstein Furniture, Solomon Bernstein opened the first store in 1903 on Springfield Avenue in Newark. Solomon’s son, Leo, (Eric Bernstein’s Grandfather), moved the business to South Orange, changing the store’s name to Berkshire Furniture. In 1953, his sons Lawrence and Harold Bernstein joined the firm, and the three decided to move the thriving business to another South Orange location on Valley Street. Eric Bernstein, Lawrence’s son joined the business in 1991, and convinced his father to move the store to its current location in Union.

At a very young age, Eric spent time making deliveries with Berkshire Furniture’s delivery team.  Like many in family furniture businesses he started at the bottom and worked his way up.  While in College Eric had doubts that the family business was a good fit for him, but while pursuing his dream-career, an unfortunate accident brought him back to the family business. Over the years father and son have become very close and have been successful at separating business related issues and stresses from their personal family lives. Moving the store to a busy highway location really made a difference in the way they do business. Berkshire Furniture’s customers followed them to the new, more visible and busier location. Says Eric, “The thought of helping a customer furnish their home once and then never seeing them again is not our practice at Berkshire Furniture.

We take the time to get to know our customers and to build strong relationships.  Our business dealings reflect this attitude toward doing business. Our motto is ‘The best advertisement is a happy customer!!!’”

Still striving to satisfy our customers’ needs, Lawrence and Eric continue to work as a team, so day-to-day operations run as smoothly for the fourth generation of furniture dealers, as they did for Solomon more than one hundred years ago.

When Eric is not working he enjoys spending time with his family. Eric has a wonderful wife Mary-Eileen and three children, Megan, Jack and Kevin who support his “crazy hours” running a furniture store. 

About The Howard Liveright Award: The award was inaugurated in 1961 for the purpose of perpetuating the memory of Howard Liveright and to provide an opportunity to acknowledge people who have made outstanding contributions to the home furnishings industry. The memorial plaque in reads in part, "Awarded for leadership, guidance, thought and consideration of other people of all colors and creeds... recognizing and assisting in civic and charitable activities."

About the Jerry Gans Memorial Award: The Jerry Gans Memorial Award is given in recognition of an individual who has distinguished himself/herself with deeds and service to the industry. This award was established in the name of Jerry Gans who gave honor and dignity to his profession.

About MFA: The Metropolitan Furnishings Association is a not-for-profit organization is designed to foster, promote and protect the interests of those engaged in the New Jersey’s home furnishings industry. The Association is composed of retailers, representatives, designers, manufacturers, transport, and other service related industries. Its mission is to create and foster a spirit of mutual respect and esteem among fellow members in the home furnishings industry.  MFA also provides a voice for the furnishings industry both in Trenton and Washington and provides other member benefits.

About GNYHFA: The Greater New York Home Furnishings Association has served Home Furnishings Retailers, Reps, Manufacturers and Suppliers to the industry for over 60 years. Affiliated with IHFRA, the GNYHFA offers many programs and networking opportunities.


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