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Furniture Concepts' Partner Chris Clarizio To Be Honored MFA/ GNYHFA Dinner Dance on December 4th

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Chris Clarizio

The Metropolitan Home Furnishings Association (MFA) announced that Chris Clarizio, a partner at Furniture Concepts, the sales organization representing Klaussner Home Furnishings, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 Dean of IHFRA Award recognizing quality of service to the industry, the recipient’s charitable nature, and a dedication that sets an outstanding example for others to follow.

“In addition to being one of the most professional and personable sales professions in the business,” noted Tony Bellarosa of Furniture Concepts, “Chris is the president of the Dean Michael Clarizio Foundation, founded in honor of his older bother, Dean.  The foundation was created 5 years ago to assist families with the financial challenges typically associated with cancer.  Thanks to Chris’ efforts, the Foundation has donated over $200,000 to families and children suffering from cancer.”

This year, for the first time, the award will be presented at a jointly held formal dinner and dance hosted by the Metropolitan Furnishings Association and the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association at The Landmark, located on Route 17 South, East Rutherford, NJ, Saturday evening, December 4th, 2010.

Mr. Clarizio will share the spotlight with two other deserving individuals. Jeff Katz, General Manager of The Fulton Stores has been chosen as the recipient of the 2010 Jerry Gans Memorial Award by the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association (GNYHFA).  Eric Bernstein of Berkshire Furniture, Union, NJ will be presented with the Howard Liveright Award by the Metropolitan Home Furnishings Association.  A commemorative Journal is being prepared so that friends, family and business associates can honor Chris Clarizio, Eric Bernstein, and Jeff Katz with a personal congratulatory message.

“Chis is a truly deserving individual. He is not only a philanthropist, he also gives his time and energy to MFA, most notably in support MFA’s annual golf outing that benefits the Dean Michael Clarizio Foundation, said Kevin Snyder, President of MFA.  "Our upcoming gala event will be an opportunity for New York and New Jersey retailers, reps, manufacturers and suppliers to honor Chris, Eric and Jeff, while networking with industry friends and enjoying great food, an open bar, music and dancing. We’ve taken great care to hold this year’s dinner and dance in a central location. The Landmark is a great facility.”

For more information about the event, to make dinner reservations or reserve space in the Journal to honor Chris Clarizio, Eric Bernstein or Jeff Katz 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 Chris Clarizio and Furniture Concepts:

Chris Clarizio is a partner of Furniture Concepts Inc., the sales organization representing Klaussner Home Furnishings. Chris graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Economics. He began his career working in management for Federated Logistics at their furniture distribution center in Raritan New Jersey. After working in management for two years, Chris joined Furniture Concepts as a Manufacturers Representative for Klaussner Home Furnishings in 1998.

In June 2005, Chris became president of The Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation shortly after his brother Dean lost his personal battle with cancer. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2004, Dean actively reached out to other cancer patients in need of emotional support. Along with Chris and close friends, Dean decided to start the foundation, because he wanted to provide emotional and financial help to other cancer victims. Although he died only one month before the foundation Chris organized family and friends to raise money for the non-profit cause. Chris made a promise to his brother, and plans to fulfill that promise and continue Deandream to help others who battle cancer. To date, The Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation has raised and donated over $200,000 to assist with the high costs of health care for cancer patients and their families. In June of 2008, Chris partnered The Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation with the Metropolitan Furnishings Association for their Annual Golf Outing. This successful partnership, has added a new dimension to the golf outing and another opportunity for DMCCF to help someone in need. It is currently an exciting, successful event that continues to grow and get better each year. Through the combined efforts of The Metropolitan Furniture Association and the DMCCF, donations of $5,000 each was given to two recipients at The Annual Golf Outing.

Chris and his wife Danielle married this past August and currently reside in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. Danielle is a Vice President in the International Division of Wells Fargo. Chrisparents, Joseph, Maria, and brother Joe also live in the area. Chris is extremely proud of the way his parents have handled the death of their son Dean, and their strength continues to be a daily inspiration for him. The love and support of his wife, family and friends has helped Chris to manage the difficult and heartbreaking loss of his brother. He has focused his energies in a positive direction by raising money to assist those in need and continue to honor his promise to Dean.

Chris considers himself a sports buff. He was awarded a full athletic scholarship to play soccer at Wesleyan College and remains a loyal fan of World Cup Soccer. He is also a fan of the New York Mets and Knicks, although it has been difficult for him to cheer for either sport lately. His favorite football team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, which currently makes football the most enjoyable sport for him to watch in between the four years of World Cup Soccer Tournaments.

Although, the current economic climate continues to make selling a challenge Chris continues to maintain a positive outlook on the Furniture Industry. With the knowledge that every retail sale is more important to the dealer than ever before, Chris strives to provide the best service and training possible as a Manufacturer Representative and is accessible to assist his customers as needed. The excellent working relationship Chris shares with his partners and the fact that he was , allowing him to grow and learn in the field for the past twelve years contribute to his success in the industry thus far. As the furniture industry evolves and changes to meet current consumer needs Chris is prepared to meet these challenges by open minded, flexible, planning and a willingness to embrace change.  

About The Dean of IHFRA Award: The Dean of IHFRA Award recognizes quality of service to the industry, the recipient’s charitable nature, and a dedication to IHFRA and individual Chapters that has set an outstanding example for others to follow.

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 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.
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.

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