NHFA announced that Dianne Ray of Garden City Furniture, Garden City Beach, S.C., took office January 1st as 2011 president of National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA). NHFA is a 90-year-old national trade organization serving home furnishings retailers in all 50 states, Canada and abroad. The association is headquartered in High Point, N.C.
Ray, the second woman to hold NHFA’s top elected office, is a principal of Garden City Furniture which has been serving the Grand Strand (Myrtle Beach, S.C., resort area) for more than 60 years. Mary Ann Levitt became the first woman president of NHFA in 2006.
Ray inherited the Garden City Furniture management mantle from her father Hubert Watson who founded the company. The third generation, Dianne’s son, Joey Ray, is now active in the business. A long-time member of the NHFA board of directors, Dianne Ray has served NHFA’s regional affiliate Southern Home Furnishings Association (SHFA) in various leadership roles, including president in 2004. She received SHFA’s highest honor, the Willis Award of Merit in 2003, an honor she shares with her father. SHFA is another interest shared by her son, Joey, now a member of the board directors.
Ray was elected at NHFA’s annual meeting during the October High Point Market. Other officers to serve during 2011 are: Marc Schewel, Schewel’s Furniture, Lynchburg, Va., senior vice president and treasurer; Cherie Rose, the Rose Collection, Las Gatos, Calif.; and Rick Howard, Sklar Furnishings, Boca Raton, Fla., senior vice president. Jeff Child, RC Willey Home Furnishings, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010 president, moves to the post of Chairman of the Executive Committee.