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Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance To Host Canadian Home Furnishings Awards

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The 2012 edition of the Canadian Home Furnishings Awards will be held on Friday, January 13, 2012 at the Conference Centre in the International Centre, Mississauga, Ontario.

The Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance will host a gala dinner to honour the recipients of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award-Art DeFehr Chief Executive Officer of Palliser Furniture and the Retailer of the Year-dRSG The Dufresne Retail Solutions Group.

The event will take place on a Friday night in order for the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance and the Quebec Furniture Manufacturers' Association to co-host a reception on the evening of the Canadian Home Furnishings Awards and the opening of The Canadian Home Furnishings Market.

The CHFA established the Lifetime Achievement Award to recognize those individuals who over their lifetime have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the Canadian home furnishings industry and their communities. "Art DeFehr is a highly respected industry titan who is a visionary business entrepreneur known not only for his wisdom, integrity, innovation and tireless work ethic but also for his generous philanthropic activities and humanitarian involvement", said Laine Reynolds who serves as Chair, Board of Directors for the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance. Laine Reynolds commented that, "through his extensive professional accomplishments and his passion for social responsibility Art is most deserving of our recognition and thanks, and is a natural recipient of this Award." Since taking over in 1984, Art DeFehr has built Palliser Furniture into one of the most successful furniture manufacturers in Canada with plants in the United States, Mexico and Indonesia.

In 2004, DeFehr was named an Officer in the Order of Canada. He received the Order of Manitoba in 2011. Art DeFehr is a past member of the World Economic Forum and is a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He currently serves as a Board member of the Canadian Mennonite University.

DeFehr served as the United Nations High Commissioner in Somalia for a program with 400,000 refugees. Among other accomplishments, he played a significant role in creating the Lithuanian Christian College in the Soviet Union. DeFehr was also the first Director of the Mennonite Central Committee refugee and agricultural program in Bangladesh. Art DeFehr was also the founding Chair, Board of Directors for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank which provided food and related assistance in emergencies around the world. His most recent interest is with immigration policy and he has played a role in the development at the Provincial Nominee Program for Manitoba. As a businessman, humanitarian and philanthropist Art DeFehr has bettered the lives of Manitobans and others around the world.

The 2011 honouree for the LAA was Jean Deveault, retired Executive Vice-President of Canadel. Prior recipients include Richard Magnussen, President/CEO of Magnussen Home Furnishings; Larry Rogers, President/CEO of Sealy North America; John Colalillo, President of Superstyle Furniture and Mario Colalillo, President, Edgewood Furniture; Hugh Owen, President of Owen & Company/Kingsdown Canada and Past Chair, Board of Directors of the Ontario Furniture Manufacturers' Association; Terry Clark, Chair, Furniture West Board of Directors and long time President of the Canadian Council of Furniture Manufacturers; Guy Laflamme of South Shore Industries; the Sklar brothers; Serge Racine, of Shermag; Pat Thody, former President and CEO of Simmons Canada, Orville Meade, Past President of Kroehler Furniture and Bruce MacPherson, Sr. of Gibbard Furniture.

The Retailer of the Year Award is dedicated to recognizing exemplary models of excellence and community service by Canadian Furniture retail businesses. Laine Reynolds noted that, "in a few brief years Dufresne Retail Solutions Group (dRSG) has become a significant Retail Group which has had a very positive impact on Independent Furniture Retailing in Canada." Reynolds went on to say, "An intense commitment to retailing excellence, best practice sharing, operational effectiveness and people development have been the hallmarks of the success of their business model. Through vision, drive, and strong leadership dRSG has become a Retail Group powerhouse that has a growing presence in the marketplace and as such they are a very worthy recipient of this coveted award." dRSG - The Dufresne Retail Solutions Group was launched in 2006 and in five years has grown to 83 store locations from Newfoundland to British Columbia. The primary mission of dRSG is to provide its members with solid leadership, stability and vision. dRSG has accomplished this through providing independent retailers with information provided through member meetings, advertising and merchandising solutions as well as being on the leading edge of upcoming retail trends. dRSG brings members together with buying and marketing programs and creating groups of like-minded merchants confronted with similar challenges. dRSG has well defined systems to measure and improve each member's business profitability such as the door counter program which allows for many aspects of each retailer's business to be analyzed.

dRSG has been successful in supplying proven "benchmarks" to measure against a store's performance. The buying group positions their members to prosper in today's challenging retail environment. dRSG has proven programs and systems to enhance your current business model. The Retailer of the Year Award will be accepted by industry and buying group veteran Steve Braniff, Director of dRSG. Steve Braniff has been the driving force behind the continued success of dRSG.

The 2011 Retailer of the Year was easyhome Ltd.  Prior honourees include Gallery 1/Worldwide Furniture, Sleep Country Canada, Lastman's Bad Boy, the Mega Group, Stoney Creek Furniture, the Dufresne Group, the Brick, Tepperman's and Leon's.

The Canadian Home Furnishings Awards website will be ready to accept registrations by October 14, 2011. Tickets may be purchased by registering on-line at www.chfawards.ca. Sponsorship packages are also available from the website.

The Canadsian Home Furnishings Alliance is an industry association representing home furnishings manufacturers, importers/distributors and suppliers to the industry. For more information on the association or The Canadian Home Furnishings Awards, please contact Murray Vaughan at 905-677-6561 or by e-mail murray@chfaweb.ca.

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