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Shepherd Launches New Performance Group Company

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Shepherd Management Group spun off its Performance Groups into a new, separate company after launching five new groups over the past 60 days, Ted Shepherd, CEO of Shepherd Management Group, announced. The new company, Shepherd Performance Groups, will focus on the development and growth of the performance groups concept which Shepherd Management Group introduced to the furniture retail industry two years ago. Four new groups are being formed in August and September with inaugural meetings in Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Nashville. The new company also plans to offer in-store leadership training and management seminars. "Based on the success of our charter group and high interest in the industry, we recognized the need for a new, separate company solely dedicated to these innovative groups," Shepherd said. All furniture retailers are welcomed to join a group - you do not have to be a Shepherd Management Group client to join." In making the announcement, Ted Shepherd said that Ron Huddleston, a seasoned furniture executive at several top 100 furniture retailers, will serve as president of Shepherd Performance Groups and Dr. Phil Jones, who brings 20 years of training and computer experience to Shepherd, will serve as Vice President of Systems and Operations. Both Huddleston and Jones have been affiliated with Shepherd Management Group for two and six years, respectively. Huddleston said, Performance groups bring together a dynamic group of professional furniture retailers who work for the mutual benefit of each group member through in-depth analysis, group problem solving, and brainstorming to improve management skills and store performance." Groups maximize collaborative problem solving capabilities by sharing the individual experience and knowledge of group members. Huddleston explained that each member benefits from the wisdom offered by the group and the analysis of shared financial data. These groups allow members to really dig into issues that affect their retail furniture operation. Built upon the "20 Groups" concept of the automotive industry, performance groups are dynamic management support systems that equip members with the tools they need to meet the challenges of running a home furnishings business. Composed of non-competing retailers, groups meet three times a year in a professionally facilitated environment to compare financial information, trouble shoot, and to serve as an informal, external board of directors. Members hold each other accountable for putting into practice techniques and advice learned during meetings. Each group establishes its own by-laws, sets its own agenda, invites guest speakers, and recruits new members. Shepherd Performance Groups provides a facilitator, makes arrangements for the meetings, and manages the financial composites. Rick Ippolito, of Ippolito's Furniture in Meredith, NH, liked the concept of performance groups and joined one of the new groups. He said, We're too busy to be innovative, so we wanted to find out what's working for other retailers." Jim Stallone, of Mt. Morris Furniture in New York, thought performance groups were a good idea too. In a smaller company like ours, it's hard to be a specialist in everything. It's nice to be able to call someone and ask them 'What's your experience?' The input is invaluable." Shepherd Performance Groups is headquartered in Acworth, Ga. and Tracy Roberts will serve as administrator. The new company can be reached at (888) 281-8871 e-mail at http://www.shepherdonline.com.

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