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Furniture First Elects Board Officers For 2005-2006

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Furniture First, the nation's largest member-owned retail furniture buying cooperative, announceD the results of its 2005-2006 Board Member Elections. This Harrisburg, PA based organization has been serving the retail home furnishings industry for more than a decade. At its General Membership Meeting during the 2005 April High Point Furniture Market, Furniture First honored retiring Board members, Jack Nelen of Kavanagh Furniture in Springfield, MA, and Michael Kenis of Morris Furniture Co. in Albert Lea, MN, for their years of invaluable service and dedication. Furniture First also welcomed its newest Board members, Jeff Winter of Discovery Furniture in Topeka, KS, and Sam Fishbein of Kacey Fine Furniture in Denver, CO. Board Officer Election results for 2005-2006 were announced to the members as follows: Ron Hatch, Hatch Furniture in Yankton, SD, is Chairman of the Board; Steve Rotman, Rotmans in Worcester, MA, is Vice Chairman of the Board; Peter Redman, Northern Mattress & Furniture in Fairfield, ME, is Treasurer of the Board; Kelly Meckes, Jerry's Home Furnishings in Mansfield, OH, is Secretary of the Board; and Bill Hartman continues as the President of Furniture First in Harrisburg, PA. Remaining Board members include: Steve Kloss of Kloss Furniture Co. in Highland, IL; Ed Berglund of Top Hat Furniture in Kearney, NE; Dianne Ray of Garden City Furniture in Garden City, SC; Karen Shaul of Sylvan Furniture in Lewiston, ID; and Russ Blocker of Blocker's Furniture in Ocala, FL. Board Chairman, Ron Hatch, offered the following comment, “It is an honor to serve as the Board Chairman for Furniture First. This organization and its members represent the finest in the retail furniture industry; and as members, our collective knowledge, experience, and buying power will continue to ensure our growth and success in the international marketplace.” Hartman added, “For more than 11 years, Furniture First has elected Board members who bring an abundance of industry knowledge and expertise to the table in support of our buying group and its vision and mission. Again this year, we have elected Board members and officers who represent the industry's finest and most experienced retailers and leaders. We are also excited about the addition of our two newest Board members, Jeff Winter and Sam Fishbein, who possess the insight and enthusiasm necessary to assist Furniture First and its members in achieving even greater successes.” Furniture First currently has 116 members with over 250 stores in 41 states, reporting a combined retail volume over $1 Billion in furniture and mattress sales. Our impressive list of service and supplier partners further compliments the membership's ability to maintain its leadership position in the competitive marketplace. Recently, Furniture First announced the addition of multiple new Supplier and Service Partners including, Alan White (Upholstery), ALCH Advertising, Collezione Europa, Durham, Hallmart, Huntington, Intercon, Seahawk Designs, Trade Masters, Trendwood, and Universal Furniture International, Inc. Hartman continued, “The addition of these new partners will further strengthen Furniture First as a dominant force in the furniture industry, bolstering our members' power to overcome the challenges of distribution, exclusivity, selling, operations, and advertising.” In 1994, Furniture First was founded by a small group of furniture store owners who envisioned themselves large enough to compete with retail industry giants. And today, these founding fathers are reaping the rewards of their visions and hard work. Chairman Hatch and all the Board members share the common goal to continually improve members' profitability through volume purchasing, innovative operations, and marketing strategies. For more information on how Furniture First can help your business grow and become more profitable, call Bill Hartman, President of Furniture First, at 717-540-9725.

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