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Ronny Bensimon, Named 2006 Western Retailer of the Year

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Longtime furniture retailer and President/COO of Dearden’s, Inc., furniture stores, Ronny Bensimon, has been named the 2006 Western Retailer of the Year by the Western Home Furnishings Association (WHFA), a 12-state nonprofit organization representing almost 1,200 home furnishings retailers. The award will be presented Tuesday, May 23, 2006 in Hawaii at a gala dinner and celebration during the 46th Annual WHFA Managerial Conference and Tradeshow at the Fairmont Orchid hotel and resort. The prestigious Western Retailer of the Year award is given each year to a home furnishings retailer who is exemplary in merchandising, advertising, store design and all business practices, demonstrates service to his community and maintains a commitment to support the betterment of the home furnishings industry. WHFA Board President David Harkness cites Bensimon’s long involvement with the association as evidence of his many contributions to the home furnishings industry and to the communities Dearden’s serves. “Ronny has served as president (1999) and board member (for 10 years) and has been active in WHFA since 1992,” Harkness says. “He has had a strong influence on our industry and made innumerable contributions to the growth of the association over the years.” Mary Ann Levitt, president of the National Home Furnishings Association (NHFA), concurs with Harkness’ assessment of Bensimon’s dedication and commitment. “Ronny has a record of outstanding contributions to the industry,” Levitt says. “He’s a doer: He gets involved, and he makes things happen.” Angel Lopez, vice president at Dearden’s, has worked with Bensimon for eight years. He echoes Levitt’s high opinion of his boss. “He’s an awesome human being,” Lopez says. “He’s someone I look up to and respect, worthy of everything he gets in life.” Under Bensimon’s guidance, Dearden’s has forged a strong relationship with the communities it serves: In 2005, Dearden’s, Inc. was named “Philanthropic Corporation of the Year” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Established in 1966, Dearden’s Scholarship Program provides college scholarships every year to 46 graduating seniors from 23 Southern California public high schools. For 15 years, Dearden’s has supported Para Los Niños, a nonprofit family service organization serving some of Los Angeles’ most challenging communities, through its annual charity golf tournament. Proceeds from the 2006 tournament are expected to surpass the $1,000,000 mark raised for Para Los Niños in the tournament’s lifetime. Founded in Los Angeles in 1909 by Edgar Dearden and now in its fourth generation of family ownership, Dearden’s is one of the oldest home furnishings retailers in the Western United States. The company’s target market is the Spanish-language dominant, low-to-middle income consumer in Southern California. To better serve their clientele, all but a handful of Dearden’s 600+ employees are bilingual. About WHFA The Western Home Furnishings Association is member-owned and the largest affiliate of the National Home Furnishings Association, providing programs, services and networking opportunities to Western home furnishings retailers since 1944.

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