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Harvey N. Dondero Named Chief Executive Officer of World Market Center (Las Vegas)

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As principals with World Market Center celebrated a project milestone hailing the start of construction for the home furnishings campus’ third and largest building, another ground breaking event occurred: industry leader Harvey N. Dondero was named today as chief executive officer of World Market Center. Dondero, a 32-year veteran of the home furnishings industry, who has held leadership roles for some of the biggest brands and businesses in the home furnishings industry, starts immediately with World Market Center. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Dondero started his career with Wedgwood, and has traveled around the world leading a number of companies in all facets of the industry including furniture, decorative accessories, lighting, flooring, table top and giftware, both in the United States and overseas. Before joining World Market Center, Dondero resided in Greensboro, N.C., where he served as chief executive officer of Broyhill Furniture Industries, a subsidiary of Furniture Brands International, one of America’s top three largest home furnishings manufacturers. Starting in 1999, Dondero was also president and chief executive officer of Universal Furniture International, Inc. which was purchased by Lacquer Craft, one of the largest manufacturers of residential furniture in the world. Prior to that, Dondero served as president and chief executive officer of Maitland-Smith Ltd., from 1994 to 1999. Maitland Smith is a high-end importer of fine furniture and accessories, with manufacturing facilities located in Asia. World Market Center Managing Partners Jack Kashani and Shawn Samson in conjunction with The Related Companies’ principals, Ron Wackrow and Marty Burger, commented on the importance of Dondero’s joining World Market Center. “We are extremely pleased and excited to have named Harvey as the CEO. This is a significant milestone not only for the benefit of World Market Center but also for the benefit of the industry we serve. Having spent the last few years putting together the best team and talents for all aspects of World Market Center and Las Vegas Market, including leasing, marketing, operations, trade show management, construction and financing, the time is right to enlist a new team leader who will execute our vision as the founders and partners,” said Jack Kashani and Shawn Samson. “Harvey’s many years as an exhibitor and buyer give him a unique insight as to how we can further enhance our Market for the benefit of the industry. They added, “We are confident that Harvey, a thought leader in the industry, will take World Market Center and the industry at large to new heights. We sought a highly experienced industry captain and innovator who is acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities that the home furnishings industry faces and can be responsive to them. We felt very strongly that such a leader has to be from the home furnishings industry to demonstrate World Market Center’s commitment to the exhibitors and buyers.” Dondero noted that he accepted the position due to the significant and exciting opportunity that World Market Center represents for the industry. “This is a total paradigm shift,” said Dondero. Dondero added that he is committed, with the World Market Center team, to make the vision of an international market for the home furnishings industry in the United States a reality. “I saw this opportunity as a way for me to make the greatest impact on the industry and be a facilitator of change,” said Dondero. “World Market Center presents an entirely new platform to address the new dynamics of the industry in the 21st century. The industry’s landscape has changed dramatically in the last couple of decades and buyers and manufacturers need an entirely new more productive and efficient platform.” Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman joined project officials at a news conference today and called Dondero a “perfect choice” for World Market Center. “The role and commitment of the Dondero family in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada is a long-standing one,” Goodman said. “Harvey Dondero was the first industry person I called five years ago when World Market Center was first being discussed, and I know his knowledge and experience will take the project to even greater heights.” With an eye toward the future, Dondero said “World Market Center will become more than a market place; it will become the key to linking and empowering the creative, manufacturing, marketing, buying and selling processes. The opportunity is to put all of these pieces together and make this industry, which represent more than $100 billion in annual consumer spending, more robust and efficient.” He added, “It is very exciting to be associated once again with Las Vegas, a vibrant, growing, dynamic and energetic international city. Las Vegas and its unmatchable infrastructure will be a key pillar of World Market Center’s becoming the Market to the world.” Dondero’s role will go far beyond overseeing the growth of the Las Vegas Market which takes place semi-annually at World Market Center. “Before I accepted this position, I spent extensive time with the founders and partners of the project, as well as the top management of The Related Companies. I was extremely impressed by the commitment and unique contribution of each to this $3 billion undertaking. Having worked with many talented individuals over the course of my career, I can say with confidence that the vision of the founders and partners of World Market Center is well beyond what has ever been available to the industry before. I am committed to fulfilling that vision and sharing it fully with the industry over the course of the next few years.” Ron Wackrow, execute vice president with The Related Companies, a partner in World Market Center, says, “This is a momentous occasion and we wanted only the best person from the home furnishings industry to assume the position of CEO. But at the same time we wanted to ensure that our CEO has the extensive experience in management and leadership that a project with the far reaching scope and vision of WMC. We are thrilled that Harvey, who is uniquely qualified on all levels, has joined us. He is a respected and accomplished leader who will execute the vision of the Board of WMC superbly.” Dondero will report to the Board of World Market Center that is comprised of Jack Kashani and Shawn Samson as the original founders, along with Ron Wackrow and Marty Burger from The Related Companies, the partner in charge of construction and financing since 2004. World Market Center is an integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and convention complex in Las Vegas. When fully built, at 12 million square feet in eight buildings, World Market Center will be the largest trade show complex in the World. The next Las Vegas Market will be held January 29 – February 2, 2007 at World Market Center and Pavilions, and January 30 – February 2 at Cashman Center.

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