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Sustainable Furniture Council To Hold Next General Meeting at Vegas Market

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The SFC is an alliance of companies and individuals committed to the advocacy of sustainable business practices in the home furnishings industry, emphasizing the selection of eco-friendly wood choices that is either certified as reclaimed or sourced from managed forests. The alliance is the brainchild of Gerry Cooklin, owner of South Cone, who has long had a passion for the subject reflected in the work of his furniture company and in numerous speeches and public commentary. He has since taken his passion to a broader platform with the creation of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC). The SFC held its first organizing meeting at the 2005 October High Point Market, and met again at High Point in October 2006, extending invitations to a wide variety of interests associated with the home furnishings industry, including manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and the trade press. Response was strong, and the group now counts among its members more than 40 different companies and individuals, including such luminaries as ABC Carpet & Home, Room & Board, and the Rainforest Alliance. The Sustainable Furniture Council is seeking to incorporate as a non-profit organization by the end of the year. By-Laws have been drafted, and governance committees have been appointed, including an initial Board of Directors: Gerry Cooklin, South Cone, Live Sustainably, Executive Committee President Amy Chender, ABC Carpet & Home, Executive Committee Vice President Susan Inglis, From the Mountain, Secretary Gat Caperton, Caperton Furniture Works, Treasurer Steve Freeman, Room & Board, Standards Co-chair Tom Verellen, Verellen, Inc, Standards Co-chair Jeff Hiller, Four Hands, Marketing Co-chair Margaret Casey, Home Furnishings Business, Marketing Co-chair At present, the SFC is intended to function in an advisory capacity to its members and the industry overall. Its immediate goals are: - to raise awareness of the sustainability issue within the industry to encourage and assist companies in adopting sustainable practices - to serve as an information clearing house for members to promote sustainable products Longer term, the group is working to develop participation guidelines that would allow members to use the SFC logo in all of their own communications and promotional activity as a symbol of compliance with specified sustainability standards. SFC will partner with existing organizations in the adoption of their wood harvesting and other sourcing protocols. Certified chain of custody letters documenting the sourcing of raw materials, with a strong and increasing commitment to the use of sustainable materials would be mandatory. The SFC understands that the goal of sustainability for wood products is a process, not an event. Certainly, the “Green” issue is topical, with numerous publications, both trade and consumer, taking notice with dedicated features or special editions. It is apparent that consumers are starting to take notice. What is most important is that industry members educate themselves on the issue, examine their own practices, promote those products that are compliant, and guide their future product development and sourcing efforts toward sustainable choices. The next organizing meeting will be held in Las Vegas at the new Four Hands showroom on the second floor of Building Two at the World Market Center, space B270, on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 7:00 a.m. All interested parties are encouraged to contact Jeff Hiller at jhiller@fourhands.com for more details. SUSTAINABLE FURNITURE COUNCIL Governance Committee Gerry Cooklin, South Come, co-chair Amy Chender, ABC Home, co-chair Susan Inglis, From The Mountain, co-chair Gat Caperton, Caperton FurnitureWorks Gary Adams, Mac Kenzie-Dow Bill Perdue, AHFA Ed Phifer, EJ Victor Sara Lyke, WithIt Darlene H. Leonard, BDO Seidman, LLP Chris Anderson, United Furniture Marketing Committee Jeff Hiller, Four Hands, co-chair Margaret Casey, HFB, co-chair Gerry Cooklin, South Come Amy Chender, ABC Home Susan Inglis, From The Mountain Lelsie Newby, Work The Brand Peggy Farabaugh, Vermont Woods Studios Marty Tucker, Copeland Furniture Andy Friberg, Spectra Michelle Lamb, TrendCurve Pete Parisette, Parisette GemWoods Bondi Coley, LEE Industries Gale Steves Douglas Thayer, RugNews Bruce Weinberg, American Leather Anne Schewe, AMS Imports Standards Committee Steve Freeman, Room & Board, co-chair Tom Verellen, Verellen, Inc, co-chair Gerry Cooklin, South Come Amy Chender, ABC Home Susan Inglis, From The Mountain Phil Payne, Shenandoah Furniture David Mahood, Olive Designs Bill Becker, BDI, Inc Wendy Shafranski, David Francis Furniture Bradley Gantt, Lee Industries Jennifer Prince, ASU Stoel Burrowes, Product design Bill Perdue, AHFA Douglas Gasal, American Leather Marten Jenkins, The Conservation Fund Loretta Peters Daphne Hewitt, Rainforest Alliance Liza Murphey, Rainforest Alliance Rick Hilton, Rainforest Alliance Greg Harden, Harden Furniture

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