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American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation Announces Candidates For Induction

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The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. (AFHF) announces the nominees for induction into the American Furniture Hall of Fame for October 2, 2007. “The individuals nominated by their industry peers represent leaders whose notable contributions have had a significant impact on the success of the furniture industry,” says J. Don Coleman, president of AFHF. “They are an inspiration for setting standards of innovation, determination and service.” The slate of nominees were selected from nominations by the AFHF members. To make a nomination, members submitted a biography (500 words or less) of the nominee including detailed information about their professional achievements, personal standards and civic involvement. All nominations were then seconded in writing by another AFHF member. The voting period began August 20, and ends September 5. Only members of the organization are eligible to nominate, second and vote. The seven nominees are: George B. Cartledge, Sr. (b 1910 d 1997) was chairman of Grand Piano and Furniture in Roanoke, Virginia, a Top 100 Furniture Chain with 23 stores in 16 cities across Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, and South Carolina. His accomplishments as a businessman, father, citizen, industry and commerce leader serve as a role model and guide for the home furnishings industry. Joyce Cash Eddy (b 1929) started with a small cottage industry in 1972 and has built a multi-million dollar furniture empire influencing American homes over the past 35 years. In addition to being recognized for donating a major portion of her company’s revenues to charitable organizations, she is also known for her hand-styled, hand-painted and hand-finished product along with her development of new and unique finishes. O. William “Bill” Fenn, Jr. (b 1927) experience in the home furnishings industry spans over 30 years. He was president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of Stanley Furniture Company and also held senior management positions with Thomasville Furniture Industries and Armstrong World Interiors prior to joining LADD as president and COO in 1982. He was named vice chairman of LADD Furniture, Inc. in January of 1990. Sam P. Finger, Jr. (b 1916 d 2001) served as president and chairman of the board of Finger Furniture. Under his leadership, Finger Furniture became the south’s largest privately owned home furnishings retailer, achieving prominence for its many innovations in home furnishings merchandising. He originated the environmental room setting concept, where furnishings and accessories were displayed in home-like settings. Fred Friedman (b 1942 d 2005) served as President/Chairman of Carl’s Furniture. Under Fred’s leadership and ingenuity, they grew into one of the largest furniture retailers in the country with over 500 employees and 22 stores. The company is consistently ranked among the top 100 stores by Furniture Today with projected revenues exceeding $130 million. Mitchell Gold (b 1951) teamed up with Bob Williams in 1989 to start The Mitchell Gold Company in rural Taylorsville, NC. With an investment of $60,000, they began making upholstered dining chairs. Today, renamed Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, the $100 million company offers upholstery, case goods, lighting, rugs, accessories, and a fine-art photography collection. Felix Wright (b 1935) believed early in life that a person’s most valuable attribute is their personal integrity. This principle of business integrity has been one of the benchmarks of Mr. Wright’s management style throughout his long career at Leggett & Platt and remains a cornerstone of the company today. Under his direction, the company has multiplied its product offerings and distribution network. New members will be announced and officially inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame at the annual banquet celebration on October 2 at the High Point Market. Reservations for the banquet can be made by calling 336.882.5900. The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation Inc. is an international, industry-wide effort organized to honor those individuals whose outstanding achievements have contributed to the continued growth and development of the U.S. furniture industry, as well as to research, collect and preserve the cultural, economic and artistic history. The organization is based in High Point at 202 Neal Place, and can be reached at 336.882.5900.

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