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Donald D. Dreher Receives AHFA Distinguished Service Award

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Donald D. Dreher, president, CEO and chairman of DMI Furniture, received the American Home Furnishings Alliance Distinguished Service Award on Nov. 9 at the group’s 2007 Annual Meeting in Charleston, S.C. “A furniture executive by choice rather than by birth, he entered the industry as a specialist in financial affairs and has risen to the uppermost level of a respected furniture producer today,” stated La-Z-Boy Chairman Emeritus Patrick Norton in presenting the award. He “thrives on facing difficult challenges and finding meaningful solutions” and “is lauded for his tremendous honesty and highest integrity.” The Distinguished Service Award named Dreher an “Industry Problem Solver.” Dreher joined Louisville-based DMI Furniture in 1977 as corporate controller and was named chief financial officer in 1979. He took the helm as president and CEO in 1986 and led the declining company out of bankruptcy and transformed it into a successful sourcing and distribution operation. Flexsteel Industries purchased DMI in 2003. “He is regarded as an early leader in our industry to recognize the value of internationally produced bedroom, dining room and office merchandise for both the residential and commercial marketplaces,” Norton noted. Dreher served as president of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association (now AHFA) in 1996. He also was a founding director of the American Furniture Hall of Fame and served as its president in 1991-1992. Dreher is an Orange County, Calif., native and grew up on a diet of surfing, waterskiing and racing BMX motorbikes. Today, he and his wife still enjoy riding motorcycles side by side. AHFA presents the Distinguished Service Award each November to an individual who has contributed time and effort to improving the furniture industry. Each honoree must exhibit “executive presence and stature” and be considered by colleagues as a vigorous industry leader. Leadership within the individual’s community and state also are requisites, as well as excellence within the individual’s own company. The American Home Furnishings Alliance –located in High Point, N.C. and Washington, D.C. – is the largest association of home furnishings companies in the world and represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, as well as 225 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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