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MFA Presents Awards For Best Retailer, Manufacturer & Rep

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More than 150 industry members , friends and family attended the 2007 Metropolitan Furnishings Awards Banquet Dinner-Dance at il Tulipanos in Cedar Grove NJ on December 4th. Entertained was provided by 6 time Emmy Award composer and singer Hunter Hayes. The 2007 award winners were: Best Manufacturer’s Store Award to William Schafer: After graduating from American University in 1991 William worked in the family business until 1998 when he opened Furniture Showplace in Linden, NJ. In 2201 he received the Best Young Retailer Award from the MFA. A short time later he opened his second location. In 2005 he opened his first Ashley Furniture Home Store in New Brunswick, NJ and converted his other two stores to Ashley as well. Best Representative Award to Charles Cuccia: Charles (Chuck) Cuccia graduated from Seton Hall University in 1969. He was a commissioned officer in the Adjutant General’s Office of the United States Army. His furniture career started at B. Altman as a buyer and he rose to the position of general merchandise manager. From there he joined Jack Hayes at Thomasville Furniture Industries. Later becoming the North East District Manager, he received the President Award from Thomasville. Chuck has been instrumental in the development and growth of 11 Thomasville stores in New Jersey and New York. MFA Retailer of the Year award to John Koziel: John started his career in the roofing business. He was hired as a salesman by Carl Resnick of Flemington Department Store 22 years ago. With in a year he became the occasional buyer and shortly thereafter was promoted to general manager and buyer of the furniture department. Recently John became a partner in the firm. The “Young Retailer” award was presented to Paul Massood. In 2004 he opened a Basset Direct Furniture store in Brick, NJ. Howard Liveright Award to Thomas Leflein: This high award is named for the first secretary of the original New Jersey Furniture Club. The award is presented for ” leadership, guidance, thought and consideration of other people of all colors and creeds”… recognizing and assisting in civic and charitable activities. Tommy started working in his family's furniture store in Plainfield NJ in 1971. He later became a representative for Thomasville Furniture, Pennsylvania House ,and Rowe. Eventually he was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Benchcraft and Lifestyles California. Tommy is an advocate for retailers, an avid photographer, and a benefactor to the homeless and under privileged.

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