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Audi, Badcock, Lauristen and Natuzzi Inducted As Members Of Furniture Hall of Fame

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Four industry leaders have been inducted at the sold out, 20th Anniversary banquet for the American Furniture Hall of Fame. Attended by an international collection of 373 retailers, buying group members, interior designers, manufacturers, suppliers and association leaders, the event was hosted by Susie Coehlo, TV personality, author and home furnishings guru.

The inductees are Alfred J. Audi, former president of L. & J.G. Stickley; Wogan S. Badcock Jr., former president of W.S. Badcock Corporation; K. Bruce Lauritsen, former chief executive officer of Flexsteel Industries; and Pasquale Natuzzi, founder, chairman and chief designer of the Natuzzi Group. The new members join 74 Hall of Fame members.

“We are proud to honor the contributions of these extraordinary leaders in home furnishings,” says Donald Belgrad, president of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation. “Each is a shining example of leadership, service and integrity in our industry. Their pioneering achievements and steadfast dedication will continue to serve as an inspiration in the years to come.”

Alfred J. Audi (b 1938 d 2007) and his wife, Aminy, transformed L. & J.G. Stickley from a company of fewer than 25 employees into a thriving international business with three factories, 14 showrooms and more than 1,600 employees. Mr. Audi purchased the Heirloom Upholstery factory and continued to employ the workforce as Stickley Fine Upholstery. He also purchased and revitalized John Widdicomb, Cibola Leather and Madison Square.

Wogan Stanhope Badcock, Jr. (b 1932 d 1996) was president of W.S. Badcock Corporation, a company founded by his great grandfather. During his 30-year tenure, Mr. Badcock expanded the chain to more than 300 stores throughout the Southeast, providing entrepreneurial opportunities for more than 200 associate dealers in six states. He paved the way for extensive growth and innovation while maintaining the family-like atmosphere of the company.

K. Bruce Lauritsen (b 1942 d 2007) rose from sales trainee in 1968, to president in 1989, to CEO in 1993 of Flexsteel Industries. Flexsteel’s revenues grew from $19.9 million in 1968 to $172 million in 1989 to $425 million in 2007. Mr. Lauritsen launched Flexsteel’s first in-store gallery in 1984; today there are more than 600. A member of the board of the American Home Furnishings Alliance since 2000, he joined their executive committee in 2005.

Pasquale Natuzzi (b 1940) is founder, chairman and chief designer of the Natuzzi Group, the world’s leading producer of leather sofas and Italy’s largest furniture manufacturer. Mr. Natuzzi transformed the industry by democratizing the leather sofa, a product once reserved for the elite. With revenues of 634.4 million euros and more than 8,000 employees, the Natuzzi Group today operates 12 factories worldwide. Natuzzi Americas is based in High Point, N.C.

The inductees were elected by members of the American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. based on detailed information about their professional achievements, personal standards and civic involvement. The voting period began July 1 and ended July 31. Only members of the organization are eligible to nominate, second and vote.

The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is an international, industry-wide organization founded 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 our cultural, economic and artistic history. Membership includes eligibility to vote for inductees into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, and the opportunity to help preserve the history and heritage of the industry. The organization is based in High Point at 202 Neal Place, and can be reached at 336.882.5900. See www.furniturehalloffame..com  for more information.

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