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Broyhill's Raymond Simonetti Receives Jerry Gans Memorial Award

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Pictured (l-r) are Barbara Goldstein, Executive Director, GNYHFA, Award Winner Raymond Simonetti & Andrew Gans.

The Greater New York Home Furnishings Association announced that Raymond Simonetti, has been named Jerry Gans Memorial Award winner for 2008. The award will be presented at a formal dinner and dance to be held in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New York on November 22nd.

It was previously announced that Julius M. Feinblum of Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate will be also win this prestigious award. 

 Mr. Simonetti is a native of Staten Island, NY. He graduated from Port Richmond high school, earned his associate's degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, and later received his bachelor's degree from Long Island University.

After serving in the Army during the Vietnam war, Ray’s first foray into the furniture business was as a manufacturer’s representative for Bassett Furniture covering Brooklyn, NY. Two years later Ray added Thayer Juvenile, this time covering northern New Jersey.

He entered the furniture industry 38 years ago, but it can be said that like so many of us, he was born into the industry. His father, Joe, owned and operated a furniture store on Staten Island.

In 1973 Ray acquired the Broyhill Furniture line selling bedrooms and dining rooms in Queens and Long Island; subsequently adding Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Westchester and most of New Jersey. 

 Ray is the lead representative for Broyhill Furniture in the Greater New York/ New Jersey area and has been named Broyhill’s Salesman of the Year twice.

Ray pioneered the “mini gallery” that opened behind a Thomasville gallery in Brooklyn. This program later became known as the Broyhill Furniture Center. Since then Ray has personally opened 27 Broyhill Furniture Centers, 23 Broyhill Furniture Galleries, and hundreds of new accounts. Under Ray’s regional representation, Broyhill became the largest vendor of Huffman Koos. He has mentored several road representatives and taught thousands of retail salespeople his key phrase: “the two things that sell dining rooms and bedroom are china decks, backs of chairs, beds, and mirrors.”

Pictured is the Simonetti family at the awards gala.

Ray is honored to have worked personally with furniture greats like Paul Broyhill, Nat Ancell, and Stanley Rosenberg . He is proud to have been taught by David Druckman himself, whose Lifetime Achievement Award is being given to Joe Bograd of Bograd’s Furniture at the GNYHFA affair this year.

When it comes to the “finer” things in life, Ray says that he can thank his wife, Janet, a public elementary school teacher. The couple will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary next year.

Their eldest, Lauren, is a producer at Fox Business Network. They also have twin boys Matthew and Craig. Matthew works for the Philadelphia Pirates in the scouting division. Craig is a high school history teacher.

Ray likes to spend his free time on his boat, appropriately named the "Silver Fox." He is also an avid swimmer, and a not-so-avid golfer. He loves to tinker with electronic gadgets, and cars; in fact, Ray owns a red 1971 XR7 Cougar convertible, which has been featured numerous times in magazines and TV commercials.

Like many Italians, Ray’s favorite food is pasta, but he detests seafood. If you put fish in front of him, he’ll leave the table…even if Broyhill made it. 

About the Jerry Gans Memorial Award: The Jerry Gans Memorial Award is given in recognition of an individual who has distinguished himself/herself with deeds and service to the industry. This award was established in the name of Jerry Gans who gave honor and dignity to his profession.

About GNYHFA: The Greater New York Home Furnishings Association has served Home Furnishings Retailers, Reps, Manufacturers and Suppliers to the industry for over 60 years. Affiliated with IHFRA, the GNYHFA offers many programs and networking opportunities. For more information on GNYHFA visit www.gnyhfa.org

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