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Paul Toms Jr. Honored With Distinguished Service Award

Furniture Industry News Update - Furniture World Magazine
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Andy Counts, CEO of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (left), presents the 2012 Distinguished Service Award to Paul Toms Jr., chairman and CEO of Hooker Furniture, Martinsville, Va.

Paul B. Toms, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Hooker Furniture, has been honored with the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the American Home Furnishings Alliance. The award was presented Friday, November 9, during the organization’s 2012 Annual Meeting at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami, Fla.

Toms, grandson of Hooker Furniture founder Clyde Hooker Sr., pursued a career in business and finance before stepping in as the third generation to lead the venerable Martinsville, Va.-based furniture manufacturing company begun in 1924. Toms joined the company in 1987 as vice president of sales, then added marketing to his responsibilities in 1993. In 2000, Toms was named to his current post when Clyde Hooker Jr. officially passed the torch of leadership to him. Under his guidance, Hooker Furniture has remained true to serving dealers large and small with a growing spectrum of quality products in its core casegoods line, as well as in its acquisitions of Bradington-Young, Sam Moore and Opus Designs.

“A man’s life is a mosaic of many endeavors and opportunities – family, church, country, community, industry and service to others,” Vaughan-Bassett Chairman John D. Bassett III stated in presenting the award. “While some excel in just a few of these areas, few excel in all of them. The exception is honored here.”

The award recognizes Toms for the successful leadership of his company, valuable contributions to improving the quality of life and education in his hometown region, and making a significant impact in the home furnishings industry. He served as chairman of AHFA in 2007 and was chairman of the High Point Market Authority from 2003 to 2006. He has also previously served on the Board of Trustees for High Point University and as a director for the Harvest Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing challenges in health, education and community vitality in Martinsville and Henry County, Va.

“Perhaps what sets this man significantly apart is his unwavering fortitude as a leader – of his company, his industry association and its multiple pursuits. He has stepped up when called upon to take charge during challenging circumstances and changing times,” Bassett said, noting that Toms keeps a “No surprises” sign on his desk that originally sat on his uncle Clyde Hooker Jr.’s desk for decades prior to his retirement.

AHFA’s Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually for the past 46 years. Recipients are noted for their contributions to the industry, to the AHFA and to their local communities.

The American Home Furnishings Alliance, based in High Point, N.C., represents more than 200 leading furniture manufacturers and distributors, plus about 150 suppliers to the furniture industry worldwide.

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