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Furniture First Elects Board at Member Meeting

Furniture Industry News Update - Furniture World Magazine
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Riley Griffiths receives plaque from Bill Hartman

Furniture First held its General Membership and Annual Meeting at the High Point Market on Monday, April 23, 2012. During the meeting Richard Rusnak, owner of Russell’s Fine Furniture in Santa Clara, CA, spoke to the group about how Members can best contribute to the cooperative and reap the benefits for their business. He described how a product he discovered through a visit to the Furniture First showroom during a 2010 Market has contributed more than one million dollars to his store’s annual sales. Rusnak also commented that the group’s private label strategies have allowed his independent store to compete with larger chains in a market that heavily uses the Internet.

The General Membership Meeting was followed by the group’s Annual Meeting, during which Members voted to renew the terms for the current Board of Directors and Officers. Officers continuing their roles on the Board of Directors through April 2013 include Nick Cardi of Cardi’s Furniture, located in Swansea, MA; Larry Schneiderman of Schneiderman’s, located in Lakeville, MN; Art Scholet of Scholet Furniture, located in Oneonta, NY; Jeff Winter of Discovery Furniture, located in Topeka, KS. Officers continuing their roles on the Board of Directors include Larry Smith of Smith Home Furnishings, located in Ponca City, OK, as the Chairman; Mike Kordik of Mike’s Furniture, located in Joliet, IL, as the Vice-Chairman; Beth Barnes of FurnitureLand, located in Delmar, DE, as Treasurer; and Russell Blocker of Blocker’s Furniture, located in Ocala, FL, as Secretary.

Returning to the Board of Directors is Steve Kloss, owner of The Tin Shed in Highland, IL. Kloss, who was among the small group of retailers that founded the cooperative buying group in 1994, will be serving his second term on the Board of Directors.

Retiring from the Furniture First Board of Directors was Riley Griffiths, owner of Riley’s Furniture Gallery in Monroe, OH. Mr. Griffiths received a plaque recognizing his contributions to the group during his six-year tenure on the Board of Directors as he served three two-year terms.

Furniture First is a 18-year-old national buying group serving the retail home furnishings and mattress industry. Furniture First has 191 company members representing 425 store fronts and $1.4 billion in retail sales. For more information on Furniture First, please call Bill Hartman at 800-411-3477 ext 123 or email BHartman@FurnitureFirst.com.

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