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IHFRA Announces 2011 Award Winners of Charles B Costar Dean of IHFRA Awards

Furniture World Magazine


Dean of IHFRA Award Winners

The International Home Furnishings Representatives Association announced the 2011 winners of the Charles B Costar Dean of IHFRA Awards. Awards will be presented at the annual IHFRA Presidential Gala at the upcoming Spring High Point Market to be held on Friday, April 1 at the IHFC Club on the 11th Floor of the Green Wing of IHFC.

The Dean of IHFRA Award recognizes quality of service and dedication to IHFRA and individual Chapter that has set an outstanding example for others to follow. The award was renamed in 2007 to the Charles B Costar Dean of IHFRA to honor Costar, a longtime member and officer of the organization in recognition of Costar’s dedicated service and loyalty to the rep group.

Christopher DeLisa winner of the Dean of IHFRA Award from Greater New York Home Furnishings Association is the Past President of the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association and current Vice President of IHFRA. He became a home furnishings representative six years ago after spending 15 years in retail. Chris also serves as the commissioner for the Wayne Police Athletic League T-Ball division and is the Vice President of Sales for Cory 1st Home Delivery.

Stephen Wisocky, President of the Home Furnishings Insurance Group, has been a member of the Tri-State Home Furnishings Association since 1997 when he became the property and casualty insurance broker for the Tri-State Chapter of IHFRA. Not only has Steve provided members of Tri- State Chapter substantial savings on their insurance policies, he has been an avid supporter of the Tri-State Chapter and IHFRA. Steve’s mission through Home Furnishings Insurance Group has been total dedication to providing the home furnishings industry with the most competitive and comprehensive insurance products and services.

J Emmet Root has been a long-time furniture representative in Omaha, Nebraska, beginning his career in the industry selling with his father Emmet R Root of Minneapolis. He was Home Furnishings Merchandise Manager of Dayton Company before becoming an independent furniture representative. He now partners with his son Mike Root to represent such companies as Hughes, Ligo, Woodcrest and Progressive. His travels consist of selling major players in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. Emmet has served as President and Chairman of the International Wholesale Furniture Association, President and Chairman of Omaha Serra Club, President of Notre Dame Club of Omaha and active in community boards and fundraising in Omaha-Council Bluffs area.

The Metropolitan Furnishings Association of New Jersey Dean of IHFRA award winner is Chris Clarizio. Chris is a partner of Furniture Concepts, Inc, the sales organization representing Klaussner Home Furnishings. He began his career working in management for Federated Logistics at their furniture distribution center in Raritan New Jersey, before joining Furniture Concepts as a manufacturer’s representative in 1998. In 2005 Chris became President of The Dean Michael Clarizio Cancer Foundation shortly after his brother Dean lost his personal battle with cancer. To date, the Foundation has raised and donated over $200,000 to assist with the high costs of health care for cancer patients and their families.

Bert Asby is a longtime member of the Virginia/Carolinas Chapter and a member and Past President of the local Richmond Furniture Club. He began his career as a sales representative for Broyhill Furniture in 1979. Since 1984 he has primarily served as an independent representative in Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC and Delaware.

Eddie Gonzalez has been a member of the Florida Home Furnishings Representatives Association since 2001. He served as President of the Chapter from 2008 to 2010 and is currently serving as Chairman of the Board. Eddie serves as an independent representative in Florida for Legacy Classic Furniture, Premier, Coast to Coast, Pelican Reef and Harden Manufacturing.

Brad Cofoid has been a member of IHFRA since 1991. He belongs to the Midwest Furniture Club where he served as President in 1997 and has been a long-standing and active Board member serving on multiple committees. His furniture career began as a retail sales person at Harlem Furniture over 30 years ago. A short time later he left that position to become a manufacturers’ representative and is now managing partner of Cofoid Enterprises, a rep group he started over 20 years ago. He and his team cover the Midwest area of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. They currently represent Natuzzi, The Bedding Group, Human Touch and Guard Master. Brad also rides in the MS 150 in Illinois every year.

HFR of Michigan’s award winner is Richard J "Ric" Tyler. Ric has been a member of HFRM since he started his career as a furniture representative in 1976. He has been a Board member for the last fourteen years serving on many committees. Elected President eight years ago and Chairman of HFRM the following year, Ric has alternately served these two offices until the end of 2010. During his tenure Ric was instrumental in helping guide HFRM through the most challenging economic times their group has known. He wrote and implemented the website for HFRM while overseeing the printing of the annual Buyer’s Guide. From a small territory and one line Ric has grown his own list of retailers and lines in his territories of Michigan and Ontario Canada.

Michael J Burton is a Past President of HFRG of Southern California (2005 – 2007) and continues to serve as a member of the Board and Golf Committee Chairman. Currently Michael is a representative for Robert Michael Ltd, USA Premium Leather and Uniters North America calling on majors and independents in Southern California. He is active in the Boy Scouts of America and serves as an Assistant Scout Master and Eagle Scout Advisor.

For more information on the IHFRA Presidential Gala being held on April 1, 2011, contact the IHFRA Office at 336-889-3920 or e-mail ihfra@ihfra.org.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.