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ARBEK Furniture founders, Carlos Morales and Daniel Torres, named Inland Empire Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst and Young LLP

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During a gala black tie awards ceremony held June 25, 1998 at the Riverside Convention Center, Carlos Morales and Daniel Torres, owners of ARBEK Furniture Manufacturing in Chino, California, were named Ernst and Young's Entrepreneurs of the Year in the manufacturing category for the Inland Empire Region. The 16 year old company grew from Morales' and Torres' hobby of making furniture for their family. The two were recognized for their innovative products, creative marketing programs, financial stability, and participation in the business, community and civic organization. The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program recognizes business leaders in 80 regions, including 47 in the United States. 1998 marks the tenth year that Inland Empire, which includes Riverside, San Bernardino and Las Vegas, NV, has honored outstanding entrepreneurs whose hard work, ingenuity and perseverance have contributed significant economic benefits to their community. ARBEK Furniture, one of Chino's largest employers, designs, manufactures and markets bedroom furniture to retailers across the country. Morales' and Torres' were nominated for consideration by Cassaundra Johnson of Bank of America in Riverside, California. Over 300 inland area businesses, who must be nominated for consideration by independent resources, submitted intensive questionnaires covering their company's business philosophy, future plans, employee profiles, products and services and history. From these submissions, as well as an interview with an independent panel of 7 area business leaders, 3 finalists were chosen in the categories of Business Services, Consumer Products, Corporate Entrepreneurship, Distribution, Emerging Markets, Manufacturing, Master and Technology. As winners of their division, Morales and Torres, will now be inducted into the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute at the annual international conference, to be held in Palm Springs in November. They will also compete with other regional winners for National Entrepreneur of the Year in the manufacturing category. In accepting the award, Morales and Torres thanked God, their families and their employees for their help in growing the successful company. In addition, Morales thanked a "man who has inspired me my whole life," his father, Carlos Morales Sr., who was also in attendance. ARBEK Furniture, whose name is derived from Torres' wife Arlene and Morales' wife Becky, grew from a garage shop making children's furniture to a multi-million dollar manufacturing concern employing almost 300 people. Guided by the hands-on management of Carlos Morales, president and Daniel Torres, vice-president, ARBEK has created award winning bedroom styles in medium price points that appeal to consumers all over the United States and beyond. Quality construction, special features like hidden compartments, built-in electrical outlets and convenient jewelry storage areas, and original designs have set their furniture apart from the competition. In addition, ARBEK has earned its place in many retail stores with a written 10 year warranty, attentive customer service and innovative marketing programs. ARBEK's future plans call for stepped up growth, investment in new technologies and exploration of other furniture distribution arenas. Company History: A native of El Paso, whose family came to Los Angeles when he was five years old, President Morales says Arbek is the realization of a longtime dream. The furniture executive, 'Who spent 17 years as an auto technician before founding Arbek along with his brother-in-law, Daniel Torres, was familiar with Woodworking because his father was a cabinetmaker. Torres had managed a. small business. One of Arbek's first breaks came in 1982 When a friend asked Morales to produce children's furniture. "The children's furniture sold quite well so we expanded'' Morales said. "Then we decided to try to expand some more." Instead of just building furniture for others, Arbek subsequently elected to market its own line. The company moved. into a larger facility in 1983 to boost production. Expansion followed a year later as the company started production of a full line of adult furniture. Next came its biggest leap forward when Arbek began manufacturing a bedroom set Called the Grandview. "It was unique in its styling," Says Morales. "It was designed with a number of compartments that made it very functional as well as appealing." Since that time, hidden and visible compartments have been a hallmark of Arbek Furniture. The Grandview line took off so fast that Arbek had to move again to a larger location, Morales recalls. Today, Arbek manufactures in its five acre plant in Chino. The company conceived its name Arbek after Torres' wife, Arlene, and Morales' wife, Becky. Arbek's furniture is sold nationally as well as in the Far East. For more information on Arbek contact sales@arbek.com

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