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Mickey Holliman Of Furniture Brands International Addresses AFMA Annual Meeting Attendees

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Furniture Brands International President and CEO Mickey Holliman, this year's Presidential Lecture Series honoree, addressed the challenges facing our industry at the 1997 AFMA Annual Meeting in Bermuda. The Presidential Lecture Series was created to recognize accomplished industry veterans and for them to share their thoughts and experiences regarding the furniture industry at the Association's Annual Meeting. Holliman noted several favorable trends that could have positive ramifications on the furniture industry. He cited the current largest growth segment, consumers 35-64 years old, as being the highest spenders for furniture. Also, home sizes are increasing and the percentage of Americans owning their own homes is the highest in history. Other factors that bode well for the industry, according to Holliman, are low mortgage interest rates, rising consumer confidence, and modest inflation expectations. Holliman cited three challenges facing the furniture industry: PRODUCT CHALLENGE: Through research, the industry must meet the demands of changing demographics; be innovative with product designs; improve quality; and be price competitive. CONSUMER PERCEPTION CHALLENGE: Increase awareness of furniture brands; broaden distribution; improve retail sales training; and shorten delivery time. RETURN ON INVESTMENT CHALLENGE: Maintain consistent sales growth, and efficient working capital management. Mickey Holliman, a 1960 graduate of Mississippi State University, began his career in the furniture industry with Futorian Corporation, working in various positions prior to being named plant manager in 1968. In 1970, Holliman left Futorian to join Alvin E. Bland in founding Action Industries. He served Action Industries as Executive Vice President until 1989 when he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer. In 1994, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer. In October of 1996, Holliman was elected President and CEO of Furniture Brands International, the parent company of Action Industries, Broyhill, Lane and Thomasville Furniture Industries. Active in his community, Holliman serves on several boards of directors, including BancorpSouth, Bank of Mississippi, the Community Development Foundation, North Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi State University Development Foundation and the Bulldog Foundation. Holliman resides in Tupelo, MS with wife Barbara. The Hollimans have five children and four grandchildren. The Holliman family are members of the Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo where Mr. Holliman serves as a deacon. Holliman was presented with the Presidential Lecturer award, a wooden obelisk signifying the pillar of strength that person provides for the industry.

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