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The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Launches Women’s Center for Leadership

Furniture World News Desk on 8/9/2022

The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame has received a generous gift from Stephen Knight Pond, the founder of Furniture Today, to establish the Women’s Center for Leadership. It is located on the first floor and will serve as a space to foster the advancement of women through studies of women in the industry, to generate learning and as a gathering space for women and their guests.


“Women by far outpace men in buying furnishings and we as an industry need to do a better job of not just attracting female talent but of mentoring and promoting them into positions of leadership,” he says. “Peer learning and networking are key to any business, and even more so in an industry based on relationships. Furniture Today was founded on these principles and we put women into leadership positions when there were very few in the industry. While we’ve come a long way, it is only the beginning.


“I believe in this project because we need to promote ourselves as an industry and to do that, you need a place to bring thought leaders together for education and for innovation,” he says.  “I’m also motivated to support this project with an additional gift because there is no other place to honor the women of the industry than at the heart of the industry. It is also where I can honor my wife, Karen McNeill, for her lifelong commitment to the industry.”


The project is on schedule to open at the April 2023 High Point Market.  It is located just one block from the IHFC in the heart of the High Point Market, at 311 S. Hamilton St.


The iconic building with a two-story, Grand Story Wall, a digital matrix of videos and photography that faces the street to draw people inside.  It will feature interactive exhibits, the Hall of Fame, a Women’s Center for Leadership, a Tribute Wall, the immersive theatre, Discovery Exhibits, the Tell Us Your Story video booth, a Library, History Center, the Leaders Board Room, and the Leaders Bar. The building was designed by Freeman Kennett Architects in High Point. The exhibits are being designed by Roto, an international exhibits firm based in Columbus, Ohio.


Capital campaign donors include Jim Sneed, Affordable Furniture, Michael Amini , AICO, Jake Jabs, American Furniture Warehouse, The Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., Dixon Bartlett, Bassett Furniture Industries, Inc., The BB&T Foundation, Bear's Furniture and Mattress, Lyle Harris, Behold Home, Beiter's Furniture, Don Belgrad, Bernhardt Furniture Company, Bernie & Phyl's, Best Home Furnishings/Best Chairs, Biltrite Furniture - Leather – Mattress, Roger and Martha Bland, Bostic Sugg Furniture, Bowen Town & Country Furniture, Brown Squirrel Furniture, The Broyhill Family Foundation, Bobby Bush (Bush Brothers LLC), C. S. Wo & Sons LLC, Callan Furniture, Keith Koenig, City Furniture, Classic Home, Randy Coconis, Coconis Furniture, Bruce and Kena Cohenour, J. Don Coleman, Coleman Consulting LLC, Connie Lineberry Associates LLC, Patrick Cory, Joseph Cory Holdings, LLC, Crypton, Culp, Décor Rest, Designer Furniture Gallery, the DRIVE Foundation, Chad Spencer, Dufresne Spencer Group, Ekornes, Inc., El Dorado Furniture, Engles Furniture, Jerry Epperson, Erickson Furniture, Fashion Furniture, Bill and Candy Fenn, Fiesta Furnishings, Mickey Holliman, Five Star, Flexsteel Industries, Four Hands, Hassell Franklin, Franklin Corporation, Richard and Catherine Frinier, Furniture First Buying Group, The Furniture Foundation, Furniture Mall of Kansas, Furniture Marketing Group, Dallas Market Center, Bill and Carolyn Hinks, Furniture Mart USA, Furniture of America, In Memory of Mark Richmond, The Furniture Warehouse, Furniture Warehouse Design Gallery, Furniture World Magazine, Andrew Bernstein, FurnitureDealer.Net, Gat Creek, Gill Bros Furniture, Glen Raven, David Gebhart and Frederick Rayner, Global Views, Grand Home Furnishings, The Great American Home Store, Guardian Protection Products, Haverty Furniture Companies, David R. Hayworth, Hickory Furniture Mart, Skipper Holliman, Jr., Home Stretch, Hooker Furnishings Corporation, Howell Furniture, Infinger Furniture, INTERIORSHOME, International Market Centers, Jofran, Inc., Jordan’s Furniture Inc., Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate, Inc., The Ina Mae Kaplan Historic Preservation Fund, Bill and Sue Kimbrell, Aminy Audi, L. & J.G. Stickley, Lacquer Craft USA, La-Z-Boy Incorporated, Liberty Furniture Industries , Inc., Amir Loloi, Loloi Rugs, Manwah Holdings, Markor International Furniture, Matter Brothers Furniture and Florida Leather Gallery, Karen McNeill and Stephen Pond, Michael Alan Furnishings, Mike's Furniture, Miller Waldrop Furniture, Montgomery's Furniture, Jim Morgan, Nationwide Marketing Group, Nebraska Furniture Mart, New Atlantic Contracting Inc., Norwalk Furniture, Nourison Industries, PALECEK, Phillips Collection, Pilgrim Furniture City, Ed Hendon, Planned Furniture Promotions, Gene Rosenberg, Planned Furniture Promotions, Rob Rosenberg, Planned Furniture Promotions, Roy Hester, Planned Furniture Promotions, Tom Liddell, Planned Furniture Promotions, Martin and Mary Ann Ploy, Stephen Knight Pond, Prestige Arts / Art Trends, Jeff Child, R.C. Willey Home Furnishings, Neil & Robin Goldberg, Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, RHF Companies, Riverside Furniture, Lawrence Rogers, Room to Room, Rooms to Go, April and Steve Rusing, Schwarz Properties, Slone Bros Furniture, Slumberland Furniture, Smith Leonard, Will Somers, Steger's Furniture, Steinhafels Furniture, Suburban Furniture, Surya, Sylvan Furniture, Christopher Taylor, TD Retail Card Services Donation, Tempur Sealy, Valdese Weavers, VanDrie Home Furnishings, John Bray, Vanguard Furniture Company, Inc., Virginia Furniture Market, Wagner's Home Furnishings and Design, Bill and Julia Wittenberg, Womble Bond and Dickson, Woodstock Furniture Outlet, Imogene Zimmerman.  Gifts may be received from individuals, companies, other nonprofit foundations and the government, or through a DTC transaction for appreciated securities.


About The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.

The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc., is an industry-wide organization founded to preserve its history, to celebrate exceptional individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the U.S. home furnishings industry, and to inspire a new class of innovation and leadership. Membership includes eligibility to nominate candidates for consideration by the Selection Committee, and the opportunity to help preserve the history and heritage of the industry. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, 92 percent of all funds support our history and leadership programming. The organization currently is based in High Point, North Carolina, at 202 Neal Place, Suite 101, and can be reached at 336.882.5900. Watch for ongoing developments and details about the grand opening of a new permanent home, which is targeted for 2023.