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Furniture First Honored Retiring Board Members at Recent Symposium



Furniture World News Desk on

5/30/2024

Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture in Tupelo, MS, and Matt Meusey of Wagner’s Home Furnishings in Missoula, MT and Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First.
Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture in Tupelo, MS, and Matt Meusey of Wagner’s Home Furnishings in Missoula, MT and Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First.

Furniture First honored two retiring board members in person, and one in absentia, at their general membership meeting earlier this month. Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture in Tupelo, MS, and Matt Meusey of Wagner’s Home Furnishings in Missoula, MT received plaques recognizing their service. Mike Albert of Pilgrim Furniture City in Milford, CT was unable to attend the meeting, but was recognized for his board service as well.

The meeting kicked off the cooperative’s annual symposium in Arlington, Texas. The three-day meeting was attended by a record-setting 370+ retailers and sponsors, the largest attendance ever for Furniture First. Highlights of the symposium included the retail-centric Best Idea competition and a keynote by sales and leadership expert Ryan Estis.

In the Best Idea competition Furniture First Members, in groups of ten per round table, presented an idea that made a difference to their business. Ideas ranged from marketing strategies to operational processes that make life easier and business more profitable. At the end of the session each table voted on a winner. Each winner then had the opportunity to present their winning idea to all attendees at dinner, who then voted for the Best Idea in the Room via the event app. This year’s winner was Pam Miller of Miller Home Furniture & Mattress in Falls Creek, Pennsylvania, who shared a strategy that leveraged a customer loyalty program to off-set operational expenses.

Ryan Estis, who spoke at the group’ 2019 symposium as well as this year’s event, related several of the themes of his new book Prepare for Impact: Driving Growth and Serving Others through the Principles of Human-Centered Leadership. Furniture First members at the symposium received a copy of the book courtesy of Furniture First partner and symposium sponsor, TD Retail Card Services. 

At the conclusion of this year’s symposium, the location and dates for next year’s event were announced: Hilton West Palm Beach & Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, June 2-4, 2025.

Following the symposium, the Furniture First board and staff remained in Arlington for a planning meeting. Several new benefits and initiatives will be developed as a result of the planning.

“It’s great to kick off the tenure of our new board members with an in-person planning meeting,” said Andrew Kauffman, CEO of Furniture First. “It helps them to get to know our staff better and understand the full scope of the services we offer.” Retailers beginning their board terms include Matt Huber of Belfort Furniture in Dulles, VA, John Lott of Lott’s Furniture in Waycross, GA and Michael Fiacco of Old Brick Furniture in Albany, NY.

 


 

About Furniture First

Furniture First is a cooperative national home furnishings and mattress buying group serving full line independent retailers with sales over $2 million. Collectively, the group sells $3 billion at retail with their approved merchandise programs in the 522 member storefronts. Furniture First’s High Point showroom is located at 336 South Main Street, in the heart of the High Point Market district. For more information on Furniture First Membership, please visit www.JoinFurnitureFirst.com or call 800-411-3477.

 



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