Furniture Today to recognize industry Trailblazers, Titans at new event | Bill McLoughlin

It is an enduring truth of the furniture industry that it is a relationship business, which is to say it is a people business. If you look at the rise of successful organizations, success can most often be traced to the vision, values and drive of a singular individual.

And it is the ability of that individual to recognize and cultivate those attributes in others that allows great organizations to grow and thrive. Think about the companies that have made a lasting impact on the industry, and invariably those thoughts will center on the individual stars within the company who made the difference.

To recognize the impact that great people can have in moving the industry forward, Furniture Today will debut a new event at the upcoming Las Vegas Market. Called Trailblazers and Titans, the event will recognize those who have built an enduring legacy within the industry, those who are working to build a legacy and those who aspire to build such legacies.

The event, to be held Saturday, July 27, at Worldview, atop World Market Center’s Building B, will celebrate five industry Titans who have changed the business forever. This first group of honorees, all still guiding companies and shaping the direction of the industry, include Amini Audi, chairman and CEO of Stickley Furniture; Jeff Child, president of RC Willey; Jeff Seaman, CEO of Rooms To Go; Clarence Smith, chairman and CEO of Haverty’s; and Todd Wanek, CEO of Ashley Furniture Inds.

Each of these leaders has contributed not only to the growth of venerable, widely admired and highly successful organizations, but also has supported and grown the industry of which they are an integral part. Furniture Today will recognize them at this event and will feature profiles in our Sept. 3 People Issue, an issue dedicated explicitly to those who give this industry its unique character.

We will also use this event to recognize two other key industry groups. The first is our annual 40 Under 40, a recognition of the next generation of industry leaders, the trailblazers whose actions will carry the industry forward for decades to come. This group includes people at differing stages of their careers and who have diverse responsibilities within their companies.

Like our Titans, these rising stars of the industry will be recognized in our People issue in September. Unlike the Titans, their identities will be held closely until the event (except, of course, to them). We hope you’ll come out and celebrate them and find out who might be the next industry Titans.

The third group being recognized at this new event is who we call People To Watch. Selected from across the industry by the editors of Furniture Today, this unique group of individuals are currently in position to make their own mark on the industry and perhaps lay claim one day to the title of Titan.

Each of these People To Watch have been selected for their talents and abilities as well as for the key positions they currently occupy, putting them in the unique position to change the fortunes of the companies they lead and the industry they serve.

We hope to see you on July 27.

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