HPU Hosts Furniture Industry Networking and Panel Event for Students

Furniture Market Panel

Ron Wanek, founder of Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc., talked to HPU students after the panel.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 22, 2013 – High Point University students and furniture market visitors got an inside look at the furniture industry today. The High Point Market, HPU and Next Generation-Now, the North American Home Furnishings Association’s young professionals group, gave students and furniture market attendees personal access to the furniture industry’s experts and business leaders during a networking event and two panels.

The students attended a luncheon and job-shadowing event downtown at the High Point Market hosted by the editor-in-chief of Furniture Today. Panelists from Mann, Armisted & Epperson, El Dorado Furniture, Steve Hodges Associates and Stanley Furniture shared stories of how they became involved in the industry, talked with students and answered their questions.

The luncheon followed the first panel, “Fashioning a Career in the Home Furnishings Industry,” which was held at HPU and featured speakers from Ashley Furniture Industries, Raymour & Flanigan Furniture, Best Home Furnishings and MicroD. Ashley Furniture founder and CEO Ron Wanek was one of the panelists who discussed the “executive vacuum,” explaining that baby boomers are retiring and the industry needs young professionals in a variety of areas.

“We are so thankful that the furniture industry is willing to network with our students and inform them about potential careers in the industry,” said Dr. Jim Wehrley, dean of the Phillips School of Business and associate professor of finance. “This opportunity could be the catalyst that sends a student in a direction that could lead to a lifelong satisfying and rewarding career.”

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