The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) held its inaugural Home Furnishings Leadership Institute June 19-22. The four-day program was developed with Louisiana State University (LSU) Executive Education and is designed to prepare the most promising leaders to help them take on key positions and move them into a leadership mindset.
This program included two manufacturers and 17 retailers from top-100 retailers to single-store operations. Attendees worked with companies that are located across the country from California to New York and Ontario Canada offering a large circle of contacts to tap into on this leadership journey.
The in-depth, highly-personalized Institute program focused on the core attributes of running a retail home furnishings operation—strategic thinking, planning and execution. The executive business sessions will be taught by professors from the LSU Executive Education program.
Industry-specific topics were presented by a panel of best-in-class executives facilitated by Tom Olinde, President/CEO of Olinde’s Furniture, Baton Rouge, La. Mark Dufresne, CEO of The Dufresne Group, Winnipeg, Manitoba talked about the front end of a retail business providing a winning path from beliefs to behaviors to results. Shaun Bunch, SVP, Fulfillment & Home Delivery with Ashley Furniture Industries, Arcadia, Wisc. provided insight into the back end of a retail operation, focusing on all that needs to happen after the sale is completed. Josh Hudson, CEO, Hudson’s Furniture, Sanford, Fla. talked to the group about pitfalls to look out for based on his own experience in turning around his family business.
Association CEO Sharron Bradley says the Institute addressed a key initiative for HFA of making home furnishings matter by providing educational opportunities for members so they’re always learning how to take their businesses to the next level.