Press Release Courtesy of American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation Inc.

May 4, 2021 – The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame has received a generous $1 million investment in the Building Fund from the Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries as a lead donor for the new home located in High Point. 

“The furniture industry is changing; we need to be quick and relevant to stay competitive. We’re making exponential investments into our own company as well as investing $1 million in this project as a Center for Leadership to become a catalyst for actionable change in the industry,” said Todd Wanek, President and CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries. “We want this project to provide a spark of transformation through executive education that will lead us into future opportunities as a country and as an industry.”

“Education is a crucial part of our country’s success in the global marketplace. In order to secure our country’s position as a world-leader in technology and advanced manufacturing, we must continue to evolve ourselves, our business and our industry,” said Ron Wanek, Founder and Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries. “We believe that this investment will create educational partnerships in an industry that we love and has given so much to each of us.”

The Center for Leadership will provide a platform for education, networking and inspiration.  As a catalyst to leverage the power of the $150 billion home furnishings industry, it will serve as a unifying source to enrich the education of its leaders. Plans call for the exploration of new technology, new techniques and whatever the future holds in order to improve the quality of decisions made throughout our industry for generations to come.

“We are deeply grateful to the Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries for the vision that they bring to this project,” says Karen McNeill Pond, Hall of Fame CEO.  “They have encouraged us to build collaboration across all categories by developing a broad base of support for ongoing education.  Their leadership and partnership will be instrumental in helping us to fulfill this mission.”


Capital campaign donors include: $1 Million Donor:  the Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries; $500,000 Donor:  Bill and Carolyn Hinks, Furniture Mart USA; $250,000 Donors:  International Market Centers; Lacquer Craft USA; Manwah; Karen McNeill and Stephen Pond; $200,000 Donor:  The Broyhill Family Foundation; $150,000 Donor: Bill and Candy Fenn; $125,000 Donor:  Roger and Martha Bland; $100,000 Donors: Michael Amini, AICO; Aminy Audi, L. & J. G. Stickley; Keith Koenig, City Furniture; Chad Spencer, the Dufresne Spencer Group; Hooker Furniture; Bill and Julia Wittenberg; $75,000 Donor:  Schwarz Properties; $50,000 Donors:  Patrick Cory, Joseph Cory Holdings LLC; Hassell Franklin, Franklin Corporation; Markor; Nebraska Furniture Mart; Nourison Industries. Other donors include:  The BB&T Foundation; Donald Belgrad; Andy Bernstein, FurnitureDealer.Net; John Bray, Vanguard Furniture Company Inc.; Bobby Bush; Jeff Child, R. C. Willey; Randy Coconis, Coconis Furniture; Bruce and Kena Cohenour; J. Don Coleman, Coleman Consulting LLC; the DRIVE Foundation; Jerry Epperson; Mickey Holliman, Five Star; Fred Feinbloom; The Furniture Foundation; David Gebhart, Global Views; Lyle Harris, Behold Home; Haverty Furniture Companies; The Ina Mae Kaplan Historic Preservation Fund; Bill and Sue Kimbrell; Amir Loloi, Loloi Rugs; New Atlantic Construction; Norwalk Furniture; Phillips Collection; Martin and Mary Ann Ploy; Prestige Arts/Art Trends; Lawrence Rogers; Will Somers; Jim Sneed, Affordable Furniture; and Imogene Zimmerman.


Ashley Furniture Industries feels that every person deserves more value for their money. Established in 1945, Ashley is the largest manufacturer of home furnishings in the world, and was named one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes in 2021. From design through fulfillment, Ashley is committed to delivering the world’s best home furnishing values, selection and service, and earning the loyalty and trust of its customers every day. Visit Ashley online at and “like” Ashley Furniture Industries on Facebook.

Ashley HomeStore is committed to being your trusted partner and style leader for the home. This commitment has made Ashley HomeStore the largest retail furniture store brand in North America and one of the world’s best-selling furniture store brands with more than 1,050 locations in 60 countries.

Start designing your dream home today. Visit Ashley HomeStore online at  “Like” Ashley HomeStore on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram , or see our design-focused boards on Pinterest.


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.