HIGH POINT, NC – The 2008 class of the American Furniture Hall of Fame includes three furniture manufacturing icons and one furniture retail legend.
The newest inductees include:
• Alfred J. Audi (b 1938 d 2007) and his wife, Aminy, transformed L. & J.G. Stickley from a company of fewer than 25 employees into a thriving international business with three factories, 14 showrooms and more than 1,600 employees. Audi purchased the Heirloom Upholstery factory and continued to employ the workforce as Stickley Fine Upholstery. He also purchased and revitalized John Widdicomb, Cibola Leather and Madison Square.
• Wogan Stanhope Badcock Jr. (b 1932 d 1996) was president of W.S. Badcock Corp., a company founded by his great grandfather. During his 30-year tenure, Badcock expanded the chain to more than 300 stores throughout the Southeast, providing entrepreneurial opportunities for more than 200 associate dealers in six states. He paved the way for extensive growth and innovation while maintaining the family-like atmosphere of the company.
• K. Bruce Lauritsen (b 1942 d 2007) rose from sales trainee in 1968, to president in 1989, to CEO in 1993 of Flexsteel Ind. Flexsteel’s revenues grew from $19.9 million in 1968 to $172 million in 1989 to $425 million in 2007. Lauritsen launched Flexsteel’s first in-store gallery in 1984; today there are more than 600. A member of the board of the American Home Furnishings Alliance since 2000, he joined their executive committee in 2005.
• Pasquale Natuzzi (b 1940) is founder, chairman and chief designer of the Natuzzi Group, the world’s leading producer of leather sofas and Italy’s largest furniture manufacturer. Natuzzi transformed the industry by democratizing the leather sofa, a product once reserved for the elite. With revenues of 634.4 million euros and more than 8,000 employees, the Natuzzi Group today operates 12 factories worldwide. Natuzzi Americas is based in High Point, NC.
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