2009 Sustainability Summit: Innovative Solutions & Essential Insights for a New Decade
Over the last several years, developing and marketing “eco-friendly” home furnishings has grown from a specialty niche owned by a handful of peripheral companies to a tidal wave being ridden by nearly every major manufacturer in the industry.

To help home furnishings companies survive and thrive in this new marketplace, AHFA will hold its second annual Sustainability Summit Dec. 2-3 at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C. The program will provide essential marketing intelligence for companies planning to develop or promote eco-friendly home furnishings collections or products in 2010. Presentations will be targeted to presidents and CEOs, as well as to marketing and environmental executives at manufacturing, retail and supplier companies.

The Summit is once again co-sponsored by Cargill’s BiOH® polyols business unit. Cargill is an AHFA Supplier Division member.

Presentations throughout the first day of the Summit will focus on the environmental labeling of consumer products.

  • Miriam Arond, director of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, will explain how the Institute developed its new Green Good Housekeeping Seal and how it evaluates a product’s measurable environmental impact.
  • Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of the Shelton Group, will present results of consumer research commissioned by AHFA to determine what eco labels, if any, consumers recognize. The research also explores what eco-friendly furniture attributes consumers might value and how best to market those attributes.
  • Heather Gadonniex, a LEED-certified professional and principal at MindClick, a sustainability consulting firm, will explore the industry’s ability to “certify” environmental attributes in home furnishings products. Existing certifications available to home furnishings manufacturers and suppliers are based on single product attributes, such as indoor air quality, recycled content or biodegradability. Although these certifications are beneficial, they do not measure the total environmental impact of a product. Gadonniex will untangle the existing web of certifications, rating standards and labels.
  • Christie Grymes, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Kelley Drye, will provide an update on the regulatory challenges in advertising and marketing the environmental attributes of consumer products. Grymes advises clients on making truthful and non-misleading claims related to green seals and logos, recyclable and recycled products, sustainability initiatives, third-party certifications and other environmental attributes.

The Summit’s opening day concludes with a reception honoring finalists in the second annual Sage Award competition, a program co-sponsored by AHFA and Cargill’s BiOH polyols business unit. The award recognizes excellence in the home furnishings and bedding industries through sustainable business practices, social responsibility and profitable growth. Following a video tribute highlighting the accomplishments of the three finalists, the 2009 Sage Award winner will be announced.

On Dec. 3, the Summit’s focus turns to greening the supply chain. Angela Nahikian, director of global environmental sustainability for Steelcase Inc., has been invited to share her company’s progress toward the goal of reducing its global environmental footprint 25 percent by 2012 – its 100th anniversary – and the role suppliers are playing in achieving that goal.

A panel of suppliers, including representatives from Hickory Springs, Cargill, Columbia Forest Products and Leggett & Platt, will discuss their sustainable business practices and how industry partnerships can accelerate the progress in finding solutions to environmental challenges.

A limited number of rooms at a special $169 per night group rate are available at the Proximity. Attendees should call the hotel directly at 800/379-8200 or 336/379-8200 and provide the group name (American Home Furnishings Alliance) to secure accommodations at the reduced rate.

Registration for the Summit is only $295 for AHFA members. The registration form is online here.

Here's what's new at AHFA Supplier Member companies:
Alcan Composites USA is offering a new eight-page brochure describing the company’s full line of wood-fiber veneer products for use in the manufacturing of office and residential furniture. The features, benefits and physical characteristics of each of the company’s lines of wood-fiber veneer products – including Gator-Ply backer, Syn-Ply crossband and Luxcell backer/facer – are described. Additionally, each brochure includes separate Product Information & Technical Bulletins, a customer Ordering Information insert and product samples, making it a complete desktop reference. This literature augments the product selector wheel located online at www.gatorply.com. Alcan Composites’ veneer business – also known as the Uniwood® business – introduced Gator-Ply, the original man-made wood-fiber veneer, to the furniture market more than 30 years ago. Among the newest products is Gator-Ply Enviro-Backer™, an economic alternative to conventional wood veneers and high-pressure laminates that is manufactured with no added formaldehyde. Gator-Ply Enviro-Backer has Greenguard Certification, which signifies that this product is in compliance with the stringent emission guidelines set by the Atlanta-based Greenguard Environmental Institute. To request a complimentary copy of the company’s brochure, email uniwoodorderdesk@alcan.com.
CONTACT: Lynette Tullos, 704/872-8974
EMAIL: lynette.tullos@alcan.com
WEB: www.AlcanCompositesUSA.com or www.gatorply.com
In a recent nationwide survey of more than 5,000 relocated employees,
Clark & Reid Company was ranked first in overall customer satisfaction out of the 10 largest relocation firms in the household goods shipment industry. In addition, an annual survey of relocation managers ranked Clark & Reid number one in net satisfaction for overall performance. Clark & Reid is one of the nation’s largest independent moving companies. It also provides furniture transportation for fine manufacturers and retailers, including “white-glove” in-home deliveries.
CONTACT: John Fahey
EMAIL: finefurniture@clarkreid.com
WEB: clarkreid.com/furniture-transport
Delmac Machinery Group will hold a Profit Solutions Seminar at its Greensboro facility November 4 and 5, during which traditional furniture engineered by Delmac and A.G. Raymond and Company will be built using dowel construction and 21st century machine technology. Guest speakers on the topic of lean manufacturing and woodworking technology include Harry Watt, Phil Mitchell and Terry Krauss. Watt and Mitchell are from North Carolina State University’s Wood Products Extension and are co-authors of “Strategies for the New American Furniture Industry.” Krauss is the founder of Forward Motion Technologies and served for over six years as a business extension specialist for NC State University’s Industrial Extension Service. He has 20 years of experience in manufacturing engineering, plant engineering and production management. Presentations will review the key steps to becoming lean; equipment organization and product design to achieve a smooth work flow; and increasing production and reducing floor space. In addition, they will review the latest technology and manufacturing techniques for case goods furniture manufacturing.
CONTACT: Gerri Yarbrough, 336/854-1211
EMAIL: sales@delmac.com
WEB: www.delmac.com
On October 1, Globe Express Services (GES), a leading global third-party logistics provider, hosted a webinar event titled, “Countdown to Compliance: Are You Ready for ISF & the Lacey Act?” AHFA members who were unable to attend this informative event are invited to contact GES Marketing Manager Jason Manganaro for a complimentary copy of the presentation materials, which explore the latest on Customs’ ISF/10+2 program and new requirements that will govern the import of plants and plant products, including some wood furniture. In addition, articles and other resources designed to help inform your supply chain decisions are available at http://www.globeexpress.com/downloads.asp. A subscription to the company’s free weekly Logistics & Compliance Bulletin also is available from the website.
CONTACT: Jason Manganaro, 614/501-9400
EMAIL: Jason.manganaro@globeexpress.com
WEB: www.globeexpress.com
Hafele America Co. won two Sequoia Awards for Product Innovation at the Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers 2009 trade show in Las Vegas. The Aerofix 100 won in the Product Components category. Aerofix 100 is a manually installed insert containing a glue-capsule that breaks open and evenly distributes glue on the upper and lower cover layers of lightweight panels. The self-contained glue insert spreads out and provides a mechanical force fit in addition to the strength of the glue. Hardware can fasten to the fitting instantly and can be stressed after approximately six hours of cure time. Aerofix 100 eliminates the need for special screws or dowels, and there is no need for external glue, which can take hours to dry. Häfele also claimed a Sequoia Award in the Productivity-Hardware cagetory for its Moovit Double-Wall Drawer System. This contemporary drawer holds a weight capacity of 110 pounds and is suited for residential, commercial and medical cabinets. An integrated soft and silent mechanism ensures a smooth and consistent close. Häfele is a manufacturer of furniture hardware, cabinet hardware, architectural builders’ hardware and electronic locking systems.
CONTACT: Philip Martin, 800/423-3531
EMAIL: info_us@hafeleamericas.com
WEB: www.hafele.com/us
Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company recently introduced the Power Rocker, an electrically powered and controlled rocker/recliner motion mechanism. The company currently manufactures more than a dozen motion mechanisms for the furniture and bedding industries. The Power Rocker enables the user to adjust the recliner in any position at the touch of a button. It is activated and controlled by a wireless remote or a button integrated into the arm of the chair. The chair will rock until the recliner is opened. Then, the three-position balance transitions smoothly between unlimited reclining positions. Double “Landing Gear” provides stability in all reclining and closed positions, and double locks on both sides of the mechanism simultaneously ensure secure closing. The Power Rocker is also available with a swivel or ring base and comes in three different seat widths.
CONTACT: Dwayne Welch, 828/328-2201
EMAIL: dewelch@HickorySprings.com
WEB: www.hickorysprings.com
Mohawk Finishings Products won a New Product Sequoia Award in the Green/Environmental category at the 2009 Association of Woodworking and Furniture Suppliers trade show in Las Vegas. The award recognizes Mohawk’s waterborne products, which are formaldehyde-free, phthalate-free, lead-free and LEED® credit worthy for low-emitting technologies. Mohawk’s Waterborne System includes Waterborne Pre-Catalyzed Lacquer and Sealer, Conversion Varnish, Dye Stains, Dye Concentrates, Dye Stain Base/Reducer, Wiping Stains, Wiping Stain Base, Glaze, Glaze Base and Colorants System. All of the waterborne products have very low VOC’s and have been designed for production environments that need quality materials. Mohawk Finishing Products manufactures and distributes professional wood touch up and repair products, wood coatings and finishing products, and furniture polishes and cleaners with 60 years of innovation and service to the industry.
CONTACT: Steve Cash, 800/545-0047
WEB: www.mohawk-finishing.com
The October Company a manufacturer of furniture components and custom closet accessories, has completed an intensive process to comply with the new California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation limiting the amount of formaldehyde emitted from composite wood products. “We’re constantly looking for ways to decrease our impact on the environment. The CARB Rule was a great reason to force ourselves to reexamine the core material within many of our finest products,” says James Thompson, vice president. “After tracing our raw material supply chain all the way back to our global partners, it became clear that we could actually accomplish compliance across our entire family of products that use composite wood materials, such as our silverware trays, jewelry trays and closet components. And not just to our portfolio sold in California. Anywhere you see October Company products they will now be CARB compliant.”
CONTACT: James Thompson, 413/527-9380
EMAIL: thompson@octobercompany.com
WEB: www.octobercompany.com
Spectrum Concepts has added to the company’s line of media storage furniture components. The Flipworks® Ultimate Fixed Mount Media Storage Tray System is designed for use in any furniture or storage application. The trays mount on a pull-out shelf and are easily cut to the required depth. With just 2 different trays, the 720 and 720A “add on” tray, manufacturers can fit all of their cabinet depths and widths without having to make openings that exactly fit the trays. The patented Flipworks® Universal design holds all types of media including CDs, DVDs, VHS, Blu-ray and games, allowing users to easily browse their collection by flipping and choosing by the covers. The 720 system is available from Spectrum’s warehouses in both the United States and Asia. Custom depths are available by special order. Full specifications including .dwg and .dxf files can be downloaded from Spectrum’s website on the “products” page.
CONTACT: Lou Miranda, 800/786-7255
EMAIL: sales@spectrumconcepts.com
WEB: www.spectrumconcepts.com
When the new High Point Media Center opens to the press for the October market, journalists will find a professional work environment with home office furnishings provided by AHFA member company Aspenhome – and delivered by Supplier Member Sun Delivery “When AHFA required transportation for the new Media Center furnishings, Sun Delivery of Thomasville sprang to action,” says Pat Bowling, AHFA’s vice president of communications. “We partnered with Aspenhome to furnish the new space, but half of the collection was stored at the company’s Las Vegas showroom. Thanks to Sun Delivery, we were able to get it all moved into the new Media Center in time for the market.” Sun Delivery is based in Thomasville, N.C., and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Earlier this year the company opened a service and distribution center in Dallas to service Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Sun Delivery is an asset-based carrier that controls the entire blanket-wrap process and maintains a claims ratio of less than 1 percent. They offer white glove service to every zip code in the contiguous United States.
CONTACT: Rick Phillips, 336/472-5000
EMAIL: sales@sundeliveryinc.com
WEB: www.sundeliveryinc.com
K. Patrick Smith has joined Worldwide Logistics as vice president of sales & marketing. Smith was most recently president of Cargo Consolidation Services Inc., a Claremont, N.C.-based transportation company. In his new position he will report to Dan Hunt CEO and president, and will be based at the Valdese, N.C. headquarters location. Smith is an active member, past president and executive committee member of the American Home Furnishings Alliance Supplier Division and the newly added Specialized Furniture Carriers Association. He
K. Patrick Smith
also serves on the Furniture Foundation Board of Directors and is an active participant in the National Home Furnishings Association. “With the addition of Pat Smith to bring experienced leadership to a veteran sales team, I feel we have the most experienced and knowledgeable sales team in the industry to support our customer base and their future transportation needs,” says Hunt. Worldwide Logistics has also added Kent Benson as general manager of the Florida Region. He will manage the operations of a new service center located at 2424 Orlando Central Parkway in Orlando. Benson was the vice president and general manager of Southern Furniture Transport, Orlando, from 1996 until its recent closing. Worldwide Logistics is a leading international home furnishings transportation specialist based in Valdese, N.C. It was established in 2008 by the merger of six leading specialized furniture transportation companies.
CONTACT: Carl Abernathy, 800/985-0038
EMAIL: carl.abernathy@shipitwwwl.com
WEB: www.ShipFurniture.com
ChemServe will host a webinar at 2 p.m. Wednesday, October 14, to update companies on regulations, challenges and solutions related to lead in child-accessible furniture, toys and other consumer goods. The webinar will cover imminent changes in testing requirements and solutions for screening and testing for lead and other toxic heavy metals. Manufacturers, importers, distributors and third-party testing organizations and regulators are invited to attend this informative, free webinar. In addition to CPSIA and ASTM Toy Safety Requirements, the program will cover consumer products packaging requirements and special considerations for products distributed in California. To register go to www.chemservelab.com.
CONTACT: Marie Degulis, 603/673-5440
EMAIL: marie@chemservelab.com
WEB: www.chemserveab.com
AHFA welcomes the following new members to its Suppliers Division:
EUROSOFT, based in Cary, N.C., provides innovative software solutions for manufacturers. Ardis software optimizes materials and labor, automates prep work and production, and organizes output and workflow. EnRoute CAD/CAM software provides a powerful tool set for nested-based manufacturers and custom shops. It offers automatic tool pathing, 3D surfacing tools and true-shape nesting, and it integrates with Ardis. Eurosoft also offers custom software development and design of small-scale accessory or stand-alone applications. The company’s expertise is primarily with the wood, glass, metal and plastics industries.
CONTACT: Roman Liedl, 919/468-3003
E-MAIL: sales@eurosoftinc.com
WEB: www.eurosoftiinc.com
CORY 1ST HOME DELIVERY Founded in 1934, Cory Home Delivery is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Now in its third generation, Cory has combined family management with experienced industry veterans to create an executive team that will lead the company to meet the future needs of its clients. Cory’s First Choice assembly and deluxing service includes opening, inspecting and pre-assembling all merchandise prior to loading. The merchandise undergoes a final inspection by a professional delivery team before being blanket wrapped and loaded onto customized trucks. The result is a clean delivery of damage-free merchandise that reduces the overall delivery expense, because it virtually eliminates refusals, returns, exchanges, service calls and pick-ups/returns.
CONTACT: Joe Cory Sr., 201/795-1000
E-MAIL: joecorysr@corycompanies.com
WEB: www.corycompanies.com
GR FURNITURE TRANSPORT Based in central North Carolina, GR Furniture Transport provides full-service logistics solutions for a variety of shipping needs, including full truckload, less-than-truckload and single piece services, on its own assets or through a vast network of third party providers. The company offers distribution services from a 150,000-square-foot warehouse facility near Greensboro, N.C. Transborder services are offered to Mexico and Canada. GR Furniture Transport is one of five corporations that make up Glen Raven Inc. It employs a fleet of nearly 60 tractors and 200 trailers and combines the traditional “asset-based” trucking approach with a high-tech third-party logistics and transportation brokerage operation.
CONTACT: Tim Hylton, 800/729-0081
E-MAIL: thylton@glenraven.com
WEB: www.glenravenlogistics.com
MANNA DISTRIBUTION SERVICES Established in 1991, Manna Distribution Services makes high speed, white glove home deliveries, focusing exclusively on large scale, high value consumer items for the home. The company’s white glove service delivers flat screen TVs, furniture, mattresses, major appliances, home gyms, outdoor grills and more. This comprehensive, expedited service includes in-transit scheduling and installation or assembly at the time of delivery. Manna provides its customers supply chain visibility and expert logistics practices, as well as tools to manage the final delivery of every product. Clarity™, the company’s own web-integrated application for placing shipping orders, tracking and reporting, gives companies a custom web page that is user-friendly and online 24 hours a day. Additionally, Manna allows buyers to schedule the final delivery online at www.ScheduleMyDelivery.com, choosing the best date and time window for their deliveries.
CONTACT: Jeff Sather, 888/201-3232, ext. 2145
E-MAIL: jeff.sather@manna.com
WEB: www.manna.com
CHEMSERVE was established in the early 70s serving primarily as a drinking water laboratory. The company was purchased by the current owner in 1986, and the focus of the laboratory turned towards serving the commercial, industrial and municipal markets. Capabilities now encompass complete in-house laboratory services, field sampling services, landfill gas, groundwater monitoring, RoHS testing, CPSIA testing and specialty analysis. ChemServe is a CPSC accredited third-party testing laboratory. Accreditations include lead in paint, phthalates, and the F963 Toy Safety Standard.
CONTACT: Marie Degulis, 603/673-5440
E-MAIL: marie@chemservelab.com
WEB: www.chemserveab.com

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The next update of Suppliers on Demand will be in January 2010. Deadline for news and product releases is December 15, 2009. Email press releases and inquiries to pbowling@ahfa.us. For information about other member benefits, please contact the American Home Furnishings Alliance at 336/884-5000, ext. 1016.