An event cultivating the future of leadership.

Agenda2020-12-03T16:45:10-05:00

The Furniture Today Leadership Conference was created to bring exceptional minds together

Our 2020 Leadership Conference featured three days of industry leaders and business experts, including keynotes from Kevin Brown and Kaihan Krippendorff; Reinvention Stories from Todd Wanek of Ashley, Farooq Kathwari of Ethan Allen, and Kurt Darrow of La-Z-Boy; the Future of E-Commerce from Jonathan Johnson of Overstock, Niraj Shah of Wayfair and Eric Hutchinson of Resident … and much, much more. Missed a session? Registrants can now watch on demand for a limited time (check your email for a password). We’ll see you in 2021!

1609, 2020

Welcome and Introduction to Conference Platform (all times are EST)

2020-11-24T14:40:44-05:00Time: 10:00 - 10:30 a.m. EST| Bill McLoughlin, Editor in Chief, Furniture Today|

Join Bill McLoughlin, editor in chief of Furniture Today, as he welcomes everyone to the 2020 Leadership Conference, reviews details of the conference platform and sits down with AICO CEO Michael Amini, to discuss the dynamic changes reshaping the furniture industry in 2020.
AICO is the Headline Sponsor of the 2020 Leadership Conference

1609, 2020

Keynote: Kevin Brown: Leadership in a Disrupted World

2020-11-24T14:40:15-05:00Time: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EST|

Leadership expert and author of the best-selling book The Hero Effect shares insights on overcoming adversity, dealing with change and creating a culture that drives organizational excellence and customer loyalty.
Sponsored by MicroD

1609, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Storis

2020-11-24T14:40:11-05:00Time: 11:30 - 11:45 a.m. EST|

Throughout the Leadership Conference industry thought leaders will share their experiences and insights to help attendees more effectively guide their companies at a time when leading through change has never been more important.

1609, 2020

Lunch and Networking Break: 11:45 A.M.-1:00 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:39:35-05:00
1609, 2020

Reinvention Stories

2020-11-24T14:39:05-05:00Time: 1:00 - 2:45 p.m. EST| Todd Wanek, Farooq Kathwari, Kurt Darrow|

Hear the first-hand stories of how three of the industry’s largest and most enduring organizations have reinvented their businesses to adapt to changing market conditions.
Todd Wanek, CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries
Farooq Kathwari, CEO, Ethan Allen
Kurt Darrow, CEO, La-Z-Boy

1609, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: MicroD

2020-11-24T14:38:03-05:00Time: 2:45 - 3:00 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Retail Leaders Panel: Reinventing Leadership

2020-11-24T14:37:10-05:00Time: 3:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST| Guest Moderator: Doug Stewart|

Industry thought leaders share insights on the critical challenges facing the industry and share best practices for solving them.

Moderated by Doug Stewart, author of “5-1/2 Mentors: How to Learn, Grow and Develop From Everyone and Everything,” the panelists will be:

Jackie Brookshire, American Furniture Warehouse
Andrew Koenig, City Furniture
Rachel Tronstein Stewart, Gardner-White


2809, 2020

Networking and Vendor Demos in Booths

2020-11-24T14:36:05-05:00Time: 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Welcome/Conference Platform Refresher

2020-11-24T14:36:49-05:00Time: 10:00 - 10:15 a.m. EST| Bill McLoughlin, Editor in Chief, Furniture Today|

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Furnitureland South

2020-11-24T14:36:27-05:00Time: 10:15 - 10:30 a.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Keynote: Kaihan Krippendorff

2020-11-24T14:35:42-05:00Time: 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. EST|

Strategy, growth and transformation expert and the author of best sellers Outthink The Competition, The Way of Innovation and The Art of Advantage will deliver actionable strategies industry leaders can employ to reinvent and strengthen their businesses to succeed in today’s turbulent marketplace.

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Klaussner Home Furnishings

2020-11-24T14:35:22-05:00Time: 11:30 - 11:45 a.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Lunch and Networking Break: 11:45 A.M.-12:30 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:38:21-05:00
2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: International Market Centers

2020-11-24T14:34:42-05:00Time: 12:30 - 12:45 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

The Future of E-Commerce

2020-11-24T14:34:23-05:00Time: 12:45 - 2:15 p.m. EST| Niraj Shah, Jonathan Johnson, Eric Hutchinson|

E-commerce has reshaped the way consumers shop for their lives and their homes. The global pandemic has dramatically accelerated the role e-commerce plays in consumer purchase behavior and reshaped the way e-commerce will be conducted into the future. Industry leaders in this space reveal their insights on how the most disruptive technology of this generation will evolve in the years to come.
Niraj Shah, CEO, Wayfair
Jonathan Johnson, CEO, Overstock
Eric Hutchinson, Co-Founder, Resident

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: BluePort Commerce

2020-11-24T14:33:44-05:00Time: 2:15 - 2:30 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Carpenter

2020-11-24T14:33:25-05:00Time: 2:30 - 2:45 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Networking Break: 2:45-3:00 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:32:59-05:00
2809, 2020

STAGE BREAK-OUTS: 3:00-3:30 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:42:16-05:00Time: 3:00 - 3:30 p.m.|

STAGE 1
Reinventing Human Resources
Joe Genduso and Victor Herrera, Bob’s Discount Furniture

Recruiting, training and retaining employees has become a daunting challenge for all business today and can often mean the difference between supporting or stifling growth. Find out how one of the industry’s fastest growing companies is excelling at this challenging process.

STAGE 2
Reinventing Sales & The Customer Relationship

JR Linne, Global Leader – Retail Industry Solutions, Salesforce
Attracting and retaining a customer for life is the goal of every effective sales organization. This high-energy presentation will offer strategies aimed at helping sales associates achieve that and teaching managers how to get the best from their associates. If you ever wanted to know how to coach the coaches, this session is for you!

STAGE 3
Reinventing Advertising: A Consumer-Centric Approach
Eric Grindley, Founder and CEO Esquire Advertising
What if you could put an ad for the exact product a consumer is shopping for in front of them at the exact moment they’re looking for inspiration? What if you could measure the ROI of an ad not in general terms but right from the moment of spend to the close of the sale? Find out how to do that and much more in this in-depth presentation about the future — and what has become the present — of digital advertising!

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: ServeCo

2020-11-24T14:32:01-05:00Time: 3:30 - 3:45 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Networking Break: 3:45-4:00 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:31:41-05:00
2809, 2020

Games Night hosted by Dos Marcos

2020-11-24T14:31:19-05:00Time: 4:00 - 4:30 p.m. EST|

Mark Kinsley, CEO of Englander, and Mark Quinn, Co-founder of Spink and Co and vice president of sales, key accounts and marketing, for Sherwood Bedding, host our first-ever Leadership Conference game show!

510, 2020

Furniture Today Awards Program

2020-11-24T14:25:56-05:00Time: 4:30 - 5:00 p.m. EST|

Please join us in honoring this year’s award recipients:

Service to the Industry Award: Ron Wanek, Ashley Furniture Industries
Furniture Industry Leadership Award: Furnitureland South
Furniture Industry Leadership Award: Del Sol Furniture

Sponsored by Genesis Credit

2809, 2020

The Decade of Home: Christiane Lemieux, Founder, Dwell Studio and The Inside

2020-11-24T14:30:45-05:00Time: 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. EST| Christiane Lemieux|

The home has suddenly become a focal point for consumers again! Find out why this is not just a passing trend but a fundamental shift that will redefine the next decade from Christiane Lemieux, serial entrepreneur and author of Frictionless: Why the Future of Everything Will Be Fast, Fluid & Made Just For You.

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Celebrity Spotlight with Brantley Gilbert

2020-11-24T14:30:23-05:00Time: 11:00 - 11:15 a.m. EST|

Country music star Brantley Gilbert joins the Furniture Today Leadership Conference to offer an inside look at his new furniture collection with Peak Living and more!

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Marxent

2020-11-30T15:37:52-05:00Time: 11:15 - 11:30 a.m. EST|

9 rules for deploying new retail technologies: From identifying the smallest unit of success to hiring problem solvers, Beck Besecker, Marxent’s CEO and co-founder, shares tips on how to deploy new retail technologies.

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Celebrity Spotlight with Christina Anstead

2020-11-24T14:29:39-05:00Time: 11:30 - 11:45 a.m. EST|

Christina Anstead, home design expert and star of HGTV’s Flip or Flop and Christina on the Coast, joins the Furniture Today Leadership Conference.

2809, 2020

Networking Break: 11:45 a.m.-12:00 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:29:18-05:00
2809, 2020

STAGE BREAK-OUTS: 12:00-12:30 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:28:53-05:00Time: 12:00 - 12:30 p.m. EST|

STAGE 1
Furniture Today Exclusive Research

How COVID-19 Has Reinvented The American Home
This exclusive consumer research study will uncover the changes American consumers are making to their homes to adapt to the new realities of the global pandemic. From emerging product categories to changing lifestyle activities, this in-depth study will reveal the most meaningful paths to growth in the coming years.
Sponsored by Genesis Credit

STAGE 2
Reinventing Returns: A Path to Profit

Julie Mahloch, Chief of Business Development, Rush Recommerce
What if reverse logistics wasn’t a pain point but a profit center? What if returns could go from cluttering a warehouse to earning you money? Find out how to make that happen as Hayneedle co-founder Julie Mahloch unveils the next big thing!

STAGE 3
Panel: Reinventing Finance: A Post-Pandemic Perspective
Panelists: Mike Rittler, TD Bank
Mark Denman, Genesis Credit
Blake Wakefield, Progressive Leasing

A panel of leading finance experts reveal the tips, strategies and best practices that will reshape the finance business and help fuel the next stage of furniture industry growth.

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Resident

2020-11-24T14:28:19-05:00Time: 12:30 - 12:45 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

Lunch and Networking Break: 12:45-1:15 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:27:54-05:00
2809, 2020

STAGE BREAK-OUTS: 1:15-1:45 P.M. EST

2020-12-02T09:27:12-05:00Time: 1:15 - 1:45 p.m.|

STAGE 1
Panel: Reinventing Bedding: A Guide To Managing Disruption
Moderator: David Perry, Executive Editor, Furniture Today
Panelists: Melanie Huet, Serta Simmons Bedding
Mike Magnuson, Goodbed.com
Bob McCarthy, Resident

A diverse panel of bedding industry leaders unpack the disruption that has reinvented the traditional bedding sales model, overturned the traditional path to purchase and created both new challenges and new opportunities. Find out the strategies that will help drive business in the coming year and beyond.
Sponsored by Serta

STAGE 2
Panel: Reinventing The Final Mile

Moderator: Josh DeLay, VP Business Development, JB Hunt
Panelists:
Steve Anderson, Williams-Sonoma
Levi Dinerman, Renegade Furniture Group
Will Harris, Darvin Furniture
Peter Sorrentino, Bob’s Discount Furniture
The consumer’s last impression can be made or broken by their delivery experience. A panel of leading furniture retailers share best practices and strategies for satisfying consumers’ changing and increasingly demanding needs.
Sponsored by JB Hunt

 

STAGE 3
Panel: Reinventing E-Commerce in the Age of COVID-19
Panelists: Keith Johns, MicroD
Jeffrey Nunn, vFurnish
Craig Schmeizer, Idle

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the importance of e-commerce for furniture retail business models. Changes that were anticipated to take 5 years are now being executed in mere months. This panel of industry leading technology specialists will reveal the critical changes that retailers will need to make to survive this emerging challenge.

2809, 2020

Networking Break: 1:45-2:00 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:27:12-05:00
2809, 2020

STAGE BREAK-OUTS: 2:00-2:30 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:26:53-05:00Time: 2:00 - 2:30 p.m.|

STAGE 1

Retail Regulatory Update
Mark Schumacher, CEO, Home Furnishings Association
One of the painful lessons of the pandemic is that legislation and regulation impacting furniture retailers is as likely to come from the local government as Washington, D.C. Find out what issues will be redefining the environment for furniture retail in the coming year and what you can do to make sure your voice is heard and your needs met.

 

STAGE 2
Reinventing Sales Management: A Mentor’s Guide

Doug Stewart, TEDx speaker and Author
Building and leading a successful sales team at a time of dramatic demographic change takes more than management skills, it takes mentorship, motivation and leadership insight. Find out how to cultivate these traits in your organization from this author of the just-released book “5-1/2 Mentors: How to Learn, Grow and Develop From Everyone and Everything.”

2809, 2020

Lessons in Leadership: Hickory Springs

2020-11-24T14:26:34-05:00Time: 2:30 - 2:45 p.m. EST|

2809, 2020

STAGE BREAK-OUTS: 2:45-3:15 P.M. EST

2020-11-24T14:26:14-05:00Time: 2:45 - 3:15 p.m.|

 

STAGE 1
Panel: Reinventing the Store Experience & Other Small Business Survival Strategies
Panelists:
Justin Bowen, The Great American Home Store
Suzanne Carey-Fernandez, Moderno Appliance & Furniture
Andrea Langeliers, Roby’s Furniture
Rachel Lenchner, Today’s Home
Find out what it will take for smaller retailers to survive amid one of the most disruptive periods in the furniture industry’s history from the people who are going to make it happen. A panel of creative, hardworking and inspirational retailers wrap the conference with their stories of inspiration and success.

 

2110, 2020

Leadership Conference Wrap-up

2020-12-03T13:44:59-05:00Time: 3:15 - 3:30 p.m. EST|

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