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ICFA opens voting for 2011 Sales Rep of the Year

Voting ends Aug. 19

The International Casual Furnishings Association has announced that online voting is now open for the 2011 Sales Representative of the Year, an award designed to recognize and honor the outdoor furniture industry's best sales representatives. Votes must be cast no later than Friday, Aug. 19.

Voting for the ICFA Sales Representative of the Year Award is limited to the Association's manufacturer, retailer, designer and supplier membership. Each dues-paying member in those categories is eligible to cast one vote. The ballot can be found here.

The winning candidate will be announced on Tuesday evening, Sept. 13, at the ICFA Awards Reception at the Ballroom of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The 2011 Manufacturer Leadership Awards and the Lillian B. Winchester "Best of Show" Design Excellence Award also will be announced at the reception. This event is for ICFA members and invited guests only.

Finalists for 2011 Sales Representative of the Year include:

+ Gary Deane. Following a 25-year career with United Parcel Service in the small town of Tulare, Calif., Deane moved his family to Utah, where he joined his brother in business as a sales representative for the indoor furniture industry. After a few years on the road, he realized he wanted to devote his future to the casual furniture industry. He currently represents four manufacturers: OW Lee, Lloyd/Flanders, Treasure Garden Umbrellas and Gold Crest Cushions. Deane and his wife have two children and three grandsons, who Deane enjoys taking camping and fishing when he's not on the road.

+ Charlie Hesson. After receiving a degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Rhode Island in 2001, Hesson returned to his home state of Minnesota to work as a management consultant with Accenture. But, surrounded by a family of sales representatives, he went to work with his father - at the time representing Lloyd/Flanders and Gloster - after only a year and a half with Accenture. His father, Ted Hesson, still represents Lloyd/Flanders as well as Jensen Leisure Furniture and Crimson Casual. His sister, Claire, is in business with his father, and his uncle, Dana Fitts, represents Lane Venture. After two years, Hesson split from his father's business to develop his own package of lines. He currently represents Gloster and Telescope Casual, and continues to consider his dad his No. 1 mentor. He now lives in Falmouth, Maine, with his wife and two young children.

+ Justin Pfahl. Having begun his career in retail and manufacturing, Pfahl brings a well-rounded perspective to his job as sales representative for Cast Classics, Treasure Garden, Crimson Casual, Patio Renaissance, California Outdoor Concepts and Ancient Mosaics. He has been a representative in the outdoor furniture industry for six years and currently covers the greater part of Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. He and his wife reside in Parkland, Fla., where they are raising three children.

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