SCFMA seeks to unite casual industry, presents Apollo Awards

Forms International Casual Furnishings Assn.

The Summer and Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association announced last night it has initiated plans for a new organization to unite the industry and meet future challenges. 

The mission of the new organization, to be called the International Casual Furnishings Association, is to “create the demand for and promote the awareness of high quality casual furnishings worldwide.” Membership will be open to all key partners within the casual furnishings industry, including retailers and media. More information on the new association, its organizational structure and leadership will be announced soon. 

The new ICFA logo.

“The new association will allow for a more unified voice and provide an open forum for industry communication,” Rory Rehmert said while making the announcement during the annual Apollo Awards dinner, the pinnacle event of the International Casual Furnishings and Accessories Market that ended today. Rehmert is president of ICFA and vice president of sales and marketing of Meadowcraft

“Our industry is at a crossroads, and it is imperative that we ask ourselves, ‘What makes specialty casual furniture special?’ We have to ask ourselves this question so we can better prepare our businesses for the future,” Rehmert said. 

The new ICFA becomes the official sponsor of the Casual Market. ICFA also will sponsor the Design Excellence Awards, which recognize innovation and creative design in casual furniture products and accessories, as well as the Apollo Awards, which recognize retailing excellence. 

Lillian B. Winchester Award winner lounge chair by Brown Jordan.

The winner of the prestigious Lillian B. Winchester Award, the top award in the Design Excellence competition, went to Brown Jordan’s Zephyr lounge chair. Other Design Excellence winners were named on Tuesday at the industry breakfast.

Patios Plus, based in Rancho Mirage, Calif., won the multi-store category in the 48th annual Apollo Awards. Second-place honors went to Patio & Hearth Shoppes, based in Centerville, Ohio, while Fort Myers, Fla.-based Robb & Stucky Patio placed third. 

In the single store category, the winner was Oyster Bay, N.Y.-based Dodds & Eder. Sunnyland Furniture, located in Dallas, placed second, while third-place honors went to Fruehauf’s Patio & Garden, based in Boulder, Colo.

New officers of the Casual Furniture Retailers Association also were elected by its board during the Casual Market in Chicago. 

Carl Vice of Casual Living & Patio Center in Lexington, Ky., will be the new president, succeeding Petey Fleischut of Casual Marketplace in Hockessin, Del. Bruce Aronson of Pool & Patio Center in Metairie, La., will be vice president. 

Mary Fruehauf of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, Colo., is secretary. Karen Galindo of The Greenhouse Mall in Austin, Texas, is treasurer. 

New board members are Cathy Galbreath of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio in Birmingham, Ala., and Duane Salzwedel of The Bruce Company in Middleton, Wis.

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