Summer Classics president receives Allan J. McDonald International Entrepreneur Award
Susan Dickenson -- Casual Living, October 20, 2013
TORONTO - Summer Classics President and CEO William Bew White III recently received the Allan J. McDonald International Entrepreneur Award for 2013. The award was presented to White by the Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF) at a ceremony on Oct. 5t in Toronto.
Created by the SIBF Class of 1987, this award serves to commemorate Allan J. McDonald, who both supported the organization and made major accomplishments in the field of international entrepreneurship.
"I am truly honored by this award, particularly from this incredible international organization," White said. "Not that I can give advice to a group with this much expertise, but if I could leave you with my two of my best practices for success, they would be:
"1. Be Passionate! I am extremely passionate about what I do.
"2. Surround yourself with support. You need at least one person that stands by you no matter what. And while I have several of those inside the company, I have one that's lived with me for 41 years, my wife Wendy. And she has definitely stood by me through thick and thin, no matter what."
Presented annually at the SIBF Summit, winners of this award are chosen for outstanding efforts in international entrepreneurship during the past year.
An organization for global business leaders, SIBF both educates and connects those who are involved in the international business world. Additionally, SIBF provides networking and mentoring opportunities to its members, who are active in business in more than 60 countries. Membership in SIBF covers all of the main sectors of business as well as the nonprofit, government and education sectors.
White has been in the indoor and outdoor furniture business for more than 30 years. Over that period, he was a sales rep and from there he started and helped operate four separate companies: Summer Classics, Summer Classics Contract, Parker James and Gabby.
Started almost 35 years ago, Summer Classics has built an international business in Chile, Mexico, China, Indonesia and Vietnam. He has recently opened a division in Asia for his product selling in China, Japan, India, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
White started a contract division that sells more than 1,500 clients in the hospitality, hotel, restaurant and assisted living business. He also started a container direct company that has sold to such clients as Neiman Marcus, Orvis, Restoration Hardware and Williams-Sonoma. He started an indoor furniture company, Gabby, in 2009 in the midst of the great recession and now sells to more 1,000 clients. Summer Classics also has seven company owned stores and three licensees.