Naples in the morning, Phoenix at night: Keeping up with the furniture industry

Last week was a little crazy for me. I started in Naples, Florida, and ended up in Phoenix, Arizona. I was fortunate enough to attend Furniture Today’s Leadership Conference, hosted by my friend Ray Alegrezza, and then on Friday, the Seena Magowitz Foundation Golf Tournament, put together by my friend Roger Magowitz.

Let’s start in Naples. John Case, former President of La-Z-Boy, was a highlight of the conference as he brought his insightful thinking back to the industry, highlighting six basic but very important questions to ask yourself when working your strategy:

  1. What products do I offer?
  2. What markets do we serve?
  3. What are our key capabilities?
  4. What are common goals?
  5. What should each of us to do to achieve the goals?
  6. How will we work together and support one another to achieve our goals?

The only suggestion I would have for John would be to deliver his speech next time while doing a handstand on the podium like Dan Thurman did. To be honest, when they introduced Dan, I thought, “Oh boy, another juggler that is going to throw around some bowling pins and figure out a way to loosely tie it back to the furniture industry.” NOT THE CASE.

Dan did a terrific job with his performance, making great points about business today. Dan says:

  1. You will never achieve perfect balance, so along the way you’ll need to make adjustments. How can you do that effectively?
  2. Being off-balance is the desired method of operation. Off-balance is how you accomplish goals, grow, and make meaningful differences to others.
  3. You have to be “On Purpose.” Take responsibility for what you do and realize that your decisions are directly linked to your values, beliefs, mission, and goals.

My favorite quote from the conference, however, was when Pedro Capo from El Dorado Furniture shared some wisdom from his father: “If they are not going to castrate you, then keep after them.” How can you argue with that?

After a near transcontinental flight, I was in Phoenix, Arizona, with Roger Magowitz and other industry leaders celebrating the life of Roger’s mother, Seena, by raising money to fight pancreatic cancer. If you want a cause to rally around, this foundation is a good one. Some great progress is being made thanks to events like this that help fund research to beat this horrible disease. This is my second time going to the tournament. If you have not been, I highly suggest that you GO NEXT YEAR.

Roger and the tournament organizers did a great job and everybody in attendance had a really good time.

Our foursome: Greg Brown, Jimmy Grimes, Eric Rhea and myself

All in all, it was an incredible week. I was able to catch up with a lot of friends that I have made in this industry over the years.

Ray and Roger: Next year, if you could agree on a single coast on which to host these events, it would be very helpful to those of us attending both (like you have never heard that suggestion before). Going coast to coast on a Friday is tough (but well worth it).

Have you been to Furniture Today’s Leadership Conference or the Seena Magowitz Foundation Golf Tournament? Tell me about your experiences in the comments section.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the thinking of the company I work for, or anyone else with whom I am affiliated. Except my wife of course, who is good at telling me what not to say.

3 thoughts on “Naples in the morning, Phoenix at night: Keeping up with the furniture industry

  1. Hey Mark:
    I just found your blog and I’m beginning to see that you’re the Leggett and Platt renaissance man…. Very exciting!!

    Thanks for all of your help in advancing our fight against pancreatic cancer.


    1. That is very Kind Michael, glad you enjoyed the blog. I am looking forward to my work with TGEN Michael, we are planning great things for the golf event this year!

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