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American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation Promotes Karen McNeill to Chief Vision Officer; Opens Search for Its Next CEO

The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation has promoted its CEO Karen McNeill to the additional position of Chief Vision Officer.  She will focus on new opportunities for the Hall of Fame, expanding educational events and building the Leadership Initiative.


“Karen has led the Hall of Fame for 16 years.  In essence, she has diligently moved the organization towards fulfillment of the original 1988 vision of our founders to chronicle our history, to honor our leaders, to unite the industry across all roles, and to create a museum,” says Caroline Hipple, president of the Board of Directors and president of Norwalk Furniture. “I’ve served on the Board of Directors during two different periods and witnessed first-hand the expansion of our programs, the purchase of a building and development of a living space that will honor our leaders, create gathering spaces, educate, and inspire a new class of innovation and leadership. She has established a solid platform to take the Hall of Fame into the future.”


Under McNeill’s term as CEO, the History Initiative has expanded to include Oral History interviews and book publishing, creation of a timeline history of the industry, preservation of our stories through the Tell Us Your Story video project, the filming of documentaries on each inductee, and the hiring of a full-time historian. The Leadership Initiative was launched in 2017 and now presents world-class keynote speakers, honors emerging leaders through the creation of the Paul Broyhill Future Leaders Award, and provides challenging executive leadership education through the Hall of Fame Home Furnishings Leadership Institute at High Point University. 


Classified as a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity, it is the industry’s only organization whose purpose recognizes and embraces all roles and segments of the industry.  Induction into the Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor, is based on a five-month Selection Process using an objective, confidential model. The evening has become the industry’s most prestigious networking event as an Induction Celebration featuring multiple events that are attended by more than 1,400 people.


In June 2019, the Hall of Fame purchased property at 311 N. Hamilton Street, hired Freeman Kennett Architects, and engaged ROTO, a global exhibits firm. The Building Committee consists of Larry Rogers, retired from Tempur Sealy Inc., chair; Mike Herschel, Furniture Marketing Group; Mark Phillips, Phillips Collection; Kyle Hughes, Hall of Fame; and McNeill. The Creative Team consists of Hipple; David Gebhart, Global Views; Lauren Estep, Hall of Fame; Hughes and McNeill. The 23,500 sq. ft. building and museum will open in 2023.

“We are preparing a home worthy of this $150 billion industry, a public space, alive with expanded programs and initiatives, events, services, functions and operations,” McNeill says.  “When we open a little more than a year from now, the Hall of Fame will gain even greater visibility as a place to honor the inducted Members of the Hall of Fame, a gathering place for leaders, and a place to learn through exhibits and educational events.”


“As with any company, it is our responsibility to oversee succession planning for this new business model and for the continuity of strong leadership,” says Caroline Hipple, president of the Board of Directors and president of Norwalk Furniture. “It presents a tremendous opportunity for the entrepreneurial leader who has had experience in creating and building a team, operations, financial and budget responsibilities, and meaningful sales and fundraising functions.  The new leader will have the opportunity to mold the future of the Hall of Fame as we move into our new home.


 “It is the right time to bring in the next CEO who can put their mark on the project, its new programming and its events,” Hipple says. “As Karen has always done, she will maintain a keen focus on the future to generate new opportunities for the Hall of Fame.”


A search has been launched for a new CEO for the Hall of Fame. For further information, visit .



About The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.:

The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. is an industry-wide organization founded in 1988 to preserve the history of the home furnishings industry, to celebrate exceptional individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the U.S. home furnishings industry, and to inspire the next generation of innovative leaders. In 2019, the organization purchased a building at 311 S. Hamilton St. in High Point. Our new home will be a symbol of the Home Furnishings Capital of the World™ where the industry gathers, where we tell our story and learn from our past, and where we inspire future generations.  As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, funds support our history and leadership programming. The organization currently is based in High Point, North Carolina, at 202 Neal Place, Suite 101, and can be reached at 336.882.5900. Watch for ongoing developments and details about the grand opening of a new permanent home, which is targeted for 2023.



Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.

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