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Tupelo Furniture Market Chairman V.M. Cleveland and President Kevin Seddon anticipate a busy fall market.

Market helps find home for vendors big and small BY DENNIS SEID



wenty-five years ago, the first Tupelo Furniture Market and Southeast Furnishings Mart was held at the Ramada Inn Convention Center. And it was a hit. Nearly 90 exhibitors showed, with 4,000 buyers from 36 states attending the four-day show. Six months later, more than 200 exhibitors signed on for the spring show, and the market expanded to the old Arvin building in the Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South in Verona. By the fall of 1988, two new buildings were constructed for the market – the Mississippi Furniture Mart and the Tupelo Furniture Market Center – offering more than 260,000 square feet of exhibit space. What started as an idea turned into a dream and then a reality in Northeast Mississippi. Doubters and naysayers said Tupelo could never support such an endeavor, that Memphis was a better destination. Tupelo didn’t have the hotels or other infrastructure to support it, they said. Harry Martin, president-emeritus of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation, which played a key role in getting the market here, said the results speak for themselves. “The Tupelo Furniture Market has had a major economic impact on the furniture industry as well as the commercial side of business in the community,” he said. “The hotels, the restaurants, the retailers benefited. And the furniture industry itself, especially the






• Not open to the public; for registered buyers only. • Building I is open to the public for the Furniture and Home Accessories Show. THE SILVER ANNIVERSARY of the market will be celebrated on opening night on Thursday. A special pres- • Complimentary buyers’ breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. daily. entation marking the occasion will be followed by the National Buyer Appreciation Award, dinner and enter- • National Manufacturer’s Representative Award Friday, 6 p.m., Building VI. tainment. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Building VI.


• Complimentary buffet and entertainment ThursdaySaturday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. • The fall market and the Furniture and Home Accessories Show run Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. • For more information, call (662) 842-4442 or visit

smaller manufacturers who otherwise couldn’t have shown anywhere else, found a home here.” Tupelo and Northeast Mississippi had what Memphis didn’t – the furniture industry itself. The area was deemed the “upholstered furniture capital of the world,” with more than 200 manufacturers, scores of suppliers and 30,000 employees. It was the best-kept secret around. Other furniture markets were in High Point, N.C., Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and San Francisco. But for many smaller companies, those markets were cost-prohibitive. And thus, the Tupelo Furniture Market was born. Today, the market covers nearly 2 million square feet. It draws buyers from across the country and globally as well. Top retailers make Tupelo a key stop. “There were a lot of visionary people involved with the market,” said Martin. “And it was the community and the CDF that rallied around it to support it and make it a success.”

‘The Tupelo Furniture Market has had a major economic impact on the furniture industry as well as the commercial side of business in the community. The hotels, the restaurants, the retailers benefited. And the furniture industry itself, especially the smaller manufacturers who otherwise couldn’t have shown anywhere else, found a home here.’ Harry A. Martin

president emeritus, Community Development Foundation SECTION E | WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2012


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Tupelo Furniture Market celebrates 25th





Tupelo sees gold during silver celebration BY DENNIS SEID DAILY JOURNAL


Workers scramble to unload and set up exhibitor showrooms before every market. You won’t find the both the quality and quantity we have in Northeast Mississippi anywhere else.” So how does the upcoming fall market stack up? The silver anniversary calls for a special celebration, and the market will have that on opening night Thursday. In addition to the National Buyer Appreciation Award presentation, a program will showcase the market’s past. “There’s going to be a video that shows a lot of what went behind the scenes to get the market going, and we’ll also have some very special guests at the ceremony,” said Greg Giachelli, secretary and treasurer of the Tupelo Furniture Marketing Association. Attendance is expected to be heavy for the market. Earlier this month, TFM officials said they expected to have its highest-attended market in 10 years. At the time, preregistration was up 100 percent from the last market,

permanent exhibit space was nearly 100 percent sold and temporary space was 90 percent sold. Cleveland said market officials reviewed the market from top to bottom. “From management and sales personnel to infrastructure, operations and marketing, all areas of our business, as well as the industry itself, were taken into consideration,” he said. “This upturn is the end result.” While the market gave away Hummers during its 20th anniversary celebration, it’s being a little more practical this time. More than 80 exhibitors at the fall market will be giving away high-definition TVs and iPads, along with other prizes, including some of their own products. Other exhibitors also are offering Tupelo-only incentives to buyers. Jim Sneed, the CEO of Affordable Furniture, said he anticipates a good market, despite some recent softness in the economy and the furniture industry.

“It’s always been a good orderwriting market, the biggest that we attend,” he said.


And new this year to the market is the Furniture and Home Accessories Show, which will run simultaneously with the fall market. The show will be held in Building I and open to the public. It will feature home furnishings, outdoor furnishings, area rugs, picture frames, framed art, lighting fixtures, cookware, pottery, Christmas decorations, appliances, designer clothing, jewelry, purses and other items. “It’s like a trade show within a trade show,” said Kevin Seddon, the president of the Tupelo Furniture Market. But the public won’t have access to the remaining five buildings where buyers and retailers meet with furniture manufacturers. Furniture and Home Accessories Show attendees will wear special badges that will limit their access.

“This really isn’t something revolutionary we’re doing,” Cleveland said. “All the furniture markets have been doing this in some form or fashion for years, including us. But instead of scattering everything over six buildings, we’re putting most of the accessories exhibitors in one building, where not only the market attendees can go, but the public, too.” The spring and fall furniture markets are officially closed to the public, although exhibitors do often offer guest passes. Some exhibitors sell only to dealers, while some are willing to sell to the public. Those sales usually are limited to the last day of the market. Cleveland said having the separate Furniture and Home Accessories Show is an answer for that. “People can come and get what they want then and there instead of having to wait until the market’s ready to close on the last day,” he said. “We think it’ll be well received.”

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UPELO – Five years ago, when the Tupelo Furniture Market was marking its 20th anniversary, few people expected the economy to go into a tailspin, a recession from which the country – and the furniture industry – still are recovering. “It’s been fun, it’s been exciting, it’s been scary at times,” said the owner and chairman in 2007. “Sometimes all at once ... but I think we still have a good future.” Five years later, the market is still around. Despite the recession and stiffer competition, the Tupelo Furniture Market remains a viable trade show for the industry. While the market is a little smaller and attendance has dropped from its peak, TFM officials are as hopeful as they’ve ever been. This week, the market celebrates its 25th anniversary – the silver anniversary – and Cleveland see a golden opportunity. “I really think in the next few years that we can see this market grow again,” he said. “When we added Building VI a few years ago, it was because we had a waiting list of exhibitors. Of course, the economy tanked and the industry has shrunk a bit, but we’re seeing and hearing a lot of good things going on.” The market, once spread over two complexes covering nearly 2.5 million square feet, consolidated a few years ago into one complex on Coley Road. It’s still almost 2 million square feet, plenty of room for hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of buyers to make deals. Many of the country’s 100 biggest furniture retailers make Tupelo a regular stop. It’s long been viewed as a destination for promotional – low-priced – furniture, with a mixture of midpriced wares. Discontinued and closeout items also are displayed, but new merchandise also is introduced at the shows. “We have a mixture of everything, but promotional furniture has been our bread and butter,” said Cleveland. “Upholstered furniture, in fact, has been what we’re about. We’re the upholstered furniture capital of the world, and we’ve capitalized on that.




Ed Meek was a journalist. And he also knew a thing or two about marketing. It was on one of his many long drives to Jackson more than a quarter-century ago, in a Volkswagen with no air conditioning, that an idea popped in his head. “I had a legal pad and was thinking about what we could do with the furniture industry,” he said. Meek was familiar with the industry in Northeast Mississippi, where most of the state’s manufacturers and suppliers were centered. But there was no organized trade show in the state for those companies to showcase their products. Meek had some experience with trade shows with his company, Oxford Publishing, which produced Nightclub & Bar, that industry’s leading publication, as well as “The Show,” its premier trade show. Wanting to develop a trade show for the furniture industry in Mississippi, Meek polled several furniture manufacturers about his wild idea. “Fifty percent of them said yes,” he said. “The other half, mostly bigger companies, said I’d lost my mind.” But Meek wasn’t the only person thinking about the furniture industry and how to promote it. Harry Martin, then-president of the Tupelo-based Community Development Foundation and now president-emeritus, said his organization also was looking at ways to develop the economy. “We looked at industrial equipment shows, and the research and development center in Jackson told us something like that for the furniture industry ought to be in Memphis.” Enter Meek, who also had been told a furniture show was better fit for Southaven, just

Ed Meek

Tupelo Furniture Market founder outside of Memphis.. “They said Tupelo didn’t have the transportation network or the lodging for it,” he said. Meek didn’t give up on the idea. On a trip back from Alabama, he was driving through Tupelo, and dropped by the CDF office. Meek said his mind quickly turned to longtime Daily Journal publisher George McLean, who long advocated finding ways to boost the region’s economy. “I thought, George McLean would want this,” Meek said. After extensive talks with the CDF, state and local officials, furniture manufacturers and others, the beginnings of the Tupelo Furniture Market took shape. In March 1987, the market was officially organized. Six months later, the first Tupelo Furniture Market took place. A year later, two more major players, V.M. Cleveland and Lynn Davis, opened their own furniture market facilities. “V.M. came in with a lot of money and resources, took over and took the market to another level,” Meek said. “He’s done a great job with it, no doubt.” Meek worked with Cleveland for a few years, then Davis and Cleveland joined forces in 1993. As Meek helped promote the Tupelo Furniture Market in the early days, he met legendary real estate magnate Trammel Crow, who also

owned the Dallas Market Center. Meek was recruiting exhibitors for Tupelo at the Dallas Market, which at the time was one of the country’s top furniture trade shows. After hearing that Meek was recruiting for Tupelo, Crow brought Meek up to his office, telling him he needed to leave. “I didn’t have any idea who Trammel Crow was,” Meek said with a laugh. “But I know we all but put the Dallas market out of business.” Meek also remembers talking to Morris Futorian about the Tupelo Furniture Market. Futorian, regarded as the father of the furniture industry in Northeast Mississippi, never attended a market. But he offered Meek advice. “He said, ‘if you believe it, do it,’” Meek said. “After the first market, he said he knew we could make it happen.” Meek had a huge role in developing and growing the Tupelo Furniture Market, and today only watches what’s going on from a distance. Tupelo was the right thing to do at just the right time. And it still is, he said. Never mind Vegas and High Point, he said. With costs rising in China, Tupelo is poised to take advantage, Meek said. “I believe the Tupelo Furniture Market will have a tremendous resurgence because of manufacturing returning to the U.S.,” he said.


Happy anniversary, Tupelo Furniture Market

think it’s fair to say the Tupelo Furniture Market has made an impact on the furniture industry. What that impact is depends on whom you talk to. But even with my limited DENNIS knowledge and exSEID perience of the market and the industry, I don’t think anyone would deny it’s made quite a ripple in its 25 years of existence. In 1987, furniture was driving the economy of Northeast Mississippi. And in many ways, it still does. At its peak, furniture manufacturing generated nearly half the jobs in the region, either directly or indirectly. Just five years ago, manufacturing drove a third of the employment in the region, and most of it was tied to furniture. But the industry was taken for granted by many living outside the area. Few people associated furniture manufacturing with Mississippi. Most people then, as they do now, look at the state as an agricultural economy. Catfish, chicken, cotton, soybeans, etc. I’ll be honest: When I first arrived in Tupelo eight years ago, I had never heard of the Tupelo Furniture Market. I had never heard about the furniture industry and how Northeast Mississippi was the “upholstered furniture capital of the world.” Truth be told, I had to figure out exactly what upholstered furniture was. Believe me – I know what it is now. And I know what case goods are, too. As you read the stories in this special section that marks the silver anniversary of the Tupelo Furniture Market, you’ll see familiar names and faces. Many are huge figures in the industry, and none bigger than Morris Futorian. It was he who kick-started furniture manufacturing in Mississippi 64 years ago. From Futorian came the

‘V.M. came in with a lot of money and resources, took over and took the market to another level. He’s done a great job with it, no doubt.’

25th Anniversary!

for your contribution to Economic Development in North Mississippi!


“Serving North Mississippi Since 1949”

130 N. Industrial Rd. • Tupelo, MS 38802


likes of Mickey Holliman, Hassell Franklin and a host of future CEOs and executives who built their own furniture companies and their fortunes. Many furniture manufacturers attended trade shows to show off their products. High Point, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta – they were the places to see and be seen. Along came Tupelo in 1987, daring to dip its toes in the water, upsetting the balance. How could a little upstart upstage the big guns in the industry? Tupelo was nothing more than the biggest small spot in rural Northeast Mississippi whose biggest claim to fame was some singer named Elvis. But some entrepreneurs and innovators got together and said, “we can do this.” And they did.

Most of the big names in the industry scoffed and said Tupelo wouldn’t have a chance. But the small to mid-size companies – the ones that didn’t have the financial clout to show in the bigger furniture markets – found their niche in Tupelo. The city and the region said, “let us take care of you. Let us show the world what we have here.” The other markets took notice. Those that didn’t either no longer exist or are only a shell of what they once were. The Tupelo Furniture Market may not be the trailblazer it once was, but it still has a promising future, with an infusion of new blood and new ideas to get it back on track. And if things work out, in another 25 years, we’ll be wishing the market a happy golden anniversary.

DENNIS SEID is business editor of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal. Contact him at (662) 678-1578 or


YOUn! THANfoK r your visio We appreciate what you do for the community. Thank you for being you!

South Gloster TUPELO

662-842-4162 888-892-4162

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Good idea, with great execution, led to market I


© JPC - 2012





the same time. But those misgivings didn’t necessarily bother Ed Meek, The Tupelo Furniture Market then-president of Opportunities was established in March 1987 Expositions, who developed and held its first show that Sep- and promoted the concept of tember. the Tupelo Furniture Market. But there was no guarantee “Everybody thought I was a that the brand-new market crazy,” he said with a laugh. would get very far off the “But those first couple of marground. In fact, there were kets, I drove all the roads and plenty of doubters. back roads across Mississippi, Furniture Today, in its Sept. Alabama, Tennessee to find ex7, 1987, edition, noted Tupelo’s hibitors.” inaugural market was being Meek found 160 companies held “during the peak of prefrom Alabama to Northeast market in High Point” and “has Mississippi in the furniture generated speculation about business, including 30 that the need for yet another furni- weren’t on the tax rolls. ture market and about its “People didn’t have a clue chances of success.” about what was going on The furniture industry maga- around Tupelo.” zine also said the Tupelo marMeek said before the inauguket had to compete against ral Tupelo Furniture Market major manufacturers in Missis- that it was designed as a “presippi that were hosting private market for major manufacturshowings in their factories at ers and as a regional market for BY DENNIS SEID DAILY JOURNAL


“The market is such an asset to our community and our region, and a lot of people just don’t realize it. The impact the market has on our economy, the opportunity for jobs it provides – I can’t enough about what it means.” LISA HAWKINS, owner, Room to Room Furniture

“I love it here. It’s very laid-back. You actually get to spend time with people. It’s not all the hustle and bustle of High Point or Vegas.” CINDY HUGHES, senior buyer for upholstery, Big Lots “The Tupelo Furniture Market has been one of Tupelo’s great entrepreneurial success stories. It came from nowhere to national prominence. Even amidst the current economic challenges, it is a car on the roller coaster that remains defiantly on the track. Congratulations to V.M. Cleveland and our


whole community on its first 25 years.” Tupelo Mayor JACK REED JR.

“Our store is definitely for the average American. We get to see recliners for every room in the house, whether it’s the family room or the den. ” AMANDA BOWEN, recliner buyer for Boscov’s Department Store






smaller ones. ... We also are looking to identify the young manufacturers of tomorrow as new resources of product.” The first market, held Sept. 17-20, 1987, showcased some 80 exhibitors and 4,000 buyers. Furniture Today said many companies that chose not to show in Tupelo didn’t think the city had the hotels and restaurants to support a furniture trade show. Harry Martin, then–president of the Community Development Foundation, which helped organize and support the market, said housing the guests wasn’t a problem. Hundreds of homes were opened up for exhibitors and buyers to rent during the market, giving birth to the Hostess Home Program still used today by the market.

“Some people say Tupelo is just a regional market, but that’s not true. You’ve got buyers coming from all over – the Northeast, Chicago, Detroit, for example, so it’s not just regional. Yes, it’s smaller than what it once was, but look at the number of retailers that have shrunk.” JIM SNEED, CEO of Affordable Furniture


“We were one of the first exhibitors and we’ve shown ever since for 25 years. V.M. has done a great job. We’re very happy with the market, and we have a good loyal following of dealers who come to see us every year.” RON WANEK, chairman of Ashley Furniture Industries “I never really thought about (it’s impact on the industry), but I know it’s always been good for us and it’s still good today.” GERALD WASHINGTON, CEO of Washington Furniture


“The Tupelo Furniture Market has been a partner. ... We’ve developed a relationship with many of the companies here. We got a lot of our ideas in the beginning from people at the market.” SHANNON STRUNK, president of Baber’s


Tupelo Furniture Market on your 25th Anniversary


Tupelo Furniture Market for 25 Great Years!

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Tupelo market got off to a quick start





Furniture Market milestones t started small, with some 80 exhibitors showing in 70,000 square feet and making deals with 4,000 buyers. At its peak before the Great Recession, the market drew more than 1,000 exhibitors and 35,000 visitors for each show. The biannual market still attracts several hundred exhibitors and thousands

of furniture buyers and retailers from across the country, attracted by the ease of shopping and Southern hospitality. And the market’s presence in the middle of the upholstered furniture capital of the world, where buyers can see much of what they’re buying being made nearby, is another plus. Here are key moments during the market’s successful run:

The Tupelo Furniture Market was officially created March 27, 1987, by Ed Meek, president of Opportunities Expositions in Oxford after extensive talks with local and state leaders. Among those in attendance at the unveiling were Tupelo Mayor Jack Marshall, from left, North Mississippi Industrial Development Director Bill Boyd, Mississippi Community and Economic Development Director Jerry McDonald, Meek, CDF Chairman Ed Neelly and Mississippi Manufacturing Association President Wilson Jeter. The first program for the Tupelo Furniture Market and Southeast Furnishings Mart, as it was called officially, featured 88 exhibitors.

The first market drew about 4,000 buyers. The second market, which expanded to the Arvin building, pulled in more than 6,000 buyers.

The Mississippi Furniture Mart, seen here, opened in the fall of 1988, with 105,000 square feet of exhibition space. Lynn Davis, second from left, was president of the facility.

The Mississippi Furniture Mart, under the leadership of Lynn Davis, grew into a five-building facility with some 800,000 square feet of exhibition space.

The Tupelo Furniture Market Center, now Building I of the Tupelo Furniture Market, opened under the leadership of V.M. Cleveland also in the fall of 1988. The building provided 160,000 square feet of space. The Tupelo Market Center was about half a mile away from the Mississippi Furniture Mart. While run separately, together the facilities featured exhibitors for the biannual Tupelo Furniture Market.

Cleveland, left, and Davis, center, merged their operations in 1993. While both facilities remained opened, Davis’ facility was referred to as the Mississippi Complex, while Cleveland’s facility was named the Tupelo Complex. Today, only the Tupelo complex features market exhibitors.

The market celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1997. An interesting note: The fall market held a reception for international exhibitors at the Mexican Pavilion in Building IV.

The market celebrates its silver anniversary this week.

The Tupelo Complex added its sixth building in 2004. The 300,000-square-foot building expanded the market to nearly 2.5 million square feet.

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By Dennis Seid





First market drew heavily from region



Adcomm Graphics, Tupelo Astro-Lounger Furniture Manufacturing Co., Houlka, Miss. Bench Craft, Blue Mountain, Miss. Carrozza Furniture Manufacturing Co., Tupelo Club Encore, Tupelo Co-Mc, Louisville, Miss. Englewood Chair Co., Englewood, Tenn. GP & P Furniture, Fulton, Miss. Goldmont Furniture, Golden, Miss. Guardsman Products, Grand Rapids, Mich. Harden Manufacturing Corp., Haleyville, Ala. Hunter Furniture Co., Macon, Miss. Martin & Jones Furniture Manufacturing, Houston, Miss. Oakwood Furniture Manufacturing, Golden Owen Furniture Industries, Haleyville, Ala. Quimbaya International, Corinth, Miss. Shannon Chair Co., Houston, Miss. Shaw Manufacturing Co., Okolona, Miss. Smith-MIller, Ripley, Miss. Sterns & Foster Co., Pontotoc, Miss. Style-Line Furniture, Verona, Miss. 20th Century, Okolona, Miss. Voyager Insurance Cos., Jacksonville, Fla. WW Wood Products, Thaxton, Miss. Washington Furniture Manufacturing, Houlka, Miss.


Acacia Furniture, Houston Autowood, Double Springs, Ala.

The Tupelo Market Center – now Building I of the Tupelo Furniture Market – opened in the fall of 1988. The nearby Mississippi National Furniture Mart, not pictured, also opened. Combined, the two buildings offered nearly 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. The first show a year earlier took up only 70,000 square feet and was held at the Ramada Inn Convention Center and the Downtown Mall. Bankhead Designs, Houston, Ala. Blue Ridge Furniture, Galax, Va. Caldwell Chair Co, Haleyville, Ala. Christini Manufacturing, Keller, Texas Ciesta of Okolona Furniture, Okolona, Miss. Consumer Lease Network, Nashville, Tenn. Country Furniture, Okolona, Miss. Crestwood Industries, Arley, Ala. Cubs Lamp Co., Albertville, Ala. The Davis Co., Memphis, Tenn. Dee’s Manufacturing, Tupelo Delane’s, Sherman, Miss. Dobbs Industries, Haleyville, Ala. Dukes Wholesale, Jackson, Miss. Duraline, Addison, Ala. Dynasty Furniture, Okolona Easley Furniture, Houston, Miss. East Rest Bedding, Ramer, Tenn. El Rancho Furniture, Florence, Ala. G&M Manufacturing, Fulton, Miss. The New Harlow Furniture, Shannon, Miss. Hiline Furniture, Booneville, Miss. Holiday Lamp & Lighting, Glencoe, Ala.

Inmon Furniture Manufacturing, Shannon, Miss. Jimson Manufacturing, Haleyville, Ala. Joyces Gems, Newport, Ark. Kimco Furniture, Leighton, Ala. Lazy M Lamp & Shade, Phil Campbell, Ala. Lawton Lumber Co., Adamsville, Tenn. Len-Dal Carpets, Chatsworth, Ga. M&M Lamps and Crafts, Hernando, Miss. M&W Sales, Golden, Miss. Marco Furniture, Tupelo Maulding & Associates, Jackson, Miss. Monarch, Texarkana, Ark. Murphy Furniture Manufacturing, Jasper, Ala. Naco, Ellisville, Miss. Nettleton Furniture Manufacturing, Nettleton, Miss. Oak Land Furniture Manufacturing, Okolona, Miss. Orleans Furniture, Columbia, Miss. The Phillips Group, Stafford, Texas

Quality Dinette, Arley, Ala. Quality Wholesale Furniture Manufacturing, Pontotoc, Miss. Rayline Manufacturing, Tupelo Richey Manufacturing, Tupelo Riverwood Manufacturing, Hamilton, Ala. S&G Furniture, Pontotoc, Miss. S&S Manufacturers, Pontotoc, Miss. S&W Associates, Houston, Miss. Sanders Industries, Tupelo Seville Furniture Manufacturing, Okolona, Miss. Southern Pine Furniture Manufacturing, Aliceville, Ala. Smith Manufacturing, Arley, Ala. Transport Trailer Service, Tupelo Troy Furniture Manufacturing, Pontotoc, Miss. Tujac, Jackson, Miss. Tupelo Manufacturing Co, Tupelo Twin Oaks Manufacturing, Verona, Miss. Unique Dinettes, Haleyville, Ala. White Oak Manufacturing, Blue Springs, Miss. Woodcrest Sales, Peru, Ind.




FROM TUPELO MAYOR JACK L. MARSHALL to the attendees of the first Tupelo Furniture Market, held Sept. 17-20, 1987: “It is my very pleasant privilege to welcome you to our All-American City. The board of aldermen and I want you to know how pleased we are that Tupelo has been chosen as the site for this new furniture market. Everybody knows that Northeast Mississippi is one of America’s strongest manufacturing center, and now there is a market to support it. I am sure that you will be met with warmth and hospitality. The citizens of Tupelo take a great deal of pride in their city, and we hope you will take advantage of the recreation, dining, shopping and entertainment available. All of us realize the work involved in promoting a largescale market such as the Tupelo Furniture Market. Our thanks go out to all those who have given so graciously of their time to make this week a real success. It is our sincere wish that each buyer and manufacturer will have a successful market. Please be advised that we stand ready to provide any assistance possible to make your stay in Tupelo a rewarding one.

Congratulations Tupelo Furniture Market on your


Thanks for your contribution to



Economic Development in North Mississippi!

People you trust.

Advice that works.

3609 West Jackson • Tupelo, MS • 844-8411



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t the first Tupelo Furniture Market and Southeast Furnishings Mart, as it was officially named, 88 companies exhibited at the first show, which was held at the Ramada Convention Center and at the Downtown Mall. Most of the exhibitors were from Mississippi and Alabama and neighboring states, but exhibitors also came from Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Virginia. A quarter-century later, many of those companies no longer exist, and others have been acquired and/or renamed. The participants at the first market were









“That’s how we handled the hotel question at the beginning,” Martin said. By the time the second market rolled around, it was clear Tupelo was a hit. More than 250 exhibitors and 6,000 buyers for the March 1988 show. The third show, in September 1988, marked the first anniversary of the Tupelo Furniture Market. By then, everybody was jumping on the bandwagon. In a Daily Journal editorial on Sept. 10, 1988, the paper said, “the past year of the market’s growth parallels the strength and aggressiveness of the area’s furniture industry. “Furniture is a bellwether of Northeast Mississippi’s economic philosophy: local investment creates local prosperity. Private investors, local governments and development organizations have joined hands to focus national and world attention on the quantity, quality and diversity of furniture manufacturers in our part of Mississippi. “The fall furniture market is the showcase for dreams brought to fruition by vision, planning and unending. “Success will continue if the energy that brought Mississippi’s furniture industry to the top of the ladder continually is fed with new ideas, sustained with enthusiasm and encouraged by cooperation between the public and private sectors.” And what was said a quarter-century ago still applies today. “The furniture industry wouldn’t be where it is today in Northeast Mississippi without the Tupelo Furniture Market,” said Ken Pruett, president of the Mississippi Furniture Association. “It helped build the industry and helped make it strong and it will continue to do that as long as our manufacturers continue to support it and others get behind it, too.”


Tupelo Furniture Market attendees are treated to free breakfasts every morning, as well as buffet dinners and entertainment during the markets.



Raul Velazquez, left, and Alberto Aroyo of Velazquez Furniture in Chicago wrap up a chair they purchased at the Cassady Closeouts at the fall market in 2010.

Congratulations Tupelo Furniture Market on your 25th Anniversary. We are proud to have played a part in the success of the Furniture Industry in Tupelo and the surrounding area!


Jim and Lisa Hawkins of Room to Room Furniture browse the wares of Grassroots Imports with exhibitor Bob Nemnich, right, at the Tupelo Furniture Market in 2009.

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CONGRATULATIONS Tupelo Furniture Market on

Thanks for the impact you have had on our regional economy for the past 25 YEARS!

Norbord Mississippi, LLC.

1194 Highway 145 Guntown, Mississippi USA 38849 Tel: (662) 348-2800 • Fax: (662) 348-2899 •

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Saturday August 25, 2012 BancorpSouth Arena 6:30 PM

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Inside This Issue: • Meet Our 2012 Celebrity Dancers and Instructors

• Learn More About Our Mission • Find Out The Latest News, Club Happenings & More

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Presented By

Boys & Girls Clubs have been changing lives in America for over 100 years. How do we know this? We have tested and proven programs, trained professional staff and experience that has provided more than a century of hope and opportunity for youth, enabling them to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible adults. We also know that Clubs work, because our alumni—millions of former Club kids—tell us so.

90% of alumni said the Club was one of the best things available to them in their community.

90% of alumni graduate from high school.

57% of alumni said the Club saved their life.

Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi operates Clubs in five locations—Tupelo, Oxford, New Albany, Ripley and Houston. The Clubs serve over 2,000 children annually after school, throughout the summer and during school holidays. Clubs have five core program areas: • Education and Career Development • Citizenship and Leadership Development • Sports, Fitness and Recreation • Health and Life Skills • The Arts 2

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213 West Main Street, Tupelo, MS 38804

In addition to taking time out of their busy schedules to learn ballroom dancing techniques, these local celebrities raise sponsorship dollars. The celebrity raising the most funds is awarded the Grand er k r a P y Champion Award. Also, our panel of tace Mayor S nd Champion celebrity judges selects 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ra 2011 G place awards for our Judges Choice Category.

Keeg 2011 Ju an Foxx dges Ch oice

In 2011, with the support of local celebrities, a silent auction component and the community, more than $130,000 was raised – still making it the organization's largest annual fundraising event. It has truly become one of the areas "hottest tickets” and for that the organization is truly grateful. Last year, Mayor Stacey Parker of Houston was named 2011 Grand Champion raising more than $21,000 for the youth development mission along with the evening’s Judges Choice Winner Keegan Foxx of Tupelo. The gala event includes ballroom dance routines from each local celebrity and open dancing with music provided this year by The Edd Jones Orchestra. Find out more about this year’s event, phenomenal lineup, professional instructors and the young Boys & Girls Club Dance Stars in this edition of Dance Like The Stars 2012.









Pictured are 2011 Dance Celebrities: 1) Marti Stark; 2) Ronnie Bell; 3) Lynn Weeks; 4) Dr. Charles Garrett; 5) Chanda Cossit; 6) Dr. Noel Hunt; 7) Melinda Marsalis; and 8) Deborah Tierce. BOYS& GIRLS CLUBS





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Developed in 2006, Dance Like The Stars is a community special event that raises funds for Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi. Held annually at the BancorpSouth Arena, celebrities are recruited from surrounding communities and partnered with professional instructors at Tupelo’s The Dance Studio.

For the fourth year, Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC). This grant is a portion of the $1.5 million in grants the Commission will award in 2012-2013 and will be used to support the organization’s youth ballroom dance program- Dance Stars. Annually, participants of the Dance Stars program perform at Dance Like The Stars, providing a standout performance of the evening. MAC grants are made possible by continued funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. “The grants awarded by the Commission to arts organization across the state provide funding for the staging of festivals, theatre performances,



and many other arts-related activities. With these funds, the organizations work diligently to help tell the unique story of their community, and to reinforce the value of building a creative economy. These groups prove that arts programs are vital to stimulate economic growth,” said Malcolm White, Executive Director of MAC. “Additionally, the arts provide a positive environment for learning, both in the classroom and in the community.” The Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, serves the residents of the state by providing grants that support programs to enhance communities; assist artists and arts organizations; promote the arts in education and celebrate Mississippi’s cultural heritage. Established in 1968, the Mississippi Arts Commission is funded by the Mississippi Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, the Phil Hardin Foundation, the Riley Foundation, the Mississippi Endowment for the Arts at the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and other private sources. The agency serves as an active supporter and promoter of arts in community life and in arts education.



Pictured are Haven Acres Boys & Girls Club Dance Stars: 1) Kalyse McGaha & Tyler Randle; 2) Edward Vaughn & Jayla Douglas; 3) Savontee Vaughn & Jakimia Pickens; and 4) McGaha & Randle.


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BGCNMS Receives MAC Grant To Support Youth Ballroom Dance Program





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Four members of Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi recently attended the Cal Ripken, Sr. Baseball Camp in Aberdeen, MD. Tarquez Calvert and De'Kendric Moye from the Houston Club and Elijah Ingram and Artaveion High from the New Albany Club traveled to spend their first week of summer break learning the game of baseball with some of the nation’s finest instructors and youth from throughout the country. The camp provides an opportunity for deserving young people from across the country to come together for a week to learn baseball “The Ripken Way,” while simultaneously developing life-long character traits that will help them continue on the path to success. The entire Ripken program is based on Cal, Sr.’s philosophy that “everything you do in baseball, you do in life; and everything you do in life, you do in baseball.” Both Clubs recently received grants from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation through the assistance of the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office. The grant supports the Badges For Baseball Program, a multi-faceted crime prevention and mentoring program that conveys the tenets of “The Ripken Way” to young people through a variety of programs, including Healthy Choices, Healthy Children and baseball themed activities. It also partners youth with caring adults in local law enforcement to enhance and enliven these lessons. Elijah Ingram received the “Camper of The Week Award”. “I was able to meet other kids from Las Vegas and lots of other places. My favorite part was learning more about baseball,” stated Ingram. The program will continue to be implemented until late October 2012 and continues to seek partnerships with local law enforcement. For more on how you can become involved, please call 662-841-6405. Pictured are Tarquez Calvert, Elijah Ingram, Artaveion High and De'Kendric Moye.

Houston members enjoy a game of Quickball.


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Ingram and High pose with New Albany Unit Director Tommie Bledsoe.



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Baseball “The Ripken Way”

Volunteerism Across The State

L.O.U. Clubhouse Receives Community Impact Grant

The Oxford Boys & Girls Club was recently awarded a Community Impact Grant from the United of Way of Lafayette County in the amount of $5,000 to implement a reading program at the Oxford Club for 1st – 4th graders reading below grade level. Funds will be used to hire five excelling 11th and 12th grade students from the Oxford and Lafayette High Schools to tutor members. Incoming Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi President, Dr. Judith Thompson, partnered with the project to provide training and monitoring of tutors by University of Mississippi students to help tutors be effective and keep learning fun. Another component of the grant will include workshops presented by the Oxford Police Department on things such as internet use, bullying and safety.

Both the Ripley & Houston Clubs were visited by youth volunteers from Hands on Mississippi this summer. A group including 22 youth and seven adult volunteers traveled to the North Mississippi area from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and treated members to a play performance, arts and crafts, games and a puppet show. Hands On Mississippi was founded in 2005 in response to Hurricane Katrina and promotes volunteerism.

Northside Teen Center Tremendous Success This Summer Through various partnerships and grant funding, the Northside Club was converted to be more conductive to teen activities and learning this summer with additional games, computer lab improvements, a new scoreboard, and basketball uniforms for Club and community competitions. Thanks to a partnership with the Tupelo Public School District, youth ages 13-18 were transported to the Teen Center allowing the transition to be smooth for parents and staff. Programing was key in keeping teens engaged and eager to be a part of the new Center. A special interest of teens this summer was a music program presented by the Delta Music Institute who brought their Mobile Music Lab to the Center. Education remained forefront of the organization’s goals even through summer months. Members of the Teen Center participated in the “Tupelo Reads” reading initiative sponsored by the Mayor’s Task Force. Club members read “Gilead” along with the Tupelo community this summer and participated in group discussions led by Lisa Reed and Bonnie Webb. For their participation and writing an essay, members were treated to lunch with the Mayor and Mrs. Reed at Chili’s. Pictured are Mayor and Mrs. Reed along with Boys & Girls Club members.

Toastmaster Youth Leadership Program Members of the Oxford Clubhouse participated this summer in the National Toastmasters leadership program which is aimed at honing their speaking and leadership skills in a non-pressured setting. Pictured are: Meg Mathis, Tim Abram, and Carol-Scott Defore with club members.

Houston Boys & Girls Club Receives Gift The Carpenter Foundation recently donated $40,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Houston. Houston Board members and Boys & Girls Club Administration hope that other businesses and industry in Chickasaw County will see the value of the local organization and make an investment as well. For information on how you can become a donor please visit or call 662-841-6504. Pictured are John Lee Lyles, Houston Boys & Girls Club Advisory Board President; Zell Long, CPO of Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi; Hassell Franklin, Founder and CEO of Franklin Corporation; Al Servati, Division Manager of Carpenter Corporation; and Justin Chandler, Sales Manager for Carpenter Corporation. BOYS& GIRLS CLUBS





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Latest Happenings & EVENTS

Rhonda Hanby Tupelo

Mary Pat Hancock Tupelo

Paul Tucker Tupelo

Tracy Holton-Garrett New Albany 8

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Sherry Davis Tupelo

Angelique Ratliff Ripley

Todd Wade Oxford

Kevin Pierce Tupelo

Terri Amacker Tupelo Rob Baird Houston






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Allie Ware Tupelo

For Largest Fundraising Event

BGCNMS is pleased to partner with The Dance Studio for its largest fundraising event. This year’s instructors are: Tammy Wilson, Daniel Stevenson and Robbie Greenwood. Also working with the Youth Dance Stars program are Tammy and Daniel.

The Dance Studio is Tupelo's premier ballroom dancing studio. They specialize in teaching American Smooth and American Rhythm dances and are available to aide dancers in taking their dancing to the next level. Instructors assist students in preparing for a wedding,

improving social dancing, becoming a competitive dancer, or meeting people with common interests. Schedule your lessons today by calling 662.842.2242.

Rubye Del Harden Owner

Tammy 10

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Pleased To Partner With

Desiree & Gary Carnathan






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Jay & Sherry Quimby

Mr. Robert Cooper 12

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Millcreek of Pontotoc DANCE LIKE THE STARS

Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Baird BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS

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Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jaeger

North Mississippi Sports Medicine & Orthopedic Clinic, PLLC

Itawamba Community College

St. James Catholic Church


American Family Association, Inc.

Billy Breland

Franklin Collection Services

Christopher & Patricia Mills

Heirlooms Forever

Nolan Brothers Motor Sales

Norbord MS LLC

ENT Physicians of North Mississippi

Century Construction & Realty, Inc.

Alexa Ivancic

UBS Employee Giving Programs

Dr. Ed & Kris Ivancic

Engineering Solutions, Inc.

Dr. Charles Montgomery

Mr. Michael & Lisa Massengill

Tupelo Small Animal Hospital

North Mississippi Health Services, Inc.

Dr. Stephen & Maggie Amann


Express Employment Professionals

Byrne CPA

Sanders Clinic for Women

Mr. & Mrs. Mickey Holliman

Martinrea Automotive Structures BOYS& GIRLS CLUBS





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Thomas Orchard

Penske Truck Leasing

Park Place Apartments

Mr. & Mrs. Rob Hudson

Cold Mix, Inc.

Dr. Marianne Barnes & Mr. Robert Hajek

Trustmark National Bank

Hardy Reed, LLC

Christopher Swita

North Mississippi Physical Therapy

Dr. Mabel Murphree

People’s Community Baptist Church

Creekmore Clinic

Adair Carpet Sales, Inc.

Mr. Barry Bertolet

Robinson & Associates

Omega Motion

Hudson Management

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

North Mississippi Medical Center

TAG Truck Center

The Peoples Bank of Ripley

First National Bank of Tupelo

Showcase Homes

Whitaker Sales, Inc.

Zell Long

W.C. Smallwood, Jr.

Way-Fil Jewelry

BancorpSouth Houston

Accent Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

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St. James Ladies Club

Gracie Jackson

Mr. & Mrs. Steven Altmiller

Tupelo Coca Cola

David & Linda Ziegler

David & Shawn Brevard

B&B Concrete

Jimmy & Nancy Milam

Dr. Bill Brawner

Cindy Hughes

Guy Mitchell

Leslie Nabors, Jr.

Bill & Pam Prater

Signs First of North Mississippi

Robert Byers

Farm Bureau Insurance Company

Jackson & Creighton P.A.

Wesson & Mothershed Eye Center

Medical Center Pharmacy

Cecilia Palmer

Kay’s Kreations

Scott & Kim Swita

McClinton Dental Clinic

BNA Bank

Judson L. Vance & Co. P.A.

Raymond & Emily Orger

Barkley Travel

Jim & Tammy Miller

Mary Patton

Kim Simmons

Rutledge, Davis & Harris P.L.L.C

Harrison Law Office P.L.L.C

Paul & Barbara Behrndt

David & Dorinda Leatherman

Elizabeth Clemons

Hank & Michele Franklin

Creekmore Law Office, PLLC

Dean & Jeanette Domask

Cardiology Associates of North Mississippi – Dr. Francisco Sierra

Main Street Family Dentistry

Norma Caviness

The Sherwin Williams Co.

The Griffin Dental Group

Terry & Sandy Atkinson

Daryl Domask

Jim Diffee

Charlene Smith

John & Peggie Robinson

Dodge’s Stores

Markel Corporation

Regina Coats

Kevin Riley W.E. Pegues Funeral Directors

Community Bank Scott Davis Attorney At Law

Timothy & Susan Albers

Sunnybrook Children’s Home, Inc.

Dr. Jayant & Deepika Dey

Rob & Linda Rice

Sheriff Jim Johnson

Heath Morrison

Ron & Linda Roof

Van & Mary Stubbs Maurice & Barbara Roy

Gayle McKnight

Hudson & Anita Bryan

Dr. & Mrs. Max Taylor

Jimmy & Rochelle Rasberry

Richard & Amy Heyer

David & Rose Bradberry

Jim & Susan O’Hargan

Mr. & Mrs. Joey Hutto

Holland Funeral Directors

Tupelo Lumber Company

L&N Pest Control

In Bloom

TruGreen Midsouth

JBHM Architects P.A.

Mr. & Mrs. M.F. Ellett

Ann Godwin

Billy & Susan Johnson

Permenter & Elliott P.A.

Jimmy & Betty Clark

Lynn LeBreton

Rachel Young

Ty Robinson John & Faye Hall Karl & Bev Crossen

Tom & Betsey Hamilton Dr. & Mrs. Charles Wikle Gum Tree Mortgage LLC Tupelo Furniture Market

Claire Kordik

Jane Spain

Andrew & Julie Battaile

James Vanlandingham

William & Susan Hoag

Anna Wilkerson

John & Frances Foy

Mr. & Mrs. Jack McFerrin


David & Bettye Thomas

Susan Joly

Mary Werner

Jane Sullivan

Georgia Griffin

Donna Roberts

Dr. Edward & Jean Hill

Ray & Judy Swita

Sylvia Lenhoff

Chickasaw Equipment Company

Monte & Karen Tralmer

Deborah Smith

United Funeral Services Inc.

Kasha Stephens

Pitts Companies Realtors Inc.

Sharon Mitchell

T. Buddy Logan

Tom & Margaret Hall

Taylor Construction Company Inc.

Lee White

Dr. & Mrs. Doug Clark

Dr. & Mrs. Stephan Shirley

Ron & Betty Garner

Kathy Williams

Chris & Holly Rogers

Joe K. Robbins, Jr.

Charles & Anita Sue Imbler

Lewis & Mel Whitfield

Barcode Labeling Systems David & Carrie Haadsma


Midnite Pottery

Jennifer Grasso John & Terry Woerner

Ashby & Associates

Waide & Associates P.A.

Gay Ramsey

Shirley Fitts KEA Eye Center Caroline Russell Nabors Home Center Cee Cees, Inc. Susan Hayman

Nita Dyer Barbara Tyre Marilyn Morrison Mr. & Mrs. Chauncey Godwin, Jr. Kelly Scott Frank & Donald Alford Mrs. Hugh Stephens Mark & Amanda Summers Gum Tree Fabrics Edith Wright Jim’s Auto Parts, Inc. Dr. Robert Cooper Tommy Morgan Realtors Mark & Tracie Alford Will & Tina Kollmeyer Senator & Mrs. Russell Jolly Chickasaw Journal Classic Radio FM MLM Clothiers Elizabeth Milne J.E. Vance & Company, P.A. Dawn Steinman Rock Plumbing 1st Franklin Financial - Houston Dendy Foods Jim Gordon David Horn Eaton Babb & Smith Whitehill Baptist Church Jan Robertson Fireplace Creations Phelps Dunbar Senter Transit Mix Linda Wilson

Joe B. Morton





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Dance Décor provided by


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Business Journal 20120815  
Business Journal 20120815