Ashley commits $1M to hall of fame

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May 15—HIGH POINT — An organization that honors achievements in the home furnishings industry recently got a huge boost in its effort to establish a new home.

Ashley Furniture Industries and the Wanek family were named as lead donors to the building fund for the new home in High Point with a pledge of $1 million.

The nonprofit currently is located at 202 Neal Place in High Point. A grand opening for the new permanent home at Russell Avenue and Hamilton Street is targeted for 2023, according to a press release from the nonprofit.

In addition to honoring those who have achieved in the furniture industry, the nonprofit plans to establish a Center for Leadership to provide a platform for education, networking and inspiration among industry professionals.

"Education is a crucial part of our country's success in the global marketplace. In order to secure our country's position as a world-leader in technology and advanced manufacturing, we must continue to evolve ourselves, our business and our industry," said Ron Wanek, founder and chairman of Ashley Furniture Industries.

The new home also will feature a Discovery Center containing interactive areas for adults and children with hands-on demonstrations, workshops and experiential learning activities. It also will feature places for hosting private or industry events, with a large boardroom and smaller meeting spaces.

"We are deeply grateful to the Wanek family and Ashley Furniture Industries for the vision that they bring to this project," said Hall of Fame CEO Karen McNeill Pond. "They have encouraged us to build collaboration across all categories by developing a broad base of support for ongoing education. Their leadership and partnership will be instrumental in helping us to fulfill this mission."

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