Industry icon and longtime furniture retailer Joe Bograd recently passed


Joe Bograd's son, Mark, invites his father’s friends in the furniture industry, to share in the celebration of Joe's life. The information follows is listed below.

I am setting up a special Zoom Shiva for people in the furniture industry.  This was truly my Dad’s second family.  A Shiva is a Jewish event following the death of an individual that both celebrates the deceased and comforts the bereaved.  Traditionally held in people's homes, holding a Zoom event allows people to participate from near and far.  This gathering is meant for reps, manufacturers and former Bograd’s employees.  Let’s share stories, tributes, etc. on Thursday, February 25th from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

You will find a link to the event below.  Joe’s sister, Harriet, is helping facilitate this and asks that people register in advance.

Register here

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We have also set up a memorial page on My Keeper for Joe where people can see photographs and share written memories.  I have posted my eulogy there.  If people have photos of Joe to share, they can forward them to me at

Visit Joe Bograd’s My Keeper Page:

Thank you and I hope to see you there,


IMC Prepares for Spring 2021 High Point Market

HIGH POINT, N.C. – (Feb. 17, 2021) – International Market Centers (IMC) announced today that its Spring 2021 High Point Market offerings will include both showrooms and temporary resources as well as a robust lineup of digital tools for pre-market preparation and an all-virtual educational programming format. Spring Market runs June 5 – June 9, 2021.

“Spring Market is the perfect platform for retailers and designers to discover trends, source new product and make new connections,” said Bob Maricich, IMC CEO. “A successful High Point Market will play a pivotal role in the continued recovery of the furniture and home décor industries and we’re excited our properties can play a part in that.”



Congratulations to Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC on a big win!

Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC, the legal team that represents IHFRA,  had a big win after a four week Zoom trial. Congratulations on a job well done!

Late Wednesday afternoon, Norman T. Finkel and Richard M. Goldwasser scored a major victory on behalf of their clients, a group of real estate owners and grocery store operators, when a Circuit Court sitting in Lake County issued a 49-page decision which handed them a clean sweep in a hotly contested lawsuit. To continue reading this article, click here.

Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC
300 S. Wacker Drive, 15th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Telephone: (312) 648-2300

Home News Now launches High Point Tuesday


The website and newsletter will be dedicated to helping retailers navigate First Tuesday events

Home News Now, in partnership with High Point Market Authority (HPMA), is launching a website and thrice-monthly newsletter dedicated to helping retailers and designers have a better High Point First Tuesday experience.

The monthly event allows exhibitors to open their showrooms to retailers on an appointment-only basis, and the website,, will help dealers navigate First Tuesday with the latest on showroom openings, product introductions and more. The site goes live on March 1, just before the next High Point Tuesday event. Newsletters will follow three weeks, two weeks, and the week prior to the April 6-8 event and follow the same pattern ahead of future First Tuesdays.

The original High Point Tuesday event took place in November 2020, and Kevin Castellani, head of the High Point Tuesday committee, and director of external communications and brand positioning at Manwah, played a large role in the founding of the event. He encourages exhibitors to take advantage of it.

“I believe we’re creating an alternative to tradition,” Castellani says of High Point Tuesday. “The idea of opening a showroom once a month that everyone knows is available for dedicated meetings is going to be a format this industry embraces. Manwah is bringing people in just for business, and everyone that’s coming in is buying because they’re coming in for a purpose. That is changing the dynamics.”

High Point Tuesday will create a unique, compelling body of content and tool set that enhances the event and drives a better retailer experience. The newsletter will keep retailers and designers up to date on the latest news, product information and updated exhibitor information before each event. will include an actively managed exhibitor directory tool which will eliminate misinformation about which exhibitors are open. Participating exhibitors are asked to contact High Point Tuesday Editor Alex Milstein at with their opening status. Those noting plans to open will have a green tab beside their directory listing showing that they are actively participating in the current First Tuesday event.

Vendors not open for the current event and those who do not contact Milstein will have a red button adjacent to their listing showing that they are closed. This critical feature will eliminate buyer frustration by giving them up-to-date information about who is open and when, ensuring buyers do not visit locked showrooms that they assumed would be open for business.

“The first of these events took place in November, and I think the smart exhibitors worked hard to make sure they had preset appointments,” says Tom Conley, president and CEO of the HPMA. “That seems to be one of the things people aren’t recognizing — is that this is supposed to be an appointment-only kind of situation. It’s not an alternative to a market where people just wander around.”

“I’m excited to help make this event more efficient and effective for exhibitors, designers and retailers,” says Milstein. “If we come together as an industry with a common goal, I know we can make this event valuable to everyone involved.”

With the next High Point Tuesday event right around the corner, all home industry members can click here to sign up for the free newsletter: More information about the website and directory tool will be announced soon.

Sponsorship opportunities will be available for exhibitors. Contact Home News Now Publisher Rick Harrison at for more information.


Blog: Small retailers and their reps feel COVID pinch worse

By Ray Allegrezza, executive director, International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn.

While COVID-19 and its newly mutated cousins have been equal-opportunity disrupters, I can’t help but feel the pandemic has created a very unlevel new playing field, particularly for small retailers.

And if a recent study conducted by CBIZ Main Street Index is correct, and I believe it is, I am not the only one who thinks so.

CBIZ Inc., a leading provider of financial, insurance and advisory services, polled more than 1,600 U.S. businesses within more than 30 industries, found that while the majority (84%) saw an impact from the pandemic and the subsequent economic slowdown, 43% of small businesses — those with one to four employees — were hardest hit by the pandemic.

While some suppliers consider small business as small potatoes, the statistics would suggest otherwise. Government BC (Before COVID-19) statistics cite 27 million small businesses and say those businesses account for 50% of our GDP.

But since the pandemic, businesses of all size have been dropping like flies. A study by Yelp concluded that some 163,735 businesses that had been open last April closed in September due to the pandemic.



IHFRA steps up with First Tuesday

Member education, committee membership help make reps stakeholders in the event

HIGH POINT — The International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn. is making moves to educate its members about sales representatives’ role and opportunity in First Tuesday, as well as playing a more active part in the effort to adapt to the ongoing pandemic’s challenges to how retailers and vendors do business.

On Jan. 29, IHFRA presented a First Tuesday webinar where panelists fielded questions addressing how sales reps can use the event to their and their accounts’ benefit, as well as addressing those reps’ concerns.

Moderated by Ray Allegrezza, IHFRA executive director, and Steven Allegrezza, managing director, the webinar panel featured High Point Market Authority CEO Tom Conley, Kevin Castellani and Ed Myers, representing First Tuesday exhibitors Manwah USA and Jackson Furniture/Catnapper, respectively.

“The reps need to be involved, supportive and advocates to make First Tuesday as successful as it can be” for all parties, said Ray Allegrezza after the webinar.

In addition, IHFRA has joined the First Tuesday Committee, represented by Steven Allegrezza, in order to stay abreast of and have input on event-related decisions and processes.

First Tuesday Committee Chair Kevin Castellani welcomed IHFRA’s participation on the board.



High Point Market Authority Launches Virtual Educational Series, IdeaStreams


164 South Main Street Suite 700, High Point NC 27260

336.869 .1000

Contact: Ashley D. Grigg Director of Marketing & Communications 336.888.3236

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High Point Market Authority Launches Virtual Educational Series, IdeaStreams

HIGH POINT, N.C., February 3, 2021 — The High Point Market Authority launches its first-ever virtual educational series, IdeaStreams. Given the ongoing restrictions on indoor gatherings, this monthly series will replace the Market Authority’s in-person programming for the Spring 2021 Market, scheduled for June 5-9.

The first session is produced in partnership with the Black Interior Designers Network (BIDN) and will focus on profitability for interior design businesses. President of BIDN and principal designer for Kimberly + Cameron Interiors, Kimberly McSwain will moderate the 60-minute session, interviewing designers Elaine Griffin (Elaine Griffin Interior Design) and Leah Alexander (Beauty Is Abundant) about their design journeys and how they created and manage successful design firms.

Kicking off this month, the inaugural session is scheduled for Thursday, February 25, at 2pm ET. Registration and additional details are available at

“Our virtual programming was a vital connection point for the industry throughout 2020, and we aim to continue offering access to industry thought leaders, business-building ideas, and relevant, forward- focused takeaways through the IdeaStreams series,” says Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority.

Additional IdeaStreams webinars will be announced as plans are finalized. The spring 2021 program plans to offer 60-minute live sessions on a monthly basis through July.

About the High Point Market Authority

The High Point Market Authority, and , is the official sponsor and organizer of the High Point Market in High Point, N.C. Featuring an extensive selection of exhibitors spanning every category, style, and price point, and attracting tens of thousands of visitors from more than 100 countries twice each year, High Point Market is the driving force of the home furnishings industry. Find the High Point Market anywhere online, and follow on social media using the hashtag #hpmkt.