Founded in 1934, IHFRA was the result of a group of aggressive sales representatives who recognized the value of having a venue for representatives from across the country to join together and benefit from each other’s immense knowledge and experience.
IHFRA’s purpose is to promote the professionalism, productivity and prestige of home furnishings representatives; to promote the furniture industry, and to protect and promote the representatives’ position within the industry.
Originally located in Chicago and known as the National Wholesale Representatives Association, it later evolved into the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association (IHFRA) headquartered in High Point NC. IHFRA is the central hub of communications and programs for home furnishings representatives.
Programs range from the industry’s only recognized certification program, the Certified Home furnishings Representative (CHR) Program to a variety of insurance programs, free legal consultation, job postings through the Opportunity Center, discounts on travel expenses and industry publications, software programs geared specifically for home furnishings representatives and various other goods and services. Members’ voices are heard through IHFRA’s representation on the Boards of NHFA and the High Point Market Authority.
IHFRA Fact Sheet
- Established in 1934, focusing on the needs and interests of the sales reps in the furnishings industry.
- Over 2300 members across the US and Canada
- Dedicated to furthering the business objectives of sales representatives, providing services and savings benefits that allow their members to work smarter and more efficiently.
- Provide a link between the manufacturer and the rep for career opportunities.
- Savings benefits also are a value to retailers. Deals and offers are made available to members because of the power of our groups size.
- Industry Service Providers (logistics, promotional companies, etc) join for access to reps across the country. Allows them the opportunity to be informed of ways where their company can be more visible to reps.
- Partnerships with organizations and companies within the industry, such as Renegade, allow IHFRA to have a deeper reach and knowledge of the needs of all areas within the furnishings industry.
- IHFRA currently has ties with the Textile Association (ITA) and the Casual Market Association (ICFA) which give the organization a broader representation within the industry. Opening doors for enhanced benefits and services available to membership.
- One of IHFRA’s goals is to open the lines of communication with other industry organizations and companies to provide its members with more knowledge, education, industry insight, and business enhancement.
- As the representation for sales reps in the furnishings industry, IHFRA strives to make the reps role more visible and valuable to both retailers and manufacturers. If all 3 components in the sales process are working in harmony the industry will flourish.
IHFRA Continues to Raise the Bar!
We at IHFRA have been focused for the past ten years to not only bring the organization back, but also create a higher level of professionalism and service to our members. Everything starts with the core beliefs of our organization. Operation is key and we are blessed with two wonderful ladies that are “all-in.” Kathy and Jennifer are the driving forces in accomplishing all the projects IHFRA has in the works
The executives that brought me “into the chairs” at IHFRA are all-stars in their businesses. Their guidance has been a tremendous asset to the current Executive Committee. The years to come at IHFRA will be exciting! There are many new initiatives planned for the Association. Our member count is high at 2,300 reps and our benefits are better than ever. IHFRA continuously upgrades our benefit package by adding new money-saving member benefits.
The Executive Committee is working on an education program that will teach our new reps all the systems and processes of being an asset to our dealers. We want to empower the next generation of representatives to be stronger and more professional.
The new Rep Ambassador program has been a great asset for our Association. Reps from all across the U.S. have committed to promote IHFRA to non-member reps and to educate current members on all the benefits available to them as members of IHFRA. These Ambassadors will be the cheerleaders for IHFRA in the furniture industry.
IHFRA has partnered with many of the furniture industry associations/organizations in an effort to unite the industry even further. IHFRA is partnering with the North American Home Furnishings Association, High Point Market Authority, the International Casual Furniture Association, The International Textile Manufacturing Association, WithIt (Women in the Furniture Industry), the Sustainable Furniture Council, Hall of Fame, American Society of Furniture Designers, and Furniture Today.
We are also working directly with High Point University toeducate students on what it means to be part of the furniture industry. A series of three sessions will be held over the course of a year and a half. The first session will feature Bob Maricich, CEO of International Market Centers, Mark and Jason Phillips of the Phillips Collection, and Joe Wade of Shelba D Johnson Trucking. A panel discussion with participants and students will conclude the session. In addition, HPU students are available to work during Markets if members are looking for showroom assistance.
FIAG 2017 will be held in April 2017 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. IHFRA will be hosting the largest event ever and it promises to be a night to remember. IHFRA will be recognizing the leaders in our industry, including retailers, manufacturers, and reps. Plan now to be part of this exciting and glamourous event.
Meet the Board and Staff
IHFRA 2018 Presidentadavid@sales.ashleyfurniture.com
Al David is a member of the IHFRA Executive Committee. Al is a member of the HFR of Michigan chapter and a sales rep for Ashley Furniture.
Jon Schulman is a member of the HFRG of S. California chapter and a sales rep for AICO.
2nd Vice President
John Pinion IV studied law at the University of Texas at Austin and business at Thunderbird, School of Global Management. He has been a proud manufacturers representative in the Southwest region for the past 19 years.
Ray Allegrezza has been the Executive Director at IHFRA since June 2018. Prior to joining IHFRA, Ray Allegrezza was the longtime Editor in chief of Furniture/Today, and also served as Editorial Director of Casual Living. Prior to joining Furniture/Today more than 20 years ago, Allegrezza served as an Editor in chief with the Hearst Corporation’s business publishing division in New York, was the founding editor of Homeworld Business, a housewares magazine also based in New York and was also an editor and Bureau Chief with HFN, which was owned at the time by Fairchild Publications in New York City. With more than 35 years spent in the business publishing world, Allegrezza has been responsible for a number of startup publications and supplements at Furniture/Today. He also helped Furniture/Today’s efforts to bring industry-relevant videos to the home furnishings segment. Allegrezza, a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, has served on the board of the City of Hope, the Anti-Defamation League and Help1Up, an organization that provides furniture to children in need.
Bonnie Wallace, a native of High Point, studied Interior Design and Business Administration at UNC-Greensboro, and graduated from High Point College with a BS in Business with a concentration in Home Furnishings Marketing. Prior to joining IHFRA in August of 2018, Bonnie worked at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church and, most recently, was the Office Manager for Furniture Marketing Group, a post she held for six years. Many members of Bonnie’s family worked in the furniture business and when you couple that with the fact that she is married to a furniture rep, it is easy to see why IHFRA gladly welcomed Bonnie into the company. Bonnie’s ability to organize—coupled with her can-do attitude makes her a valuable asset to the IHFRA organization.
Mission and Vision
Our Mission: To provide education, professional standards and services, legislative advocacy and communications for our membership to remain a viable, responsive and financially secure organization.
Our Vision: To improve the value and contribution of the home furnishings representative to the industry, manufacturers, retailers, and our families.