Smithson named to Withit board
HIGH POINT, North Carolina – Canadian furniture industry veteran Jessica Smithson has been named to the 2020 board of directors of WithIt, the women’s leadership development network serving the home and furnishings industries, based here.
Smithson, the only Canadian currently serving in the organisation’s senior leadership, will serve as a vice president and chair the board’s marketing committee. She is the category manager of upholstery for the Dufresne Group, the Winnipeg-based operator of the 11-unit Dufresne Furniture & Appliances. Priior to that, she spent 15 years at Palliser Furniture, most recently as senior manager of data enablement.
Lorrie Kelly, president of Lorri Kelley Advisors, a consulting firm specialising in the home furnishings industry, will serve as WithIt president for 2020. She will be familiar to many in the Canadian furniture industry as she formerly served as a senior executive at Palliser.
“2020 marks my 18th year as a member of WithIt,” Kelley said in a statement. “It has been such a significant part of my life, and the benefits I have realized, both professionally and personally, are simply amazing. The network I enjoy now is completely intertwined to the exceptional women and men I have had the pleasure of serving with as a member of this organization.
“As we look to this New Year, our focus will be on increasing our engagement with each other,” she continued, adding, “We also must remain relevant and current in how we interact and network with each other. To do that successfully, our various social platforms must be interactive, informative, intuitive and simple to use. This requires a commitment to investing both time and money as we evolve in how we effectively connect with our members, our corporate sponsors and our industry as a whole.”
In announcing its new slate of officer, the organiser noted it has a full slate of networking and educational events planned for both the High Point and Las Vegas markets (which opens later this week); including the Education Breakfast and a New York Design Tour. Its annual conference – themed Leading with 2020 Vision – will be held 24 to 26 June at The Westin in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
At this weekend’s Las Vegas Market, it will hold a networking event for WithIt members and sponsors from Canada who continue to support and attend the annual events. It will be held this Sunday (26 January) from 5 to 7pm at the Marshall Mattress showroom, located in space 922 of Building ‘B’ in the World Market Center.
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