Wiltshire elected CHFA chair
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – The board of directors of the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance (CHFA) has elected industry veteran Mark Wiltshire as its new chairman. He succeeds Laine Reynolds, who stepped down at the association’s recent annual general meeting after serving in the post for a record-setting 12 years.
Wiltshire is currently vice president of sales for Palliser Furniture, and is responsible for both upholstery and case goods in Canada, the United States and worldwide. Prior to joining Palliser in November 2015, he held senior executive positions with Italian upholstery specialist Natuzzi; the now defunct Furniture Brands International, leading its Canadian operations; upholstery specialist La-Z-Boy, where he was charged with running its North American retail operations; and, with what is now called Cantrex Nationwide, the non-member owned buying group based in Montreal.
In announcing his election, the CHFA noted he “has an extensive background in the furniture industry both from a manufacturing/wholesale perspective as well as significant retail experience.”
Reacting to his selection, Wiltshire said, “Being in the furniture industry my entire career, I am very honoured to be selected chair of the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance. Having worked for some of the biggest brands in the industry; domestically, in the U.S.A. and abroad I believe provides me with a keen perspective of the opportunities and challenges before us as an industry here in Canada.
“I look forward to working closely with my friends at the QFMA (Quebec Furniture Manufacturers Association) on matters that affect us all from a national perspective and work towards strengthening our industry overall,” he added.
In addition to Wiltshire, the industry association elected 11 others to its board for 2017 and 2018.
Two other manufacturers from western Canada were named: Terry Clark, president of Acme Chrome Furniture, the casual dining specialist based in Winnipeg; and, Jason Harris, vice president of sales for Stylus Sofas, the stationary upholstery maker based in Vancouver. Wiltshire also sits on the board as a delegate from western Canada.
Four retailers were also named: Steve Braniff, general manager of Dufresne Retail Solutions Group; John Power, general manager of sales and strategic development for Mega Group; Pat Kelly, vice president of furniture for Cantrex Nationwide; and, Dennis Novosel, chairman of destination retailer Stoney Creek Furniture.
Five manufacturers from eastern Canada were selected including: Dino Colalillo, president of the Toronto-based upholstery maker Edgewood Furniture; Mike Dunlop, national sales manager for bedding specialist Serta Canada; Mike James, president of Owen & Company, the Toronto-based Canadian licensee for Kingsdown bedding brand; Laine Reynolds, vice president of sales for Superstyle Furniture; and, Bill Zimmerman, vice president of solid wood case goods producer Durham Furniture.
The CHFA was founded in 1890 as the Ontario Furniture Manufacturers Association. Headquartered in the International Centre here, it is a non-profit organisation serving furniture and mattress manufacturers, distributors, retailers, buying groups and suppliers in the Canadian home furnishings industry.