Questions for Blacktie
Going back to when you first started with your organization to now, what has been your proudest personal accomplishment?
I can still remember the summer of 1972, working with my brother soon after he started Waterbed City. I sold over $1,000 in a day and first tasted success.
What do you enjoy the most about your work?
Clearly, the people I work with. The City Furniture/Ashley Furniture HomeStores team is truly outstanding
You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met?
My wife. I’ve been crazy for her for over 30 years.
What program with your organization do you get the most excited about?
We are going through a LEAN conversion, where our associates work to improve all aspects of our business through the elimination of waste. It is very exciting to see associates cooperate to improve and the results have been dramatic.
Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year?
We have our 13th Annual Kevin Koenig Memorial Covenant House Cup Tournament coming up November 6th. It is a golf and fishing tournament we host and invite our suppliers and friends to sponsor. We raise about $75,000 per year and have a lot of fun.
How have things changed for you through the years?
I’m older, hopefully a bit wiser, and definitely more gray. But, I still love what I do, and I’m proud of how we run our business.
What is your greatest challenge at this time?
Clearly, the economy. We have had to restructure there times in this downturn. But, this is a cycle, and we have great faith in the future of Florida.
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years?
Seek God’s kingship over you, and He will show you His way.
Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Diamond Creek Golf Club in Banner Elk, North Carolina. It’s my favorite combination of great friends, world class golf and nature’s beauty.
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today?
I am most concerned over what I see as declining family values/decreased personal responsibility.
What is your proudest achievement?
Clearly my kids. Daughter, Daren, and son, Andrew, are great people that my wife and I are very, very proud of.
What is something your parents taught you that you will never forget?
I saw my Mom work lots of hours in her retail career. She ran the dress department at Jordan Marsh, and she was very proud of what she did. She was a great example I learned from.