By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A team – for the first time ever – won the Tupelo Furniture Market’s manufacturer’s representative award Saturday night.
Art Henriksen and Hank Griffin of Arkansas shared the prestigious award at the market. The two brothers-in-law have been in the furniture business since the 1960s.
The Tupelo Furniture Marketing Association gives the award at each market to a manufacturer’s representative who supports and promotes the market. Selections rotate among the participating states.
Henriksen and Griffin started their careers with Little Rock Furniture Co. Later, they founded a bedding and distribution company called Majestic Mattress Co.
In 2002, they started an independent sales rep network, where they work now, according to Greg Giachelli of the Tupelo Furniture Marketing Association.
Plus, Henriksen did a stint as a professional baseball player.
Wilson Jeter, the first recipient of the award in 1992, is chairman of the selection committee. He said Henriksen and Griffin exemplified the criteria for this award.
They are longtime supporters of the market, he said. Their peers and manufacturers support them by showing at the market, he said. And they have longevity in the furniture industry.
“They have been in top-line management and also sales reps for 40 years,” he said.
And when Jeter called the factories they work for during the selection process, the management at each had plenty of good things to say about the duo.
One of those men, Anthony Klatt, spoke at the ceremony, calling Henriksen and Griffin “two of our most outstanding contributors to the success of our company.”
“For the company that thinks you should retire the older guys and replace them with young blood, these guys have a lot of blood pumping through their veins,” said Klatt, who is the director of sales for Sleeptronic/King Koil in Dallas.