Ashley salesman takes Furniture Market award

By Carlie Kollath / NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Danny Gilstrap, a salesman for Ashley Furniture Industries, is known for his conversation skills, but Saturday night, he didn’t have much to say.
“I appreciate this very, very much,” he said after being presented with the manufacturer’s representative award for the fall Tupelo Furniture Market. “I was totally surprised.”
Gilstrap, a casegoods senior marketing specialist, has been in the furniture industry for 41 years and has been with Ashley for 20 years. His long career and his continued support of TFM made him stand out for this award, said Wilson Jeter, a recipient of the award and the chairman of the selection committee.
“Danny was an outstanding salesman in his territory with his dealerbase and his peers,” Jeter said.
Gilstrap lives in Clinton with his wife, Jannis. In 2006, he was named the casegoods division’s salesman of the year for Ashley.
Many of his colleagues were on hand Saturday night in Building VI to join in surprising Gilstrap. Scott Mesel, Ashley’s vice president of sales, was among them.
“The wonderful thing about Danny is that he’s got a passion for conversation,” Mesel said. “When I travel with Danny, we tend to miss a lot of exits because he’s talking.”
He added that Gilstrap also has his priorities straight when it comes to putting God, his wife and his family before his work.
But he doesn’t slack off at work, if his job history is any indication.
Gilstrap started with Simmons Bedding after getting his degree at the University of Georgia. He then worked for Serta Bedding and then Riverside Furniture Corp. before joining Ashley.
In 1989, he was president of the Mississippi Home Furnishings Association, as well as being the association’s salesman of the year in 1995.
Because of his varied background, Gilstrap’s wooden TFM award was topped with an upholstered recliner and a wooden sidetable.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or carlie.kollath@djournal.com.