By Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A Louisiana-based sales rep took home the top award Saturday night at the Tupelo Furniture Market.
Steve Patton is the latest winner of the manufacturing representative award, which is given at the spring and fall versions of the market. The award has been given since 1992 as a way to recognize reps who have played an important role in the support and promotion of the Tupelo Furniture Market.
Patton lives in Lafayette, La., with his wife, Fran. He’s been in the furniture industry for more than 41 years. He currently represents Pine Crafter Furniture, Bernards and Hidgon Furniture.
“Steve’s been our No. 1 rep,” said Pine Crafter Sales Manager Johnathan Robinson. “It’s probably the best business decision I’ve ever made – hiring him.”
Before working for Pine Crafter, Patton represented Corsicana Bedding for 28 years.
Louis Marchese, national sales manager for the Texas-based company, told the crowd at the market how Patton would put an electronic monkey on the edge of the mattress at a show.
“He had a remote control that he’d push and make it laugh,” Marchese said. “It seemed to bring customers in smiling.”
Patton’s love for the industry was one of the reasons he stood out this year, said Wilson Jeter, chairman of the selection committee. Plus, Jeter said, he has extreme loyalty to the furniture industry.
“He just fulfilled all of our criteria as a nominee for the award,” Jeter said.