Mission

The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is a center for design, research and collaboration. It is a world-class research facility for information on design, furniture, interiors, architecture, textiles, finishes and construction.

The Library is open to the public. It is devoted to the advancement of knowledge of furniture and design. It exists to serve the design and furniture community – professionals, scholars, students, and all those who recognize the importance of design thinking. Most services are free, thanks to a generous endowment from the Bienenstock family and contributions from Friends of the Library, like you.

About the Library

Founded in 1970, The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is a world-class research facility for information on furniture, interiors, architecture, textiles, finishes and construction. Significant among the Library’s 5,000+ holdings are contemporary acquisitions and a rare books collection of international volumes published since 1640, including a complete collection of original works by 18th century furniture masters Chippendale, Sheraton, Hepplewhite, and a complete set of Diderot’s Encyclopedia.

It is open to the public and devoted to the advancement of knowledge of furniture and design for members of the furniture industry, design professionals, scholars and students. Since 1984, The Library has awarded more than $400,000 in scholarships to students at 17 colleges throughout the US. It houses a specialty bookstore selling the latest books on design as well as out of print and hard to find texts. It is also used as a venue for professional meetings, seminars, conferences, lectures and art events.

History

Mr. Bienenstock was the owner of Furniture World magazine and had a passion for the furniture industry. Sandy and Bernice Bienenstock founded the Furniture Library Association in 1970. Their vision of a research library for the furniture industry began with their personal collection of books. Originally, the second floor of The Library provided apartment space for Sandy and Bernice, while the first floor housed The Library’s collection. What was once an apartment is now used for meeting rooms and additional library space. After Bernice’s death in 1984, the name was changed to the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library in her memory. Sandy Bienenstock was inducted into the Furniture Hall of Fame in 1991.

The Library is located in the Grayson House which is on the National Register of Historic Places. This colonial revival style house was originally built in 1923 and is constructed of gray granite. It has been updated and renovated to be a state of the art facility.

Learn more about the history of the Beinenstock Furniture Library here.

Library Director

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Karla Webb

Library Director

Karla Webb, Library Director, has been associated with the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture for more than 20 years. She met Mr. Bienenstock as an intern in 1987 while selling books during the High Point Furniture market. She is a graduate of Randolph Community College with a degree in Interior Design. She is the Secretary for the Carolina’s Chapter of IFDA (International Furnishings and Design Association) and a member of WithIt (Women in the Home Furnishing’s Industry.)

Board of Directors Executive Committee

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Russell Bienenstock

President

Russell Bienenstock is Editorial Director and CEO of Furniture World Magazine. Founded in 1870, Furniture World along with its website www.furninfo.com provide hands on, in-depth retail marketing, finance, operations, sales management and sales education information to retail home furnishings executives. He is the author of 25 educational guides that cover furniture product knowledge, styles/interior design topics and has edited books on furniture sales. Bienenstock earned an undergraduate degree at Cornell University and an MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School. He serves as the current president of the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library, is Vice President of the Greater Metropolitan Furnishings Association, is on City of Hope’s NHFI Board, and is a member of the Legacy Board/ Nominating Committee for the Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation. He’s received awards for his contributions from City of Hope, WithIt (Women In the Home Furnishings Industry), the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association and the Greater Metropolitan Furnishings Association.

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Paul Brayton

Vice President Education

Paul Brayton has been in the contract furniture industry for over 40 years. He is the founder and CEO of Brayton International. After being purchased by Steelcase, Mr. Brayton served in the capacity as President of the Steelcase Design Partnership for many years. He also founded Brayton Textiles, now called Paul Brayton Designs located in Archdale, NC, supplying textiles and furniture to the contract furniture markets. He is active in the High Point community and serves on many boards, including the Bienenstock Furniture Library.

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Rod Lambeth

Vice President Financial

Rod Lambeth is owner and president of Tomlinson companies. A native of Thomasville, NC, Lambeth grew up with ‘sawdust in his blood’. In 1901, The Lambeth family started The Standard Chair Company in Thomasville, North Carolina and over the next century the family continued to be a driving force in the furniture industry. Rod Lambeth has experienced furniture from a variety of viewpoints. After growing up in the industry, he graduated from college and began his career as a sales representative. Later he was vice president of the largest independent trade showroom west of the Mississippi and then the president of design services for the largest independent hotelier in the world. In 1987, Lambeth and his business partner purchased Tomlinson Furniture. Two years later they purchased Erwin-Lambeth and merged the two companies under one roof in Thomasville. They purchased Directional in 2001 and in 2009 purchased Carter Furniture. In the fall of 2014, the four companies were branded under the Tomlinson name. Lambeth is on the board of directors of the Bienenstock Furniture Library, the Thomasville Chamber of Commerce, the Davidson County Community College Foundation, High Point Design Center and the Hamilton Wrenn Design District Association. Married with two children and one grandchild, Lambeth makes his home in Thomasville, NC.

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Pat Plaxico

Vice President Facilities

Pat Plaxico is a nationally recognized interior designer renowned for the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Her portfolio includes Historic Market Square, the E.J. Victor Building, The Phillips Building, Bienenstock Furniture Library, The Gold Club of Roaring Gap; preservation of Old Guilford Courthouse, High Point, as law offices; and restoration of the library at the North Carolina’s Governor’s Mansion. Plaxico color-styled the entire downtown of Stanford, KY, founded 1775, one of the oldest settlements in Kentucky. She attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Interior Design/Historic Interiors at Iowa State University. Among her recognitions are the award for valuable service in decorating The Ronald McDonald House at Duke University Medical Center – the first in North Carolina; the first Luminaire Award bestowed by the International Furnishings and Design Association; the McGaw-Edison award of excellence for lighting design; and Designer of the Year award from the Carolinas Chapter, American Society of Interior Designers. She serves on the High Point University Board of Visitors and the boards of Piedmont Opera, and the Alexander Martin Chapter, NSDAR.

Board Members

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June Anderson

ASID

June Anderson is a graduate of Greensboro College with a B. A. degree in art. She majored in Interior Architecture at Virginia Commonwealth University and completed graduate courses in museum procedures at the New School for Social Research in New York. Anderson founded her own architectural interior design company, June Anderson & Associates, which she’s led for over 30 years. She is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Her clients include a list of national and international companies in nine foreign countries. She was the first American designer chosen to design a retail store for Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Paris. Her domestic clients include: Delta Airlines, Equifax, Karastan, Gloria Vanderbilt and GE Credit Corp. In 1987, she was voted as one of Atlanta’s Top Self Made Women. She later served as a delegate for Atlanta’s mayor, Andrew Young’s business mission to Paris and was a design contractor for the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. June has been recognized in many national publications for her innovative, yet practical approach to interior design and space planning. Along with serving on the board at the Bienenstock Furniture Library, she serves as a decade representative on the Greensboro College Alumni Board, a board member of the High Point Shakespeare Festival, and active member of the Greensboro Choral Society and a Hospice Volunteer.

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Barton Bienenstock

Furniture World

Barton Bienenstock joined Furniture World Magazine, the oldest, continuously published trade magazine in the United States, in 1956. Throughout his career as publisher, Barton focused the magazine on providing practical retail tools and techniques that have helped a whole generation of furniture retailer readers to survive and thrive. Widely respected in the industry, he is the recipient of many awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater New York Home Furnishings Association, Meadoff Award for Sportsmanship and the NCCJ Brotherhood Award. Barton is knowledgeable in furniture production, home furnishings marketing and magazine publishing. He is past president of the American Furniture Hall of Fame and a founding director of the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library.

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Leslie Carothers

The Kaleidoscope Partnership

Leslie Carothers is the founder and CEO of The Kaleidoscope Partnership – a strategic consultancy and social media agency, primarily for the furniture and interior design industry. She has been in business for 13 years and her past and current social media clients have included Cargill’s BiOH Polyols division, Gardner White Furniture, Olioboard, The Meredith Corporation, The Curtain Exchange, Hadley Court, The New Traditionalists, Shine by SHO, Mitzi Beach and many others. Ms. Carothers is a well known speaker and writer on subjects relating to social media and innovation within the furniture and interior design industry. She has keynoted High Point University’s Social Media Symposium and the Interior Design Society’s National Conference, spoken at High Point Market many times and at the Design Bloggers Conference, was the writer of Furniture Today’s *Retail Ideas* blog for 9 years, has written many articles for Furniture World magazine about social media and is frequently quoted and interviewed about social media by national print and online publications. She’s also a well known interior design and furniture micro-blogger on Twitter at @tkpleslie, where her micro-blog was named one of the 100 most influential in the world. She’s a long time member of WITHIT, and in 2009 was given their President’s award for her service to the organization and to the furniture industry. Currently, she helps the library with all aspects of their social media outreach.

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Danny Davis

Davis Furniture Industries

Danny Davis is a third generation family member at Davis Furniture. He joined the company in 1975, with a major focus on Manufacturing and Product Development. He served as Vice President of Manufacturing until 1996 when he became President of Davis Furniture. Davis graduated from Wingate College with an Associate Degree in 1973 and attended NC State University in 1975, receiving a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Design. He is married to Karen Davis and they have two children, Ashley and Brian, who have now become the fourth generation of the Davis family to join the company. Danny is an active board member of the Small Manufacturer’s Round Table and participates in many local business and charitable organizations. Presently, he serves on several local boards: Trustee of Wingate University, High Point YMCA, Salvation Army of High Point, and the Board of Directors of High Point Bank and Trust.

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Paula Fogarty

Paula Scott Unlimited

Paula Fogarty has had a professional career has focused on upper-level management in marketing, design, finance, and operations. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wofford College and an art history M.A. graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design. As President of Kindel Furniture Company, Paula innovated product lines through competitive analysis and understanding of the marketplace; consolidated and streamlined operations for greater profitability; and expanded markets worldwide. As owner of her own marketing and strategic consulting firm, Paula Scott Unlimited, Fogarty and her team assisted both established brands and start-ups in creating consistent communications across all channels, and within their internal cultures. She currently serves as Managing Editor for South Magazine. As a freelance writer, Paula’s blog for Metropolis Magazine follows her book research on the role of women in the American furniture industry. She has also written for Chair Culture, Connect Savannah, and other publications. She has served on several boards of directors and as Board Chair of the Irish Georgian Society, The Center for Environmental Study, and The David Wolcott Kendall Memorial Foundation. She currently serves as a board member of the American Society of Furniture Designers, Emergent Structures, and the Rape Crisis Center of Savannah.

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Charles A. Greene

The Best of Everything

Charles A. Greene founded Classic Gallery, Inc., a custom upholstery manufacturing company in 1972. After selling the company in 2007, he founded The Best of Everything, LLC. in 2008. Among his many awards and honors are an Honorary Degree from Mt. St. Mary’s College, Emmittsburg, Maryland; High Point Citizen of the Year, 1990; Dalmation Award, Upholstered Furniture Action Council, 1989; North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine, 2005. Mr. Greene has served on many professional committees and boards, including High Point University, America Furniture Manufacturer’s Association and the American Society of Interior Designers. His current civic activities include serving on the Pennyburn/Maryfield Nursing Home Advisory Board, and the Piedmont Triad Partnership Global Furnishings Council.

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Gary Inman

Designer

Gary Inman is a nationally celebrated designer of fine homes, luxury hotels and resorts, furniture, and home fashions. His design métier has included handbags, women’s evening wear, rugs, textiles, lighting, accessories and furniture. As a design historian, Gary has given more than a thousand lectures and has contributed to several books, most recently writing the introduction for, Bespoke: Furniture from 101 International Artists, which included three of his own designs. His television credits include A&E’s America’s Castles, the PBS series Monuments and Mansions, The Editor At Large, and various television news interviews. He is a pioneer of the narrative design movement with a prolific portfolio of projects richly imbued with stories. Gary’s design work has won eighteen ASID-IIDA design awards and has been published in Veranda, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Southern Accents, Elle Décor, The Washington Post, and many others. He is Vice President of Hospitality with Baskerville, America’s seventh most enduring firm with 118 years of continuous practice, and one of the top “20 International Giants of Hospitality.” Gary serves on the board of Southern Innkeepers, America’s first lodging association, and has recently joined the board of the Bienenstock Furniture Library in High Point, North Carolina.

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Stephanie Lowder

Rare Bird Creative

Stephanie Lowder is co-owner of Rare Bird Creative marketing and communications. After receiving a BA in English/journalism/sociology and two years devoted to an MFA in studio arts, Lowder worked for newspapers, adv/p.r. agencies, and corporate marketers as a copywriter, designer, art director, planner and creative director. Unexpected family needs brought her back to North Carolina, where she worked as creative director/marketing with Century Furniture. She then moved on to a stint with a Carolina retailer blazing trails in one-on-one marketing long before most people realized the potential. In 1995, Stephanie started her own company with husband Gary Lowder. Since then her work has been to imagine and create communications for clients – many in home furnishings. Some of the brands that Stephanie has assisted are Bernhardt, Martha Stewart, The Smithsonian Institute, City of Lenoir, Comfort Solutions, Bassett/HGTV, Scott Thomas, Michael Connors, Home Meridian, Lane Venture and many more. She served as WITHIT, President in 2010 and received the WOW Award, President’s Award in 2007 and the WOW Award, Mentoring Finalist 2006.

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Dudley Moore, Jr.

Otto & Moore, Inc.

Dudley Moore, Jr. is president and co-owner of Otto & Moore, Inc. Furniture Designers. Founded in High Point in 1960, Otto & Moore is one of the largest independent furniture design firms in the home furnishings industry, with clients manufacturing product in the United States, and all over the world. Moore is a graduate of NC State University, with an Industrial Engineering degree in Furniture Manufacturing and Management. He has been honored, on numerous occasions, with Pinnacle awards by the American Society of Furniture Designers. The Pinnacle Award is given in recognition of outstanding design in a particular category. In addition to serving on the Bienenstock board of directors, he serves on the board of the American Society of Furniture Designers, where he is past president and current chairman of the board. Moore has also served on the boards of Westchester Country Day School, Developmental Day Care, and has twice served as a vestry member at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Dudley resides in High Point with his wife, Mary-Lynn, and has five children.

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Jason Oliver Nixon

Madcap Cottage

Jason Oliver Nixon is the former editor-in-chief and Editorial Director of Gotham, Hamptons, Los Angeles Confidential, and Aspen Peak Magazines. Nixon has always been excited by the worlds of design, luxury and glamour. After working for such publications Conde Nast Traveler magazine and Fodor’s Travel Guides and serving as a producer at E! Entertainment and the Food Network, Nixon teamed up with partner, John Loecke, to focus on yet another of his passions, interior design. Nixon and John Loecke formed Madcap Cottage. The North Carolina – and New York-based Madcap Cottage duo are known for their whimsical use of color and pattern. The Madcap gents – along with their pound-rescue posse, Jasper, Weenie and Amy Petunia – scour the world for eclectic finds that capture their unique and gimlet-eyed viewpoint. They run their firm as an ever-changing design laboratory from a former pharmacy in the heart of High Point, North Carolina. Their curated selection of vintage and antiques can be found on One Kings Lane and 1st Dibs. The Madcap Cottage line of bedding, window treatments, and pillows is available exclusively on HSN and at HSN.com. Nixon and Loecke were named IFDA Rising Stars in 2013.

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Jason Phillips

Phillips Collection

Jason Phillips is internationally renowned in the furniture industry for his fresh contemporary designs. His work has been published in dozens of design and lifestyle magazines as well as hundreds of blogs. Most recently, he was honored at the 21st Annual ARTS Awards as Product Designer of the Year, the youngest ever recipient of this prestigious award. In late 2009 he won the VERANDA magazine’s inaugural ‘The Art of Design’ Award for his body of work in the ‘Trade Secrets’ category. Jason if VP/Creative Director for The Phillips Collection in High Point, North Carolina. In 2007 he founded Jason Phillips Designs, a brand that serves as a conduit for his out-of-the-box design concepts and freelance work. He is an ASFD board.

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Brian Simpson

Alderman Company

Brian Simpson is Vice President – Creative Director for Alderman Company. He develops brands, campaigns, ads, and websites for a variety of clients ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to household brand names. Alderman’s unique selling proposition is its ability to take projects from concept to final media with in-house resources. This approach means that Simpson is involved with clients throughout the entire creative process necessitating a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to build a brand. He manages a strong team of art directors, graphic designers, programmers, and imaging professionals. Before he was Creative Director, Simpson founded the company’s digital imaging and web development departments, critical links in Alderman’s full-service continuum of services. Prior to joining the company, he worked in advertising production and high-end digital retouching; positions which he credits with instilling an acute attention to detail as well as the blending of the technology and artistry involved in creating strong advertising images and layouts. He holds a Bachelor’s in Communication Arts from East Carolina University where he developed a love of all things design oriented, and a specific interest in mid-century modern architecture and furniture design.

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Cheminne Taylor-Smith

Tobi Fairley & Associates

Cheminne Taylor-Smith is Senior VP of Brand Marketing for Tobi Fairley & Associates, a full-service design and consulting firm. She has held posts in the home industry in retail, manufacturing, media, and most recently as VP of Marketing for the High Point Market Authority. Her full-spectrum experience in home décor, combined with the talented branding and interiors team at Tobi Fairley & Associates, bring a fresh perspective to promotion and marketing. She has a proven track record in marketing and public relations, including at Elle Décor, where she worked as part of the team that took the publication to the top rung in the shelter category. Margaret Russell, now editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest, calls her a ‘creative visionary’ in home décor marketing. She also has strong ties to media, including print, online, blogger, and broadcast, which allow her to achieve strong media coverage for her clients.

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Christi Spangle

Barbour Spangle Design

Christi Spangle, ASID, NCIDQ Christi Spangle is an interior designer with over 25 years of experience in the design field. Her projects have included retail stores, corporate offices, multi-family housing units, clubhouses and showroom design. She is the co-owner of High Point based interior design firm Barbour Spangle Design established in 2000. Spangle is a graduate of Randolph Community College, a professional member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and a certified member of NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification). She serves as Co-VP of Public Relations for a local non-profit organization, Common Thread for the Cure and is highly involved with the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure fundraising events. She and her firm have received numerous local and national design awards for their outstanding projects.

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Ed Tashjian

Tashjian Marketing

Ed Tashjian owns Tashjian Marketing providing results oriented marketing strategy and tactical execution on an outsourced basis. With 30+ years of marketing experience at senior levels, he has a deep base of industry knowledge, channels and resources for realizing opportunities and solving problems. Tashjian served as CMO for $200M Home Meridian International. As Vice President of Marketing for Century Furniture, he directed strategic planning, brand management, media and public relations, advertising and promotion, for the retail and design channels worldwide. Tashjian is a classically trained marketer, advancing through the ranks of brand management at Sara Lee to become Director of Planning and Development for the $5B consumer personal products division. He is currently an adjunct Professor of Marketing at Lenoir Rhyne University teaching Graduate and Undergraduate classes in Marketing Principles, Marketing Management and Sports Marketing. He served as an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Southern California where he taught marketing and advertising classes. He served on the American Home Furniture Association Public Relations Committee and testified before congress in 2003 on Chinese currency manipulation and its impact on the home furnishings industry. In 2008 he was selected for the Home Furnishings Industry’s Mentoring Award. He earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota in 1977, and a B.A. in Psychology with Distinction from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

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John Turpin

High Point University

John Turpin is the founding Dean of the School of Art and Design and Professor of Interior Design at High Point University. He has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses in interior design. Before coming to HPU, he was chair of the Department of Interior Design at Washington State University, where he participated in a number of interdisciplinary courses and activities at the Interdisciplinary Design Institute in Spokane. Turpin has a Ph.D. in Design History, Theory, Criticism from Arizona State University. His research focuses on women and the development of the interior design profession and has been published in numerous journals and books. He is a member of the Interior Design Educators Council’s College of Fellows, a founding editor of Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture and the current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Interior Design. He is currently serving on North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction advisory board to provide guidance on the interior design curriculum for public schools and on the international editorial board of a new book series, “Designing Interiors,” to be published by Lund Humphries, a British publishing company that specializes in art and design resources.

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Leslie Hendrix Wood

Hadley Court

Leslie Hendrix Wood is the editor-in-chief of the award winning interior design and lifestyle blog, Hadley Court, which takes its name from her family’s ancestral summer home in Arkansas. She is an interior decorator in Midland, Texas with the luxury design firm, Chancellor Interiors. After receiving her Master’s in Business Administration, Leslie originally went to Washington, DC to work in International Trade at the Department of Commerce at the request of them President George Bush. In 1992, she married Lee Wood and decided to stay at home and raise their two children. Two years ago, In 2012 Wood opened her own design office within Midland’s design firm, Chancellor Interiors. Almost concurrently, she founded her blog, Hadley Court, whose brand tenets are Gracious Living. Timeless Design. Family Traditions. Hadley Court has won the prestigious Design Bloggers Conference Hall of Fame award for “Best New Design Blog 2013” and was selected by TripAdvisor’s sister site FLIPKEY, as one of its Top 25 Home Design Blogs to Follow for 2014. She has supported and been active as an elder at First Presbyterian Church and has served or is serving on the board of Midland Memorial Hospital, The Hillander School, The George Bush Childhood Home, High Sky Children’s Ranch, The Midland Symphony Guild, Big Brother/Big Sisters and Leadership Midland.

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William P. Wood

The Mary & Elliott Wood Foundation

William Pennuel (Penn) Wood is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and has had an outstanding career in the furniture industry, serving as Vice President of Woodmark Originals from 1975-1994. Mr. Wood is Chairman of the Mary & Elliott Wood Foundation Organizational Grants Committee. He is a lifelong resident of High Point and serves on the Capitol Foundation Board, High Point Arts Council, and is a NC Shakespeare Festival Board Member. Mr. Wood serves on the financial committee of the Bienenstock Furniture Library Board, as well as the Museum of History Associates, Raleigh, NC and the Davidson College Parents Advisory Council.

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Chip Wright II

Leggett & Platt

Felix E. (Chip) Wright II is a graduate of William Jewell College where he earned a BS in Business Management. Wright began working at Leggett & Platt in a training program and has worked his way up to Group VP Sales, overseeing several product lines, handling national accounts and the upper Midwest for the Home Furniture Group. He serves on the Jasper County Sheltered Facilities Board – helping disabled people. Chip also serves on the board of directors at the Bienenstock Furniture Library.