Women in Furniture Network welcomes La-Z-Boy CEO to MFS Brunch

The Women in Furniture Network (WIFN) has announced their next event, taking place on the 11th July from 11:30am at Manchester Central.

WIFN will be hosting a Brunch as part of the Manchester Furniture Show 2024, which will focus on Leadership and include a keynote speech from La-Z-Boy Incorporated’s President and CEO, Melinda Whittington. Jetting in from the US, Melinda will be sharing her inspirational career journey with the Network and giving her take on how women can thrive in the furniture industry. 

Melinda will share career path insights, having successfully transitioned into the furniture industry from the consumer products industry, Melinda is well appointed to advise women on how to successfully navigate career advancement and professional development. Starting out in Finance at lifestyle conglomerate, Procter & Gamble, Melinda then went on to become Senior Vice President at Kraft Foods Group (now The Kraft Heinz Company), before becoming CFO for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions then moving on to be CFO and eventually CEO at La-Z-Boy Incorporated in 2021. 

Having innovated in home furniture design since the 1920s and best known for its iconic La-Z-Boy Recliner, the brand has continued to innovate and build on the founders’ pioneering approach to furniture design – making their recliner chairs worldwide best sellers. La-Z-Boy UK has been a fixture at the Furniture Shows for many years and will be exhibiting at MFS this summer. 

Melinda is looking forward to meeting the Network saying, “I’m passionate about supporting the personal and professional development of women in the furniture industry and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to get to know the WIFN members in the UK.  At La-Z-Boy Incorporated we have our own Women’s Employee Resource Group to support and represent the needs of women in the workplace and it will be interesting to learn more about synergies in other parts of the world.”

WIFN founder Zoe Bonser, Clarion Retail Portfolio Director is delighted to welcome Melinda saying: “This will be our fifth event and a great opportunity for our network members to hear from talented leaders in the industry. Melinda’s journey I know will be a source of inspiration for many.”

The WIFN network has grown considerably over the past year seeing a diverse range of women join from across the industry, with roles in design, crafting, sales, manufacturing, marketing and more. Alongside the events there is an active LinkedIn Group and a Mentorship Platform, where members can connect and seek advice, mentorship and support outside of the Network’s events. Seeing as networking underpins WIFN’s activities, the Brunch at MFS will offer attendees the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded professionals in a supportive environment. 

The Manchester Furniture Show (MFS) is the UK’s second largest furniture trade show, drawing retailers, designers, contract buyers, architects and more from across the UK and beyond. This beloved trade show is making its return this summer from the 10th-11th July after a short hiatus, much to the delight of visitors and exhibitors alike.

The show will feature over 100 brands showcasing their new collections making MFS the industry’s must attend mid-year touchpoint, where networking is just as important as product sourcing. With the show’s emphasis on building connections, it made perfect sense to host the next WIFN event at the show. 

So join us at the WIFN Brunch by registering for MFS now! Register online – thefurnitureshows.com

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