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elliott sherrill wood

When Elliott Wood (b.1909 d.1999) started his first company, Heritage, in 1937, he raised the quality level of all southern-manufactured furniture by building the highest-quality upholstery attainable with the best Eighteenth Century design. Wood started Founders Furniture in 1946. In 1947, with partners who had already invested in Heritage, he founded Henredon. This formed the Heritage-Henredon combination which lasted until 1957, when Drexel, Heritage, and Morganton became Drexel-Heritage. In 1963, Wood and partners founded Woodmark and he served as president and chairman. In 1981, he founded Markwood, the first holding company to provide venture capital for home furnishings, thus launching many other furniture enterprises.

Wood's research on ergonomics in the 1940s with Harvard's Ernest Hooten led to changes in seating quality and comfort to his Heritage chairs and sofas. Known for efficient factory management, Wood also excelled in innovative merchandising and marketing. He worked with Frank Lloyd Wright on a "Taliesin" line of home furnishings for Heritage-Henredon in 1955 that was a major feature in House Beautiful.

Elliott Wood was the consummate entrepreneur, leader, and mentor, founding furniture companies and inspiring those who worked with him. More than 30 men who began their careers under his tutelage went on to become chief executives of major companies. He served as an officer, director, and generous benefactor of almost every worthy organization in his industry and community.