george b. cartledge, Sr.
George B. Cartledge, Sr. (b. 1910 d. 1997) was chairman of Grand Piano and Furniture in Roanoke, Virginia, a Top 100 Furniture Chain with 23 stores in 16 cities across Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland, and South Carolina. Mr. Cartledge got his start in the industry as a salesman in Atlanta in 1931. In 1937, he and two partners established Southeast Wholesale Furniture in Atlanta and expanded to Roanoke in 1945 with their acquisition of Grand Piano and Furniture Company. Throughout the growth of his company, Mr. Cartledge demanded perfect honesty and consideration for customers, offering a frosty Coke® to everyone who walked in the store. In 1998, one million Cokes were given to people who never will forget Grand's hospitality.
When Mr. Cartledge received the National Home Furnishings Association "1996 Retailer of the Year" award, which recognizes business leadership as well as industry and community service, it was stated, "His accomplishments as a businessman, father, citizen, industry and commerce leader serve as a role model and guide for all of us in the home furnishings industry." He was the recipient of the Virginia Retailer of the Year and received honors from numerous civic organizations. George Cartledge believed in the credo, "You have to put more into business, the community, into living than you take out." He lived it every day of his life.