parks c. underdown
A man of broad vision, innate resourcefulness and strong entrepreneurial spirit, Parks C. Underdown (b.1902 d.1981) was the founder and prime mover of a company that is today one of the nation's largest integrated suppliers of components to the furniture industry.
The company Underdown founded, Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company, was launched in 1944 as a small producer of coiled springs for area furniture companies. That company grew and expanded and today operates across the United States with over 60 locations in 17 states. It provides hundreds of companies from coast to coast with a broad spectrum of products and services ranging from polyurethane foam, motion mechanisms and polyester fiber to furniture supplies, sleeper mechanisms and automated wood carving.
Even more important than his role as the founder of a large, successful company was the role Underdown played in helping to restructure and give new impetus to the furniture supply industry. He was a primary force in helping to reposition this support industry that had long been characterized by small "Mom and Pop" single-product operations to one that, today, features large, well-managed companies offering multiple product lines. These larger companies are more sharply focused on the needs of the furniture industry and, because of economies of scale, can more efficiently and cost effectively meet the requirements of their customers. Throughout his long career, Underdown remained ever alert to opportunities to quickly meet the changing needs of the marketplace, to introduce new products and technology, and to expand the capabilities of the furniture supply industry.