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ronald g. wanek

Ronald G. Wanek (b.1941) founded Ashley Furniture Industries in the early 1970s. Since that time he has taken Ashley from being a modest manufacturer of occasional tables to the largest furniture manufacturer in the world and the second largest retailer in the United States in 2005.

Mr. Wanek has made many landmark decisions to raise his business to the level you see today. In the 1970s he began using European flat line construction in wood furniture which offered both high quality and labor efficiencies. In the 1980s, he developed global sourcing, becoming one of the first manufacturers to both source and sell around the world. He also introduced the industry's most successful polyester finishes bringing color to wood furniture.

His most recent contribution to the industry was his development of Ashley Furniture HomeStores. This introduced the concept of selling in Ashley-branded stores while focusing on the needs of middle income consumers. With sales from independent stores and the Ashley-branded stores, Mr. Wanek began to promote and advertise the Ashley name. Using this marketing technique, he has developed what appears to be not only the industry's largest entity but also its fastest growing consumer brand.

His leadership in the furniture industry and his community has been recognized with numerous awards over his extensive career. Mr. Wanek is known in his community and in the furniture industry for his ethics and strong family values. He has been married to his wife, Joyce, for 45 years. They have three children and nine grandchildren. He is a versatile man who, in his spare time, enjoys sculpting and is actively involved in politics.