PICO RIVERA, Calif. — AICO President and industry icon Martin Ploy will retire in early November, the company announced today.
AICO will celebrate Ploy’s career at High Point Market with a cocktail reception in its showroom (IHFC-C802) on Saturday, Oct. 22, from from 4:-6 p.m.
Ploy, whose industry career spans more the 50 years, has been part of AICO’s executive leadership team for the past 20 years, coming on board as vice president of sales and marketing in 2002. He has been president for the past 12 years.
“Martin’s manufacturing, retail, sales, marketing, managerial background, and unique communication skills have been a great asset to our company and our industry,” CEO Michael Amini said in a release. “His broad breadth of experiences has always provided us with a unique and solid perspective as to how we should value our employees, customers, and our suppliers, with an aggressive drive and critical eye on building our business for the future.”
Asked about a replacement, Amini said, “Nothing has been announced about a successor at this time.”
The company said, “Ploy’s impact on the home furnishings industry has been monumental,” noting his diverse industry career with experience on both the retail and supply side. Prior to joining AICO, he held many executive posts, including executive vice president for retailer RB Furniture, key accounts executive for Kanowsky Furniture, and executive vice president of sales for BenchCraft Furniture.
As Ploy’s career took shape, his reputation for giving back, too. While a store manager for RB Furniture in 1974, he became president of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and then served as a volunteer “listener” for the Ventura Hotline. In 1980, he got involved with the Home Furnishings Chapter of City of Hope and eventually served as its president in 1984 and 1985. In 1989, Ploy was honored as the Humanitarian of the Year by the Home Furnishings Chapter of City of Hope and was presented the prestigious Spirit of Life Award.
His passion and work for City of Hope has continued and grown. Ploy currently serves as member of the International Home Furnishings Industry advisory board and is active in generating support for both The Spirit of Life Dinner in High Point and the West Coast Golf outing in Southern California. He is also always a leading fundraiser for City of Hope’s Walk for Hope, serving as captain of the AICO All-Stars for the past 12 years.
Ploy also is an active member of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation board. He was a member of its executive committee for four years and served as chairman last year. He continues to be an important advocate and fundraiser for the organization.
In the release, AICO noted that Ploy “has always appreciated his time as a salesman and will ever be grateful for those experiences and lessons that helped shape his career. His impact on sales professionals has been profound over the course of his career.” In 2018, he received the International Home Furnishings Representatives Assn.’s Pillar of the Industry Award.
“Martin has had an indelible impact, not only as the president of AICO, but throughout his illustrious career in the home furnishings industry, and in the charitable work he has done,” AICO Executive Vice President David Koehler said. “He has always been an action-oriented leader with a resolute focus on ‘doing it now.’ It has been my good fortune to work with and learn from Martin. He is truly a unique, one-of-a-kind leader who has given so much to so many people.”
Ploy’s planned retirement has not come easy but he says, “I am anxious to spend more time with my wife and do some long missed traveling. Aside from travel, I need to get out on the golf course again, catch up on my reading and possibly do some writing too. Also, I will continue to always do volunteer work.
“Stepping away from the world of furniture after 55 years will certainly be an enormous change for me,’ he added. “I have enjoyed this industry so much, and the extraordinary people that make this home furnishings community so special. Throughout my career I have been so fortunate to work with great leaders and teachers that helped me grow and develop…I hope in some way, I’ve been able to do the same for others. I guess the hardest part about leaving is missing the truly dedicated and caring people of AICO, especially Michael.”
Amini said, “Martin’s leadership and strategic thinking over these past 20 years has been invaluable to our success. He is not only a world class executive, but also a special and unique person and I am fortunate to call him my friend. Martin, thank you for everything you have done for me personally, for our company, and for the industry. I am most grateful.”