Tommy Leflein shares thoughts on his 45 years as an industry rep

Editor’s note: During IHFRA’s 26th annual Furniture Industry Awards Gala on Oct. 21, long-time industry sales representative Tommy Leflein received the Distinguished Service Award. The award is the highest honor bestowed to a member of the organization “who, by deed and action, has enhanced the image of the home furnishings sales representative in the community and industry.” Having attended the event, Home News Now’s editors asked Tommy to share the moving remarks he made in response to the award and a companion video that was shown highlighting his many memorable years in the industry.

Here is what he told the 600 audience members in attendance.

Thank you IHFRA for honoring me with this award, and Jason Foy and the A.R.T. Furniture Team for their vision and continued support. I am also grateful beyond words at how many of you have come here to be a part of my special night.

Tommy Leflein after accepting IHFRA’s Distinguished Service Award. At left is IHFRA President John Pinion and at right is IHFRA Executive Director Ray Allegrezza.

I want you to know that I’ve thought long and hard about what to tell you that wasn’t already shared in this beautiful video.

And it’s one word: “JOY.”

When I started repping back in 1976, I just thought it was just a job. I didn’t realize that what I was really choosing was to give people joy.

“Home is where the heart is,” is one of the most popular quotes and for good reason. By helping to furnish consumer’s homes … the place they come back to after a long day, the four walls they wake up to, and the space where family memories are shared … I was helping create joy and memories.

Over time, as I recognized how creating joy empowered me, I kept adding ways to encourage my retail customers, so many of whom I now call “friends.”

Deep inside I believe that …

Honesty, laughter and joy, genuine moral support, and authentic communication all create validation.

Creating validation of both the retailer and end-customer’s needs … by helping create their special spaces … has kept me feeling energized and like I haven’t worked a day in my life.

Everyone here in this room plays an important part in creating the collective joy. You all have the power to alter the lives of others by choosing to create joy.

Happy homes make for a happier planet.

So let’s continue to embrace our power and help make the world a happier place!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: