WithIt Education Breakfast panel set for April 23 at American HF Hall of Fame headquarters

High Point, N.C. – Once again, WithIt is packing its Education Breakfast panel with powerhouse women from the home furnishings industry. The panelists will discuss topics such as perseverance, resilience, and courage. 

This High Point Market event, Women Blazing Trails: Education Breakfast, is set for April 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the newly opened American Furnishings Hall of Fame in High Point, NC. 

Presented by Myriad Software, also a women-led company, the bi-annual education breakfasts are always popular events during High Point Furniture Market, and April’s event will likely host a sold-out crowd. 

Lori Ellis

The panel will be moderated by Lori Ellis, Home Furnishings Practice Leader with Pinnacle Search Partners. Panelists will include Patti Carpenter, Carpenter + Co. Principal; Tammy Nagem, High Point Market Authority CEO; and Anne Jacobsen Smith, Hooker Furnishings President of Domestic Upholstery.

Patti Carpenter

As an award-winning designer, Patti Carpenter, Carpenter + Co. Principal, has blazed a trail for women in the industry in 58 countries. Her experience in product sourcing, design, development, merchandising and trend forecasting earned her the Gift of Life Industry Achievement Award in 2021, WithIt’s Industry Leadership Award in 2021 and the International Furniture and Design Association’s Trailblazer Award in 2023. Additionally, Patti is a Micro Enterprise specialist with U.S. presidential recognition. 

Tammy Nagem

Tammy Nagem, High Point Market Authority CEO, began her career with the HPMA at its inception in 2001. Before advancing to HPMA president and CEO, Nagam was the COO. During this time, she was credited with making improvements to transportation, security, entertainment, registration, and guest services for the biannual event. Additionally, Nagem was named Business Woman of the Year by the High Point Chamber of Commerce in 2012, an Outstanding Women in Business by the Triad Business Journal in 2020, and the Future Leader Award from WithIt in 2011.  

Anne Jacobsen Smith

Anne Jacobsen Smith, Hooker Furnishings President of Domestic Upholstery, is responsible for Sam Moore, Bradington Young and Shenandoah Furniture. Since Smith joined Hooker Furnishings in 2008, she has held multiple HR and administrative management positions. 

As the panel moderator, Ellis said this topic is one she holds close to her heart and takes personally because of the trails the women in her family blazed for her and women as a collective. 

“I want the women who attend, no matter their age, position or career stage to know that women before them struggled but didn’t slow down or stop. Nothing was handed to them, but they found a way to do it,” she said. “I want women who will be in the room to know that gender is not a deal breaker. If you can become secure in your own person, then the outside noise doesn’t matter.”

In addition to the panel discussion, attendees will enjoy breakfast and networking, as well as a chance to experience the newly opened Home Furnishings Hall of Fame.

Tickets are available now at withit.org. Membership is not required to attend. Guests are welcome.

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