Furniture, community friends celebrate Ken Smith’s 54 years of service to the industry

HIGH POINT — On Dec. 6, industry and nonindustry friends came out to wish Smith Leonard partner Ken Smith the best in his retirement at the end of this year after more than five decades of industry involvement through his firm’s accounting, tax and consulting services.

Smith joined the firm, then known as Seidman and Seidman, following his graduation from High Point University in 1969. He started as a staff auditor, then worked his way up to other positions including senior staff member and senior manager before becoming a partner in the business in April 1980 after the firm joined forces with Belgium-based BDO to become BDO Seidman.

He continued as a managing partner after he and other partners in the firm acquired the business from BDO Seidman in 2007. At that point, it became known as Smith Leonard and today operates offices in High Point, Lexington and Hickory, North Carolina.

In addition to the core accounting and consulting services, it also publishes a monthly Furniture Insights bulletin that dates back several decades, offering information relating to furniture orders, shipments and backlogs as well as other economic data regarding housing, consumer confidence and retail sales, to name a few key metrics.

Below are some photos Home News Now took at Smith’s retirement party at the firm’s corporate headquarters at 4035 Premier Drive in High Point.

Ken Smith, left, with Mitchell Gold and Ivan Saul Cutler, who worked for the firm as furniture industry services director from 1995 to 2000.

Ken Smith with Mary Kay and Bob Erdin of High Point.

James Mitchell, left, of Smith Leonard, and Wyatt Bassett, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture of Galax, Virginia.

Mike Daniel, left, and Rob Spilman Jr., Bassett Furniture Industries of Bassett, Virginia, and Lewis Canter, Bassett Mirror, also in Bassett, Virginia.

David Grant, left, and Delia Grant, an 18-year employee of Smith Leonard, with Mark Leferriere, also of Smith Leonard. Their beverage coolers pay homage to the man of the hour, or should we say the last half-century!

Santa, played by Gart Evans, a long-time High Point icon himself, who is branch director at the Hartley YMCA in High Point. He is seen chatting with Smith and Rob Spilman. We’d like to find out if he knows which one’s been naughty or nice, or better yet, what’s on their Christmas wish lists!

Chris Coggins, left, of American Woodcrafters, Paul Wang, Super Source in High Point and also a BDO Seidman alum, and Chuck Foster, also of American Woodcrafters.

Bre Hedrick and Brandon Hedrick, a tax partner with Smith Leonard, with Ken Smith.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

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