The International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) congratulates two bedding industry veterans that have been recognized by the American Furniture Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Howard G. Haas for his induction into the American Furniture Hall of Fame and to Thomas E. Wright for his nomination to the Hall of Fame.
In addition to all that each of these gentlemen accomplished for their companies, they both have served our industry well. Mr. Haas served for several years as a Trustee on ISPA’s Board. He was known throughout the industry as a strong, decisive, no-nonsense leader. Haas worked diligently to build Sealy into a leading licensing group and oversaw its rise to become one of the top brands in our industry. During Haas’ tenure, Sealy was actively involved in many ISPA programs, including the Better Sleep Council.
In 1980, Thomas E. Wright of Wright of Thomasville, Inc. was the first person chosen to receive ISPA’s prestigious Robert MacMorran Memorial Award. The award recognizes individuals in active pursuit of meritorious service to the sleep products industry, without regard to their professional or business affiliation. In 1990, ISPA again recognized Wright for his outstanding commitment to the industry, presenting him with ISPA’s Exceptional Service Award. This is ISPA’s highest honor and recognizes those individuals with a long history serving the industry, exemplary leadership skills, community service and involvement in ISPA. Among other things, Wright was a founding member of the Better Sleep Council and served as Chairman of the Suppliers Council.
As the co-founder and former chairman of Wright of Thomasville, he grew his own organization from the ground up and is recognized as a bedding industry leader. “Tom Wright had a vision of what the bedding industry could accomplish when working together toward a common goal. ISPA members today owe him a debt of gratitude for the time, energy, creativity and passion for excellence that he generously contributed to our association,” says Ryan Trainer, president of ISPA. “His early support of the Better Sleep Council helped put ‘selling sleep’ on the map. We are fortunate to have such a rich history of family businesses like his in ISPA.”