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14th Annual Home Products Breakfast Honors Industry Giants

ANNUAL Home Products Scholarship Awards Breakfast, held March 9, 2010, at Cipriani, raised some $25,000 in scholarship funds for students in the FIT’s Home Products Development program. Co-sponsored by FIT and the Home Fashion Products Association, the event honored industry giants including Steven Fishman, chairman, president, and CEO of Big Lots, Inc., the nation’s largest closeout retailer, who was named Retailer of the Year. Anurag Sharma, president
of Welspun Global Brands, Ltd., a leader in home textiles, received the Leader in Product Innovation and Marketing Award; and the Lichtenberg family, founders of S. Lichtenberg & Co., a leading manufacturer of curtains, draperies, and home fashion products, received the Distinguished Family Leadership Award.

Attendees enjoyed presentations of projects by this year’s Home Products graduates, who were challenged to identify emerging niche markets in home products and communicate the essence of those market segments. Their 20 identified target markets ranged from “metropolinators” (25- to 40-year-old urban females helping drive the organic food movement in their communities) to “germaphobes” (young to mature adults obsessed with cleaning and immaculate homes) to “grandpods” (tech-savvy 65- to 74-year-old men riding the wave of electronics). Event co-chairs included Carl Goldstein, senior vice president of S. Lichtenberg & Co.; J. Barry Leonard, CEO of Croscill, Inc., Ex-Cell Home Fashions, Inc., and Glenoit; Peter G. Scotese, chairman emeritus of FIT’s Board of Trustees; and Richard Roman, president and CEO of Revman International Inc. Warren Shoulberg, publisher and editor in chief of HFN—Home Furnishings News, served as master of ceremonies.

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