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Board & Staff
|Kathryn Richardson, President||
Kathryn has been the VP of Sales for Libeco Inc. since early 2007 and has a passion for natural fibers and empowering employees to reach their greatest potential. She has held management positions in the retail and wholesale textiles industry with companies such as F. Schumacher, Williams-Sonoma Inc., and Revman International. She is an active member of WithIt and a current Board Member of ITA, the non-profit organization sponsoring Showtime, the largest wholesale textiles show in North America. She is married and currently living in Norwalk, CT. When not traveling, she is an avid gardener, sailor, and outdoor enthusiast.
|Matt Huber, Vice President||
Matt Huber, Executive Vice President, Belfort Furniture oversees day-to-day operations. Matt is responsible for moving Belfort Furniture forward with technological advances such as implementing e-commerce into the company’s revenue stream and online design help services. He has a keen eye for new trends in merchandising to draw a younger consumer to the showroom. Currently, Matt is overseeing a store expansion to include 160,000 square feet of additional retail space.
Matt is involved with the Belfort Furniture corporate designated charities such as the annual YMCA Loudoun County charity golf tournament that has helped to raise over $600,000 to provide quality after-school care and summer camp opportunities for children in Loudoun County, Virginia. He is very devoted to sustainable practices and is passionate about educating and inspiring the public about stylish, sustainable furniture. He is a graduate of Brown University.
|Gat Caperton, Treasurer||
Gat Caperton is the president and CEO of Caperton Furnitureworks, a West Virginia manufacturer of hand-made, solid-wood home furniture that he acquired from its founder in 1996. Caperton Furnitureworks, originally named Tom Seely Furniture, the 40+year-old business now employs over 100 skilled people in Berkeley Springs and sells its furniture throughout the U.S. In 1990, Caperton received a B.A. in Economics from Davidson College, where he also played on the school's football team. He currently serves on the boards of the Shepherd University, Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, the Natural Capital Investment Fund, and the West Virginia Nature Conservancy. Caperton and his wife Susan live in Berkeley Springs and have three daughters: Eliza, Katie, and Evie.
|Erika Heet, Secretary||
Erika Heet is the Editor-in-Chief of Interiors magazine. She is the former Los Angeles Editor of Dwell and the former Editorial Director of Dwell on Design and spent eight years as a senior editor at Architectural Digest. Her work has appeared in 1stdibs.com’s Retrospective magazine, the Berkeley Fiction Review and Sierra Magazine. Erika has long championed original and sustainable design and lives with her artist husband and two children in Topanga, California.
Peggy Burns, Queen Bee of Circle Furniture, oversees the buying of all product lines as well as managing the design direction for the company's stores. Known for promoting bold color and rich textures in the store offerings, Peggy has helped to set Circle Furniture apart from its competitors with its strong merchandising of quality furniture and decorative accessories. Peggy serves on numerous boards of directors, regionally and nationally. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She presently lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her husband Richard. She enjoys sailing, bicycling and spending time with her children Erica and Max.
Warren Clark is the Visual Projects Manager and Director of North East Regional Sales at Home Trends & Design (HTD) . . . one of the founding members of SFC. HTD's primary vision is to create the world’s best solid wood furniture from sustainable and reclaimed materials. Warren has helped HTD become one of Inc. 5000's fastest growing companies over the past four years, and was instrumental in introducing and expanding the company's presence at ICFF. Warren resides in Bethlehem, PA with his husband, Derrick, and their rescue dog Dingo.
Steve Freeman is Vendor Resource Manager of Room & Board where he has contributed to the environmentally-focused philosophies and practices of the company in his 27-year career. As a lifelong Minnesota resident, he has been inspired to preserve the environment. Freeman enjoys canoeing in Northern Minnesota, showing his Keeshond dogs at AKC shows with his wife, and working on his 5 acres of woodland.
In 1989, Mitchell Gold and his business partner, Bob Williams, created a furniture company in Taylorsville, North Carolina (www.mgbwhome.com). Today, Gold and Williams head a nationally recognized company with over 750 employees and a 700,000-sq.-ft. factory with a family friendly-work environment that includes an on-site not-for-profit daycare center (the first of its kind in the residential furniture industry). There is also a growing chain of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Signature Stores across the country and internationally in cities including New York; Washington, DC; Greenwich, CT; Boston; Atlanta; Miami; Houston; Nashville; Ann Arbor; Portland, OR; Los Angeles; San Juan; and Mexico City.
|Rene de Kok||
Rene de Kok is the Commercial Director of Scancom International AS, a Danish manufacturer of Garden furniture with manufacturing plants in Vietnam, Indonesia and Brazil. Rene is based in Vietnam where Scancom has its biggest production presence and major showrooms. Rene’s experience with retailers from around the world and their environmental and social compliance requirements together with Scancom’s company policy of doing business the right way gives us a vast experience in our business.
Blake Millinor, Valdese Weavers
|Jillian Pritchard Cooke||
Jillian Pritchard Cooke is the founder of Wellness Within Your Walls, which aims to connect the global family with healthy eco-sensitive products that result in beautiful, sustainable, non-toxic environments. Jillian is also the founder of interior design firm DES-SYN which was established in 1991 and primarily services the residential building industry. Jillian opened BEE in Atlanta, GA in 2010, a unique retail boutique promoting fashion and home furnishing products that meet the GOTS, WWYW, SFC, and Cradle to Cradle standards. Jillian has more than 30 years of experience with design projects in New York, Philadelphia, Boston Los Angeles, London, and Atlanta.
Samantha leads the global forestry supply chain and advisory work for Rainforest Alliance’s Markets Transformation team. In this role, she engages with companies to develop and implement sustainable sourcing practices and commitments across commodities and sectors linked to deforestation to reduce risk, drive impact in the field, improve livelihoods and protect the environment. Before taking on this role Samantha spent over 6 years auditing and gaining valuable field experience in chain of custody at every level in the forest products supply chain and lead Rainforest Alliance’s United States audit team. She completed over 100 FSC CoC audits during this time.
|Jerry Cooklin, Ex-oficio||
Jeronimo (Jerry) Cooklin founded the Sustainable Furnishings Council to transform the home furnishings Industry and to help preserve the world’s forests. Involved in the furniture Industry since 1986 and in Sustainable Development since 1998, he put these two together to form SFC in late 2006. Founder of PaTS, a Peruvian nonprofit org in the Peruvian Amazon working since 2000 with Yanesha indigenous community members to become artisans and business people to create a sustainable living for their families while preserving their forests. Founded MaderArt & Tecnologia SAC, or MATS, in 2010 to develop fine craftsmanship furniture utilizing Amazon hardwoods. Cooklin is a strong naturalist and lover of the outdoors. He lives in Lima, Peru.
Susan Inglis is Executive Director of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, and resident expert with the organization she helped found in 2006. She has led SFC to work with industry leaders to establish criteria to gauge the sustainability of furniture products and practices; develop programs for educating all sectors of the industry; and attract hundreds of companies to membership. Inglis is also founder and owner of From The Mountain, a company that imports hand spun cashmere yarn from Afghanistan, providing safe income for over 100 women there. Inglis serves on the Board of the American Sustainable Business Council and was awarded a 2017 Visionary Leadership award by the NC Business Council. She lives in North Carolina.