18 May 2024, 21:44
By Furniture News May 02, 2024

La-Z-Boy CEO to speak at women's networking event

The keynote speaker at the fifth Women in Furniture Network (WIFN) event – taking place at 11:30am on 11th July at the Manchester Furniture Show – will be La-Z-Boy Inc's president and CEO, Melinda Whittington.

At the brunch event, Melinda will speak to the network about her career journey, and offer insight into how women can continue to thrive in the furniture industry.

Having successfully transitioned into the furniture industry from the consumer products industry, Melinda is well placed to advise women on how to successfully navigate career advancement and professional development. Starting out in finance at lifestyle conglomerate, Procter & Gamble, Melinda went on to become SVP at Kraft Foods Group (now The Kraft Heinz Company), before becoming CFO for Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, then moving on to be CFO, and eventually CEO, at La-Z-Boy Inc in 2021.

La-Z-Boy UK has been a fixture at the Manchester and January furniture shows for many years, and will be exhibiting at MFS this summer.

Melinda says: “I’m passionate about supporting the personal and professional development of women in the furniture industry and I’m pleased to have the opportunity to get to know the WIFN members in the UK. At La-Z-Boy Inc we have our own Women’s Employee Resource Group to support and represent the needs of women in the workplace and it will be interesting to learn more about synergies in other parts of the world.”

WIFN founder Zoe Bonser, Clarion Retail's portfolio director, adds: “This will be our fifth event, and a great opportunity for our network members to hear from talented leaders in the industry. Melinda’s journey, I know, will be a source of inspiration for many.”

The WIFN network has grown considerably over the past year. Alongside the events there is an active LinkedIn group, and a Mentorship Platform where members can connect and seek advice, mentorship and support outside of the events. With networking underpinning WIFN’s activities, the brunch at MFS will offer attendees the opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded professionals in a supportive environment.

The Manchester Furniture Show (MFS) is the UK’s second-largest furniture trade show, and is returning to Manchester Central this summer from the 10-11th July, after a five-year hiatus. The event is set to feature over 100 brands, making it a "must-attend mid-year touchpoint", says organiser Clarion.

Register to visit the show and attend the brunch here.


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