Tickets are available for the annual Previdi Award and State of the City lunch Friday at the Crowne Plaza Danbury. At this annual event, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton will present the State of the City address and the mayor and chamber will give the Cecil Previdi award to the city's leading entrepreneur.
"It could easily be argued that Farooq Kathwari not only maintained the highest standards at Ethan Allen, but he also transformed an historic American company into a leading worldwide enterprise," said Stephen Bull, president of the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce. "When other companies are importing from China, Ethan Allen is exporting goods to China."
In his letter of nomination for Kathwari, Western Connecticut State University President James Schmotter wrote, "As a member of the Danbury community and as a Director of Ethan Allen Interiors, I cannot imagine a more worthy recipient. Permit me to share what I have observed as a director since 2010. It is a dramatic story of a successful business turnaround."
"The past few years at Ethan Allen have seen a massive restructuring of business processes, the development of new products and a major change in the corporation’s business model. All of these efforts have enabled the company to rebound from significant reverses occasioned by the housing crash of 2008. Today, Ethan Allen is rated by most investment analysts as “best in class” among furniture manufacturers and leads the industry in both market share and profit margins. Most impressively, Ethan Allen has continued to manufacture 65% of its products in the United States and is the only American furniture maker with significant exports to China."
Dr. Schmotter continued, "Farooq Kathwari has engineered every aspect of this transformation, perhaps the most notable (and challenging) accomplishment of his long and successful career. Ethan Allen has in its 80-year history had only two chief executive officers—its founder Nat Ancell and Farooq.
This information came from FarooqKathwari.com. "Kathwari has been president of the company since 1985, and chairman and chief executive officer since 1988. In 1989, he formed a group to purchase Ethan Allen; following a restructuring period, he took the company public again in 1993."
Qualifications for Nominees: A businessperson from the Danbury Area who has demonstrated progressive business attitudes, vision, leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit which has been responsible for the growth, development and/or expansion of a area business, which has made a significant economic contribution to the city of Danbury and the region.
For information about Friday's lunch at the Crowne Plaza Danbury, contact the Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce at 203-743-5565.
This is the complete list of previous Previdi winners. Albert Cazza 1988; Roy Young 1989; Anthony Pellegrino 1990; Pearl Dent 1991; Norbert Mitchell 1992; Anthony Rizzo, Sr. 1993; Ervie Hawley, Jr., 1994; Bernard Baker 1995; Joseph Engelberger 1996; A. Searle Pinney 1997 Jack Marcus, 1998; Seymour Powers 1999, Ted Baruch 2000, Gene Banucci President, ATMI, 2001, Hank Zaccara, Owner, Chuck’s Steak House 2002. Dino Mastrocostas, Chairman, Photronics 2003, Jerry Leitman, President, Fuelcell Energy,2004 Paul Scalzo, President, Scalzo Group 2005, Robort Sallick, Founder, Waterworks 2006, Albert Salame, Owner, Albert Salame Affiliated Companies 2007, Richard Steiner, President, Steiner Inc.,2008. Frank Kelly, President/CEO Danbury Hospital 2009. Stew Leonard, Jr. 2010, President/CEO, Stew Leonard’s; James Marquis, President, Kimchuk, 2011. Farooq Kathwari, Chairman, President & CEO, Ethan Allen, 2012