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October 31, 2011

Eau Claire Chamber invites COB students to hear Ashley Furniture CEO

Ashley FurnitureUniversity of Wisconsin-Eau Claire College of Business students are invited to attend a presentation by Todd Wanek, CEO, Ashley Furniture, on Tuesday, November 1, from 8-9 am in the Mayo Health System auditorium, 1400 Bellinger St. in Eau Claire, WI. Wanek's presentation is part of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Success series.

Advance registration is not required. UW-Eau Claire students will not be charged to attend the lecture.

Attendees are asked to park on the first or second level of the hospital parking ramp. Follow signs to the hospital entrance. Once in the building, take the main elevator in the Luther Building to the lower level. After exiting, turn left.

For more information about the presentation, contact Gretchen Hutterli, assistant dean, COB.

About Todd Wanek

Todd Wanek began work in the family furniture business at the age of 14. He spent his formative years learning first hand all aspects of the business from maintenance to production, shipping, design and finance. Upon graduation from the UW-Stout with a degree in industrial technologies, he accepted the challenge of establishing and managing Ashley Furniture’s operations in Asia. From 1989 to 1993, Wanek established Ashley’s representative offices in China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Wanek returned to the U.S. in 1994 to oversee manufacturing when Ashley ventured into a new market segment—upholstered furniture. Two years later, he became Ashley’s president and chief operations officer, taking responsibility for all of Ashley’s worldwide operations. By 1999, Ashley was a major player in almost every product category and one of the best marketers in the furniture industry. Just three years later, Wanek, now widely recognized as the industry’s foremost authority on international trade and manufacturing, succeeded his father to become Ashley’s chief executive officer—a position he still holds today.

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