Ken Fonville has decades of experience in the furniture industry. He started his career with Thomasville Furniture, where he had a variety of sales and marketing positions. He was recruited to Bernhardt Furniture Industries, the family owned company in western North Carolina where he was the Vice President in charge of residential wood furniture. He then became the Sr. Vice President for Sales and Marketing for Drexel-Heritage Furniture. Recruited to become President and CEO of Hood Furniture, also a family owned company, he moved to Jackson, Mississippi. Mr. Fonville finished his corporate career with 6 years as President of Pennsylvania House Furniture in Lewisburg, PA, which was sold to La-Z-Boy. He has consulted for a number of companies.
Fonville then used all his knowledge and experience about high-quality furniture and decided to create a sustainable, environmentally concerned product for consumers that were concerned about the toxicity of contemporary furniture. An online retailer, customers found him by Googling “eco-friendly” furniture. He came to understand that the informed, concerned buyer… who wanted furniture that did not emit toxins and threaten the health of their families, were his natural demographic. He has since joined the social media fray, where EcoSelect gains new fans every day. He recently exhibited at the “Green Festival” in Washington D.C.
How did you first get involved in the green industry?
I was interested in exploring a domestically made product that would offer a green alternative to mainstream upholstery In addition, I was aware of the very negative ramifications of the California fire safety requirements. I knew that I could deliver a safer and more eco-friendly product for families.
What interests you most about being green?
The growing phenomenon and the gratification of seeing more people interested in and committed to having green products in their home. The driving factor is an increased awareness of the vulnerability of our children to toxic chemicals.
What is your biggest “green” pet peeve?
The reluctance of companies to embrace new and effective products and processes that increase their environmental performance.
What green trend is most exciting to you or your industry?
The trend back toward American manufacturing and sourcing. We use lumber from United States forests that have been approved for usage. It reduces the carbon footprint of the industry dramatically.
August 20, 2014
Ken Fonville took his expertise of high-quality furniture and decided to create a sustainable, environmentally safe product for consumers concerned about the toxicity of contemporary furniture.