ICFA Introduces Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The International Casual Furniture Association announces the creation of the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award to recognize those retailers whose creativity invokes the spirit of the late industry leader’s unique approach to igniting excitement and emphasizing the fun in outdoor living.


Mary Fruehauf

“Mary was a dedicated and passionate person whose creativity of expression sparked a sense of enjoyment and discovery in her customers, community, and the national casual furniture industry for over two decades,” said Mariah Maydew, who succeeded her as President and CEO of Fruehauf’s in Boulder, Colo., after Mary’s death from cancer in 2015. “We are thrilled that the ICFA is honoring her imagination and the many ways she inspired others.  She would love the idea of a ‘Retail Genius’ award to recognize the creativity of others in our industry.”

All ICFA retail members are eligible to compete for the award.  Competitors for the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award will present a unique and creative display, event, promotion, or concept.  “The winner will accomplish this in the most original, creative and memorable manner,” said Jackie Hirschhaut, ICFA Executive Director, “capturing that extra element that makes a retail formula successful while closely channeling Mary’s spirit to create a unique and fun shopping experience.”

The winner of the 2018 Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award will be announced at the ICFA Educational Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., January 16-18, and honored with a distinctive trophy befitting the whimsical style of its namesake. The competition will be judged by industry veterans and close personal friends and colleagues of Mary: Mariah Maydew, Cathy Galbreath- Buzbee, owner of ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala., and Brian Lawrence, president of Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, Calif. 

Eligible retailers are invited to submit descriptions and supporting documentation for up to three related or individual displays, events, promotions, or concepts in the form of photos, videos, screenshots and other downloadable media. Competition details and entry information are available at www.icfanet.org/mary-fruehauf-award.