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Tupelo Furniture Market president moving on after five years

By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

Kevin Seddon, who has been president of the Tupelo Furniture Market since 2012, has resigned.

Seddon’s last day was Friday, having told market officials two weeks earlier he was stepping down.

Seddon said today he felt like he had done all he could do in his role to market and promote the 30-year-old furniture trade show.

“We introduced incentives and packages for the buyers and retailers at the market, and we segued into different areas of retail, from furniture to accessories,” he said. “I think we did a lot of things we needed to do that had been occurring in the general marketplace itself and needed to catch up on. I think we have, and there’s more to do, of course. But I think it’s time for me to do something else.”

Seddon joined the TFM with deep and vast experience in several industries, including trade show management; publishing; business trade management; software curriculum development and certifications; cloud-based website development; medical acoustics; infrared technology and energy; air quality and building inspection.

Seddon said he has “no regrets” during his tenure at the market and said he wishes them the best and hopes to see them again soon.

V.M. Cleveland, the owner, chairman and CEO of the Tupelo Furniture Market, said he appreciated Seddon’s work at the market, the third-largest furniture trade show in the country.

“Kevin did a good job while he was here, and he left on good terms,” Cleveland said. “We’re going to continue to promote the market as we’ve always done.”

Cleveland said until Seddon’s replacement is found, he’ll split the president’s duties with his son, Adam Cleveland, and Debbie Henry, the market’s director of sales.

“I love the furniture industry and had a lot of great people working with me,” Seddon added. “We couldn’t have done it without a lot of people getting involved. We gained a lot of new companies while I was there – around 500 new ones. We didn’t keep them all, but we did have a lot of success selling them on the market. I think the focus now is the buyer-recruitment side – and it should be.”

If there’s any advice Seddon has for his successor, it is to “focus on the blocking and tackling of market or trade show development. You’ve got to be creative in this industry, and you’ve got to develop a rapport with both buyers and exhibiting companies. You’ve got to provide them with what they need. That being said, everybody has an opinion, but in the end, you have to dig down deep and see what makes the industry tick. Just keep your ear to the ground and pay attention to whats happening.”

The next Tupelo Furniture Market is the summer market, June 8-11.

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