Woodard Commemorates 150th Anniversary With a Celebration in Owosso, Michigan

Woodard, known for their quality craftsmanship in iron, aluminum and all season wicker outdoor furniture and accessories, celebrated their special sesquicentennial anniversary honoring those who have contributed to 150 years of success by hosting two events in Owosso, Michigan. On hand for the special occasions were Michigan dignitaries, members of the Woodard family, Woodard retirees, current Woodard employees and their families and other distinguished guests.

“Since it all began here 150 years ago it made perfect sense to host a grand celebration in Owosso where Woodard outdoor furniture is still proudly made,” said John Mares, Woodard president. When asked about the company’s secret for longevity, Mares replied, “First is Woodard’s ability to adapt to changing conditions by maintaining a motivated and skilled workforce focused on quality and improving the customer experience. Second is a hard-working management team dedicated to improving the manufacturing process and last is highly supportive ownership, which today includes Jean Liu, Woodard’s majority owner and CEO of Woodard’s parent company Litex Industries Limited.

The Friday, July 29 event was held at the Shiawassee Arts Center to welcome out-of-town guests, including Woodard family members. A highlight of the evening was a Made in Owosso exhibit which included of one of the very first iron chairs produced by Woodard, circa 1934.

Kicking off the Saturday, July 30 festivities was Rich Snyder who sang the National Anthem. Aiding in the celebration were Michigan dignitaries who presented proclamations to Woodard. Owosso Mayor Ben Frederick, commented that Woodard workers were as strong as the furniture that they made. Danny Miller, Owosso Charter Township Supervisor, added that Woodard is the inspiration of talented people and an example of the American dream. Jeff Deason, Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, recognized that the Woodard employees put their heart and soul into creating art that is relevant as he presented Woodard with the Cornerstone Award.

Other proclamations were delivered by Hartmann Aue, Shiawassee County Commissioner; the office of John Moolenaar, US House of Representatives; Ben Glardon, Michigan State Representative; and United States Senator Debbie Stabenow who said that Woodard’s success is because of their longstanding values, strong work ethic and the right skill set.

At the traditional family picnic attended by nearly 500, attendees enjoyed guided factory tours, seeing an historic timeline and a display of one of the first Woodard iron chairs made in Owosso, music by the local band Toxic, snow cones, kid’s games and crafts, sack races, water balloon toss and a highly competitive tug-of-war won by Woodard’s marketing team.

Throughout 2016, a host of special 150th anniversary initiatives have taken place with more to come. A national advertising campaign is promoting Woodard in publications including Coastal Living, House Beautiful, LUXE Interiors & Design, Ocean Home, and Traditional Home. A celebratory party is being held for retailers at the September Casual Market in Chicago. The first of 150 limited edition Anniversary Rockers is being raffled with proceeds donated to Habitat for Humanity. A Facebook photo contest allows voters to determine who will get the 150th Anniversary Rocker. These winners will be announced at the close of the October High Point Market, where other proclamations and awards will be bestowed upon Woodard.

 

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About Woodard: For 150 years, Woodard craftsmen have designed and created products using both age-old hand forming techniques and the latest in high-tech production methods.  Woodard’s iron is proudly made in America. They also manufacture aluminum and all season wicker furniture and accessories, providing a wide array of casual outdoor styles.  Headquartered in Coppell, Texas, Woodard has manufacturing and shipping facilities in Michigan and Texas, and to-the-trade showrooms in Chicago, Illinois and High Point, North Carolina.  Woodard is a subsidiary of Litex Industries located in Grand Prairie, Texas. To learn more about Woodard Furniture, visit http://www.woodard-furniture.com or follow us on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, Instagram.


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