Ron Wanek is born in rural Minnesota.
Carlyle Weinberger founds Ashley Furniture Corporation as a sales organization with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
Arcadia Furniture is started by Ron Wanek and 35 employees in Arcadia, WI.
Ashley develops its own transportation fleet.
Major ownership and management is restructured. The company rebirths product lines and retools its facilities.
Todd Wanek is officially hired as an Ashley Furniture Corporation employee (#158).
Ron attends the Dallas Furniture Market and realizes there are new foreign competitors. We must adapt. Arcadia Furniture and Ashley Furniture Corporation merge into one company: Ashley Furniture Industries. Corporate headquarters were moved from Chicago, IL to Arcadia, WI.
A “Suggestion Program,” which was later renamed “The Idea Network,” improves efficiencies and quality while reducing cost. Employees are rewarded for being Agents of Change–a critical component of Ashley’s continuous improvement culture.
Ashley begins manufacturing bedroom furniture and a blended strategy is implemented into manufacturing operations.
Ashley Furniture Industries turns the furniture industry on its head with an innovative, patented product line called “Millennium.” The largest investment made in the furniture industry for a product line.
Establishes plant in Whitehall, WI. This facility is equipped with state-of-the-art finishing equipment to produce Ashley Furniture Industries signature Millennium line.
Ashley Furniture Industries introduces formal and casual dining rooms and mixed media furniture with various combinations of glass, marble, steel and wood.
Todd Wanek moves to Asia to serve as the General Manager of Ashley Furniture Industries Taiwan. He begins establishing and managing Ashley Furniture Industries business development in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia.
Ashley Taiwan plant is sold. Ashley, led by efforts of Todd Wanek, begins to focus major efforts on China and other areas in Asia.
The first monuments, funded by Ron Wanek and Ashley Furniture, are placed along Soldiers Walk in Arcadia Memorial Park.
Ashley Furniture Industries intermodal rail yard is established; only one in Wisconsin and one of seven private yards in the U.S.
Ashley buys a 135,000-square-foot Canadian upholstery manufacturing plant in Ecru, MS., and begins expanding it to the nearly two-million-square-feet that is today.
Ashley Furniture Industries introduces leather upholstery.
Todd Wanek is promoted to Ashley Furniture Industries President and Chief Operations Officer.
The first Ashley Furniture HomeStore opens in Anchorage, Alaska.
Ashley’s Angels is formed by a truck driver in Mississippi. The non-profit organization provides food, clothing, and toys to underprivileged children.
Wanek receives City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award for professional, humanitarian and philanthropic achievements. He is also named President of the American Furniture Manufacturers Association.
The first international Ashley Furniture HomeStore opens in Aichi, Japan.
Sales top $1 billion.
Ashley creates largest manufacturing and distribution facility in China.
Todd Wanek is promoted to Ashley Furniture Industries Chief Executive Officer. Ron Wanek becomes Chairman of the Board.
Ashley Furniture Industries’ upholstered products become the best-selling in the world.
Ashley Furniture Industries becomes the world’s largest manufacturer of furniture.
Ashley for the Arts is formed and holds its first event in Arcadia, WI. The non-profit holds an annual event to raise money to support more than 40 participating non-profit organizations.
Ashley Furniture Industries launches Ashley-Sleep®.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore launches the Hope to Dream program to provide beds to underprivileged children — allowing them a good night’s sleep.
Wanek receives the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Home Furnishings Alliance.
Wholesale sales approach $4 billion as the company is selling over 30 million pieces annually.
RG Wanek Center is dedicated at High Point University in October.
Ashley launches Ashley Express, its direct-to-consumer delivery program, next day delivery with sights on same day delivery.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore retail operations facility opens in Ybor City (Tampa), FL.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore launches its first eCommerce website as part of the Omni-Channel initiative.
Ashley Furniture HomeStore is rebranded to Ashley HomeStore, unveiling a new logo and brand implementation begins.
Ashley Furniture Industries introduces outdoor furniture.
Ashley HomeStore opens its 1000th store.
Ashley purchases an easy to assemble (ETA) furniture manufacturing facility.
Ashley celebrates 75 years in the industry.