Stephany and Mark Richmond served as the volunteer chairs of Brunch 2012. The savvy owners of The Furniture Warehouse, a chain of stores in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties that began in 1988, are both USF alumni and met during college. Stephany studied accounting and Mark, marketing. Son Morgan is also a business grad from USFSM.
Mark says he always knew he’d go into the furniture business after graduation, having started in the industry when he was just a teen. In 2010, the Florida Home Furnishings Representatives Association named Mark its Distinguished Retailer of the Year, an award only bestowed 10 times since 1981.
The Richmonds’ first exposure to Brunch came when they were guests of Bob Turner, publisher of the Bradenton Herald. Their youngest son, Morgan, 27, is a USF graduate. Landon, 28, is an an artist living in Boston.
What has USFSM meant to your family?
Stephany and I met on the Tampa campus of USF in 1976. We were both business majors with Stephany graduating with an accounting degree and I graduated with a marketing degree. At graduation we became engaged and upon graduating we were married and moved to Sarasota. Our youngest son Morgan also graduated USF Sarasota campus with an accounting degree and join our family business The Furniture Warehouse. USF gave our family the educational foundation to build our family business and we are honored to be involved in helping USF today.
What do you think our role is in the community?
USF has a unique opportunity in our Sarasota – Manatee community to provide a four year college opportunity to our community. This will bring young people to our area for a college education and will allow us to retain college graduates to our area to support our community and businesses.
How did your USF educations prepare you for your business success?
USF provide the core foundation for our business career with the prefect combination of Stephany’s accounting skill and the marketing knowledge that was provided to me. With our accounting and marketing knowledge we have been able to build a successful business in Sarasota market. Our son also receiving an accounting degree and joining our business is just the icing to the cake and will allow our business to be passed to the next generation.
Are you involved in other nonprofits/charities? If so, which ones and why?
We believe that giving back to our community is an important part of our community involvement. We support Habitat for Humanity, The All Faith Food Bank, Breast Cancer research, The Boys and Girls Clubs and many local kids’ sporting activities.