Over the Years

WithIt History Timeline

In 1997 WithIt’s founding members were owners, managers, designers, entrepreneurs and other professional women who realized successes in the home and furnishings industries.

At a time when there were few opportunities for women to connect, share information, support one another’s successes or gain exposure, they decided they needed a tribe. They felt a vacuum. They founded WithIt. The fact that these women conceived the idea of a national organization of business and professional women is testimony to their faith in themselves and the future.

Over the years, WithIt has grown in numbers and scope; conducting educational classes, offering needed mentoring, celebrating accomplishments, supporting the fringes, giving scholarships and encouraging individual growth. WithIt offers the resources, tools, information and guidance necessary for achieving career or business goals. Our members have advanced and so has WithIt.

Thank you to all who have played a role in the success.

October 1997

WithIt Founded

Unveiled at Fall International Home Furnishings Market in High Point. Founders: Jena Hall, Kimberley Wray, Margaret Traub

WithIt founders: Jena Hall, Kimberley Wray, Margaret Traub
October 1997

WithIt Logo

Designed by Connie Post

WithIt logo from 1997
November 1997

First Board of Directors Named

Board Members: Jena Hall, Kathy Bovey, Peggy Traub, Caroline Hipple, Cindy Miller, Linda Baer, Ellen Gefen, Judy George, Lynn Yurosko, Robin Campbell, Carroll Springer, Katrina Patton, Nancy Butler, Elaine Eisen, Cathy Fineman, Lynn Gerber-Jenkins, Abby Gilmore, Joyce Glover, Wanda Kastner, Kris Kolar, Ann Pickering, Connie Post, Cindy Sheaffer, Kimberley Wray, Judy Rudrud, Rochelle Beck, Vickie Davis, Rita Woker

March 1998

Inaugural Regional Event – New York

April 1998
  • Scholarship Foundation Launched with LifeStyle
  • 55 Founding Sponsors honored at High Point Market
  • Inaugural Tent Event – Market Square
October 1998

First Educational Breakfast at IHFC

“Who Says There’s No Room at the Top?”


  • Board of Governors launched
  • WOW Awards established
The WOW Awards logo
April 1999
  • WithIt.org debuts
  • First WOW Awards
  • First Scholarship awardedScholarship recipients
  • First Educational Conference and Leadership Retreat
April 2000

WithIt publishes first member directory

September 2001
  • Corporate Memberships Launched
  • $32,000 raised for City of Hope
  • Competitive Intelligence inaugurated
February 2002
  • Full-time Executive Director Sara Lyke hired
  • First email newsletter
April 2002
  • First Student Mentoring Day hosted by the Vas/Ca’s Region
  • YHFP/WithIt Leadership Seminar – Stephen Covey’s Four Habits of Leadership
February 2003

WithIt teams with Palliser for white paper and seminar

Home Furnishings Through the Eyes of Generation X

January 2004

WithIt members attend Maison et Objet

August 2004

3 year marketing plan launched

October 2004

First Ambassadors Named

July 2005

World Market Center at Las Vegas Seminar

September 2005

YHFP/WithIt offer Protocol Seminar

October 2005

Harley Raffle

January 2006
  • Monthly Industry Scoop in Home Furnishings Business
  • Part time employee hired – Amy Van Dorp
April 2006

InFurniture BUZZ – Look Who’s WithIt


August 2006
  • Mini Cooper Raffle
  • WOW awards moved to be in conjunction with the Professional Conference
January 2007

10th Anniversary Celebration

Diamond anniversary pin

WithIt 10 years of opportunity
April 2007

Candice Olson draws largest crowd ever for WithIt breakfast at High Point market

July 2007

Christi Proctor speaks at WithIt seminar – Dallas Market Center

May 2008

First Official New York Design Tour

August 2008

Roundtables introduced at the Professional Conference

A conference favorite

December 2008

WithIt embraces LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter

  • Cover Design Contest for the Member Resource Guide
  • Curbside Mentoring offered at the WithIt Conference
October 2009

WithIt walked for City of Hope in honor of Claire Goldhagen’s daughter, Kristen Gross

January 2010
  • WithIt offers a symposium:
    Corporate Strategy, Integration & Investment in Digital and Social Media
  • Forester Research and Ford Motor
    Company Case Study
  • Introduced tagline – Women’s Leadership Development Network
March & April 2010

WithIt membership drive joined Libby Langdon to host her book, Small Space Solutions

August 2010

First Women’s Executive Forum

  • WOW leaders recognized in WithIt Newsletter – Jamie Young, Liz O’Brien, Joe Carroll
  • Headshots offered at the Professional Conference
  • Launched Friday WrapUPs
  • New Brand for WithIt introduced at the Professional Conference
WithIt logo
October 2010

First National Membership Day

WithIt National Membership Day October 29, 2010 - We want you
December 2010

Moved WithIt office to High Point

February 2011
  • Women to Watch honored on Facebook
  • RSA Membership Announced
July 2011

Companies to Watch on Facebook

August 2011

WithIt offers students scholarships to attend the Professional Conference

Sponsored by Frinier Atelier, Brown Jordan, Sunbrella


15 Year Anniversary

January 2012

Canadian Home Furnishings Market

WithIt featured Kimberley Seldon


February 2012

WithIt launches links to member blogs on the website

March 2012

Love at First Blush – panel at ISPA expo

July 2012

Las Vegas Gala

August 2012

Auction launched at WithIt Professional Conference

October 2012
  • WithIt offers first President’s reception at High Point Market
  • Marvin Traub Scholarship – matching funds given by Peggy Traub to establish scholarship
January 2013
  • WOW awards held at Las Vegas Market
  • WithIt launches new website featuring more member spotlights
February 2013
  • First Leadership Development Institute programCritical Success Factors for Women Leaders – Sara King
  • Introduced Speaker Bureau on the website featuring members
July 2013
  • HootUP held for members to learn Hootsuite
  • 2014 BOD holds Strategic Meeting led by the Lattitude Group
December 2013

Vas/CAs chapters adopt a family for the holidays

January 2014
  • WithIt pays tribute to founder Peggy Traub
  • WithIt advertises at KBIS
April 2014

Get Caught Wearing Your WithIt Pin

Julie Smith Vincente (winner)

May 2014

New York Design offers extra day for Brimfield Antique Show and Flea Market

August 2014

Retailer Now Magazine features 3 WithIt members

October 2014

Founder Jena Hall inducted into American Furniture Hall of Fame

November 2014

#GivingTuesday went viral

August 2015

Amy Van Dorp named Managing Director

June 2016

Cathy Smith joins WithIt as Development Director

October 2016

WithIt honors all WithIt past presidents at President’s Welcome Reception during High Point Furniture Market

November 2016

Jena Hall and WithIt produce a panel for Furniture/Today conference on Women in Leadership

January 2017

Kickoff of 20th Anniversary year

October 2017

As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, WithIt unveils a bronze plaque on the first floor of the Market Square building honoring the founders, founding board members and advisory board who tirelessly worked to establish WithIt.

WithIt logo

WithIt holds a Roaring 20s-themed 20th Anniversary Gala at the Lofts at Union Square

Four women dressed in 1920s costumes under a banner that says, "20th Anniversary Celebration"
February 2018

Amy Miracle is hired as part-time administrator

May 2018

10th Anniversary NY Design Tour

Planned and executed by Betty Lyn Eller, Jana Platina-Phipps, and Deb Klein

June 2018

WithIt launches online digital education with the videotaping of all conference sessions

Sponsored by

Crypton logo
August 2018

Digital Education videos launch on the WithIt website offering all members the benefit of the educational content from the professional conference

October 2018

Amy Van Dorp is promoted to Executive Director

October 2019

WithIt brings leadership speaker Denise Ryan to Education Breakfast at High Point Market

June 2020

First virtual conference is held on HOPIN.com

October 2020

Education Breakfast pivots to become a virtual education brunch with speed networking

December 2020

WithIt hosts a virtual Tour of the Home Furnishings Industry in place of student mentoring day

"A Tour of the Home Furnishings Industry" banner
January 2022

WithIt celebrates 25th anniversary

WithIt 25th anniversary logo
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