March 29, 2023 | News

WithIt to host “Women Blazing Trails” Panel During April High Point Market


High Point, N.C. – Once again, WithIt is packing its Education Breakfast panel with powerhouse women from the home furnishings industry. The panelists will discuss topics such as perseverance, resilience, and courage. 

This High Point Market event, Women Blazing Trails: Education Breakfast, is set for April 23 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the newly opened Furnishings Hall of Fame in High Point, NC. 

Presented by Myriad Software, also a women-led company, the bi-annual education breakfasts are always popular events during High Point Furniture Market, and April’s event will likely host a sold-out crowd. 

The panel will be moderated by Lori Ellis, Home Furnishings Practice Leader with Pinnacle Search Partners. Panelists will include Patti Carpenter, Carpenter + Co. Principal; Tammy Nagem, High Point Market Authority CEO; and Anne Jacobsen Smith, Hooker Furnishings President of Domestic Upholstery.

As an award-winning designer, Patti Carpenter, Carpenter + Co. Principal, has blazed a trail for women in the industry in 58 countries. Her experience in product sourcing, design, development, merchandising and trend forecasting earned her the Gift of Life Industry Achievement Award in 2021, WithIt’s Industry Leadership Award in 2021 and the International Furniture and Design Association’s Trailblazer Award in 2023. Additionally, Patti is a Micro Enterprise specialist with U.S. presidential recognition. 

Tammy Nagem, High Point Market Authority CEO, began her career with the HPMA at its inception in 2001. Before advancing to HPMA president and CEO, Nagam was the COO. During this time, she was credited with making improvements to transportation, security, entertainment, registration, and guest services for the biannual event. Additionally, Nagem was named Business Woman of the Year by the High Point Chamber of Commerce in 2012, an Outstanding Women in Business by the Triad Business Journal in 2020, and the Future Leader Award from WithIt in 2011.  

Anne Jacobsen Smith, Hooker Furnishings President of Domestic Upholstery, is responsible for Sam Moore, Bradington Young and Shenandoah Furniture. Since Smith joined Hooker Furnishings in 2008, she has held multiple HR and administrative management positions. 

As the panel moderator, Ellis said this topic is one she holds close to her heart and takes personally because of the trails the women in her family blazed for her and women as a collective. 

“I want the women who attend, no matter their age, position or career stage to know that women before them struggled but didn’t slow down or stop. Nothing was handed to them, but they found a way to do it,” she said. “I want women who will be in the room to know that gender is not a deal breaker. If you can become secure in your own person, then the outside noise doesn’t matter.”

In addition to the panel discussion, attendees will enjoy breakfast and networking, as well as a chance to experience the newly opened Home Furnishings Hall of Fame.

Tickets are available now at Membership is not required to attend. Guests are welcome.


April 2023 WithIt x HPMKT Events
WOW Awards Special Mentoring Edition
April 21 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
The Commons at Congdon Yards

“Women Blazing Trails” Education Breakfast presented by Myriad Software
April 23 @ 7:30 am – 9:00 am
Home Furnishings Hall of Fame 

High Point Market Networking 
April 24 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Home Furnishings Hall of Fame 

Learn more at

About WithIt: Established in 1997, WithIt exists to encourage and develop leadership, mentoring, education and networking opportunities for professional women in the home and furnishings industries. Our membership encompasses innovators, industry influencers, thought leaders and connectors in a wide range of categories all across the nation. WithIt is a non-profit supported by national sponsors who recognize the role women play in the home and furnishings industries and who are active partners in growing the organization, including International Market Centers, Furnitureland South, J.B. Hunt Final Mile, Myriad Software, Synchrony Bank and more. 


Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates and news.

Share This