NEWH - Winter 2019 - 56

COVER STORY

Heart of Hospitality
Shelby Williams' 60-plus-year history is marked by its commitment to responsible furniture-making
By Alia Akkam
Photography courtesy of Shelby Williams

I

n the 1960 comedy Bellboy, directed by and starring
slapstick king Jerry Lewis, Lewis plays Stanley, a mute,
mishap-inducing bellboy at Miami Beach's historic
Fontainebleau hotel. Tasked with setting up the seemingly
endless rows of seating for a film screening in one scene, he
fills the vast ballroom, in record speed, with sturdy, stackable
banquet chairs. A retro example of product placement, the
tubular chairs, now a banquet-facility mainstay, came courtesy
of Shelby Williams and illuminated the contract furniture brand's
penchant for innovation.
Founded in Chicago in 1954 by German immigrant Manfred
Steinfeld, Shelby Williams has revolved around seating for the
hospitality industry since the get-go, quickly expanding in the
1960s with manufacturing facilities in Tennessee.
"If you sat on it, we could make it," says vice president of sales,
Jordan McInturf, a nearly 30-year hospitality veteran who began
his career at Milliken and joined Shelby Williams in 2012. "But

56 www.newh.org

the industry has changed so much that you can't be focused on
everything now."
Instead, Shelby Williams prioritizes dining chairs, and the
signature, if now modernized, stacking banquet seating that first
caught on during the Howard Johnson era and has yet to wane
in popularity. Tabletops, finished in acrylic for a bright touch or
melding a solid walnut wood edge with a walnut reserve diamond
box veneer inlay, are also part of the company's offerings, as is an
array of 100-percent recyclable table bases.
Sustainability is integral to the Shelby Williams production
process, which embraces many materials that are sourced
close to its Newport, Tennessee plant and turns out wood chair
components that are largely made-to-order in the States. At the
company's foundry in Juarez, Mexico, old cast-iron engine parts
from cars are melted down and transformed into table bases-1
ton equals 100 bases-comprising 99 percent consumer waste.
"It's a way to cut down on mined ore from Asia," McInturf points
out. Additionally, an onsite electric induction furnace emits only
minimal air pollutants.
Custom booths and banquettes are also
of great importance to Shelby Williams.
Consider the centerpiece zig-zag booth
at Hotel Indigo Traverse City in Michigan,
or the patterned HV booths, paired with
tables crafted from wood-edge tabletops
and B53 steel bases in the buffet at the
Sands Regency Casino Hotel in Reno,
Nevada. These bespoke pieces are buoyed
by new-to-market Shelby Williams products,
like the lobby-perfect, curved Lombard
couch, marrying two 6-foot-long convex
and concave sections, as well as the
L-shaped Fifth Avenue booth, whose design
incorporates a custom raised planter box.
"Seating is a low-tech, high-touch product.
What we've done and continually do is find
new finishes and then expand upon that,"
explains McInturf, noting Tufgrain, the
woodgrain-metal finish developed in Italy
and introduced by Shelby Williams in 2018,
as an example.


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NEWH - Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - Winter 2019

NEWH - Winter 2019
Table of Contents
GUEST PERSPECTIVE
WHO’S WHO
NEWS
CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
HAVE YOU SEEN?
SCHOLARSHIPS
INTERVIEW
SUSTAINABILITY
BrandED
Q&A: Dallas Bentley
Q&A: Valentina Castellon
Q&A: Monica Meade
ON THE COVER
PROJECT: Canvas Hotel
PROJECT: Greenwood
PROJECT: Civana Spa
CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
SAVE THE DATE
NEW MEMBERS
PARTNER PROFILES
AD INDEX
NEWH - Winter 2019 - NEWH - Winter 2019
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Cover2
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Table of Contents
NEWH - Winter 2019 - GUEST PERSPECTIVE
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 5
NEWH - Winter 2019 - WHO’S WHO
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 7
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 8
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 9
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 10
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 11
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 12
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 13
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 14
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 15
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 16
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 17
NEWH - Winter 2019 - NEWS
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 19
NEWH - Winter 2019 - CONFERENCE ROUNDUP
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 21
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 22
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 23
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 24
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 25
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 26
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 27
NEWH - Winter 2019 - HAVE YOU SEEN?
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 29
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 30
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 31
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 32
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 33
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 34
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 35
NEWH - Winter 2019 - SCHOLARSHIPS
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 37
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 38
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 39
NEWH - Winter 2019 - INTERVIEW
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 41
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 42
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 43
NEWH - Winter 2019 - SUSTAINABILITY
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 45
NEWH - Winter 2019 - BrandED
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 47
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 48
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 49
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Q&A: Dallas Bentley
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 51
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Q&A: Valentina Castellon
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Q&A: Monica Meade
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 54
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 55
NEWH - Winter 2019 - ON THE COVER
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 57
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 58
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 59
NEWH - Winter 2019 - PROJECT: Canvas Hotel
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 61
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 62
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 63
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 64
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 65
NEWH - Winter 2019 - PROJECT: Greenwood
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 67
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 68
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 69
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 70
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 71
NEWH - Winter 2019 - PROJECT: Civana Spa
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 73
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 74
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 75
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 76
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 77
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 78
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 79
NEWH - Winter 2019 - CHAPTER HIGHLIGHTS
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 81
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 82
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 83
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 84
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 85
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 86
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 87
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 88
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 89
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 90
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 91
NEWH - Winter 2019 - SAVE THE DATE
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 93
NEWH - Winter 2019 - NEW MEMBERS
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 95
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 96
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 97
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 98
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 99
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 100
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 101
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 102
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 103
NEWH - Winter 2019 - PARTNER PROFILES
NEWH - Winter 2019 - 105
NEWH - Winter 2019 - AD INDEX
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Cover3
NEWH - Winter 2019 - Cover4
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