Riley’s method for announcing the Market trip was characteristically creative. “He called in the management team to gauge our reaction, and we were speechless. It was a surreal moment,” said Kyle Baker, Marketing Director. “We told the full team during a special meeting. As we played the song, ‘Leaving on a Jet Plane,’ we pulled open the curtains to reveal a poster of a plane that I had photoshopped our logo onto. Some folks thought Riley was announcing his retirement, but once they found out they were all going to High Point, it felt like Christmas morning! Four had never flown before or been outside of Ohio.”
Riley contacted his vendors to develop an agenda for the day and made it a fundraising event for two nonprofits, Innkeeper Ministries, which provides support to Christian leaders, and the local Salvation Army. The vendors contributed $15,000 and were enthusiastic about hosting the team in their showrooms. “We had three groups; veterans, rookies, and pioneers,” said Riley. “The Market Authority was a tremendous help with logistics. They sent a bus out to the airport to pick up and drop us off.” The team left Cincinnati at 7:30am, started with breakfast at Palliser and met at the end of the day for a Champagne toast and party at Furniture 1st, leaving Greensboro at 7pm.