Great Gatherings Honored for Its Retail Creativity

Visual merchandising that inspires customers to imagine their outdoor living spaces in a fresh (and fully accessorized) way is among the creative talents Great Gatherings brings to its Virginia and Maryland markets.


District Manager Eric Stalzer receives award from Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee,
ABSCO Fireplace & Patio; Brian Lawrence, Emigh's Casual Living; and Mariah Maydew, Fruehauf's.

That creativity helped earn the company the 2019 Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award, presented to District Manager Eric Stalzer at ICFA’s February Education Conference in San Antonio.  Great Gatherings’ stores showcase outdoor rugs, pillows, tabletop décor and umbrellas along with a broad selection of top outdoor furniture brands.

Additional aspects of the retailers’ successful formula include collaborating with a local CinemaPlex for movie premiers and longtime relationships with local charities in the five communities where stores are located.

ICFA’s Retail Council established the Mary Fruehauf Retail Genius Award in 2017 to pay homage to the late industry leader’s unique approach to igniting excitement and fun. All ICFA retail members are eligible to compete for the award, which is judged by industry veterans and close personal friends of Fruehauf’s, including Cathy Galbreath-Buzbee, ABSCO Fireplace & Patio, Birmingham, Ala.; Brian Lawrence, Emigh’s Casual Living, Sacramento, Calif.; and Mariah Maydew, who succeeded Fruehauf as president of Westminster, Colorado-based Fruehauf’s when its founder passed away in 2015.