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International Market Centers announces promotions in leasing divisions

INTERNATIONAL MARKET Centers has promoted four key members of its High Point and Las Vegas-based leasing teams.

Julie Messner, Craig Staack, Lee Hershberg and Margaret Powers were promoted to vice presidents, responsible for advancing new business opportunities for IMC's portfolio of properties while offering more value to its showroom partners, according to an IMC press release.

Julie MessnerJulie MessnerCraig StaackCraig Staack
Lee HershbergLee HershbergMargaret PowersMargaret Powers

Messner, a High Point native who formerly held the position of vice president of publication sales for the International Home Furnishings Center since 2008, will now work as vice president of business development. In her new position, Messner will handle home furnishings leasing for IMC's High Point properties.

Prior to joining the IHFC, Messner spent three years as the director of leasing for MMPI High Point responsible for leasing temporary showrooms in the Suites at Market Square and the Plaza Suites buildings. Messner also has more than 10 years of furnishings retail sales experience.

Staack has been named vice president of business development, responsible for handling home furnishings leasing for Las Vegas.

Before joining World Market Center's leasing team in 2009, Staack owned and operated three furniture stores in LasVegas. He also served on the Executive Committee of a Fortune 500 company and held the SVP/GMM post of three top retailers, including Montgomery Ward, Heilig-Meyers and Homelife.

Messner and Staack report to Tom Mitchell, IMC president of home furnishings.

IMC also promoted Hershberg to the position of vice president of home décor. Based in High Point, Hershberg held the position of IHFC's vice president of accessory leasing since 2008, where he was responsible for the 100% occupancy rate for 560,000 square feet of space. Prior to joining the IHFC, Hershberg spent more than seven years at Nielsen Business Media (formerly VNU Expositions) in Atlanta.

Powers has been named vice president of tradeshow/Las Vegas and will oversee the sales and management of the Temporaries Division at Las Vegas Market.

Powers is a 20-year veteran of the gift industry, having held top merchantdising and corporate retail positions with Hallmark Cards, Enesco and Hershey. Priorto joining WMC as director of business development in 2008, she worked as a director of leasing for Merchandise Mart Properties.

Hershberg and Powers report to IMC's President of Gift+Home, currently held in an interim capacity by Georgia Davis.

"We are confident in the track records of these key team members," Mitchell said. "They represent some of the very best talent in the country and are incredibly in tune with the business, our industry and our customers. We believe in their abilities to lead IMC's leasing teams to success in both cities and nationally."

IMC's portfolio consists of 11.5 million square feet in 18 showroom venues in High Point and Las Vegas. Through a series of transactions announced in May, all assets in the portfolio have been recapitalized with significant equity investments, according to IMC.

In other news, IMC confirmed it has dismissed eight people as part of its reorganization.

At least three - Brian Bunch, Lisa Shankle and Diane Caldwell - were based in High Point, although the names and positions of the others were not immediately available.
Bunch had been a vice president of Merchandise Mart Properties, which once owned Market Square and several other buildings, and Shankle had been general manager of Showplace.

Caldwell handled leasing for the International Home Furnishings Center.

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