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Koenig Family Values Continue to Guide City Furniture

The next generation pushes the brand forward.

Entrepreneurship and family ties are intertwined with the Koenig family. This has been the case for over 50 years when, in 1971, Kevin Koenig established a small waterbed store in Fort Lauderdale called Waterbed City. In 1972, his younger brother, Keith, joined him, and in 1975, they became business partners after opening their third Waterbed City store. When the waterbed industry faced challenges, the brothers collaborated and transformed their chain of stores into furniture stores.

Waterbed City officially became City Furniture in 1994. Kevin passed away in 2001, and Keith Koenig has continued to grow and nurture the business, which today counts 20 City Furniture showrooms and 14 Ashley Furniture showrooms and had annual sales of more than $760 million in 2022.

In 2022, Keith’s son, Andrew, took over as CEO of the company while Keith is chairman.

Andrew says that the corporate values, which took root with the Koenig brothers’ partnership, speak to the core of the company. “We have seven corporate values,” he says. “The first one is entrepreneurial spirit—my dad and my uncle really started our business as entrepreneurs. And our second is family spirit. One of the reasons we’re around 52 years later is creating a family atmosphere.”

The 41-year-old CEO says that there is a purpose in having every member of the family—the next generation—involved in the business. That includes brother-in-law Ryan Cronin as senior vice president of real estate and finance, for the company, along with sister Daren Koenig Cronin and Koenig’s wife, Deanna, as part owners. “We’re hopefully creating a good family atmosphere that all of our kids want to participate in and be part of one day.”

Andrew says the generational dedication to the family business is top of mind for him as he takes the business into what he says is the next 52 years.

“We have very specific vision statements about becoming the No. 1 home furnishing retailer in the country. Before I retire, that’s my goal. We’re No. 1 in all of our markets throughout Florida and our goal is to take that across the country. It’s not just me, but our younger leadership team that wants to make that happen—to make the older generation proud and take what they built and turn it into the best home furnishings business in the country.”

According to Andrew, the Koenigs also count the people who work within the company as a family. “Our perspective is that when you have one another’s best interests at heart, you can call yourself a family and we really work hard at that.”

He says his mother, Doreen, who passed away in 2015 at the age of 62, “was big about making my dad celebrate our team and have fun and just create this really close-knit vibe,” which is part of the City Furniture brand.

Andrew says it’s important that the people who work for the company know that they are part of the family. He cites the example that he and Deanna make sure to host monthly events at their home, inviting associates from every department—25 at least each time—to come and be celebrated.

“We work together, we spend a lot of time together, we go through tough times together, like we did during COVID, and we celebrate together. We all like each other and it feels familial,” he says, adding that all this creates a snowball effect that trickles down to the customer.

“If you take care of your people and you treat them right, then they understand what the company is all about, what’s important… In turn, they will treat each other right and then the customers… It’s all about values. Our company values are very aligned with who we are. It’s very much about trust and respect.”

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.