Member Road Trippin’ in the Carolinas  Blue Ridge Mountains, BBQ, breweries, and friendly faces during member visits

EDmarket’s Kelly Fisher and Heather Tuley went on a member road trip to the Carolinas and experienced genuine southern hospitality — hearing many “bless your hearts” (but in a good way … we think)! Kidding aside, our members are the real deal, and we loved catching up with them and touring their showrooms. 

Keone Trask, President and Founder, telling the Clear Touch story to Kelly Fisher.

 The first stop on their journey was Clear Touch’s innovative offices and logistics facility in Greenville, South Carolina. Clear Touch has experienced explosive growth in just a few years, and their high-energy, tech-savvy team left a lasting impression on our team. Their products include touch screens and interactive boards for K -12 learning environments that offer an interactive experience that takes learning and teaching to the next level.

Touring the Clear Logistics Warehouse in Greenville (from left to right): Keone Trask, Blake Chastain, Leo Gallant, and Heather Tuley.

Plus, they are now rolling out curriculum options that pair perfectly with their products. The ongoing user training and customer support are remarkable and something it prides itself on. Amazing products aside, our team was most impressed with the vibe and culture that Clear Touch exudes, it is so engaging — they make technology fun and accessible. We can’t wait to see their “Experience Center” in 2024!   

CEF’s Nichol Lancaster and Heather testing the strength of the ESTO desk!

Next, our team traveled northeast through the rolling hills and mountains to Taylorsville, North Carolina, to visit CEF. We loved hearing about their introduction to the industry — in 2017, their ED Table won the innovation award at EDspaces propelling their impactful introduction to the educational market. 

The award winning ED Table on display at the CEF showroom in Charlotte.

The all-inclusive ED Table was a game-changer and features magnetically mounted stools that scan store under the tabletop as well as integrated trash cans, electrical, and storage bins. Next came their award-winning Chameleon Classroom System that can outfit the entire classroom. Their newest launch is the ESTO, a desk and table line that allows for collaborative or individual learning. The desk was so sturdy that Heather and CEF’s Nichol Lancaster could both stand on it at the same time. We embraced the small-town atmosphere and saw first-hand how their products are created locally and with pride.    

The VS rockstar team (from left to right) : Claudius Reckord, Craig Harvey, Karina, Kentsis, Emily Jackson, and Amanda Sullivan show Kelly and Heather what makes a successful 125-year-old business.

The final day consisted of visiting the VS America showroom in Charlotte. VS started 125 years ago in Germany and came to Charlotte in 2003 with only two employees. Today, they have nearly 75 team members and multiple showrooms and warehouses nationwide. During the showroom tour, our team appreciated their sleek and modern European design that shines through in their products. VS has been working with innovative designers such as Verner Panton, Jean Nouvel, and David A. Stubbs II for many years to create pieces that have the needs of students and teachers in mind. 

VS’s Craig Harvey and Karina Kentsis are looking into acting as a side job because they had so much fun being on camera with EDmarket!

Claudius Reckord, the CEO of VS America, told us, “We wanted to bring the benefits of ergo dynamic furniture to students in the United States – we knew that using flexible furniture helps students be more active, more engaged, and also deepens their sense of well-being.” This is evident in the design of their chair collections and the collaborative aspects of their tables and desks. Original design matters, and VS understands this well. 

 The “Carolinas Road Trip” may have ended for now, but the relationships built along the way are so memorable! 

Heather Tuley, M.Ed., EDmarket

Heather is currently the Program & Content Manager for EDmarket. She has been working for schools and education associations for over twenty years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a master’s degree in education leadership, as well as a school principal certification.

Kelly Fisher, EDmarket

Kelly brings a wealth of experience as the Marketing Director for EDmarket. With a strong background working with national clients from a variety of industries, Kelly has spent over 18 years specializing in the education sector. Her unique blend of marketing and design expertise provides a fresh perspective to the EDmarket association.