“Allan’s dedication to design, function and craftsmanship have led his brand to become one of the most recognized and well-respected in the industry,” said Bill Winsor, president and CEO, Dallas Market Center said of Allan H. Palecek, founder/CEO and lead designer of PALECEK. “His contribution to the home décor industry is immeasurable and we are pleased to recognize his nearly 35 years of excellence with this honor.”
Palecek will receive the Academy of Achievement Award at the 23rd annual ARTS Awards January 21, 2012.
Born in 1944 to Eddie and Laverne Palecek in Munden, Kansas, Palecek was raised with one younger sister Patricia on the family’s wheat and cattle farm, gaining a deep respect for hard work. His education began in a one-room country school house and he went on to graduate from Emporia State University with a degree in Business. Palacek Joined the Air Force after college and spent 6 years as a pilot. After flying missions in Vietnam Allan was stationed near San Francisco. The Bay Area has been home since then. While waiting for an airline pilot job, the idea for PALECEK started. He met his future wife Nancy in 1973. The following year, PALECEK was first introduced to the industry at the San Francisco Gift Show on the bottom shelf of another vendor’s display. Despite the placement of the producthe had an incredibly successful show and set up shipping from his garage. He received his first shipment from Asia in 1974, one box of baskets that fit into the back of a borrowed pickup truck. After landing his first major customer, Bloomingdales in 1975, PALECEK moved to a 3,000-square-foot basement without windows, plumbing or an elevator.
After two years of traveling the globe looking for beautiful items, it became evident to Palecek that there was a need for the design of new accessories focusing on function, beauty and style. Designing products soon became a passion for him. By 1979, he had designed extensive furniture, lamp and gift lines. Today, in-house custom lamp production, furniture finishing, custom upholstery and a hospitality division make PALECEK unique in the industry. Palecek has designed collections of home furnishings that blend old world inspired designs, modern flair and a traditional aesthetic with a commitment to natural and sustainable fibers and handcrafted elegance.
Residing in the heart of San Francisco for seven years, PALECEK headquarters then moved to Richmond, CA where the brand became one of the largest employers in the area, at one point occupying five separate warehouses. Today, PALECEK occupies a 220,000-square-foot facility, housing all departments as well as corporate offices. There are now seven PALECEK showrooms and numerous designer trade showrooms across the country.
Some of Palecek’s numerous charitable contributions include: Habitat for Humanity, Hospice, Red Cross disaster relief, Build the Cure Dream House, Children in Crisis, Child Haven, Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief, New York Lower East Side Settlement, Neighborhood House, El Cerrito/Richmond Police and Firefighters, the Bay Area Rescue Mission, Richmond Chamber of Commerce, as well as local schools and womens’ shelters.
Palacek's son Andrew currently serves as the company’s vice president and daughter Karey works for Ralph Lauren Home. His wife Nancy acts as the general merchandise manager and director of marketing and merchandising for PALECEK.
Reservations to attend the ARTS Awards will be available online in November 2011.