Laurie Burns to Leave Forty One Madison

Decision to leave is “bittersweet”
August 9, 2017Allison Zisko

LaurieBurns2015NEW YORK—After nine years and 18 tabletop shows, Laurie Burns, the director and face of Forty One Madison, is stepping down.

Burns will remain through the next New York Tabletop Market, Oct.17- 20, her final day, said Eric Rudin, president of Rudin Management, which owns and operates Forty One Madison. The search firm Korn Ferry has been hired to find her successor.

Joining the Merchandise Mart just as the economy was headed into a recession deeply impacting the tabletop industry, Burns managed to map out an effective strategy that ultimately helped to attract a broader roster of tenants, adding a significant number of overseas brands wanting to break into the North American market. According to Rudin, under her watch the property's showroom occupancy has consistently remained at peak levels.

"Laurie has been a loyal, trusted, hardworking and valued member of our team," said Rudin. "She had big shoes to fill following our first director, Carole Dixon, who held the position for 30 years before retiring. Laurie's legacy also leaves a giant footprint, and we are tremendously grateful for the leadership she has brought to the role."

The time was right to make a change, Burns told HFN, and she leaves her post confident that the building, which is full, is in a strong position.

In choosing to step down, Burns explained that, "This has genuinely been a dream job and I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this opportunity to be an intrinsic part of the tabletop industry and supported so generously by Rudin Management. I'm proud of the achievements made here at Forty One Madison, but it's time for me to take on new career challenges. My decision to leave is bittersweet."

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.


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