Harounian Rugs International CEO David Harounian has received the President’s Award, which is conferred at the sole discretion of the AmericasMart Atlanta president and chief operating officer as the highest honor bestowed upon an individual in recognition of supreme professional and personal accomplishment.

Harounian was elected to receive the 2012 President’s Award in honor of his selfless service and leadership within the U.S. area rug industry, most notably evidenced by his tenure as the longest-serving president of the Oriental Rug Importers Association (ORIA), the national trade association formed in 1958 to foster ethical business practices and promote the best interests of the Oriental Rug Trade in the United States and in countries that produce Oriental rugs.

During his ORIA presidency and afterward, Harounian established for the benefit of the children of rug weavers some of the first schools and classes in the “rug belt” of India and in the rug-producing regions of Pakistan.  The schools, which were developed in collaboration with Harounian’s brother Lee, and later supported by ORIA and AmericasMart parent AMC, Inc., created vital educational resources and advantages which otherwise would have been non-existent, according to AmericasMart.

The President’s Award was personally presented to Harounian Jan. 16 on the stage of the 2012 America’s Magnificent Carpets Awards event by AmericasMart president and chief operating officer Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., who created and designed the Award, which is fabricated in crystal by Frabel Studio in Atlanta.

“David’s mark on the area rug industry is indelible and without peer,” noted Portman. “His vision and leadership within ORIA, and across the rug community at large, set the standard for integrity, stability and business advancement, all of which continue today.”

The AmericasMart President’s Award is highly selective; the 2012 President’s Award marks only the third presentation from its inception in 2003. Previous recipients are Lucille J. Laufer, ORIA executive director, and Karl Goldberg, immediate past president of the AmericasMart Atlanta Home Furnishings and Gift Advisory Board.