2016 celeb: Claus Ihlemann
Claus Ihlemann is a native of Denmark, but has called Virginia home since 1975. He currently lives with his husband Robert Roman in Virginia Beach. After graduating from Business College and completing a trainee program in Furniture Retail he moved to England where he managed a Danish Modern Furniture Store dedicated to sell Danish Furniture to Members of the US Forces. Claus was offered a job in 1972 at a Scandinavian Store in Phoenix. He thoroughly enjoyed his time in Phoenix, but while working there he was offered an opportunity to work as a manufacturer’s representative and travel throughout the United States. This job brought him to Norfolk, VA where he started the Retail Store we know today as Decorum Furniture. Through a partnership with Vernon Middleton Claus also engaged in redevelopment of intercity properties in the 21 st Street Corridor in Norfolk. After Mr. Middleton’s death in 1988 Claus continued these efforts, and was joined by Robert Roman in 2003. Claus is married to Robert Roman, and the couple is engaged in the daily operation of Decorum Furniture and the management and redevelopment of The Palace Shops & Station. The couple also stay involved in a variety of community organizations like Hope House Foundation and The Stockley Gardens Arts Festival, Access AIDS, TR Dance, The Governor’s School for the Arts, The Ghent Business Association, Tidewater Artist Outreach, Equality Virginia, Hampton Roads Pride, just to mention a few. The Couple’s Motto is “Pay it forward”. Claus has a son, Joshua, and 2 Grandchildren, Melayna and Sophia. Josh lives with his wife, Michelle, and their children in Gilbert, AZ.