Oehmig named COO of Glen Raven; will succeed Gant as CEO
Cindy W. Hodnett -- Furniture Today, November 25, 2013
GLEN RAVEN, N.C. — Leib Oehmig, president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, which makes the Sunbrella line, has been named the chief operating officer of parent company Glen Raven, Inc.
Company officials said Oehmig's appointment is part of Glen Raven's long-range plan for strengthening the parent company's global operations. Oehmig will work with Allen E. Gant Jr., president and CEO of Glen Raven, and with the company's executive committee to set business strategies, including plans for succession of executive leadership at Glen Raven.
The leadership succession plan calls for Oehmig and Gant to work together in executive leadership for the next four years. At the end of that period, Oehmig will assume the role of president and CEO and Gant will continue as chairman of the board at Glen Raven Inc.
Gant joined Glen Raven in 1971 and is the third generation of his family to lead the company, founded in Alamance County, N.C. in 1880. He was named president and CEO in 1999.
"My career at Glen Raven has been challenging and completely fulfilling as we've worked with associates all around the globe to transform Glen Raven into a global innovator serving customers in more than 132 different countries," Gant said. "I am looking forward to working with Leib and our executive committee and directors to assure that we sustain this momentum and assure a smooth transition in leadership."
Oehmig joined Glen Raven in 1989 and was part of the team that designed and built the company's one-million-square-foot Sunbrella manufacturing plant in Anderson, S.C. He then served as site manager for the Anderson plant and was named president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics in 2009, with responsibilities for operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
"The breadth and complexity of our business has increased steadily during recent years, which will benefit greatly from Leib taking on the responsibilities as COO," Gant said. "Our goal will be to assure that Glen Raven's associates have all of the resources they need to continue creating and delivering innovative products and services for our customers."
"It is a distinct honor to be selected as chief operating officer and to work with Allen and the executive committee and directors in providing strategic direction and leadership succession for our company," said Oehmig, who will be the president and CEO who is not a member of the founding family. "From my career at Glen Raven, I have developed a deep appreciation for how our family-owned company has been built and sustained through the commitment of shareholders and the dedication and hard work of associates."
Glen Raven has also announced that Dave Swers, currently vice president and assistant general manager for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, will replace Oehmig as president of the unit.
Swers has been with Glen Raven for more than 24 years and was instrumental in establishing the leadership position of Sunbrella fabrics within the casual furniture industry, according to company officials.
Additionally, Suzie Roberts, vice president-business manager for decorative fabrics with Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, has been named vice president of sales for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics - Americas, encompassing awning, marine and furniture markets. Roberts joined Glen Raven with its acquisition of Dickson in 1998.
Alexis Maklakoff, currently business manager for casual fabrics, has been named business manager for decorative fabrics. He has been with Glen Raven since 1997, previously focused on providing marketing and merchandising support for Glen Raven's casual market customers.
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