Don Coleman to retire as president, CEO of Hickory Springs at end of year
Larry Thomas -- Furniture Today, September 21, 2011
HICKORY, N.C. — Don Coleman, president and CEO of Hickory Springs Mfg., has announced he will retire from the furniture and bedding components supplier on Dec. 31.
Coleman, who has been with the company since 1972, succeeded Neil Underdown as president and CEO in 1996.
"Hickory Springs is grateful to Don for his years of outstanding leadership, loyalty, and vision," said Tom Pierce, chairman of the company's board of directors. "His commitment to developing innovative products, sound fiscal policy, creative partnerships and understanding the needs of our customers has had an immeasurable impact upon the ongoing excellence, growth and diversification of Hickory Springs over the years."
Pierce said the company has retained a professional placement firm to search for Coleman's successor.
"It has been a wonderful 39-plus years working with and for a company of the quality standards and ethics we enjoy. We as employees can be proud to be a part of the organization we have today," Coleman said.
Coleman was hired by Hickory Springs as its first national product manager and later oversaw the company's sofa-sleeper mechanism business. He later was general manager of its Highland Fabricators facility, and was promoted to vice president of the company's eastern furniture division in 1992.
"We are a company on the move, appreciating our past and embracing opportunities for our future," he said. "Our core business has and will be focused on the wonderful home furnishings industry which is a special part of our family."
However, he noted that the company has diversified in the past decade and that now more than one-third of its products are now aimed at the health care, transportation and institutional/government sectors.
Coleman has been a board member of a number of furniture industry groups and currently serves on the boards of the Furniture Foundation and the American Furniture Hall of Fame.
In the Hickory area, he also is on the board of the Catawba County Community Foundation and the Wells Fargo Western North Carolina advisory board.
Last year, the business council of Lenoir-Rhyne University named Coleman its business leader of the year and former North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state's highest civilian honor.
Furniture Today's Ray Allegrezza Speaks with Stephen Bogart about Fine Furniture's New Bogart Line