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Billiet in new Art Van franchise post

WARREN, Mich. - Art Van Furniture here is beefing up its franchising business with the move of Mike Billiet, a regional sales director, to director of franchisee operations.
     In the newly created position, he will work with David Braun, director of franchise sales and operations. Billiet will be responsible for assisting new Art Van and Pure- Sleep franchisees in getting "their stores up and running as members of the Art Van family of stores," the retailer said in an announcement.
     "Mike's role will be to ensure that every step of the new store opening process is easy and delightful" for franchisees and their customers, the company said.
     Barry Davidson, Art Van's vice president and general manager-Chicago, temporarily will assume Billiet's previous responsibilities until a replacement is named.
     Billiet has been with Art Van for more than 30 years, starting in sales in 1980 and moving to various other posts, most recently sales director for the chain's western and northern stores.
     He also has been responsible for store openings, most recently the conversion of the former Brewbaker stores in Petoskey and Onaway, Mich., to Art Van.
     "Mike's assignment to this position underscores the importance of the franchise expansion effort to the future of Art Van Furniture," said Art Van CEO Kim Yost.

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