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Building brand a key goal for Restonic CEO Passaglia

Ron Passaglia, a 35-year bedding veteran, aims to bring energy and steady leadership to his new duties as president and CEO of Restonic.

Building the brand, now in its 70th year, is a top goal, Passaglia said in an interview in the company's Las Vegas Market showroom shortly before addressing the Restonic licensees and sales force.

“There are no silver bullets,” said Passaglia. “The closest thing to that is brand integrity. The degree to which we implement our brand integrity strategy will dictate the success for the whole group.”

It is important that everyone join the effort to boost the brand, he said. “The challenge, as it relates to licensing groups,” he said, “is that individual needs need to be met, but not at the expense of the brand.”

Asked if this is a good time for retailers to join with Restonic, with the industry in a sales slump, he responded: “I can't imagine a better time to be aligned with the Restonic group. Where else can you trust the heritage of relationships? Restonic's care and handling of retail relationships and their service-oriented products are exemplary. The Restonic brand revitalization, overlaid with those relationships, creates a truly unique opportunity in the industry.”

Passaglia, 59, has extensive industry experience. After a two-year stint at Levitz Furniture in the 1970s, he joined Simmons, where he worked his way up the management ladder in 25 years there, eventually becoming executive vice president. He joined Verlo Mattress Factory Stores in 2000 as president and most recently was CEO of Selther USA, the U.S. marketing arm of Groupo Selther, a Mexican bedding producer.

He is known in the industry as a personable leader, one who builds strong relationships.

In turning to Passaglia, Restonic Chairman Dan Kantor noted that the producer has had “a lot of leadership change in recent years.” Since 2006, Restonic had been operating with an interim president and CEO, Steve Russo, who will remain on the board to ensure a smooth leadership transition and to provide support to Passaglia, Restonic said.

“Ron was the consensus choice of Restonic owners, the board of directors and key sales executives,” Russo said. “That is significant.”

Russo praised Passaglia. “Getting someone of Ron's experience and reputation is an affirmation of our vision,” he said.

Passaglia will work out of his home office in Atlanta and also will have an office at the Restonic plant in Buffalo, N.Y.

In Las Vegas, Restonic expanded its “Blue Bed” category with a new latex model, which combines the ecological benefits of latex foam and Restonic's Eco Foam, which replaces some petroleum products with natural plant oils.

Restonic also added to its magnetic bedding line with the introduction of the Sleep Vitality, which uses a foam-encased 704 encased coil support system.

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