Otowchits tapped to lead Carls Patio
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, July 16, 2012
BOCA RATON, Fla. - Gary Ecoff, president and founder of Carls Patio here, is leaving his leadership post in a planned management transition, the retailer said.
Paul Otowchits, who has been with the company since its start, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer and will assume Ecoff's duties.
Carls Patio, once part of Coconut Creek, Fla.-based Carls Furniture, was acquired in 2008 by private investment firm Weinberg & Bell Group. Ecoff, a Carls Patio shareholder who assisted in arranging the acquisition, said he had agreed to stay on as president for a minimum of three years. "It has now been four years and I think that the time is right to implement the management succession plan," he said in a release.
The release said Ecoff "will be pursuing other interests," but didn't disclose details. He continues as a shareholder and will remain on Carls Patio's board.
Otowchits, who has held a variety of managerial positions at the company, had been named chief operating officer in April, officials said.
He said he and Ecoff spent nearly 20 years working together. "I know that I can rely on him for advice going forward and I wish him all the best in the future," Otowchits said.
Ecoff founded Carls Patio in 1993 as a division of Carls Furniture, starting with one store in North Palm Beach, Fla., and expanding to 18 stores in Florida and in California, where the company operates under the Berks Patio name.
Weinberg principal Ronald Weinberg said Ecoff "contributed a great deal to this organization, and Paul and his entire team are ready to continue Carls Patio's growth into the future. The business has brand equity in the best markets in the country and we plan to build relationships with our current vendors and merchandise into product line extensions."