Steele named VP of sales, purchasing at Chairtech
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, June 17, 2013
TORONTO - Contemporary and modern furniture source Chairtech has named veteran furniture retailer Kelly Steele vice president of sales and purchasing.
Steele will oversee Chairtech's sales in North America and its container-direct business in South America. Five sales representatives in Canada and three in the U.S. will report to Steele. She also will be involved in product development and sourcing.
Steele is the former owner of gift and home décor boutique Hausenbarn International in Mississauga, Ontario, which she operated for 16 years before closing the business in 2009. She most recently was Canadian store manager and director of Canadian operations for FLOR, leading the carpet tile company's launch in Canada.
"Kelly has a natural flair for design and style and figuring out what will sell," Michael Rewucki, president of Chairtech, said in a release. "She will be a great asset to our sales reps and retailers in determining which products are the best fit for specific locales."
Chairtech said it is expanding its U.S. sales team to serve its growing base of eastern retailers and recently added a second U.S. warehouse in Thorofare, N.J., to handle the region.
Steele replaces Barbara Loewen, who cofounded Chairtech in 1987 with Giancarlo Gabbrielli. Rewucki purchased the company and took over leadership in 2009, with Loewen staying on as vice president of sales.
"Barbara is now going to travel, relax and take personal time after a long tenure with the company," said Rewucki. "We deeply appreciate all the many contributions Barbara has made to Chairtech over the years, and wish her all the happiness in her semiretirement."
Chairtech, a 26-year-old company, produces dining and occasional tables, desks and chairs in metal, leather, glass and wood under the Italstudio brand in a company-owned China factory. Designs and product prototypes are created in Italy.
Along with its own designs, Chairtech also distributes select lines of other products - including bedroom, recliners, entertainment furniture and sofa-sleepers - from manufacturers worldwide.