Kindel changes CEOs, Decorating Den appoints a new director and more

Adobestock 417792126 dd rc
Homepage image: ©Josefmicic/Adobe Stock

Comings & Goings | Jul 31, 2023

By Lizzy Reisinger

It has been an action-packed summer for the design industry, with businesses of all kinds rearranging their teams. Read on for Business of Home’s monthly roundup of arrivals and departures in design, manufacturing, media and more.

Retail & Manufacturing

North Carolina–based furnishings manufacturer Vanguard Furniture announced that president Andy Bray would be stepping into the CEO role, succeeding his father and company co-founder John Bray, who will remain as chairman of the board. Bray has been president of Vanguard Furniture since 2012, and over his 30-year tenure in the family business, he drove strategic planning, led the company through the Covid pandemic and managed the company’s two retail stores in Ohio and Michigan. Under Bray’s new leadership, the company will double down on customization, commit to manufacturing and continue to explore outdoor furniture, a category it entered for the first time this past year.

Upholstery and case goods manufacturer Kindel Grand Rapids appointed Gretchen Keith as president and chief executive officer. With over 30 years of industry experience, Keith has been with the company for almost a decade, most recently serving as the vice president of marketing and brand management. Keith will succeed current president and CEO Rob Burch, who will join the Kindel Grand Rapids board of directors. The company also promoted current chief financial officer Denny Patterson to chief operating officer.

North Carolina–based fabric company Glen Raven Inc. named Bret Kelley president of the brand’s product wholesaler Trivantage, following the retirement of Steve Ellington. Kelley’s career in the high-performance textile industry spans nearly 30 years, and he has been with Trivantage for 21 years, most recently as vice president of sales. In his new role, Kelley will work closely with Ellington until his January departure in order to ensure a smooth transition, at which point he will take the reins.

Electrical wiring company Legrand appointed Jane White as the chief diversity and engagement officer for Legrand North and Central America teams. White has over 25 years of industry experience, most recently serving as the president of Legrand brand Finelite lighting and leading the establishment of LNCA’s employee resource groups (ERG). She has also provided training on leading a diverse workforce for Elle, the ERG focused on empowering women professionals. In this newly formed role, White will lead efforts to attract, retain and develop a diverse and highly engaged workforce.

Chicago-based acoustic solutions company Turf updated its sales roster. Camille Zanona, previously East Coast regional sales manager, has been promoted to national vice president of sales. With more than 12 years of professional experience in the sales industry, Zanona previously held positions at Skyline Design and Architectural Glass Works, and in her new role she will shift focus to a more global approach for the brand. Katrina Gatuz has been hired as West Coast regional sales manager, bringing experience in acoustics and design industries. In her new role, Gatuz will oversee all sales representatives within the region, developing and executing strategic plans and ensuring that goals are met. Jamie Gray has been appointed as the brand’s first director of sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Gray has worked across design and acoustic solutions in the United Kingdom for more than 20 years, previously holding a position at Fabric Systems before starting and selling his own acoustic solutions company JBH Soft Furnishings. In his new role, he will oversee regional sales goals and develop and execute strategic plans.

Workplace solutions company Allsteel appointed Kina Ingersoll as the new national director of architecture and design. With over 25 years of industry experience, Ingersoll started her career as an interior architect before she transitioned to the furniture side of the design world, most recently serving as the architect and design director of furniture brand West Elm for Steelcase. In her new role, Ingersoll will manage the company’s strategic initiatives targeting the architecture and design community, focusing on strengthening relationships and driving growth.

Mattress and bedding retailer Casper expanded its leadership team, appointing Brad Bailey as chief sales officer and Jeff Willard as chief growth and marketing officer. With over two decades of consumer durables experience with mattresses brands, including Serta Simmons Bedding and Tempur Sealy International, Bailey most recently served as executive vice president of sales at wholesaler Emery Jensen Distribution. In his new role, he will oversee the retail and wholesale functions for Casper’s owned retail stores and partners. Meanwhile, Willard is an award-winning marketing professional whose experience includes managing several consumer brands, including Beautyrest, Harman Kardon and Coleman. In his new role, Willard will oversee all marketing and product development, driving the company’s product assortment and leveraging data-backed consumer insights for growth.

Commercial flooring company Matter Surfaces announced Emma Bohn as the regional sales manager for Los Angeles. With more than a decade of experience in architecture and design sales, Bohn joins Matter Surface’s L.A. sales team after serving as a category manager at Material Bank and previously as a business development manager at furniture brand Haworth.

Media & PR

Dallas marketing and financial services firm The Dove Agency elected Ruth Ann Janson as president, leading the financial and marketing divisions. Janson has been with the agency for three years, most recently serving as the head of the company’s financial services. Prior to The Dove Agency, Janson worked as a public accountant at consulting firm PwC, in leadership roles within nonprofits and as a senior finance director at a privately held technology company.

Public relations and digital communications firm The Consultancy PR promoted several team members. Jamie Glushon, who previously served as managing director, will become vice president and head of social media and influencer marketing to lead strategy across digital platforms and influencer partnerships. Alexandra Scott and Michelle Garay will serve as associate account directors; Amanda Betancourt will be a senior account executive; and Elizabeth Calder will become a social media associate. The firm also hired Victoria McDougal as a senior account manager. With more than six years of experience in marketing and public relations, McDougal most recently led the creation and execution of PR strategy for design brands Goodee, Carl Hansen & Søn and Radnor, and will support accounts including Dacor, Fritz Hansen, Nanimarquina and Salvatori in her new role.

Design & Architecture

Maryland-based architecture and planning firm Hord Coplan Macht appointed Jean Lee Pirkey as associate principal of the office in Charlotte. Over the course of her career, Pirkey has managed projects from schematic master planning to construction completion, including the recent expansion and renovation of the Iredell Health System’s Critical Care Unit in Statesville, North Carolina, and the Atrium Health Mountain Island Emergency Department in Charlotte. In her new role, Pirkey will work closely with the firm’s health care market sector leader to expand Hord Coplan Macht’s presence in the Carolinas.

Decorating Den Interiors named David Haseley director of design, in addition to his role as senior vice president of merchandising and national marketing. Haseley has been a key partner in the development of DDI for over 30 years, and was a franchise owner in Florida, Ohio and Kentucky, which eventually became the brand’s largest region under Haseley’s management. Haseley later joined Fabricut as vice president of sales in the hospitality division, where he consulted with designers for hotel interior designs, and he also served Hunter Douglas as vice president of sales in hospitality design, rejoining Decorating Den Interiors as part of the senior executive team in 2010. He succeeds Carol Bugg, who served as director of design for more than 40 years, and transformed DDI from a shop-at-home drapery franchise company to a full-service interior design and home furnishings business throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Boston- and New York–based architecture and planning firm SGA hired Sadaf Jafari as director of sustainable design. With more than a decade of experience across the architecture and engineering fields, Jafari has the ability to build cross-functional teams primed for collaborative execution, and most recently served as a senior associate of sustainable design consulting at machinery manufacturing company BR+A Consulting Engineers. In her new role, Jafari will help provide clients with a more holistic approach to design across geographic markets and industry verticals.

New York–based design firm TPG Architecture announced Scott Faucheux as creative director. With 25 years of industry experience, Faucheux has a diverse portfolio of experiential design projects for global brands like Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, Urban Outfitters, The Art of Shaving, Kiehl’s and Anthropologie. In his new role, Faucheux will work closely with managing executives Alec Zaballero and Ron Alalouf to bring fresh ideas to TPG’s service-based clients.

Portland, Oregon–based architecture and design firm Ankrom Moisan promoted Leah Wheary Brown to vice president of interior design strategy and Alissa Brandt to vice president of interiors. Wheary Brown has been with the firm for over 20 years, leading the interiors studio and serving as the first interiors principal of design and its first managing design principal. In her new role, Wheary Brown will mentor designers, elevate design standards and implement strategies to promote collaboration and research. Brandt joined Ankrom Moisan in 2000, building a portfolio of award-winning work, including Aegis Living Lake Union, which passed the Living Building Challenge, a tool for measuring regenerative work. In this new position, Brandt will drive the firm’s vision, strategy and overall growth, and be responsible for nurturing an environment focused on creativity, inspiration and empowerment.

New Jersey–based firm RHG Architecture + Design named Brendan Yan as studio manager and senior project manager. With more than 20 years of experience, including residential, commercial and institutional facilities, Yan will plan and execute projects that align with the firm’s vision. RHG also promoted the following staff members to associate senior interior designer positions: Rika Fader, who joined the firm in 2013; and Kayla Ausbon, who was hired in 2017.

Ohio-based architecture firm Moody Nolan welcomed Jodi van der Wiel as principal and senior project designer of the Cleveland studio. Van der Wiel has been with the firm for 23 years, building a portfolio in health care and community recreation that links nature with wellness, and is nationally recognized by AIA Cleveland and AIA Ohio. In her new role, van der Wiel will lead teams across sectors including student life, higher education, recreation and wellness, and will also grow the firm’s regional presence.

Minneapolis architecture and design firm Nelson Worldwide appointed Joseph A. Pobiner as regional mixed-use practice leader. With over 45 years of industry experience, Pobiner’s projects encompass health care, hospitality, and sports and entertainment venues, and he was a contributor to NFL stadiums and other major league spaces. In his new role, Pobiner will work closely with national leadership to expand the firm’s mixed-use practice in the Texas and Southwest markets, and serve as a firmwide planning and urban design resource.

Atlanta-based interior design firm Sims Patrick Studio welcomed six team members to its growing staff. Stephanie Head and Katrina Garcia will serve as design directors; Philip Zein will be a design lead; Jake Schibi will serve as technical lead; Ansley Kaase will be a project designer; and Nicole McCrimmon will serve as a studio coordinator.

California-based consumer services company Home Franchise Concepts announced Faisal Khan as the company’s first chief operating officer and Heather Nykolaychuk as president of Budget Blinds. Khan joined the company in 2016 as vice president of information technology, rising to chief information officer in 2018. Prior to Home Franchise Concepts, he held several senior information technology positions at MacLean Power Systems and Midland Paper Packaging + Supplies. In this newly created position, Khan will work directly with brand presidents to expand their businesses while continuing to serve as the company’s CIO. Nykolaychuk joined Home Franchise Concepts in 2019 as chief marketing officer and was named president of The Tailored Closet and PremierGarage brands in 2021. During her tenure, she worked collaboratively with franchisees to rebuild the brands’ supply chain and led the formation of two distinct brands to drive greater success and differentiation for franchisees. Prior to joining Home Franchise Concepts, Nykolaychuk held key leadership roles at retail brand Tillys and manufacturing company Mattel.

Industry Organizations

The International Interior Design Association elected Deepa Venkat as president of IIDA New England. Venkat, senior interior designer at Boston architecture firm SGA, has served on the IIDA New England board for the past four years and brings more than a decade of industry experience to the table. In her new role, Venkat hopes to highlight the diverse backgrounds present among the organization’s 550 industry professionals and create a culture of belonging and personal value for all members.

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.