In April 2003 Creative Tueskoes Corp., Buckner, KY, was sold to Robert S. Borders, Louisville, KY, and is now Creative Equipment Corp. The company was founded by Emery and Irmi Tueskoes and operated by them for more than 26 years manufacturing and selling equipment primarily for drapery workrooms.
Borders brings more than 25 years of industrial sales and marketing experience to the company and has spent more than a year as a minor partner in Creative Tueskoes. The Tueskoes will maintain ties with the new company as advisors and sales agents, according to Borders, and all of the company’s current employees have been retained and have a stake in the success of the business, he adds.
Creative Equipment will remain in its 15,000-square-foot facility in an industrial park in Buckner.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Interiors by Decorating Den, Montgomery Village, MD, left a lasting impression in Dallas, TX, while holding its 34th annual conference. The first-ever Human Pink Ribbon fundraising event raised more than $35,000 for two breast cancer foundations as part of the company’s Decorating for a Difference program.
Sponsors from the United States and Canada donated $20 for each foot of the pink fabric, which was donated by Kasmir Fabrics. Participants wore pink shirts and hats donated by Hunter Douglas and Fabricut. Interiors by Decorating Den has raised more than $100,000 in the past year for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
More than 300 franchise owners and decorators attended the company’s conference to participate in decorating seminars and workshops and to browse the Design Center, an exclusive collaboration between the decorating professionals and preferred suppliers. The newest home fashions products were unveiled and new preferred suppliers were introduced.
An important part of the annual conference is the display of Dream Room entries, which are a part of the company’s International Dream Room Contest (see D&WC, June, page 54).
DESIGNER BLINDS HONORED WITH 2003 OPTIMAS AWARD
Designer Blinds, Omaha, NE, was honored with a 2003 Optimas Award from Workforce: HR Trends for Business Results magazine. Designer Blinds received the award in the Managing Change category at a gala reception in New York, NY, in May.
Each year since 1991, Workforce celebrates excellence in workforce management with these awards presented in 10 categories ranging from Competitive Advantage to Vision. MetLife and Saks Fifth Avenue sponsor the awards.
To improve employee retention in the past several years, top managers at Designer Blinds began by viewing recruiting and retention strategically and quantitatively. Then they launched an entirely new approach to hiring. One focus was networking with representatives of various cultures.
Designer Blinds President Lloyd “Woody” Woodworth and Human Resources Manager Deb Franklin were on hand at the award reception. “We are very honored with the outstanding recognition for our efforts. Having a great place to work is not only part of our business strategy, it is the right thing to do,” said Franklin after being presented with the award from Workforce Editor Carroll Lachnit, who officially recognized Designer Blinds for making dramatic changes that significantly improved employee retention and provided exceptional business results.
Designer Blinds is a full-line Hunter Douglas fabricator of custom window coverings.
WINNERS SELECTED IN STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION
A total of $20,000 was awarded to the 12 second-year students at the New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA) at New Jersey Institute of Technology who designed winning entries to a glass house competition entitled “A Glass House: From the Penthouse to the Shorehouse.”
Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Upper Saddle River, NJ, sponsored the competition and supplied the cash awards. The winning entries were selected by a panel of jurors on April 24.
To make the competition as realistic as possible, the students were required to design for actual sites and clients. Half the students designed an urban penthouse for the rooftop of the DIA Art Foundation’s building in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The other half designed for a beachfront property on the New Jersey shore in Bayhead. A first prize of $5,000, a second prize of $2,500 and a third prize of $1,000 was presented to the top entries in each property. In addition, six honorable mentions with a $500 award were presented.
Thomas Jardin, Windsor, CT, won first prize for his shore house design. First place for the penthouse category was won by Andy Young Kim, Parsippany, NJ. Joe Jankoski, Hunter Douglas corporate vice president of merchandising, presented the checks.
BTX OFFERS TECHNICAL SEMINARS
BTX Window Automation Inc., Dallas, TX, now offers two-day training and technical seminars in motorized window coverings. Whether a company is new to the business, considering getting into the business or is a seasoned installer of motorized window treatments, BTX offers training seminars to help companies get the full exposure to the benefits and application of motorization.
BTX training seminars are two days of extensive hands-on instruction and in-depth technical discussion. BTX has specifically designed the training seminars to be “real world” instruction so the average person can immediately begin to sell and install motorization while creating a profit.
GCWC HOSTS SOLUTIONS TRADE FAIR
Gulf Coast Window Covering, Houston, TX, will be host for the all new Hunter Douglas Solutions Trade Fair in Houston on September 24, 2003. The trade show will be held at the Reliant Center at Reliant Park, home of the new Houston Texans football stadium.
This interactive program offers classes in color, design, marketing sales presentation skills, new business-building technology and the latest in Hunter Douglas innovations. In addition, window coverings professionals will have the opportunity to see the entire Hunter Douglas product line in life-size displays and eye-catching room settings.
The Solutions program offers a customized format; dealers can sign-up to attend a full day, half a day or just one class with registration fees structured accordingly. Select sessions qualify for continuing education units for ASID and all classes earn two credits in the Hunter Douglas Window Fashions Institute.
D'KEI IS ON THE MOVE
Moving into the next generation, Kristin and Peter Norville have acquired D’Kei Inc., a major supplier of home decorative trims. The company will be located at P.O. Box 1570, 1004 1st Ave., Council Bluffs, IA 51502; (712) 3281800; fax: (712) 328-1808. Denise and Keith Axtell, founders of D’Kei, will continue in advisory and design capacities.
Peter Norville, president, has more than 15 years of professional business experience with three Fortune 500 corporations. His experience includes contract negotiations, financial business case development, product development, sales and marketing.
As vice president, Kristin Axtell Norville, in conjunction with Denise Axtell, director of design, will work to continue innovative product development.
Dee Comstock, with nearly 10 years of D’Kei marketing and sales experience, continues as director of marketing with responsibilities for trade shows, advertising, marketing and representative relations.
The company will continue to operate the Trim Designer Showroom of Lisle, IL, a full-line home decorative trim showroom serving the needs of the interior design trade in the Chicago area. The Trim Designer Showroom will serve as a stocking distributor of D’Kei products for immediate delivery to the trade.
ALTA ATLANTA RECEIVES CORPORATE SAFETY
Troy Hackett, director of risk management and corporate safety for Hunter Douglas, Inc., recently presented the Hunter Douglas President’s Safety Award for Best Overall Division to Terry Hyde, plant manager of Hunter Douglas Alta™, Atlanta, GA.
With more than 150 employees, the Atlanta plant achieved a total case incident rate of only 1.73 and a lost time incident rate of zero for the full year 2002.
The Atlanta division has been operating since January 1996 manufacturing aluminum, honeycomb, wood and vertical blinds for the contract divison and Alta Window Solutions Specialists, a Hunter Douglas company.
VERTISCAPES GOES COLLEGIATE
Vertiscapes, Inc., West Palm Beach, FL, announces it has been officially licensed by the Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) to use the logos from the Florida State University, the University of Florida and the University of Miami on its Theme Binds two-inch faux wood products.
Vertiscapes will add additional colleges and universities from other states in the future.
ENDISCO ADDS EUROPEAN HARDWARE LINE
Endisco Supply Co., Tulsa, OK, has added the Valencia Collection. The hardware line includes black, rust and verdigris wrought iron; solid brass and antique brass; brushed nickel; and a stone leather finish.
Tubing ranges from 5/8- to 1 3/16-inch diameters and is all cut-to-measure with several options of finials, brackets, rings and accessories.
CORRECTIONS & CLARIFICATIONS
Our May 2003 cover story, “What’s In a Name” (page 20), incorrectly stated in a photograph caption that actress Mariette Hartley was “exclusive to Eddie Z’s Blinds & Draperies” and in the body of the article that “Hartley has been retained exclusively . . .” In fact, Eddie Z’s has rights to Hartley in the four states in which it markets: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. House of Blinds & Draperies, Southfield, MI, owns rights for the use of Mariette Hartley in the window coverings industry for the rest of the country. We regret the error.
House of Blinds owns and operates a chain of window coverings retail locations in Michigan and Ohio (see D&WC, May 1998) and has a small mail order division that also uses Mariette Hartley.