Westgate/HFI CEO Li Resumes Post as President CEO David Li has resumed the post of president of Westgate/HFI and is taking a more hands-on role in the company’s operations, it was reported in March. Li replaces president Thomas Coughlin, who has left the company to pursue other interests. Coughlin had been with Westgate for three years (see D&WC, December 2006, page 22). Westgate/HFI is a vertical manufacturer of decorative fabrics and finished home fashions. Total annual sales for the privately held company are in excess of $175 million, the company reported. “As our business continues to grow and become more complex, I feel it is extremely important that I be more involved in the day-to-day functions. This will enable us to meet our growth goals for 2009 and beyond,” Li stated. “Our business is actually quite good, and we managed to beat our numbers in 2008, which is extremely positive, considering the global economic downturn,” Li stated. “Our product line and sources of supply have dramatically expanded. Our acquisition of Quaker Brazil has been tremendously successful, and as a result, our export operations are doing extremely wel (see D&WC, March 2008, page 20). We also have been successful with our upholstery fabric and furniture line, as well as taking over the Westlake fabric business.” In another personnel change, veteran home fashions executive Amy Bell has been named to the new position of executive vice president of marketing and merchandising over all of Westgate Home/HFI. Bell has been with Westgate/HFI for four years as vice president and merchandise manager for decorative pillows and accessories. She previously held sales, merchandising and product development positions with Ashford Court, the Madison Landing division of Glenoit and the Portofino division of Perfect Fit. Johnson Joins Custom Home Furnishings Academy The Custom Home Furnishings Academy (CHF), Charlotte, NC, has announced that Ann K. Johnson, Avon Lake, OH, has joined its faculty of professional instructors. Johnson will teach two new classes, “Perfecting Your Workroom Skills” and “Strengthening Your Swag Skills.” Both classes are designed to help workroom owners improve their techniques, increase efficiency and learn the tips and trade secrets that will build confidence and improve their businesses. Johnson has owned Sew Easy Windows, a professional drapery workroom since 1992. In 2006 she became the workroom manager for Drapery Stitch, a large workroom in Cleveland, OH, where she was responsible for day-to-day operations. She also developed documentation on workroom standards, fabrication methods and training programs during the time she held this position. “This was a dynamic job and a great opportunity. I learned to approach the workroom business from a larger point of view,” said Johnson. She is the author of “The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags” Volume I and Volume II and is a popular speaker at industry conferences and events. According to Margie Nance, CHF owner and president, the addition of new instructors is key to keeping the overall curriculum current and challenging. “I am so proud to have Ann join our team,” said Nance. “She has an incredible range of knowledge and experience to share.” Blair Joins Orion as Full-time Consultant Kay Blair has joined Orion Ornamental Iron, Inc., North Hollywood, CA, as a full-time consultant. “This month, we are celebrating the one year anniversary of Orion’s acquisition of KBlair Finials,” said Sunil Patel, CEO. “[Blair] brings to our company a wealth of talent and experience not only in the drapery hardware industry, but also in many vital areas of marketing. She is already working with us to design a new KBlair product line and catalog.” Blair also will work with Orion in the areas of media relations and planning, communications, printed materials, corporate ID program and Web site design. Blair founded KBlair Finials in 1993 and designed all of the company’s products and marketing materials. Her professional background includes being editor of the corporate magazine for a Forbes 500 corporation, as well as more than 10 years in advertising, media and public relations at the corporate level. Van Noy Joins Mid-America Decorating Stores Mid-America Decorating Stores, Libertyville, IL, announced in February that Paul R. Van Noy, a veteran industry executive and most recently vice president/owner of Interlock Professional Products has been named managing director. Mid-America is a national retail paint and decorating buying/marketing group. Van Noy will be responsible for all aspects of the group’s management including existing member development, new member recruitment, vendor program management, group development and industry relations. He has worked extensively with paint and decorating retailers and wholesalers, hardware retailers and wholesalers, manufactures, contractors, installers and with buying/merchandising and marketing groups. Van Noy brings a wealth of experience to this appointment as an independent business owner, president of a service company, vice president and owner of a specialty coatings manufacturer, managing director with the PRO Group and as a wholesale and retail merchandising manager/buyer and sales representative, the company stated. Yellen Named to Head Tentina’s Sales Team Scott Yellen has joined Tentina Window Fashions, Lindenhurst, NY, as sales manager. Yellen has been in the window treatments business for more than 25 years. He owned his own retail and installation company and has spent the last three years working at Hunter Douglas as a shutter division specialist. Andrea Miritello, president, stated, “[Yellen’s] extensive product knowledge and years of experience in our industry make him the perfect choice to lead Tentina’s sales team.” Tentina is an independent Hunter Douglas fabricator.