Comings & Goings | Jan 14, 2019 |
New executives at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Bernhardt and more

Happy New Year! Among the 2019 resolutions and well wishes comes a new start for many industry professionals. Read on to learn about new hires in media, manufacturing and more.


Bobby Berk’s Los Angeles–based design firm named Brady Tolbert as creative director. Tolbert began his career working with architect Frank Gehry and most recently served as creative director of Emily Henderson Design for nearly five years.

Boston-based interior designer Jessica Haley has been promoted to associate at RODE Architects. She has more than a decade of industry experience in hospitality, multi-family, commercial and institutional design and academic research.

International architecture and design firm HLW appointed Kate Caruso as senior interior designer. She will be based in HLW’s Madison, New Jersey, office.


Following the merger that established Robert Allen Duralee Group, the company weathered another round of staffing cuts last week, its third since the companies combined in the spring of 2017. “We knew before we merged that there was an overlap in some of the product areas between what Robert Allen offered and what Duralee offered,” CEO Lee Silberman told BOH. “In stage one of the merger, we left that alone. At this point, 20 months in, we realize that we can’t really have duplicates of product in two different lines.” In mid-December, Martin Rosenberger retired from the company after more than 55 years.

Benjamin Moore named Dan Calkins as CEO and chairman. Calkins started at Benjamin Moore in 1987 as a sales trainee and was most recently president and COO. “I’m very proud, humbled and excited about the opportunities at Benjamin Moore,” Calkins told BOH. “Over the last year, while I’ve been transitioning to this role, I’ve had lots of learning opportunities. When you work somewhere for 32 years, you think you know a lot, and then you realize there are all these areas you really didn’t know that much about.”

Speaking of new CEOs, Donghia has appointed Cheryl Sterling. The longtime Ralph Lauren executive replaces Andrea Rubelli, who returns to his role as non-executive director of the board. “Donghia Inc. is a world-renowned name in the luxury home furnishings industry and has great potential for future development,” Sterling told BOH. “I look forward to leading the implementation of the global business strategy, focusing on driving new growth, increasing productivity and strengthening brand value.”

Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams promoted Louis Pecora to national contract sales manager. In his previous internal position, Pecora managed contract sales in the Northeast, Eastern Canada, the Midwest and Florida. Now, he oversees all contract accounts across the U.S.

Jesús R. Capó will serve as president of the Home Furnishings Association in 2019. Capó is currently the CIO of El Dorado Furniture in Miami, and will oversee HFA, composed of more than 1,400 home furnishings retailers.

Bernhardt named Bill Brown to lead its new outdoor furniture category. Brown will relocate from Alabama to North Carolina, reporting to Steve Pilgrim, Bernhardt’s senior vice president of residential sales. The company’s first outdoor furniture collection will debut this year.

Laura Gibson has been named senior designer for Nourison’s hospitality segment. Her responsibilities include design trend analysis, broadloom and rug collection development, product-line extensions, client project design and trade show planning.

Lenox has two new executives: Andrew Dawson is now chief sales officer and Andrea Page is senior vice president, digital and marketing. Both are based at the Lenox headquarters in Bristol, Pennsylvania.

Leather upholstery manufacturer Hancock & Moore named James Kennedy as vice president of operations. Kennedy has held previous roles at Henredon, Baker Knapp & Tubbs, Chaddock and E.J. Victor.

Kitchen brand St. Charles New York has named Barbara Fuller as managing director, effective this February. Following 25 years of experience at brands including Lladró, Waterworks and LG Electronics’ Signature Kitchen Suite, Fuller will spearhead the company’s growth in her new role.

Upholstered seating manufacturer Fairfield has named Phil Cooper as director of the new motion seating division. His previous role was as president of Comfort Design Furniture.

Parterre Flooring appointed Chris Easler to senior vice president of national accounts. His previous role with the brand was East Coast regional vice president. In his new position, Easler will focus on generating national account business. He has held previous titles at Armstrong World Industries and Mohawk Industries, both flooring brands.

Porcelain tile manufacturer Milestone has added Jorge Fernandez and Sean Gelnaw to its regional sales team. Fernandez will lead accounts in the Southeast, and Gelnaw the Mid-Atlantic.


On the heels of Hearst Design Group’s sweeping editorial staff changes last year, the business side is contending with its own shakeup. Kate Kelly Smith, who was with the company for over a decade (and eight years at the helm of Hearst Design Group), is retiring. Jennifer Levene Bruno, publishing director and chief revenue officer of Town & Country, will remain at the title and add HDG titles to her purview.

The Elle Decor editorial team had a few title shifts: Ingrid Abramovitch is now executive editor, Jennifer Milne is the copy chief and Lillian Dondero is assistant managing editor.

Progressive Business Media, which owns Furniture Today, HFN and other trade media brands, has shuffled its leadership. Kara Dunlay and Robin Martinez are now group publishers, overseeing editorial and sales leadership for each brand. Katherine Hunniecutt was promoted to associate publisher of Home Accents Today as well as publisher of Designers Today, and Christie Bebert was promoted to account executive for Gifts & Decorative Accessories. Chris Schultz is now director of digital operations and audience management.

Christina Cattarini has launched CC PR, working with clients in interior design and lifestyle. Her clients include design firm Hyphen & Co. and the designers Tali Roth, Tina Rich, Emma Beryl and Becky Shea.

Chase Pardue is now associate manager at PR firm Black Frame, working on its lifestyle team. He was previously account coordinator at HL Group.

Spread PR hired Jamie Hoffman as senior account executive. Hoffman hails from Sandow, where she was associate marketing director, and Architectural Digest, where she worked closely with the strategic brand director.

The Consultancy PR has expanded its team. Blake Collazo is now office and culture manager, based in Los Angeles, and Allie Saliani is now PR assistant, based in New York.

Samara Cooper is now a senior account executive at PR firm Azione, based in Los Angeles. Her new clients include high end cannabis brand Beboe and product design retailer Simple Human. Cooper was previously a senior account executive at the Consultancy PR.

Diana Farberov has left Novità Communications for a design-facing position as a workplace design strategist on Indeed’s real estate team.


Rachel Schreiber has been named executive dean of The New School’s Parsons School of Design. Her role will formally begin on July 1, 2019, and she will act as principal academic and strategic leader, managing resources, growth, partnerships, fundraising and administration. Schreiber succeeds Joel Towers.

Rhode Island School of Design named Kent Kleinman as provost. He was previously dean of Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning. His new role begins March 2019, when he will begin working with the school’s president to lead academic programs.

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