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Hickory Springs President/CEO Don Coleman To Retire

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Don Coleman, President and CEO of Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company, one of the nation’s largest integrated manufacturers and an international supplier of components for the furniture and bedding industries, announced his plans to retire this December after 39 years with the company. He has been president and CEO of the Company since 1996.

“At the quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors on July 21, 2011, I announced my plans to retire on December 31, 2011, to enjoy more time with my family. It has been a wonderful 39+ years working with and for a company of the quality standards and ethics we enjoy. We as employees can be proud to be a part of the organization we have today,” Mr. Coleman said.

Mr. Coleman joined the company in 1972 as its first National Product Manager, and then added manufactured sleeper mechanisms to his management  responsibilities in 1975. He served as General Manager of the Company’s  Highland Fabricators facility following its acquisition, then was named Vice President of the Company’s Eastern Furniture Division following its formation in 1992.  Four years later, he succeeded Neil Underdown as President/CEO of Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company in 1996.

“Hickory Springs is grateful to Don for his years of outstanding leadership, loyalty, and vision,” said Tom Pierce, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hickory Springs. “His commitment to developing innovative products, sound  fiscal policy, creative partnerships and understanding the needs of our customers has had an immeasurable impact upon the ongoing excellence, growth and diversification of Hickory Springs over the years.” Hickory Springs is working with a professional placement service to search for Mr. Coleman’s successor as President/CEO.

“Hickory Springs has formed a number of joint ventures as well as made several acquisitions to advance the Company toward its strategic goals.  Succession planning has been the key in each area.  Over the past year, we have placed talented and seasoned managers in expanded roles to strengthen and grow Hickory Springs in all markets,” Mr. Coleman concluded. “I look forward to stepping back and seeing the fruits of our planning propel the Company into the exciting opportunities which are consistent with what Hickory Springs has been for 67 years.”

Mr. Coleman has enjoyed a distinguished career in the business and civic communities as well as with Hickory Springs. He currently serves on the boards of the Furniture Foundation, the American Furniture Hall of Fame, the Catawba County Community Foundation, and the Wells Fargo Western North Carolina Advisory Board. Last year, the Business Council of Lenoir-Rhyne University  named him Business Leader of the Year. Former Governor James Hunt awarded him the state’s highest civilian recognition, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. He also is the conductor of the Hickory Choral Society, a community choir that he helped found in 1978.

“Hickory Springs has been my ‘life away from home’ for almost forty years-and what a great life it has been,” said Mr. Coleman.  “We are a Company on the move, appreciating our past and embracing opportunities for our future.  Our core business has and will be focused on the wonderful home furnishings industry which is a special part of our family.  Over the past ten years we have looked to expand and diversify who we are in a variety of ways.  Today, more than 33% of our company base is in products related to healthcare, transportation, and government/institution.  We have diligently made strides in our strategic plans and the alignment of our management to reflect the Hickory Springs of today.”

One of North Carolina’s largest employers, Hickory Springs is a privately held company based in Hickory, North Carolina, with more than 50 manufacturing plants in 16 states and China. In addition to its core furniture and bedding markets, Hickory Springs also serves a growing range of customers in the automotive, recreational vehicle, packaging, medical, marine and telecommunications industries.

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