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Norwalk Furniture Announced New Executive Team - Hosts High Point Receptions

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Led by new investors and former key executives, the new executive team of Norwalk Custom Order Furniture says that it is moving swiftly to re-establish the proud traditions of the 106-year-old company based on quality craftsmanship and prompt delivery at a very competitive price. “In many ways, we are better off than many companies because we don’t need credit,” says Dan White, an investor serving as interim president with a background in finance and venture capital. “We have a radically different balance sheet than our predecessor, are well capitalized with virtually no debt and are already back in production with sufficient assets to offer assured delivery of previous Norwalk product lines.” The assets purchased include land, buildings, equipment and inventory located in the Norwalk, Ohio plant. The purchase also included all work in process and full rights to the Norwalk Furniture brand name. In addition to recommencing production, Norwalk has launched a communication campaign with former dealers, both independent retailers as well as former franchise owners. With a solid commitment to informed communications and guaranteed support for Norwalk dealers, the company has sent correspondence, made personal phone calls and emailed notes and photos illustrating their product in production on the plant floor. Most importantly, they are taking orders and shipping product. Customers have been emailing and calling in with their support. Antonio and Lori Kosberg, owners of Sofa Design Center in San Diego, Calif., wrote, “Our entire staff wants to express our personal gratitude and appreciation to you and your fellow investors for purchasing Norwalk. We are overjoyed to know the line we proudly represent will continue and prosper. We look forward to working with you and the new ownership. Our continued support as a Norwalk dealer will remain steadfast.” “We’re in a mode of reconciliation,” says Tom Bleile, company spokesman. “We acknowledge the damaged relations with our customers, our vendors and our employees but we’re also here to tell our partners that we are under new management and producing the same high quality product that has been characteristic of Norwalk Furniture for so many years.” THE NEW EXECUTIVE TEAM While just a few of the investors are involved in the company, most members of the management team are Norwalk veterans. Of the company’s former 13 sales representatives, 10 are continuing with Norwalk and will be present at Market. The company leadership is comprised of: - Dan White, interim president, who has operated many successful businesses including Next Generation, a venture capital firm established to help young entrepreneurs; Geotrac, a leading provider of information to the finance industry; and Ohio Graphco Inc. where he was responsible for the printing and engineering graphics division. He will serve as president while an industry search is conducted during the next 12 months for an experienced individual who shares the company’s vision of an engaged culture based on prompt delivery of quality product at competitive pricing. - Tom Bleile, an investor with a background in customer service, finance, real estate development and the hospitality industry who is serving as company spokesman. - Peg Whitehurst, CPA, vice president and controller, who has worked with Norwalk since 1991 and served in her present capacity since 2004. - Reyna Moore, director of marketing, who joined the company in 1994 and has served in leadership positions in international sales, customer service, operations and most recently marketing, including management of the company’s licensed brands. - Jeff Gross, executive director of operations, who is experienced in every area of furniture production and now is responsible for manufacturing operations, industrial engineering, product development and facility management. - Tim Hallock, director of manufacturing, who started with the company in 1989 in production, has held various production management positions and now is responsible for day-to-day production operations. A MARKET PRESENCE During Market, Norwalk will host meetings with retailers and vendors on Tuesday and Wednesday, Noon to 8:00 p.m., with wine and cheese receptions planned both days from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. They will be located in the President’s Room on the Ballroom level of IHFC. “We already have stability and momentum moving forward,” White says. “We have received positive feedback from our customers and our vendors. We want them to meet our investors and see familiar faces with a new Norwalk vision of quality, informed communications and guaranteed commitment to our retail partners.” Adds White, “Our priority is to rebuild alliances with old and new partners based on a renewed sense of confidence, trust and reliability. Be assured, our priorities are to restore customer confidence, ensure timely delivery of Norwalk’s uniquely crafted furniture and to preserve the jobs of many, many folks in our community.”

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