Leib Oehmig, president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics LLC, the makers of Sunbrella® fabrics, has been named chief operating officer of Glen Raven Inc. as part of a long–range plan for strengthening the parent company’s global operations. In his new role, Oehmig will work closely with Allen E. Gant Jr., president and CEO of Glen Raven, and the company’s executive committee in setting business strategies, including plans for succession of executive leadership at Glen Raven.
“The breadth and complexity of our business has increased steadily during recent years, which will benefit greatly from Leib taking on the responsibilities as COO,” Gant said. “Our goal will be to assure that Glen Raven’s associates have all of the resources they need to continue creating and delivering innovative products and services for our customers.”
As part of their role as Glen Raven’s executive management team, Gant and Oehmig will also implement the company’s leadership succession plan. The succession plan calls for Oehmig and Gant to work together in executive leadership for Glen Raven over the next four years, culminating in Oehmig assuming the role of president and CEO, at which time Gant will continue as chairman of the board of Glen Raven Inc.
“My career at Glen Raven has been challenging and completely fulfilling as we’ve worked with associates all around the globe to transform Glen Raven into a global innovator serving customers in more than 132 different countries,” Gant said. “I am looking forward to working with Leib and our executive committee and directors to assure that we sustain this momentum and assure a smooth transition in leadership.”
Gant joined Glen Raven in 1971 and became the third generation of his family to lead the company, founded in Alamance County, N.C., in 1880. Gant was named president and CEO in 1999 and has guided Glen Raven through a period of transformation and growth, including expansion into Europe, Asia, India and Brazil while enhancing the strength of company brands, including Sunbrella® and Dickson®.
With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clemson University, Oehmig joined Glen Raven in 1989 and served as a member of the team that designed and built the company’s one–million–square–foot Sunbrella manufacturing center in Anderson, S.C. Oehmig subsequently served as site manager for the Anderson Plant and was named president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics in 2009, with responsibilities for operations in North America, Europe and Asia.
“It is a distinct honor to be selected as chief operating officer and to work with Allen and the executive committee and directors in providing strategic direction and leadership succession for our company,” said Oehmig, who will be the first non-family member to serve as president and CEO of Glen Raven. “From my career at Glen Raven, I have developed a deep appreciation for how our family–owned company has been built and sustained through the commitment of shareholders and the dedication and hard work of associates.”
Glen Raven has also announced that Dave Swers, who is currently serving as vice president and assistant general manager for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, will become president of Glen Raven Custom Fabrics. Swers has been with Glen Raven for more than 24 years and was instrumental in establishing the leadership position of Sunbrella fabrics within the casual furniture industry, leading sales and marketing teams and establishing long-term relationships with major furniture manufacturers.
Suzie Roberts, vice president–business manager for decorative fabrics with Glen Raven Custom Fabrics, has been named vice president of sales for Glen Raven Custom Fabrics–Americas, encompassing awning, marine and furniture markets. Roberts joined Glen Raven with its acquisition of Dickson in 1998 and has fulfilled a key leadership role in sales and marketing for decorative fabrics.
Reporting to Roberts, Alexis Maklakoff, currently business manager for casual fabrics, has been named business manager for decorative fabrics. He has been with Glen Raven since 1997, previously focused on providing marketing and merchandising support for Glen Raven’s casual market customers.