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Bell Promoted at Home Fashions Int'l

In a reorganization at Westgate/Home Fashions International, David Li, owner and chairman, has assumed the title of president as well. Li replaces Tom Coughlin, who has left the company to pursue other interests.

In addition, Amy Bell has been named to the new position of evp, responsible for the company's sales, marketing and merchandising. She previously was vp for the company's accessories businesses — pet beds, decorative pillows, and table linens.

Li is taking a more active role in HFI's business, partially as a result of the challenges of business in 2009. "The company had double digit growth in the first 10 months of 2008, and the last two months were down," he told HTT. "We had a modest growth year-end." The accessories, window and bedding divisions beat budget, he added.

Discussing Bell's promotion, Li said, "Their division [Bell with Neil Zuber] has been growing every year. She's very good at building teams. And in a tough economy like this, I need steady hands."

Li commented, "We appreciate what Tom has accomplished and we wish him well."

At the operations level, Westgate/HFI has elevated Jean Brown, who joined the company in 2005, to chief operating officer. Brown succeeds Jack Cobb, who has taken over all of the company's Chinese operations. "We are investing heavily in logistics and supply chain improvements, and Jack is overseeing all of our expansion and manufacturing in China," said Li. "Jean has been with the company for four years, and is extremely well suited to oversee our operations here."

HFI has dropped its bath and other accessories segments, since "our whole thing is fabric," Li explained.

American Decorative Fabric continues as the decorative fabric business, while Westgate is the company's overall brand name, Li said.

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