Latex Foam rises from the ashes

Marvin Lazaro, Carole Sloan, May 20, 2002

Just one year after its factory burned to the ground, Latex Foam International, formerly Latex Foam Products, marked its return to home textiles production last week with a celebration and visits from manufacturing and retail partners from around the nation.

The day's festivities were marked by a short film that featured many of LFI's employees and management, speeches from the company's chairman of the board and co-founder, William Coffey, and president/ceo, Stephen Russo, and tours of the new 208,000-square-foot facility and its state-of-the-art equipment.

In his speech to the assembled crowd, Coffey asked for everyone's help to "celebrate a new beginning" for the company and called its new home "a special place" staffed with talented and special people.

"It doesn't end today," Russo said, while Coffey looked on nodding his head in agreement. "It's only the beginning." Russo added that many skeptics said there was little chance LFI could reopen its doors and begin production after only a year had passed. But, he said, "I'd like to welcome you back to the land of 'where it can be done.'"

In addition, LFI also hosted a banquet for those attending and invited all to participate in a golf outing, fishing trip or a hosted tour of New York the next day.

The banquet also marked the 75th birthday of Coffey, who was presented with a large cake and lauded with a standing ovation.

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