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Gehm to head bed and bath at CHF

Don Hogsett -- Home Textiles Today, July 6, 2001

New York — Long-time industry veteran Bob Gehm has joined CHF Industries, where he will head up the rapidly expanding bed and bath operations at a once-troubled company which had virtually been written off, but which has since completed a remarkable turnaround, boosting sales sharply and returning to profitability.

Gehm joins CHF this week as executive vice president of bed and bath, a newly created position. He will also serve on the company's executive committee, along with ceo Frank Foley; Joan Karron, executive vp; Richard Reeves, executive vp, operations; John Witkowski, executive vp, window division; and Camillo Faranone, cfo. Gehm will report directly to Foley.

He joins CHF after a stint at Franco Mfg., where he created the company's Hanes for the Home mass merchant bedding program. He had worked at Franco for the past 16 months, since joining the company in March 2000.

Earlier, Gehm had built up a solid reputation as a highly respected sales executive at textiles giant WestPoint Stevens, where he had worked for 15 years. When Gehm left WestPoint in January 2000, he held down the post of president of sales, and had earlier been president of the mass brands division, heading up all sales and marketing to the nation's mass merchants and the largest U.S. supplier of sheets and towels.

While CHF is still largely known as a curtain company, its bed and bath operations have grown substantially during a turnaround engineered by the husband and wife team of Frank Foley, and Joan Karron. The appointment of Gehm to head up the business underlines the company's commitment to bed and bath and signals a major push to further diversify the company from its traditional base in window coverings.

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