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Gehm Joins Dan River

New York -- Dan River Inc. has hired major mill veteran Bob Gehm, one-time president of sales at the former WestPoint Stevens, as senior vp of sales and marketing, retail and institutional.

Gehm joins Dan River, which was acquired earlier this year by New Delhi-based GHCL, as the century-old home fashions producer finds itself at a crossroads, shifting to a more customer-centric global home fashions business as it prepares to shutter its last U.S.

manufacturing plant, in Brookneal, Va., Aug. 22.

"Bob is going to run our institutional business as well as a number of key retail accounts, including Target and Mervyns," said Dan Hammer, Dan River executive vp and president of sales and marketing. "We're really excited. He brings a lot to the table."

Gehm began his home fashions career as an account executive at the major mill known, in an earlier incarnation, as WestPoint Pepperell.

He spent 15 years there before stepping down as president of sales in 1999. More recently, Gehm worked at Franco Mfg., where he was president of Hanes for the Home, as executive vp of CHF Corp., and president of Sheridan Home.

Dan River's relatively small size, about $135 million in annual sales, is one of its big advantages, said Gehm. "We can turn around the speed boat a whole lot faster than we can turn around a battleship," he said.

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