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Downlite names first-ever ceo: James Lape    

Mason, Ohio – Responding to rapid business expansion, luxury feather and down bedding manufacturer Downlite has named James Lape the first-ever chief executive officer in the company’s long history.

The family owned Downlite has been successfully run for 24 years by brothers Larry Werthaiser, Marvin Werthaiser and longtime family friend Bob Altbaier.

The three owners will continue their active roles in the company.

“Leadership is not about following the rules of the past; it’s about looking towards the future and what you believe will be the best for the organization as a whole,” said Larry Werthaiser. “The challenges ahead are to show both top line and bottom line growth, to enable us, as a domestic manufacturer, to compete in a global economy.”


Lape comes to Downlite with 23 years of senior executive experience, domestic and international, with the world’s largest brand-name apparel manufacturer, Levi-Strauss.   He served as the sales vp, then senior sales vp in the U.S. and as the commercial director and general manager in Europe.


In 2001, Lape pursued his own consulting business with his company, Quandt and Lape Consulting Group. There, he analyzed multi-million dollar business processes and objectives, reviewed and revised operational sales strategies, and developed operating recommendations.


Downlite’s down and growing down alternative products -- comforters, pillows, mattress pads, feather and fiber beds -- are sold under private label in department stores, specialty stores and catalogs. The company also has an expanding upscale hospitality segment. Downlite also sells high quality bulk fills to furniture, outerwear and sleeping bag manufacturers around the world.

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