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Tropitone names new CEO

Michael Echolds steps down, will serve as strategic advisor

Tropitone Furniture Co. announced late Monday that Michael Echolds has stepped aside as the company’s chief executive officer, a position he held since 1995. Cap Hendrix was named as the company’s new CEO.

Hendrix served as a member of Tropitone’s board of directors from 1998-2007, and played a key leadership role in shaping Tropitone’s successful business strategy.

“Over the years, Tropitone has achieved a strong and enviable market position. I am excited to serve as the company’s new CEO,” Hendrix said. “We intend to build on Tropitone’s heritage and business success as we maximize future opportunities.”

Echolds, who remains a shareholder, will continue to play an integral role as an advisor to Tropitone’s operating board and to assist Hendrix and the management team in developing and executing Tropitone’s future growth strategies. 
 
“Tropitone’s sales in both the retail and hospitality markets have grown dramatically in the past 13 years, and we have succeeded in maintaining this growth through several economic slowdowns,” Echolds said. “We also have achieved sustained profitability while continuing to design high-quality, durable, innovative and award-winning casual furniture collections.  Now I want to devote more time to several of my personal priorities, including a number of philanthropic activities in which I’ve had a long-standing involvement.”

Echolds served Tropitone exceptionally well and provided leadership that made it possible for the company to be a market leader in the casual furniture industry, according to James J. Norton, chairman of the Tropitone board of directors and managing director of Pfingsten Partners, which became Tropitone’s majority shareholder in October 2007.

“We have been pleased to work with Mike since we became the company’s majority shareholder and look forward to an ongoing opportunity to benefit from his expertise as one of the most respected individuals in the industry,” Norton said. “We believe that Cap Hendrix’s experience not only at Tropitone but also at such companies as PepsiCo, Culligan Water Technologies, and at Thermador, the upscale kitchen appliance division of Masco Corporation, makes him uniquely-suited to lead Tropitone going forward. His leadership, coupled with the leadership of the other executives and employees on the Tropitone team – a team with whom Cap worked during his years on the Tropitone board of directors – will make it possible for the company to further strengthen its presence in the casual furniture market and to pursue our substantial growth opportunities.”

Hendrix began his career in the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo in Dallas, serving in financial planning before progressing into marketing and the position of group product manager where he was responsible for multiple brands and new product development. After PepsiCo, Hendrix held progressively expanded executive leadership positions with E-II Holdings, Masco Corporation, The Toro Company, Culligan Water Technologies and U.S. Filter Corporation where he was president of the consumer and commercial group, which included Culligan.

Most recently, Hendrix has served on numerous boards of directors and provided marketing and enterprise strategy consulting services.  He has broad-based experience working with consumer, commercial and industrial customers; direct and multi-step distribution systems; seasonal and cyclical demand patterns; demand-driven manufacturing with worldwide sourcing; development of highly-engineered new products; and sales and marketing strategies, including worldwide push and pull strategies. He also has led aggressive acquisition and integration strategies while sustaining organic growth and productivity.

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