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Southern Casual Living formed as new patio umbrella supplier

Ken Harbaugh, majority shareholder of Southern Sales & Marketing Group, headquartered in Atlanta, announced that the patio umbrella division of Southern Sales has been sold to Southern Casual Living, also located in Atlanta.

Harbaugh is pleased with the sale of the umbrella division and with the formation of the new company. "Southern Sales was in the umbrella business for 15 years, and we hold patents on some of the greatest innovations in the market. We see the umbrella market moving to more of a China 'factory direct' business model, so I sold this division. Some of the people moving over to the new company have been long-time associates with our company and I wish them all the best. They know that I am available to help them at any time."

Bill Browne, former VP of sales for Southern Sales & Marketing Group, has been named president of Southern Casual Living. Jason Bliss, former national account manager with Southern Sales, will serve as vice president. Several other employees of Southern Sales and Marketing are making the move as well. Jay Winkler has been appointed national account manager, Mary Mayberry has been appointed customer service manager and Ross Boone will serve as the senior designer.

"Southern Casual Living's main concentration will be patio umbrellas," said Browne. "Our immediate focus will be quality control, shipping on time and complete for the 2012 season, while at the same time focusing our team on design and new product development for the 2013 season. This will enable us to deliver our customers the best patio program in the North American marketplace."

In their joint announcement, Harbaugh and Browne stated that there is a firm transition plan in place for current customers. All umbrella orders currently placed with Southern Sales & Marketing Group will be transferred over to Southern Casual Living, and customers will receive those orders as previously scheduled.

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