People on the move

MMPI, The HammockSource, Cal Spas make announcements

MMPI promotes Gillespie
Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc. promoted Whitney Gillespie to director of casual furniture leasing.
She started working with the casual furniture industry as a sales coordinator in 1997, in six months was promoted as an account executive and in a year's time became director of casual furniture, temporary leasing. She now is responsible for both permanent and temporary leasing, working closely with other members of the home furnishings team for industry growth.

"Whitney has been a major contributor toward the industry growth over the last seven years and is well respected by industry principals," said John H. Brennen III, MMPI executive vice president.
The casual industry represents more than 185,150 square feet of permanent showroom space and more than 120,550 square feet of temporary showroom space. 

The HammockSource names marketing manager
Mary Ruth Brantley was named marketing manager of The HammockSource, manufacturer of Hatteras Hammocks and The Original Pawleys Island Rope Hammock. Brantley is responsible for dealer communication efforts, coordinating tradeshows, Web site maintenance, managing outlet sales and sending marketing memos, proposals and sales-support materials to representatives and dealers worldwide.
Before to joining The HammockSource, Brantley's work experience was in banking and higher education. She earned an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master's degree in business administration from East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.

Cal Spas honors New Orleans dealer with Spirit Award
New Orleans native John Hirschler, owner of The Spa Shop, was recently honored as a top dealer by Cal Spas. Presented with the company's first-ever Spirit Award for courage and perseverance in the face of adversity and the Bronze Award for excellence in sales, Hirschler represents the spirit of Cal Spas.
"Katrina washed away a lot of New Orleans, but it's still my home and I knew I needed to start getting life back to normal as soon as possible," Hirschler said. "A few days after Katrina struck, I went back to my store and started the cleanup. We reopened within two weeks. At the time, I wasn't sure if we'd have any customers, but I felt it was the best way to get life back on track."

Hirschler realized he wasn't the only one who wanted his life back the way it was before Hurricane Katrina. More and more customers started coming in to The Spa Shop. They weren't just replacing the products they lost; they were replacing devastation with hope.
Hirschler learned Katrina taught the community that life is short and that it's important to spend more quality time with loved ones. His customers were creating backyard sanctuaries to spend time with family and friends and reflect not on what they lost, but on what they still have. "John truly is an example of the strength of the people of the New Orleans area," said Casey Loyd, president of the Pomona, Calif.-based manufacturer. "His perseverance in a time of devastation has given new meaning to the word spirit." Serving the New Orleans area since 1986, The Spa Shop offers everything for complete home-resort living, including hot tubs, barbecues, saunas, gazebos, fireplaces, firepits, bars, billiard tables and more.

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