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Obituary: Martin Fishel

Martin Fishel, an industry veteran for 59 years, died Jan. 27 after a brief illness.

 Martin Fishel


Fishel was the first retailer recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in September 2002 by the Summer & Casual Furniture Manufacturers Association and the Casual Furniture Retailers Association.

Leonard Fishel, Martin's father, founded Fishels in 1921 as Fishels Awning and Supply Co. Martin and his brother Howard joined their father in the business after World War II. After his father's and then brother's deaths, Martin sold the awning business and changed the company name to Fishels Furniture. He more than doubled the store to 25,000 square feet, giving him the space to expand the casual business and add high-end contemporary furniture. Under Martin Fishel's leadership and innovative merchandising skills, Fishels came to be recognized as a leader in the casual furniture industry. Fishels also had been nominated for the coveted Apollo Award several times under Martin's guidance.

Remembrances can be sent to the National Kidney Foundation of Oregon and Washington, P.O. Box 15149, Portland, OR 97293-9149.

Cal Spas names vp of sales, honors dealers

 John Morsey


Cal Spas named John Morsey as vice president of sales. In his new post, Morsey is responsible for global sales of the Pomona, Calif.-based manufacturer's home resort products, including hot tubs, barbecue grill islands, gazebos, billiard tables, bars, fireplaces, firepits and saunas. He oversees a team of regional sales managers and inside sales representatives. Prior to joining Cal Spas, Morsey owned two California dealerships. During his first year in business, he became the highest-volume Cal Spas dealer in the world.

Cal Spas also honored its top dealers during the recent four-day Cal Spas Expo at Ontario Convention Center in southern California. Pool & Spa Outlet won the Total Home Resort Award, Platinum Award and the Cal Enclosures Gazebo Award, combining to make it Cal Spas' top dealer of home-resort products. Spa and Leisure was honored with the Diamond Award, signifying Cal Spas' No. 1 spa dealer.

In related news, Cal Spas presented New Orleans native John Hirschler, owner of The Spa Shop, with its first-ever Spirit Award for courage and perseverance in the face of adversity and its Bronze Award for excellence in sales.

"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."

"John truly is an example of the strength of the people of the New Orleans area," said Casey Loyd, Cal Spas president. "His perseverance in a time of devastation has given new meaning to the word spirit."

Patio Living Concepts adds national sales force

Patio Living Concepts, a St. Albans, Mo.-based outdoor lighting and accessories manufacturer, has added a national sales rep force to service casual furniture retailers and selective pool/spa stores.

They include: Don Dilliplane serving Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida Panhandle; Vern Lachowitzer, Florida; Bob Dorsey, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Illinois; Mike Anderson, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South and North Dakota; Arden Bradley, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky; Charlie Beamer, Maryland, Pennsylvania, northern Virginia and eastern West Virginia; and Mike Hammer, western West Virginia and Ohio. Phil Fowler will represent New Jersey, Delaware, northeastern Pennsylvania, New York City and Staten Island, N.Y.; Laura Hutchinson-Sax, upper New York; Marty Berk, Connecticut, Rhode Island; Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine; and Tim Woods, Virginia, North and South Carolina. Garner & Associates, with Gil Garner and Len McClendon serving Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi; Chichester & Company with principal Kirk Wissbaum serving Washington, Idaho, Oregon and western Montana; Michael Shortridge in Colorado, eastern Montana and southern Wyoming; Dick Smith, Arizona, New Mexico, southern Nevada and southern California; Sara Johansen, northern California, Utah, Idaho and Oregon. Also, Jack McFadzen, Ontario, Canada, and Jean-Marie Legault, Quebec, Prince Island, New Foundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

 Richard Frinier


Pacific Design Center to recognize Frinier

The Pacific Design Center will honor designer Richard Frinier at its 2006 Stars of Design Awards ceremony on March 29 at the North Hollywood, Calif.-based design center.

Frinier was among eight Southern California-based honorees, chosen by design professionals and leading editors for having made a significant contribution in their respective areas of design.

The HammockSource names marketing manager

 Mary Ruth Brantley


Mary Ruth Brantley was named marketing manager of The HammockSource.

Brantley is responsible for dealer communication efforts, coordinating trade shows, 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.

 Whitney Gillespie


Gillespie promoted

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 permanent and temporary leasing.

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