LENOIR, N.C.–The torch has been passed to the next generation at one of the furniture industry’s last remaining family owned and operated powerhouses.
Yesterday Bernhardt Furniture Co. announced it was creating a three-member chairman’s committee of the board while creating new president-level positions for younger members of the extended Bernhardt family.
The chairman’s committee will consist of Alex Bernhardt Sr., chairman and chief executive officer and Lewis Norman and Anne Bernhardt, both vice chairmen.
J. Rountree Collett Jr. will assume the new position of president of Bernhardt Ventures, overseeing the contract and hospitality units of the company. He will also have responsibility for corporate administration and new business opportunities. He reports to Bernhardt Sr.
G. Alex Bernhardt Jr. will become president of the company’s residential unit. William B. Collett, executive vice president and general manager for case goods and Frank Cooper, executive vice president and general manager for upholstery, will report to Bernhardt Jr.
“Lewis, Anne and I have collectively over 100 years of service here,” said Bernhardt Sr., who took over running the company from his father Christian Bernhardt more than 35 years ago. “While we plan to stay involved, we believe now is the proper time to step back a bit and to recognize the achievements and talents of these fine younger executives.”