When the news came a couple of days ago that Wendy Keryk had passed away, the image of her smile immediately popped up in my brain. I never saw her without it.
That smile, more often than not followed by a hug and questions about how my family was doing, always started our get-together. It was there even when I interviewed her over the phone. You could hear it along with that marvelous English accent—it virtually leaped out at you from the handset.
Her distinguished career—the role she played in propelling the window businesses at companies like Cameo, Home Innovations, Richloom and other vendors; her presidency of HFPA—speaks for itself. More than this, Wendy was one of a brigade of window-treatment veterans who made what may seem like a mundane product category come alive, for retailers and consumers alike.
And for reporters. I have said elsewhere that when I started covering this category about 20 years ago, I couldn’t have hung a window treatment if my life depended on it, much less tell you what a valance or a café curtain or a pouf was.
But Wendy–along with numerous others including David Kahn and the Lichtenberg family–took me by the hand (literally, in Wendy’s case) and showed me the ropes, enabling me to write about it with a measure of intelligence. They did this with an enthusiasm for the category that I hope will infect new generations of executives in the business, and make it exciting once more.
Thanks, Wendy.—David Gill
Visitation for Wendy Keryk is scheduled at the Hannemann Funeral Home in Nyack, N.Y., for this evening from 3-5 p.m.; and 7-9 p.m.; Friday 3-5 p.m.; and 7-9 p.m. (prayer service at 8 p.m.); Saturday at 8 a.m., with funeral service scheduled for 9:30 a.m.