NEWS RELEASE WRITTEN BY PROTECT-A-BED AND PUBLISHED, UNEDITED, BY BEDTIMES
Personnel updates focus on consistent success and expansion into new markets
CHICAGO, March 16, 2017 – Following a successful January launch of the “Grow the Retail Basket” campaign, Protect-A-Bed continues to position itself for the future through key personnel.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to the Grow the Retail Basket program sent us a message that the industry and retailers are ready to change their current mindsets,” said John Rachid, President of Protect-A-Bed. “To ensure Protect-A-Bed stays ahead of the curve, we are making key strategic changes focused on putting the best people in positions where they can accelerate and support the business for our customers.”
The latest announcements include hiring Michael Lavelle to the position of VP of International Business, and appointing Jennifer Hillman as Director of Business Development.
Michael Lavelle, Vice President of International Business
To grow and add value in international markets, Protect-A-Bed has hired Michael Lavelle as Vice President of International Business. A former Sleep Train executive, Lavelle is backed by over 20 years’ experience in the sleep retail industry.
“I have worked with Protect-A-Bed for years and have always respected the integrity of the company. In a sea, full of sameness, Protect-A-Bed continues to pursue and deliver quality products, support their partners, and deliver on time, with consistency. I am extremely excited for the work ahead of us,” comments Lavelle.
Over a 20-year career, Lavelle rose from a sales associate to Vice President of Strategic Planning at Sleep Train, later acquired by Mattress Firm. He has built a career on improving sales performance across multiple categories through process improvement and strategy. His deep retail experience will help drive Protect-A-Bed’s expansion throughout international markets, and ensure partners across the globe benefit from leading sales programs. Lavelle is the cofounder of the Sleep Train Annual Golf Tournament, which has raised millions of dollars to benefit foster child programs.
“We needed someone who could hit the ground running, and build out not only an effective growth strategy, but ensure our international partners receive the retail and manufacturing support they need,” commented CEO of Protect-A-Bed, James Bell. “Michael not only fits the bill, but knows the retail business inside and out, he is going to be a valuable asset to the organization.”
Jennifer Hillman, Director of Business Development
After building an industry-leading training team over 13 years at Protect-A-Bed, Jennifer Hillman has been tapped to the strategic role of Director of Business Development.
“Since taking over as President of PAB, I have consistently seen Jennifer focus on solution based programs and strategic processes that center around putting our customers in a position to win. As Director of Business Development, the company will be able to leverage her talents and proven abilities to accelerate our current momentum,” says John Rachid, President of Protect-A-Bed. “Jennifer’s commitment and contributions represent the core of Protect-A-Bed’s promise to our customers.”
Hired at Protect-A-Bed in 2004, Hillman was one of the company’s very 1st employees. “I remember picking up samples and heading out to start training. At that time, it was really about helping sales people understand the features and benefits of our only product, and one that was brand new to this industry. Now, our product assortment has expanded to include a variety of accessories and our focus is on helping our retailers meet and exceed goals by maximizing the opportunities the accessory category can bring to their business.”
Hillman has grown her team from 1 to 23 Field Training Specialists, developed detailed business partnership plans with proven sales increases, and built-out a cutting edge digital training portal, PAB University. As Director of Business Development, Hillman will also focus on overall sales strategies. “I’m really energized by this new role,” says Hillman. “It’s an opportunity to take my experience and use it to shape the future for Protect-A-Bed.”
Protect-A-Bed is focused on providing a clean, healthy and comfortable sleep environment for every home. With more than 30 years of experience in bedding protection product development, over 1,800 skus in 40 categories, multiple awards, and a presence in 48 countries, Protect-A-Bed is recognized as a worldwide leader in mattress protection, accessories and sleep technology innovation.
Protect-A-Bed is based in the Chicagoland area. For more information, visit www.protectabed.com.