Thirty–year industry veteran Jim Nation has been named president of Five Star Mattress, a maker of value–priced bedding owned by Ares Management LLC and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which also own National Bedding Co., the largest producer of the Serta brand. Both Five Star and Serta have headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill.
Nation replaces Donna Zett, who had been president since Five Star’s debut in January 2008. Zett also was chief innovation officer at Serta and now will concentrate her efforts in that area.
Nation joined Serta in 2008 as president of sales development. Previously, he spent nearly two decades with the former Spring Air Co., 12 of them as president. Prior to that, he held posts at Sealy and Bassett Bedding. He has been active in the International Sleep Products Association and served as its chairman.
“I’m excited about taking advantage of this opportunity. It’s perfect from a timing standpoint, with how the economy is going and consumer behavior is changing,” Nation said. “Five Star focuses on the $199 to $999 price point and the Better Homes & Gardens collection is our hook at the top, $799 to $1,499. We have the best of both worlds—the quality, purchasing power and distribution of a leading brand, with the ability to chart our own path.”
Nation is building an experienced executive team to manage the company’s 45 independent sales representatives.