Mike Brown, international vice president of manufacturing for Boston-based mattress licensing group Spring Air International, has retired after 46 years in the industry.
Brown had been with Spring Air since 2000 and had been in his most recent position since 2012. Earlier, he spent 28 years with the bedding division of Bassett Furniture in several sales and management posts, including executive vice president.
“Mike brought an amazing knowledge of the industry to our company and helped to pass on that knowledge to the rest of the group,” said Nick Bates, president of Spring Air International. “Our licensees, vendors and customers will all surely miss him. Personally, Mike has helped me grow by sharing his years of experience and understanding of the industry.”
Brown said he’s proud of what Spring Air accomplished during his tenure, and he is especially encouraged by the brand’s progress since the previous owner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2008 and new owners led by Ed Bates stepped in to buy the company.
“I was fired right after the bankruptcy filing, but Ed Bates called me the same day and said he had bought the brand and needed someone to sell some of the leftover equipment and the inventory,” Brown said. “That’s how I got started with the new Spring Air, and it has been a good ride ever since.”
Brown said he’s encouraged by the enthusiasm 30-year-old Nick Bates has brought to the company, and he believes the future is bright for the 92-year-old brand.
“It’s good to get some younger blood in the organization. We older guys have had our day,” Brown said. “Nick never gives up. If something doesn’t work the first time, he stays after it until he finds something that will work.”
Brown said he will continue to reside in the Tampa, Florida, area.
“I couldn’t have picked a more rewarding career. I really enjoyed helping people get a better night’s sleep, but I especially cherish the relationships I’ve built and the friendships I’ve developed over the past 46 years,” Brown said.