Stuart Carlitz, president and chief executive officer of North Brunswick, New Jersey-based Bedding Industries of America and the Eclipse International licensing group, has been chosen as the Greater Metropolitan Home Furnishings Association’s Manufacturer of the Year.
The award will be presented Nov. 23 at the GMFA’s annual dinner dance and awards ceremony at The Palisadium in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.
Carlitz is being honored for his dedication and commitment to the industry, as well as his strong, positive relationships with retailers, sales representatives and other in the business, according to a news release.
He began his lifelong career in the mattress industry as a high school student working in a Serta factory in Pennsauken, New Jersey. Next, he became a sales representative in the early 1980s for Therapedic Sleep Products of New Jersey. Several years later, Carlitz opened his own factory in the Philadelphia area, and, in 1994, merged it with Therapedic Sleep Products of New Jersey. He later formed the Mattress Development Co., which acquired Eclipse in 1999.
Today, Carlitz owns a 125,000-square-foot factory in North Brunswick, New Jersey, that is known corporately as Bedding Industries of America. The BIA plant is the largest licensee of Eclipse International and produces several other bedding brands, including Eastman House, Ernest Hemingway and Therapedic. He also manages the manufacturing network for the Saatva brand.
“Stu Carlitz is the classic example of what hard work, dedication and a burning desire to learn can accomplish,” said Ron Cooper, president of GMFA. “He started out sweeping factory floors as a teenager and now owns one of the biggest bedding manufacturers in the business. His impact on the industry is being felt far beyond the Philadelphia area where he got his start.”
GMFA is a nonprofit trade group with membership in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
“This is an incredible honor, and I am very humbled by the recognition from our association,” Carlitz said. “It will be wonderful to see many of the retailers, manufacturers and other industry friends I’ve made over the years.”