Retired Englander Exec Toman Dies

Kevin Toman, who died Dec. 4 at 77, is remembered as a well-liked mattress leader who worked with top executives in the industry over a 46-year career and won their respect.

Retired Englander Exec Dies. Kevin Toman and Dave Perry

“It would be hard to find anyone in the mattress industry who didn’t have a good word to say about Kevin,” said Gerry Borreggine, Therapedic’s long-time CEO and president, who knew him for more than two decades.

Toman met Borreggine’s father, Frank, when Toman was working for Simmons in the 1970s. Frank Borreggine was then the bedding buyer for Lit Brothers Department Stores in Philadelphia.

“My father remembered Kevin as an industrious young guy who had a bright career ahead of him,” Gerry Borreggine recalled. “He was right.”

Restonic President Laurie Tokarz , who worked for Toman in the 1990s when he was at Serta Mattress Northeast, said she appreciated his encouragement as she found her way in the mattress industry.

“He was always there for me and encouraged me and supported me,” she said. “I was new to the mattress industry and it was very impactful to work with someone at the top of the industry.”

Later she worked with Toman at Restonic.

“Age wasn’t an arbiter for him,” she said. “He always wanted to encourage people on their way up the ranks, and he encouraged them to get involved in the industry.”

Ron Passaglia, who was president of Restonic from 2008 to 2019 and knew Toman for about 30 years, said Toman found success everywhere he worked.

“His leadership style and his dedication to people helped him navigate on his industry journey through large corporations and licensing groups, and he was able to adapt and to add value everywhere he worked,” Passaglia said.

He described Toman as “a great asset to the mattress industry.”

Toman was one of the industry’s best-known bedding executives, working for Simmons, Sealy, Serta, Restonic and Englander during his career. He retired in April 2019 after 13 years with Englander, a period he described as “a great final chapter to my career.”

“Kevin was more than a visionary executive and gifted mentor,” said Mark Kinsley, Englander CEO. “He was a caring man who improved the lives of countless people. His sparkling smile, sage advice, and witty sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Toman was also one of the most respected leaders in the industry, winning praise from co-workers and retailers alike with a people-first management style. “I like to help people,” he once said, and considered that a hallmark of his career.

He began his mattress career in 1970 when he took a sales trainee job at the Simmons Company. His first sales territory was in the Philadelphia market. Success in that job led to several promotions, including territory sales manager.

In 1978 Toman joined Sealy Mattress of Connecticut as key account manager, handling all New York City department store sales. He was later promoted to vice president of sales for the New England region, and then was named vice president of sales and marketing for all of Sealy Connecticut’s business.

When Ohio Mattress acquired control of the Sealy brand in the 1980s, Toman was named to a corporate position with the new Sealy organization.

In 1993, Toman joined Serta Mattress Northeast as president and CEO. Three years later he led the acquisition of Serta Pittsburgh, which gave his company seven licensees owned by United Kingdom-based Silent Night.

After Serta International acquired Serta Northeast in 2000, Toman left the mattress industry for a few years, teaching at the local Catholic high school near his home in Duxbury, Massachusetts.

He returned to the bedding industry in 2002 as president and CEO of Restonic. Three years later he joined Englander as president and CEO and worked there until his retirement.

During his time at Englander, he built the brand’s global footprint, adding licensees around the world.

Toman and his wife, Mary, celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2018. He is survived by his wife, two children and four grandchildren.

Donations may be made in memory of Kevin Toman to St. Mark’s Capital Project Fund, 201 Main St., Suite 1198, Fort Worth, Texas, 76102.

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