Marv Hopkins, chairman and CEO of Pearl River-based Hunter Douglas North America, the leading manufacturer and marketer of custom window fashions in the U.S. and Canada, announced the promotion of Ron Kass, president and Chief Operating Officer, to CEO, effective July 1, 2015. Kass will retain his post as president.
Hopkins also announced that he will be retiring effective July 1, after 20 years as CEO and 29 years, in total, with Hunter Douglas. Following his retirement, Hopkins will serve as chairman emeritus.
“Ron has been a key contributor to our company’s growth and success throughout his ten years with Hunter Douglas,” said Hopkins. “He has played a central role in helping the Company become even more effective in serving the needs of our customers and the marketplace. We are fortunate to have an executive with Ron’s innate talents and proven abilities, and I am confident he will lead Hunter Douglas to continuing growth and success in the years ahead.”
Kass, who first joined the organization in 2005, was promoted to president and chief operating officer with direct responsibility for all Hunter Douglas North America operating groups on January 1, 2014. Previously, he served as president of both the Hunter Douglas Design Products Group and the Independent Fabricator Group of companies and as executive vice president of Marketing, where he guided and directed brand marketing, advertising and communications for the company.
“I’m privileged to have the opportunity to lead the company into the future and look forward to many successful years ahead,” said Kass.
Kass came to Hunter Douglas after serving as president and CEO of The Robert Allen Group, a leading U.S. fabrics company in home furnishings, where he was successful in steering the organization to the top of its industry in customer service and financial performance.
Prior to Robert Allen, he worked for 13 years at Knoll, a world leader in office and residential furnishings, and held key management positions, including vice president of Product Management, senior vice president of Marketing and president of Knoll Europe.
Kass graduated from Brown University in 1978 with a degree in Economics and subsequently earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1980. He and his son, Benno, live in New York City. Regarding Hopkins, Ralph Sonnenberg, chairman and CEO of Hunter Douglas N.V., said, “The development of our North American business under Marv’s dynamic leadership has been momentous and one for the history books. After becoming CEO of our North American operations in 1995, he led the business and the brand to the preeminent position they hold today. I am deeply grateful for the many inspiring years of working with Marv and for his profound impact on the company.”
Hopkins began his career with Hunter Douglas in 1986 as president of the newly established Window Fashions Division in Broomfield, Colo., where a steady stream of proprietary, award-winning products were introduced, including Duette® honeycomb shades, Silhouette® window shadings and Vignette® Modern Roman Shades. These and additional products developed and introduced by the company after he assumed the position of CEO have had an impact on the industry, helping transform window coverings from a functional commodity into a dynamic fashion and design statement.
Hopkins and his wife, Collette, reside in New York City. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.