Summer Infant Appoints Ken Ward as SVP, Sales & Operations Planning
Seasoned Executive to Focus on Aligning Strategic Objectives With
Integrated Financial Plans in Newly Created Position
WOONSOCKET, RI -- (Marketwired) -- 05/27/14 -- Summer Infant, Inc.
("Summer Infant" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SUMR), a global developer
and distributor of juvenile health, safety and wellness products,
today announced that Ken Ward has joined the Company in the newly
created role of Senior Vice President, Sales & Operations Planning
(S&OP). In this position, Ward will focus on tracking and aligning
strategic objectives with financial plans by integrating sales with
financial planning, market strategies and new product development.
"We are thrilled that Ken will be joining Summer Infant in the new
position of SVP, Sales & Operations Planning," said President and
Chief Executive Officer Carol Bramson. "Ken's significant supply
chain, operational, financial and long-range strategic planning
experience with companies such as Simmons and the Geneva Watch Group
positions him well to lead our S&OP initiative."
"We expect that this initiative will result in improved margins,
stable production, cross-functional teamwork, reduced inventories and
customer service improvement," said Bramson. "In addition to internal
supply-demand data such as customer orders, shipments, inventories
and factory capacities used in most S&OP processes, we plan to
leverage more sophisticated inputs like Vendor Managed Inventory
(VMI), Collaborative Planning, Forecasting and Replenishment (CPFR)
and sharing of downstream data like Point of-Sale (POS) information.
The power of implementing S&OP lies in the sales and operations teams
being well-synchronized to ensure orders are met within the optimum
service and cost requirements."
"In order to achieve our objectives for S&OP, we need a singularly
powerful focus on driving state-of-the-art technology to enable the
critical integration of our business processes," added Bramson. "We
are excited that Dave Hemendinger will lead our Company in this
pursuit as our Chief Information Officer and will continue as a
Summer Infant corporate officer."
Ward joins Summer Infant with more than 20 years of global experience
in manufacturing organizations and industrial/consumer products. Most
recently, he was Vice President - Corporate Controller at Geneva
Watch Group, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of high quality
brand watches and clocks. He previously served as the company's Vice
President - Business Optimization. Prior to Geneva Watch Group, Ward
served in senior financial positions at Materion, Riddell Sports
Group, AGCO Corporation and Simmons Company. Ward holds a Bachelor of
Science degree in Management from Case Western Reserve University and
an M.B.A. from Cleveland State University.
In connection with his employment, Ward was granted (i) an option to
purchase 40,000 shares of the Company's common stock, with an
exercise price equal to the closing price of the Company's common
stock on the date of grant, and (ii) 20,000 shares of restricted
stock. Subject to Ward's continued service with the Company, the
option and the restricted stock award vest in equal annual
installments over a four year period beginning on the first
anniversary of the date of grant. The Compensation Committee of the
Company's Board of Directors granted these awards as an inducement
material to Ward's acceptance of employment in accordance with NASDAQ
Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About Summer Infant, Inc.
Based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the Company is a global designer,
marketer, and distributor of branded juvenile health, safety and
wellness products (for ages 0-3) which are sold principally to large
North American and European retailers. The Company currently markets
its products in several product categories such as monitors, safety,
nursery, feeding, gear and furniture. Most products are sold under
the core brand names of Summer(R) and Born Free(R). Significant
products include audio/video monitors, safety gates, bath tubs and
bathers, durable bath products, bed rails, swaddling blankets, baby
bottles, warming/sterilization systems, booster and potty seats,
bouncers, travel accessories, high chairs, swings, car seats,
strollers, and nursery furniture. Over the years, the Company has
completed several acquisitions and added products such as cribs,
swaddling, and feeding products. For more information about the
Company, please visit www.summerinfant.com.
Certain statements in this release that are not historical fact may
be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section
27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and the Company intends that such
forward-looking statements be subject to the safe harbor created
thereby. These statements are accompanied by words such as
"anticipate," "expect," "project," "will," "believes," "estimate" and
similar expressions, and include statements regarding expected
improvements in margins, customer service and operational performance
resulting from its S&OP initiative. The Company cautions that these
statements are qualified by important factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those reflected by such
forward-looking statements. Such factors include the concentration of
the Company's business with retail customers; the ability of the
Company to compete in its industry; the Company's ability to continue
to control costs and expenses; the Company's dependence on key
personnel; the Company's reliance on foreign suppliers; the Company's
ability to develop, market and launch new products; the Company's
ability to grow sales with existing and new customers; the Company's
ability to meet required financial covenants under its loan
agreements; and other risks as detailed in the Company's Annual
Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, and
subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The
Company assumes no obligation to update the information contained in
Chief Financial Officer
Summer Infant, Inc.
Sharon Merrill Associates, Inc.
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