RM Coco Builds Contract Division, Hires Heritage House Industry Vet

by Fabrics & Furnishings

May 18th, 2012

Cape Girardeau, MO – Deborah Newberger joined RM Coco in April to lead the company’s newly formed contract division.

Jim Rust, president, said the company hasn’t ever “pushed” a contract line but sees a new appetite for this market now.

In her new role, Newberger will select product, hire sales agents in the U.S. and overseas, control pricing and decide which products to merchandise. She will focus on all areas of the contract line, from hospitality to health care.

“It’s her division,” Rust said. “She’s responsible for the whole works.”

Rust said he hired Newberger because the contract market is an area in which they’ve never had a strong foothold, admitting that Coco “didn’t merchandise properly.”

“Hotels are now remodeling and as the travel industry recovers I’m confident the contract market will grow.”

Born and raised in Chicago, Ill., Newberger received her masters of science in communication from Northwestern University before going to work for Dana Mills, a converter of textiles founded by her parents in 1967. The mill began as a converter for mobile homes but then went directly to specifiers. It was sold to Tom Hilb of HeritageHouse Fabrics in 2011 and Newberger remained with the company for one year under Hilb’s direction before accepting a position with RM Coco.

Hilb said he declined to comment on Newberger leaving for RM Coco but did confirm that he recently hired Don Greene, former vice president of the piece goods division at Robert Allen, and Jeff Veach to build out the company’s sales and marketing.

Rust was recently at Proposte with his wife and Jocelyn Anderson, product development manager. He said that “it was a very nice market that we will continue to shop.”