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Don Greene Retires From Heritage Fabrics, But Not his Duties to the Family Business, A. Hoke Ltd. 

April 20, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —  When Don Greene retired as the executive vice president -- and a part-owner -- of Heritage Fabrics one year ago, he thought he was going to spend more time on the golf course.

Don Greene's daughter, Elaine Hougham Greene, (l-r) Don Greene, and his wife, Alma Hoke Greene

But his wife, Alma, and daughter, Elaine, had other plans for him as a consultant to another company, their family fabric business, A. Hoke Ltd.

A Hoke Ltd is a wholesale showroom with all of the upper-end fabric and furniture lines for the interior design trade with two locations; one in Charlotte, North Carolina and one in Raleigh, North Carolina.

“I spent last summer (June-November) at our mountain home in the Boone/Blowing Rock area working on my flower gardens and my golf game,” Greene says. “The gardens showed more improvement than my golf game.”

Greene, and his co-owner, Wayne McNeely, purchased Heritage seven years ago. Today, Greene still continues there as a non-working partner and a director.

“Wayne McNeely is the president and operating partner,” Greene says. “We did not replace my position. We moved some of my responsibilities to other employees.”

Since Greene left Heritage, he has still been involved with his family business, A. Hoke Ltd. He and his wife started it 1989, so that they could expand on the growing Robert Allen business.

“We sell very, very little RA at A. Hoke today,” Greene says. “They have gone from the front row to the back room. We were fortunate to have added other jobbers years ago.

“Robert Allen certainly is a story on how outsiders can destroy a business,” Greene says. “I was very fortunate as a young man to have joined RA/Ametex in 1981, just as they were starting to become the leaders of the jobbers and converters. After Bob Weiss and Allen Wyatt sold it to Masco, the ship slowing began leaking and now the music is playing as the lifeboats are pulling away.”

In a letter to his customers when he left Heritage, Greene states: “After 50 years of working in the home furnishings industry, I have decided to retire to enjoy more time with the loves of my life; my wife, my daughter, and son in law, my grandchildren (who are growing up way too fast), my friends, my home in the North Carolina mountains, my gardens, and my love to improve my golf game (or enough so I can say I love it).

“I have been blessed being involved with Heritage Fabrics over the past seven years with wonderful business partners who understand the quality and happiness of a healthy life, and who understand my desire to spend more time with the loves of my life.”

Well, Don Greene, you’re still in the textiles game!


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