A local maker of “comfort” seating hired a new CEO.
Grand Rapids-based Comfort Research said it appointed Jeff Werner to the organization’s top role. His first day was Monday.
Werner’s immediate focus will include continuing to expand the company’s Big Joe bean bag and pool floats brand and product portfolio, enhancing Comfort Research’s customer relationships and accelerating the company’s online capabilities.
“I could not be more thrilled to join this incredible company,” Werner said. “Comfort Research has accomplished so much since its humble beginnings, and I’m looking forward to continuing to grow this innovative and smart organization.”
The company said it was kicking off a nationwide search for a new CEO this past January. Comfort Research co-founders Chip George and Matt Jung were heavily involved in the selection process and will continue to be active members of the company’s leadership team.
“We recognized that at this point in the company’s growth, it was the right time to bring in a new leader with experience in the areas we know are important for our continued success,” Jung said. “Jeff’s work in consumer products and his entrepreneurial spirit are an awesome fit for building on what we’ve accomplished so far.”
Added George: “Jeff has led global businesses to new levels of profitability, and he understands what it takes to make great products that align with a strong brand. Matt and I are looking forward to working with him to bring Comfort Research to the next level.”
Werner’s experience includes serving as CEO of private equity portfolio companies and privately held firms, as well as more than a decade of senior-level leadership at two Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, he was CEO at SureFit Home Décor, a company in the home decor and bedding categories that sells products in 40 countries with offices in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Chicago; Los Angeles; London; and Shanghai.
He holds a Master of Business Administration in international business from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in business administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
Founded in 1997, Comfort Research is a product design and manufacturing company that makes comfort seating for the indoor, outdoor and pool markets.
The company is known for its Big Joe brand, a collection of “affordable and fun” bean bags and pool floats available in mass-market stores, major e-commerce retailers and on its direct-to-consumer website, buybigjoe.com.
In addition to its Grand Rapids headquarters, Comfort Research operates plants in Lewisburg, Tennessee, and Tremonton, Utah.
Comfort Research said it is on track to sell close to 4 million bean bags this year.