Archive for the ‘International’ Category
Sean Suggs is the new vice president of administration for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi.He replaces Doug Formby, who announced his retirement recently.
Suggs, 48, takes over Jan. 31.
He joined TMMMS Nov. 4 after working for Nissan for seveeral years. Most recently, he was director of strategy, administration and human resources from 2011-2013 for Nissan’s North American headquarters in Tennessee.
“I’ve worked 10 years for Toyota and six with Nissan,” Suggs.
He is no stranger to Mississippi, either. Before his stint at Nissan’s headquarters, he headed production quality at Nissan’s Canton plant.
As mentioned earlier, this is Suggs’ second stint with Toyota. He started his automotive industry career in 1998 at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in 1998. He was named general manager of quality planning in 2008 at TMMI and oversaw professional development, vehicle quality and manufacturing quality for current and new model production.
“It is a great privilege to be asked to lead Toyota Mississippi at this important moment in this plant’s history,” he said. “I started my automotive career with Toyota, so this is like coming home.”
He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Oakland City College in Oakland City, Ind., and his MBA from Auburn University.
He and his wife, Janet, have six children.
Read more in Wednesday’s Daily Journal.
Speaking to more than 800 attendees at the Governor’s Energy Summit, Gov. Bryant announced the Fraser Institute has again ranked Mississippi among the world’s most attractive places for oil and gas investment. Mississippi ranks number two globally for energy policy and is first in its tier when energy policy is considered along with proven oil and gas reserves.
The Fraser Institute developed the rankings by surveying petroleum industry executives about barriers to investment in 157 oil- and gas-producing regions throughout the world. According to the report, barriers to investment can include high taxes, cost of regulatory compliance, uncertainty over environmental regulations and the interpretation and administration of regulations.
Now that bankrupt Furniture Brands International has completed the sale of most of its assets to KPS Capital Partners, it’s time to wind down what’s left of the company.
To that end, Furniture Brands is now FBI Wind Down Inc.
Former FBI chief administrative officer, general counsel and corporate secretary Meredith Graham, 41, is leading FBI Wind Down as it closes its books and ties up loose ends. She’ll be paid her base salary of $286,000 on a pro-rated basis. She’ll be employed up to six months.
KPS completed its $280 million purchase of Furniture Brands on Nov. 25, getting Lane, Broyhill, Thomasville, Drexel Heritage, Maitland- Smith, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Pearson, La Barge and Lane Venture.
KPS put all of the brands under control of a new company, Heritage Home Group, which has assumed Furniture Brands’ former website.
Lane Furniture Industries employed about 1,400 people in Northeast Mississippi prior to Furniture Brands’ Sept. 9 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. It’s not known how many remain employed at Lane or at the other brands. However, KPS said it would offer employment to most of the employees of the brands.
Also as a result of the KPS purchase, Ralph Scozzafava, the former CEO of Furniture Brands, and Vance Johnston, its former CFO were ousted from the company. Also let go were the presidents of Lane and Hickory Chair.
In addition, the former board of directosr for Furniture Brands – Ira D. Kaplan, Ann S. Lieff, Aubrey B. Patterson, Dr. George E. Ross and Scozzafava – was let go. Read the rest of this entry »
The Associated Press says “cyber thieves know what the hot gift items are and they target their scams accordingly. That can include fake contests on social media sites, dangerous links, and texts and emails designed to get shoppers to reveal personal information or download malicious software.”
Other recommendations to stay safe include making sure a website is legitimate and secure before ordering, install anti-virus software and a firewall, pay for credit card protection and print records of online transactions.
From the Detroit Free Press:
According to the federal authorities, here are some key schemes to be on the lookout for:
- Gift cards being sold for dramatically reduced prices.
- “One day only” websites offering sales on high-demand name brand items.
- “Phishing” e-mails, text messages, or phone calls that pretend to come from established and well-known retailers, asking shoppers to verify credit card numbers, bank accounts, or detailed personal information.
When it comes to shopping, the feds say there are three basic principles that consumers should consider to avoid being scammed: price, location and quality. If the quality is poor, the prices fall way below retail, or the websites look suspicious because they’re selling goods not typically associated with certain brands, that should set off red flags to the consumer.
Credit cards need to be guarded extra carefully.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade stressed that while online shopping offers convenience and easy price-comparison, “consumers should do their homework before sharing credit card information online.”
If you are a victim of an internet crime, report it at the Internet Crime Complaint Center, known as IC3, at www.ic3.gov
KPS Capital Partners, which received bankruptcy court approval to purchase Furniture Brands International for $280 million on Friday, has moved quickly to change the company’s image and leadership.
Furniture Brands is now called Heritage Home Group.
Former CEO Ralph Scozzafava has resigned effective today, replaced by Ira Glazer. Former CFO Vance Johnston was replaced by Jeff Zappone, another turnaround expert and managing director of Conway MacKenzie advisory firm.
Lane Furniture Industries president Dan Masters also is out, but a replacement has not been named. Jay Reardon, formerly president of Hickory Chair, another division of Furniture Brands, also was let go.
More from the KPS:
Heritage Home Group will operate as an independent company with the long-term support of KPS, a private equity investor with more than $6.0 billion of assets under management and a long track record of successfully transforming businesses and creating profitable, growing companies. Heritage Home Group owns an iconic collection of the furniture and design industry’s leading brands, including Thomasville, Broyhill, Lane, Drexel Heritage, Hickory Chair, Henredon, Pearson, Lane Venture, Maitland-Smith and LaBarge.
Heritage Home Group launches as a well-capitalized company, with no legacy obligations and access to the financial resources necessary to execute its ambitious business improvement and growth plans.
KPS also announced that Ira Glazer has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Home Group. Mr. Glazer is an executive with three decades of successful turnaround experience and has previously partnered with KPS on a very successful platform.
Raquel Vargas Palmer, a Partner of KPS, said, “This is the beginning of a new era for Heritage Home Group and its brands. The company has a new owner, a new CEO, a new Board of Directors and a new strategic direction. Heritage Home Group launches with truly iconic brands, a solid financial structure and access to KPS’ financial resources and expertise. We strongly believe in the fundamental value of this business and the significant growth potential that can be unlocked through focused investment in our brands. We are proud to welcome the many Furniture Brands associates who are joining Heritage Home Group, and we look forward to working together to build a thriving and profitable company.
“KPS is delighted that Ira Glazer will serve as President and CEO of Heritage Home Group. Ira is an outstanding business leader with a demonstrated track record of transforming and growing companies. We have worked successfully with Ira in the past and look forward to collaborating again to build the value of Heritage Home Group.
“We are grateful to all of Furniture Brands’ stakeholders for their assistance and cooperation through the transaction process and the formation of Heritage Home Group,” Ms. Palmer concluded.
Mr. Glazer said, “I am honored to lead Heritage Home Group. Free of Furniture Brands’ burdens and liabilities, and with a rock-solid balance sheetand many outstanding associates who are joining our company, we have an exceptional opportunity to build a true industry leader. I am also pleased to partner and collaborate again with KPS, a firm that has distinguished itself as a global leader in turnaround investing and is ideally suited for this exciting venture.
“I would like to commend Ralph Scozzafava, who informed us this morning that he resigned as CEO of Furniture Brands, for his efforts over the past several years. Ralph worked hard to ensure that Furniture Brands’ assets would be well-positioned for growth and we thank him for his contributions,” Mr. Glazer concluded.
From Furniture Brands:
Furniture Brands International today announced that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has declared an affiliate of KPS Capital Partners as the winning bidder in the auction to acquire substantially all of the Company’s assets. Furniture Brands and KPS expect to complete the transaction in the next several business days.
Ralph Scozzafava, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Furniture Brands, said: “We congratulate KPS and firmly believe that this transaction is the best outcome for all of our stakeholders. KPS has a long track record of providing companies that have undergone restructurings with the operational expertise and financial strength they need to preserve their market leadership as strong standalone businesses positioned for future growth. We are quite pleased that KPS has extended an offer of employment to substantially all of our employees who will help build a successful future for Furniture Brands.” Read the rest of this entry »
Leading the way will be Mississippi State University, along with several partners, including Itawamba Community College, Three Rivers Planning & Development District, East Mississippi Community College, MSU’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems and the Franklin Furniture Insitute.
The three-year program is among 10 being launched nationwide. In Mississippi, the Mississippi Reshoring Team looks to add 750 jobs and $40 million in investment.
Clay Walden, CAVS Extension director and principal investigator of the grant, said the program consists of key stakeholders working in partnership to fulfill distinct yet complementary scopes of work. In addition to the state’s primary land grant university, program participants include selected community colleges, workforce investment boards, InnovateMississippi and the Mississippi Development Authority.
“The strength of our proposal was the strength of our partnerships,” Walden said.
Specifically, Itawamba Community College, East Mississippi Community College, Holmes Community College, Mississippi Delta Community College, Three Rivers Planning and Development District, and South Delta Planning and Development District are playing critical workforce development roles. Read the rest of this entry »