UPDATED: Lenox Names New CEO, Cameron and Gribetz to Serve on Board

Lester Gribetz has resigned as president
November 16, 2016Allison Zisko

KatrinaHelmkampKatrina Helmkamp
BRISTOL, Pa.—Katrina Helmkamp has been named CEO of Lenox Corp., succeeding Peter Cameron, who will remain with the company as co-chairman of its board of directors.Lester Gribetz has resigned as president and will also serve on the board.

“Katrina is a proven team builder with a track record of success,” said Tom Goundrey, a Lenox director and a partner at Clarion Capital Partners, the private investment company that owns Lenox. “Lenox’s board of directors is excited to work with her to create a shared vision and strategy to ensure Lenox’s success for decades to come.”

Helmkamp is the former CEO of SVP Worldwide, one of the world’s largest sewing machine companies with the Singer, Husqvarna Viking, and Pfaff brand names. Prior to that, she was senior vice president of Whirlpool Corp., where she led product development for North America and improved margins and market share, according to Lenox. Before joining Whirlpool, Helmkamp served as group president of ServiceMaster, responsible for the branch-based businesses of Terminix, TruGreen Lawn and TruGreen LandCare. Earlier in her career, Helmkamp was a strategy consultant and partner with The Boston Consulting Group.

PeterCameronPeter Cameron
“I am grateful for the opportunity to succeed Peter Cameron at Lenox,” Helmkamp said. “I am particularly excited by Lenox’s portfolio of leading brands. I look forward to working closely with trade partners and engaging with a new generation of consumers and designers to launch contemporary products that build on Lenox’s unparalleled history.”

Clarion’s Managing Partner Marc Utay praised Cameron’s leadership of the tabletop company. “Peter Cameron and I have been partners for 30 years across four successful housewares and tabletop businesses,” he said. “He is an energetic leader and I’m proud of our accomplishments together at Lenox. I look forward to working with Peter in his new role as co-chairman of Lenox’s board of directors, as the company will continue to benefit from his deep industry experience.”

“Lenox is a treasured American brand with dedicated employees,” said Cameron. “It has been my privilege to lead the business over these last eight years, and I am very proud of revitalizing Lenox’s prominence in the eyes of both our trade partners and consumers.

LesterGribetzLester Gribetz
“Katrina Helmkamp is a dynamic executive who has a history of driving profitable growth in multiple formats and channels,” he continued. “I look forward to assisting Katrina in her new role, and introducing her to all of the company’s important stakeholders.”

Gribetz will assist Lenox in transitioning his role to a successor while at the same time pursuing outside interests, the company said.

“Lester is one of the true creative forces in the home fashion, tabletop and housewares industries,” Cameron said. “He has an incomparable eye for current trends, and a charisma that has made him endearing to colleagues, customers and suppliers for decades. While we are excited for Lester, and pleased that he will continue on with the company as a director, we will miss his day-to-day involvement dearly.”

“We can’t thank Lester enough for his contributions to Lenox over the past seven years,” Utay said. “It is rare for us to work with an executive with such a strong combination of design and business instincts. Lester has a passion, work ethic and energy level that is beyond compare.”

Gribetz said, “I have enjoyed my time at Lenox, and am proud of the company’s accomplishments and all the terrific colleagues I have worked with. Lenox is the unquestioned design and innovation leader in the tabletop industry, and I feel bittersweet in my decision to pursue new opportunities outside the company. I am pleased to continue on as a director, and I look forward to assisting the company with a smooth transition.”

Allison ZiskoAllison Zisko | Managing Editor/Tabletop Editor
azisko@hfnmag.com

After 15 years of covering the tabletop industry, Allison Zisko is still as enthusiastic as ever about the dinnerware, glassware and flatware categories. An in-depth analysis of how the category works intrigues her just as much as the latest fashion trends. As managing editor, Allison oversees the daily e-newsletter and works behind the scenes to help produce the print issue each month. She also directs HFN’s housewares coverage and covers the cutlery category. An avid reader, Allison is eager to talk to anyone and everyone about the latest book they are reading.

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