Bob Kay named 2014 LAA honouree
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario (01 November 2013) – The Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance (CHFA) has named Bob Kay, the chairman and founder of Springwall Sleep Products as the 2014 recipient of its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kay will receive the distinction at a gala dinner to be held in his honour on January 10, 2014, immediately prior to the opening of the 2014 edition of the Canadian Home Furnishings Market.
The CHFA established the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 to recognize those individuals who over their lifetime have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the Canadian furniture and home furnishings industry as well as the communities in which they live.
In its announcement, the association said Kay was the son of a foundry worker who grew up in Sackville, New Brunswick with his sister. “Bob is a visionary who became a self-made New Brunswick industrialist and entrepreneur. He has taken advantage of many opportunities to get in on the ground floor of new ventures such as manufacturing mattresses, building cable and cellular phone systems, a restaurant, a Coca-Cola bottling and distribution plant as well as property development,” the CHFA said.
In 1961 at the age of 25, Kay left New Brunswick for Toronto where in addition to selling on the road, he was sales supervisor for the now defunct Beverly Mattresses. After three years in Toronto, he returned to New Brunswick and in 1964 founded Atlantic Sleep Products Ltd.
Today, Springwall operates three manufacturing facilities – here, in Calgary and in Scoudouc, New Brunswick – with a work force of 250 employees. Since 1990, the day-to-day management of the company has been led by Kay’s two sons – Boyd and Greg.
Springwall is perhaps the largest 100% Canadian mattress producer and the owner of several Canadian, U.S. and international trademarks.
The company will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014.
“Bob Kay is a successful, high-energy business entrepreneur who through his vision and leadership has developed the Springwall brand into a significant bedding resource in a highly competitive sector of our industry. In recognizing his extensive professional accomplishments and his commitment and dedication to community involvement, Bob is a most deserving recipient of the CHFA Lifetime Achievement Award,” said CHFA chairman Laine Reynolds.
Kay is a member in the World President’s Organization (WPO) and past member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO) which builds better leaders through education and idea exchange.
He is a valuable supporter of Moncton branch of the YMCA and the Friends of Moncton Hospital.
Over the past couple of decades, sales of Springwall’s Chiropractic mattress brand have produced more than $900,000 of donations to the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation.
Kay also recently established The Robert G. Kay/Killam Properties Inc. Entrance Scholarship Fund at Mount Allison University in Sackville.
“Many people have benefitted from Bob Kay’s risk taking spirit. In the true style of an entrepreneur he is able to perceive opportunities and take advantage of them,” Reynolds said, adding, “Bob Kay is not afraid to take risks into the ‘unknowns’ of business, but always with a calculated assessment of the possible outcomes, and respect for the value of budgets and the planning process.
Kay is the 15th recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the first being the late Orville Mead, president of Durham Furniture in 2001. The 2013 honouree was Angelo Marzilli, founder and president of upholstery specialist Décor-Rest Furniture. Prior recipients include Art DeFehr, chief executive officer of Palliser Furniture; Jean Deveault of Canadel Furniture and Richard Magnussen of Magnussen Home.
The gala honouring Kay will be held in the Orion Ballroom of the International Centre. For tickets or more information, contact CHFA president Murray Vaughan at (905) 677-6561 or by e-mail at [email protected].