Jan. 31, 2017 – FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Veteran furniture industry executive Derek Ritzel has joined Pride Family Brands, a leading manufacturer and distributor of outdoor furniture in North America, as chief executive officer, succeeding Steve Lowsky. The change in leadership is the culmination of a long-term transition plan put into place when private equity firm New Water Capital acquired family-owned Pride Family Brands in July 2015.
“The Lowsky family started this company in 1978 with just the family, working seven days per week,” said Steve Lowsky, part of the founding family and former CEO. “In 2015, with the change in ownership, my role has been to help transition the company from a family business to a portfolio company of New Water Capital. I have spent the last 20 months with this goal in mind.”
“Pride Family Brands, its brands and our 450 team members are in a great place, with a bright future in the casual furnishings industry, and I look forward to watching their continued success.”
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Pride designs, manufactures and distributes hand-forged, artisan-quality aluminum outdoor furniture under the Castelle brand and designs and supplies promotional steel and high-quality aluminum outdoor furniture under the SummerWinds and private label brands, servicing more than 1,000 retail locations across the U.S.
“With more than 20 years of experience at all levels of the furniture industry, Derek is a phenomenal choice to lead Pride Family Brands,” said Chairman John Disa. “He is a dynamic and innovative leader with demonstrated expertise in the areas of team-building, business development and leveraging new technologies.”
“I am greatly honored at the opportunity to be part of this highly regarded and industry-leading company,” Ritzel said. “The company’s heritage is one of innovation and expansion, and I look forward to continuing and building upon its success.”
Ritzel most recently served as president and COO of Tempur Sealy Canada, where he was instrumental in integrating the Tempur and Sealy Canadian operations and in driving significant profitable growth.
Ritzel began his career in 1992 with Sealy Corporation, where he advanced steadily through a wide range of sales, marketing, and operations executive positions, finally serving as East Region Division Vice President from 2011 to 2013.