Spring Air president Rick Robinson, who passed away on December 19th of natural causes, will be remembered in a private family ceremony in Jacksonville, Fla. this week. Shortly after his unexpected death just prior to the Christmas holiday, scores of Spring Air licensees from around the globe expressed shock and sadness for his loss not only as company president but also as a positive, enthusiastic and compassionate human being.
“I’ve known Rick for more than 20 years and over that time we always had tremendous respect for one another,” said Eric Spitzer, COO of Serta and former coworker of Robinson. “We laughed and cried together and shared in each other’s business successes and defeats. Rick was very smart, had a keen sense of marketing and merchandising, and was ahead of the curve on perceiving consumer preferences and trends. He was a great leader and a great person to work with.”
Nick Bates, who will retain his title as Spring Air vice president but has assumed Robinson’s responsibilities for the interim, noted that “Rick saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. He was a leader, mentor and friend. His presence will forever be missed.”
Anita Chapman, who has served as a marketing consultant to Spring Air since 2009, spoke of Robinson as a very close friend and mentor, and a “big loss to the company and the industry. “Because he worked in a number of sales, marketing and merchandising roles for bedding producers like Serta, Restonic, A.H. Beard, Nature’s Rest and Spring Air International, among others, he was responsible for the success of many industry producers and programs over the course of his career,” she said. “Rick was highly intuitive and innovative. As a result, he was often ahead of his time.”
J.P. LeDoux, current vice president of sales at Classic Brands, also worked alongside Robinson at Spring Air and years earlier at Nature’s Rest. “I’ve worked both for and with Rick over the past 18 years and I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to call him my friend, my mentor and my boss,” he noted. “Rick came from humble beginnings, was raised by a single mother in blue-collar Youngstown, Ohio, and put himself through college. He worked his way up in the bedding industry starting as a sales trainer at Serta and ultimately becoming president of Spring Air. Rick left us far too soon, but I know that my life and the lives of many others have been enriched through our association with him.”
Robinson is survived by his son Christopher Robinson; son Matthew Robinson, daughter-in-law Brittany and granddaughter Lily; MaryAnn Robinson and his brother, Rodney.
The family has requested that condolences take the form of cards and include a description or memory of Robinson. The cards should be sent to Spring Air International at 70 Everett Avenue, Suite 507, Chelsea, Mass. 02150. The company will forward all mail to the Robinson family.