Stuart Carlitz, president and chief executive officer of mattress manufacturer Bedding Industries of America and the Eclipse International licensing group, will be honored this fall as “Manufacturer of the Year” by the Greater Metropolitan Home Furnishings Association. The award will be presented at the group’s annual dinner dance on Nov. 23.
Carlitz, who has worked in the mattress industry since he was a high school student in the mid-1970s, is being honored for his dedication and commitment to the industry, as well as his strong, positive relationships with retailers, sales representatives and others in the business.
“Stu Carlitz is the classic example of what hard work, dedication and a burning desire to learn can accomplish,” said Ron Cooper, president of GMFA. “He started out sweeping factory floors as a teenager, and now owns one of the biggest bedding manufacturers in the business. His impact on the industry is being felt far beyond the Philadelphia area where he got his start.”
The black tie-optional dinner dance will take place at The Palasadium in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. The group’s Retailer of the Year award, a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Joseph Cory Leadership Award also will be presented.
“This is an incredible honor, and I am very humbled by the recognition from our association,” said Carlitz.“It will be wonderful to see many of the retailers, manufacturers and other industry friends I’ve made over the years.”
After working in a Serta factory in Pennsauken, New Jersey, in high school, Carlitz became a sales representative in the early 1980s for Therapedic Sleep Products of New Jersey. Several years later, Carlitz opened his own factory in the Philadelphia area, and in 1994, merged it with Therapedic Sleep Products. Carlitz later formed a company called Mattress Development Corporation, which acquired Eclipse in 1999.
Carlitz now occupies a 125,000-square-foot factory in North Brunswick, New Jersey, that is known corporately as Bedding Industries of America (BIA). Today, the BIA plant is the largest licensee of Eclipse International, and produces several other bedding brands in addition to Eclipse, including Therapedic, Eastman House and Ernest Hemingway.
Since the acquisition, Eclipse International has become a strong licensing organization with 17 domestic and 60 international licensees.
GMFA is a not-for-profit organization that serves home furnishings professionals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Others who have been honored by the group in previous years include Kevin O’Connor, former CEO of Legacy Classic; Satya Tiwari, president of Surya; and Lenny Kharitonov and Thomas Corrales, co-founders of furniture wholesaler and retailer Bedroom Furniture Discounts.
About Eclipse International: North Brunswick, New Jersey-based Eclipse International licensing group that includes a family of mattress brands that date back to 1866. Known for its design innovation in creating advanced sleep products, the company has an extensive global licensing network that distributes mattresses under seven brands – Eclipse, Eastman House, Van Vorst, Ernest Hemingway, Pure Talalay Bliss, Velika and BIA. A well-established leader in the bedding industry, Eclipse designs products crafted with high quality components, including latex, memory foam, gel and eco-friendly materials. The company holds a number of patents that deliver superb support throughout the product line. Today, the company has 77 licensees worldwide.