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10262015 Michaelian & Kohlberg Names Hillyer Head of Wholesale


Jennifer Hillyer



HORSE SHOE, NC - Handmade decorative rug maker Michaelian & Kohlberg announced the promotion of Jennifer Hillyer to head of its wholesale business. The company with main offices in Hillside, NJ, and a sales division based in Horse Shoe, NC, said Hillyer, who replaces Ali Khalid Chaundhry, joined the North Carolina office of Michaelian in June of 2011 as an administrative assistant and quickly worked her way up the ranks.

She will now focus on reaching out to stocking dealers to rekindle past relationships and add new ones to the company's roster, Sandra Lemke, long-time chief executive officer of M&K, told

Hillyer, who has a background in sales management, was named sales manager of M&K's Wilton broadloom carpet division, which accounts for approximately 10% of the company's business after her first year, and shortly thereafter took over management of its fledgling textile division (crafted in India), created as a complement to the company's rugs, Lemke said.

"In November of 2014, [Teddy] Sumner asked me to begin rebuilding the Southeast territory by establishing new wholesale rug dealer accounts and revitalizing existing accounts," Hillyer explained of her prior promotion. "Now, I manage the entire wholesale division where my focus is on quality customer service and establishing great working relationships with our dealers. My goal is to see Michaelian & Kohlberg, Inc. continue to grow as a nationally recognized purveyor of fine hand-knotted rugs."

In fact, because of Hillyer's initiative, Michaelian exhibited last week at the Suites at High Point market after a long hiatus, interrupted approximately four years ago, when the company set up at market to debut its line of textiles. Founded in 1921, Michaelian & Kohlberg designs and creates fine handmade decorative carpets, made in Nepal, India, Afghanistan and China, for high-end residential, office and hospitality interiors.

"Jennifer comes from an extensive sales background, and joined us about four years ago," Lemke said. "Stationed in our North Carolina location, Jennifer started her rug venture through our Wilton designs and from there took over our textiles division, which under her tutelage has done really well. But people come to us for handmade carpets, which are the lion's share of our business, and we now want Jennifer to concentrate on our dealers - the people who have given us our success.

"A few years ago, we restructured our business and broke our states into territories and we found that we had stocking dealers with whom we had lost touch. In the Southeast territory, Jennifer was able to bring people back into contact with M&K very successfully. She is the person we want to put in the field to reach out to dealers and rekindle relationships."




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