A former bedding industry veteran is leaving behind retirement to lead HFA member Art Van Furniture. Gary Fazio is the company’s new CEO effective immediately.
Fazio replaces Ron Boire, who resigned in August after leading the Top 100 retailer for about a year.
Fazio brings more than 40 years of retail and bedding experience to his new role, according to an Art Van release. Most recently, Fazio served as CEO of mattress manufacturer Serta Simmons Bedding LLC from 2013 to 2015. Before that, he worked the retail side of bedding as CEO of Mattress Firm, the Houston-based mattress retailer.
Fazio is no stranger to Art Van. He knew company founder Art Van Elslander personally. That’s one of the reasons he came out of retirement to take over the company. “I’m so privileged and energized by the opportunity to build on his legacy,” Fazio told the Detroit News. “Art Van has a long runway for success ahead and I look forward to being part of the journey.”
Art Van Elslander died in 2018. A year earlier, the company he founded was bought by Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston private equity firm.
Changes to stores
Art Van has undergone a makeover under its new owners. The company, which operates 190 stores in nine Midwestern states, has a new website and reconfigured showrooms with new collections including rugs and, recently, window treatments. Art Van operates under brands including Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, Art Van Flooring, Scott Shuptrine Interiors, Levin Furniture, Levin Mattress, Wolf Furniture and Gardiner Wolf Furniture.
The Van Elslander family is delighted with Fazio coming on board. “My family has known (Fazio) for decades, and we have the utmost respect for his business acumen and his passion for what we do,” Gary Van Elslander, Art Van’s chairman, said in a release. “My father would be proud to know that Gary was leading his company into the next decade.”