Kevin Toman, retired Englander CEO, dies at 77

HIGH POINT — Longtime mattress industry executive Kevin Toman died this week. He was 77.

Toman spent the last decade of his career as the chief executive officer of Englander Sleep Products before retiring in 2019. While Toman started his career with Standard Oil after graduating from City University in New York, he later joined the mattress industry in 1970 and spent 46 years in the business.

His first job in the industry was a sales trainee position with Simmons Co., which turned into a springboard for successful roles with Simmons, Sealy and Serta – the industry’s leading brands of the day. Positions with the big three led to CEO roles with Restonic and Englander, which he joined in 2005 and was later named CEO in 2012.

January 2019 – three months before his retirement – Toman named Mark Kinsley president of Englander, setting the company’s succession plan in motion. Kinsley, now chief executive officer of the company, credited Toman with expanding the brand’s retail partnerships both domestically and internationally.

“Kevin was more than a visionary executive and gifted mentor,” Kinsley said. “He was a caring man who improved the lives of countless people. His sparkling smile, sage advice, and witty sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Kinsley remembered Toman as a leader with a people-first approach” in his management style.

“Kevin always took time to listen, teach and thoughtfully guide the next generation of leaders,” he said. “He was a shining example of humble excellence who led by lifting others up.”

Furniture Today honored Toman with its prestigious Lifetime Bedding Achievement Award at the annual Bedding Conference for his outstanding career in the industry.

Toman’s first sales territory was in southern New Jersey and in the next four years, he was promoted several times, eventually being named territory sales manager. That promotion gave him responsibility for Simmons’ Washington, D.C., warehouse, the company’s largest in the U.S. at the time.

In 1978, Toman joined Sealy Mattress of Connecticut as key account manager where he managed all of the New York City department store accounts – a decade when department stores were key players in the mattress segment.

He continued to climb the ladder and held a number of executive sales positions including vice president of sales for the New England region and was later named vice president of sales and marketing for all of Sealy Connecticut.

Toman remained in the Sealy family through an acquisition in the 1980s and was appointed in 1989 to a corporate position, vice president of sales for national accounts, hospitality division, and new business development. In that role, he established new channels of Sealy distribution with sales to membership clubs Costco, Sam’s and Pace.

He went on to join Serta Mattress Northeast in 1993 as president and CEO, and later when Serta International acquired Serta Mattress Northeast in 2000, Toman bowed out of the industry for a two-year break during which he taught high school.

In 2002, Toman was named president and CEO of Restonic. Three years later, Englander Sleep Products recruited him as its president and CEO.

In addition to his work with the companies he led, Toman was active in the International Sleep Products Assn., serving on its board of trustees for five years.

Outside of the industry, Toman served in the U.S. Navy Reserve and earned an MBA from California Western University.

Toman is survived by his wife Mary, two children and four grandchildren.

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