Ending his career at Hickory Spring Manufacturing, he spent nearly 50 years in the bedding business
Bedding industry veteran Niles Cornelius, who has held a variety of executive positions with Hickory, North Carolina-based Hickory Springs Manufacturing and other bedding companies, has retired from his post as product training manager at HSM. His retirement marks the end of a 47-year career in the mattress and home furnishings industries.
“Niles has been a beloved member of our team and entire industry. There is not a part of our bedding division where he hasn’t made important contributions over the years,” said Tim Witherell, HSM vice president and general manager of its bedding business. “He has been a tremendous asset to our company. His willingness to share his extensive industry knowledge with our team was a tremendous asset, and we’ll all certainly miss his positive attitude and infectious spirit. We wish Niles and his family the best as he transitions into his well-deserved retirement.”
Cornelius joined HSM in 2008 as general manager of its Hickory at Home division, overseeing sales, marketing and operations. The division produced futon frames and mattresses, youth furniture, memory foam pillows and daybeds for sale at furniture stores, specialty sleep retailers and catalogs.
In his most recent position as product training manager, he developed training programs for retail sales associates on how to present HSM’s mattress components, adjustable bases, boxed beds and other products.
Prior to his tenure at HSM, Cornelius served in a number of executive positions for Therapedic International and its Therapedic of Virginia licensee. His career also included sales positions with Sealy and its Stearns & Foster brand, and with the former International Bedding Corp., another Therapedic licensee. He began his career as an RSA in a department store in Cincinnati.
Recalling the high points of his career, Cornelius said, “Perhaps one of my proudest achievements was the adjustable power bases program we created for Sealy, which achieved remarkable results at retail for a nearly five-year stretch. After that, I led HSM Bedding’s direct-to-retail program, Hickory at Home, and then became product manager of the company’s mattress components business. My time at HSM was the highlight of my career, and I am very proud of the results we achieved in all of those areas.”
Cornelius, who lives in Bluefield, West Virginia, plans to garden, read and spend time with his family, including his wife, Jane; four children; and four grandchildren.