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From Home Furnishing Business

Guardsman Announces New Sales Leadership

Furniture protection vendor Guardsman, a division of Valspar Corp. (NYSE: VAL), has promoted Kerry Lawless to director of furniture protection plan sales for Guardsman North America.

In addition, Anthony Cerino has joined the sales team as national account manager; and Doug Stewart as zone manager. The moves are part of an effort to better align Guardsman's sales team behind its retail partners to promote growth of its furniture protection plan business. 

Lawless is a 16-year Guardsman veteran who formerly was the western zone sales manager for Guardsman, where he was responsible for the growth of the business through a mix of new business development and several initiatives that enhanced retailer performance and profitability. In his new role, he will lead the Guardsman sales team in the furniture and bedding segments, where he is charged with directing the development and implementation of sales strategies across North America.

“Kerry’s strengths are well known to the trade,” said Stuart Graff, vice president of the Guardsman division of Valspar, High Point. “We’re pleased with the way he has managed the category with many of our key accounts to optimize even mature programs for our retail partners. He is perfectly poised to continue to support our strategic vision of providing excellent customer service and continued profitable growth.” 

Guardsman also is adding retailer experience to its sales organization in a move “to better support our retail partners,” said Graff. Anthony Cerino brings to Guardsman more than 15 years’ experience in retail sales management in the furniture industry, while Doug Stewart brings category management expertise after leading this line of business for a national furniture retailer.

“Tony’s and Doug’s retail experience, with extensive training, development, and analytic capabilities, bring an important perspective to our team that will enhance our retailers’ performance in this highly profitable category,” said Graff.

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