From Home Furnishing Business
OMI Founder, Chairman Walt Bader Retires
Organic mattress producer OMI has announced the retirement of Founder and Chairman Walt Bader, passing the baton to his son, current CEO Jeff Bader.
Three years after assuming the CEO position for leading organic sleep products manufacturer OMI, Jeff Bader has transformed the company to improve its manufacturing efficiencies, grow its OEM program, created a direct-to-consumer model and increased the company’s retail reach by 20 percent in his first year.
Jeff Bader, an experienced entrepreneur, joined OMI in 2016 from Freight Logistics, Inc., where he was executive vice president, chief information officer, shareholder and director for the Miami-based transportation and logistics company, which also had overseas offices in Latin America and Europe. His experience in logistics and technology has been an asset in implementing a more efficient operation at OMI.
“When we started OMI there was no certified organic product in the marketplace and consumers were yearning for a healthier night’s sleep. I am proud to have led the industry forward in regard to safe and healthy sleep, and to have been the early pioneer and advocate for important organic standards that led to the first truly certified organic sleep products in America,” said Walt Bader. “The company is in great hands under Jeff’s leadership. He has led a tremendous transformation of OMI, and the company is on a firm foundation with a strong growth trajectory ahead.”
Walt Bader founded OMI in 2003 as the first large-scale, dedicated organic-sleep-products manufacturer in the U.S. He was the leading voice for healthy sleep and the use of organic components in place of conventional ones.
Under Walt Bader’s leadership, OMI mattresses were the first adult-sized mattresses in North America to receive the coveted Greenguard Gold certification in 2005, granted only to products that meet low-VOC emission standards. In 2012, the company was also the first mattress manufacturer to obtain both the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS) to achieve the first certified organic latex mattress. OMI’s mattresses also were the first sleep products to meet new federal flammability standards without the use of fire-retardant chemicals or barriers.
“My father is the pioneer in the organic sleep movement and helped make organic mattresses a more mainstream product, offering an important safe sleep alternative. My job now is to leverage our tremendous products and brand equity and take the company to the next level by focusing on the luxury sleep segment and expanding our demographic reach,” said Jeff Bader. “The interest in organic products has never been higher, and price points, once a barrier to entry, are no longer a factor as luxury mattresses comfortable fetch $5,000 and more at retail. The consumer today is more than willing to buy an organic, luxury bed because it is healthier for them. We stand positioned for growth.”