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Knights Apparel Names Hodge President and Chief Operating Officer

2008-07-15 09:35:00

    SPARTANBURG, S.C., July 15 /EMWNews/ -- Knights Apparel Inc. has

named veteran apparel and home textiles industries executive Donnie Hodge

President and Chief Operating Officer, it was announced by Chief Executive

Officer Joseph Bozich.

    In his new post, Hodge will be responsible for running the day-to-day

operations of the leading producer of licensed sports apparel. His direct

reports will include the executives responsible for the company's finance,

operations, sourcing, merchandising, sales and human resources functions.

    Hodge, who has over 35 years experience in operations, management,

manufacturing, marketing and supply chain at apparel and home textiles

manufacturers, was most recently the Chief Operating Officer of the Gerber

Childrenswear division of Kellwood Company, where he helped orchestrate a

re-engineering of the brand. His efforts over the past seven years drove

the Greenville, S.C.-based Gerber to "Best-in-Class" metrics in the areas

of sales growth, operating earnings growth, capital employed, inventory

turns, SG&A and Burden costs, distribution, and price value positioning.

    Prior to that, Hodge spent 19 years at J.P. Stevens and successor

company West Point Stevens, Clemson, S.C., where he rose to become Senior

Vice President-Strategic Planning and a member of the company's Executive

Strategy team. During that time, he helped turn the home textile division

into the top performing group within the company, leading the effort to

stabilize business processes and helping to direct the development of the

Ralph Lauren Home Fashions line. Hodge began his career at Milliken and

Co., Spartanburg, S.C., and held various management positions over a 10

year period there.

    "We are excited about adding a key member to our executive management

team with Donnie's apparel industry experience, skill set, leadership

qualities and track record of success," said Bozich. "This is an important

step as we build on the company's already strong foundation to support our

rapidly growing business. I look forward to working closely with Donnie to

execute our strategies and continued growth plans."

    A resident of Landrum, S.C., Hodge holds a BA degree from Erskine

College, Due West, S.C.

    Executive search firm DHR International assisted Knights Apparel in the

placement of Hodge.

    About Knights Apparel Inc.

    Knights Apparel Inc. is a leading producer of licensed sports apparel

for mass market retailers, mid-tier department stores, and sporting goods

retailers. The company has licensing arrangements -- many of many of which

are exclusive -- with major brands, colleges and universities, as well as

numerous professional sports leagues and teams in North America, including

the NHL and NBA.

    Knights Apparel was acquired in 2004 by Milestone Partners, a private

equity firm focused on the middle market. In 2005, Knights Apparel acquired

Red Oak Sportswear, a College Station, Texas-based company that designs,

imprints and markets collegiate licensed sports apparel and accessories to

mass market retailers. The acquisition provided Knights with

"direct-to-store" distribution capabilities and enhanced Knight's position

as the leading supplier of licensed sports apparel to the mass market.

Following the acquisition, Knights became the largest supplier of

collegiate sports apparel, according to the Collegiate Licensing Company.

    For more information, visit and

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