Industry Views - September 2011

Remembering Welspun’s Bob Hamilton

Robert Joseph Hamilton died Aug. 6, 2011, after a battle with cancer, surrounded by his family.
Born on June 19, 1944 in New York City, Bob attended the University of Michigan and Pace University, graduating in 1968.

After working for Johnson & Johnson as a pharmaceutical rep, he joined Fieldcrest/Cannon in 1970 as a sales trainee in the New York office and continued up the ladder in sales/marketing, building brands such as Royal Velvet and Charisma. He believed in telling solution-driven product stories to customers that created emotional bonds. He instituted the “Color College,” which annually brought retailers to the Fieldcrest/Cannon headquarters in Kannapolis.

Bob worked for the company for 33 years, until it closed its doors as Pillowtex in 2003.

He began consulting for various home furnishings brands and in 2005 was introduced to the Welspun team. He served as Welspun’s director of marketing until his passing. Even when ill, he remained in touch with the team, offering strategic advice and marketing plans for upcoming Market weeks.

Bob believed it was the people you worked with that made work worthwhile and he enjoyed his colleagues in his Fieldcrest and Welspun “families.”

Working in the textile industry for four decades allowed him to do what he loved until the day he died. He was known as the most gracious, tailored, colorful, loyal, gentle-hearted, quick-witted, articulate, storyteller of a husband, father, brother and colleague. He was the truest of gentlemen.

Friend and colleague, Mark Grand, president, Peking Handicraft Inc. (PHI), reminisces: “Bob was a well put together guy. He looked cool, he acted cool and he always knew the appropriate thing to say in any situation. Bob was the person most repsonsible for the marketing success of the Royal Velvet program at Fieldcrest and the profits that went with it. In our industry, you can count the marketing successes on one hand...or maybe one finger. His command of color, as I’m sure will be well documented, was matched only by his ability to articulate the ‘big idea’ that Royal Velvet was.

“As good a businessperson as Bob was,” says Grand, “what I will remember most is his spirit, his carriage, his natural creativity and that twinkle in his eye when he was about to zing you!”

Bob is survived by his wife, Diane; son, Bryce and daughter-in-law, Hilary; daughter, Tyler and son-in-law, Scott; brother, Scott and sister-in-law Susan; and grandchildren Sawyer, Rafferty and Austen.

Bob was a passionate golfer, believing golf taught great life lessons about integrity, sportsmanship and leadership. In Bob’s memory, contributions may be made to The First Tee or the charity of your choice.
We’ll miss you, Bob!

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