Product excellence, superb customer service, and loyalty to our work family are synonymous with Hickory Brands (HBI). As a privately owned business, all who are employed by HBI are treated as part of our extended family. We understand that manufacturing in the USA is very important and are committed to keeping these jobs in Hickory, NC. We are excited for the opportunity to introduce our company and tell the HBI story.
Meet Our Team & Reach Out!
Robert Bell Owner / Chairman
Rob Bell’s dedication to customer service stems from his first profession in public service. He was a police officer for 11 years before joining the team at HBI. He believes that the true value of the business, which he tirelessly works for, are his employees. Rob is currently the chairman of the board and has a supportive staff to help him tackle any obstacle and grow HBI’s next-generation business.
Link to: Our Full Range of Collections and Brands Here
Julie K. Huffman / Sr. Vice President
Julie moved to Hickory, NC from Virginia to attend Lenoir-Rhyne University. She has a BA in Business Administration.
She began employment with HBI in September of 1994. She has spent time in all aspects of accounting, sales, purchasing and HR.
Julie is a Senior Vice President with duties primarily focusing on purchasing and HR.
Purchasing has become much more global so HBI strives to offer quality products to customers at the best price knowing that the commitment to “Made In USA” is one of our top goals as well as promoting our Hickory, NC factory. We also have to be committed to ensuring that we are using factories and suppliers that adhere to social and environmental issues.
We are happy to employ about 75 of the area’s best talent both in the office and in the factory. HBI employees are considered by the management team as family. We constantly strive to keep the family atmosphere among all who work here.
Link to: About Us Here
Mark Leagon / SVP OEM Operations
With 30 years experience in textile sales, Mark has been involved in product development throughout multiple industries. Bringing together function, color and texture that offers value to the customer.
As part of a family owned business for many years, He appreciates the family atmosphere with HBI. Mark has a passion for golf and spent many years following 2 daughters travel & Highschool and College softball careers. His undergrad in business is with Gardner Webb College with an honorary Masters from the ”University of Life.” Not to be confused with the University of hard knocks.
At HBI Mark works with apparel, accessories, pet, military and footwear manufacturers to develop new innovative product options and expand the specialty braid, bulk capabilities and assortment for our OEM partners.
Mark has been key to HBi’s new relationships evolving from the push for global brands to re-shore in the current speed to consumer business climate. This is an area Hbi expects to see more growth and additional capabilities integrated, as we build more direct partnerships.
Link to: OEM Webbing Collection Here
Marcia Lynch / National Sales Manager
Joined HBI in June 2011 as East Region Sales Manager and promoted to National Sales Manager in March 2013. After an early career in textiles sales and five years in the medical supply industry, Marcia was able to combine this knowledge to build HBi’s Custom-Fit Insole program with both our internal brands, FootBalance and New Balance’s new custom fit line.
Marcia leads the internal sales and customer service team’s here at HBi’s Headquarters in Hickory, North Carolina. Both Marcia and her Husband (a Lab Manager for a global textile testing and innovation lab) are avid golfers and tennis players, and enjoy hosting and participating in charitable events. Her sports of choice have lead to keen intuition in the importance of fit in performance products and footwear, which makes her an intricate part of our strategic product team.
Always available and in regular attendance at our trade shows, Marcia is ready to walk-through our new innovations and service with your buying and technical staff.
At HBi; Marcia finds it rewarding to be with a company that provides products for customers benefit, health and increased quality of life.
Link to: FootBalance Collection Here
Ty Wetz / Graphic Design HBi
A member of the HBi design team with 9 Years of experience in Graphic Design as well as a former U.S. Infantry Paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. Ty is proud to work in a company that puts their emphasis on American Made Products.
Ty has been with HBI for 2 years and his talents include supporting and creating Graphic Elements, Packaging Design and Mock-Ups, Advertising, and Trade Show Communications. He works diligently to provide packaging and advertising that complements our products and appeals to the variety of our consumers and brands.
Ty is excited to work on the latest line of American Legacy™ products, which applies both his design and infantry know how.
Link to American Legacy™ Collection Here
Nancy Harvey Lisk / VP of Design
A Philadelphia area native with degrees in Textile Design from the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Sciences (now Jefferson University), also as AAS in Furniture Design from Catawba Valley Comm. College.
Nancy has been in the design field in many different capacities in her long and varied career. Nancy was one of the original hosiery designers in the US. She has designed for many national brands such as New Balance, Under Armour, Asics, Spalding, Gap, Old Navy, Dickies, Peds. She started at HBI in February 2014, and has been a liaison between various customers design concepts and manufacturing limitations.
Nancy’s Hobbies include Handweaving, knitting, sewing, and protesting the current political climate.
Link to Spun™ Shoe Lace Collection Here
Sherry Fry / ShoeFly™ Custom Products
A North Carolina native with a BA in Business Administration & Marketing. She came to Hickory Brands in 2011 with promotional sales experience. Sherry is in charge of the Print & Specialty Braid Department.
Her primary duties deal with Custom Imprinted Lanyards & Shoelaces and oversee and monitors the order process from taking the order, assisting with the design if needed, obtaining art approval, communicating with production and shipping departments to verify a top-quality finished product for the customer.
Sherry enjoys developing relationships with customers in order to gain their confidence as well as to retain repeat business.
“Our highest priority at Hbi is Superior Customer Service at every level. My department takes pride in offering the customer a Solution in a quick and effective way which leaves customers confident in their decision to work with us.” Sherry Fry
Sherry has been instrumental in the push towards online Custom Imprinted Lanyards & Shoelaces. “We are excited to venture into the e-commerce area of a Virtual Website and hopeful that by using this do-it-yourself technology, it will allow our customer to see a visual example and create new ideas for their finished product.” Sherry Fry
Link to ShoeFly™ Collection Here
Having over 37 years of experience in the Sporting Goods and Apparel industries with sales management positions at various companies including Izod™, Moretz™ and Gildan™.
Prior to his experience in the clothing and sporting goods arenas, Doug was a Police Officer in Ft Lauderdale, FL.
These life experiences equip and allow Doug to interact and be comfortable dealing with upper-level management at the largest key accounts in the country. By representing some of the most successful and impactful brands in the marketplace, and having a vast array of industry contacts, Doug has the experience, knowledge and passion to bring new products into the marketplace.
As Vice President of Sales, Doug is responsible for Key Account Sales & Service, concentrating on the New Balance™ brand.
Link to New Balance™ Collection Here