JK Adams owner Malcolm Cooper Jr. appoints Daniel Isaac new CEO to head Dorset firm

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DORSET — A native of England with years of experience with a Vermont-based furniture maker is the newly appointed

chief-executive officer of JK Adams, the Dorset-based manufacturer of wooden housewares.

The appointment of Daniel Isaac — most recently vice president of operations and logistics with Pompanoosuc Mills, a firm based in East Thetford — took effect Oct. 28, JK Adams said in a news release.

Isaac, who moved to Vermont nine years ago, said in an interview Tuesday that his decision to accept the firm's offer was a "no brainer," citing the firm's 75-year history, commitment to developing modern kitchen products and mix of long-tenured and brand-new employees.

"I made a strategic decision to hire a CEO with deep expertise in the manufacturing, sales and business development of Vermont wood products," JK Adams owner and chairman Malcolm Cooper Jr., said in the release.

The company's previous CEO, Jon Blatchford, left the position earlier this year after seven years with the company. He and Cooper "both felt like the time was right for a change," Blatchford said in June.

Bill Eyre, JK Adams' chief marketing officer since March 2018, will return to that role. A former marketing executive at Orvis, Eyre became interim president in July following Blatchford's departure.

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Cooper said in the release that Eyre performed "an exceptional job managing the company through a period of significant transition and economic challenge" — and that he and Isaac will make a solid pair.

"I believe the combination of Dan's wood manufacturing and sales expertise at the helm and Bill's marketing leadership as CMO will create exciting possibilities for JK Adams moving forward," Cooper said.

Asked if he intends to shake things up at the company, Isaac said he's willing to do so if necessary, "but not for the sake of it," invoking the importance of gaining employees' trust. Web and retail strategies at the company, he said, will be changing to ensure future success.

Isaac, who originally hails from London, England, served as vice president of sales with Pompanoosuc Mills from 2012 to 2016 before moving on to operations and logistics. He also has held management positions in the musical instrument, high-tech and computer components industries, according to the release.

While the decision to take the new job may not have been difficult for Isaac, the process of moving from the Upper Valley to the Northshire vicinity is not likely to be so easy. Isaac and his wife, Lindsay, own an active alpaca farm and apiary that they intend to bring with them to the region. The property the couple eventually selects needs to be "perfect" for them and the farm, which is called Toby Cottage, named for "our oldest and grumpiest dog," Isaac said.

Isaac also serves on the board of the Upper Valley Humane Society.

JK Adams plans to introduce more than a dozen new products to its product line near the start of next year, the company said. It serves more than 4,000 independent retailers and produces exclusive designs for national brands, including Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel and Sur La Table.

Contact Luke Nathan at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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