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December 2021– (Plano, TX) – Bedrock Manufacturing Company, the parent of Shinola and Filson, has named Awenate Cobbina as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2022. The appointment represents an expanded leadership role for Cobbina at BMC, where he currently serves as a member of the Board and runs investing and philanthropic activities for BMC’s largest investor.
As CEO of BMC, Cobbina, 41, will drive overall day-to-day business activities during a period when Shinola and Filson are both poised for growth, as well as develop new opportunities that are additive to the core businesses. In that role, he will take responsibility for delivering quality products, superior results, a best-in-class culture and purposeful brands.
“Awenate has become an active member of the BMC, Shinola and Filson leadership teams during the course of this year,” Tom Kartsotis, BMC’s Founder, said. “In recent months, Cobbina has joined BMC’s board of directors and worked closely with leadership to begin developing a blueprint for future growth.”
“The dynamic nature of our brands and businesses, combined with realities we have faced due to the pandemic, has brought us to a very exciting moment,” Kartsotis said. “The overall premise behind each of our brands has become stronger as we have repositioned everything about our Company during recent quarters. I believe the relevance of each of our businesses is stronger than ever.”
“Awenate’s capabilities are exactly what we need to make the most of the investments that have been made over time. Even more exciting is the fact that we have assembled a management team that is well prepared to drive both shareholder and community value in unison.”
Kartsotis will continue to actively guide BMC in his role as Founder. He will work closely with Cobbina and his leadership team to fuel the Company’s growth while preserving the integrity and iconic attributes of the Company’s brands as they continue to grow; support an equitable, diverse and sustainable culture; and identify and cultivate new avenues of business.
Immediately prior to joining Bedrock Group LP, the leading investor in BMC, earlier this year, Cobbina led operations as a member of the Biden-Harris Transition’s executive leadership team. He joined the Transition from Pistons Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, where he served as Vice President of Public and Business Affairs, and Executive Director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. He was a vital member of a leadership team that moved the Pistons from Auburn Hills to Detroit in 2017.
Cobbina currently serves as the Chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Executive Committee, Michigan’s public-private partnership for job creation and economic development. He was appointed to this role by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.
Prior to his time at the Pistons, he served almost six years in the Obama White House as political appointee, including roles in Legislative Affairs, Management and Budget, and the Chief of Staff’s Office where Cobbina served as Special Assistant to the President and Policy Advisor to the Office of the Chief of Staff. In 2018, he was the Deputy Director of the Whitmer-Gilchrist Transition.
“I am very honored to be offered the BMC CEO position and am excited to play a role in the company’s journey. I see a bright future for all of the BMC companies and look forward to embracing the challenges and opportunities ahead as our businesses evolve, grow, and create impact on the communities in which we operate,” Awenate said. “The senior leaders at BMC, Shinola and Filson, including our newly hired BMC CFO, Michele Santana, Shannon Washburn in Detroit, Paolo Corinaldesi in Seattle, and their teams, have knowledge specific to the industries that we operate in, experience both growing companies and managing large companies, and the determination to build businesses that make our employees, customers and the communities that we are a part of proud.”
Founded in 2005 by Tom Kartsotis, Bedrock Manufacturing Company is a Texas-based investment firm whose brands include Shinola and Filson. Shinola, based in Detroit, is a design brand started in 2011. It assembles watches in the United States and sells a variety of lifestyle goods designed to be lived in, worn out and well loved. The first Shinola Hotel opened in 2019. Seattle-based Filson is known for a 124-year history of making high-end outdoor clothing and accessories. Shinola and Filson products are sold on Shinola.com and Filson.com; through company-owned retail stores; and via U.S. and international distributors.
Media Contact: Trish O’Callaghan, VP, Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bedrock Group LP
Bedrock Group, LP and its affiliates, are the single largest investor in BMC. Started by our founder, among its other charitable and business operations, BG advises BMC on business strategy and licensing opportunities.
Bedrock Manufacturing Company
Bedrock Manufacturing Company is a manufacturing and design group that is home to a growing stable of design-led, global brands Shinola and Filson. Detroit-based Shinola is a design brand with an unwavering commitment to crafting products that are built to last—from timepieces to leather goods, jewelry to audio. Seattle-based Filson is known for its high-end outdoor clothing and accessories.