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Colony Brands CEO John Baumann Announces Jan. 1, 2020 Retirement

Monroe, WI – Now in his 35th year at Colony Brands, President and Chief Executive Officer, John Baumann, has announced that he will step down as CEO early next year.  Baumann will retain his role as CEO through Jan. 1, 2020, but will transition his title of President to current Chief Financial Officer, Bob Erb, immediately.  Erb worked at affiliate company Integrated Marketing Solutions from 1998-2017, before being named CFO of Colony Brands.

Baumann’s career at Colony Brands dates back to 1976, when he was hired as a summer employee in the Swiss Colony Mailing Department.  After completing degrees from Monroe High School (1977), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (‘82) and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management (’85), Baumann joined the then Swiss Colony in 1985 full-time as Manager of New Customer Development.  In 1986 at age 27, Baumann was named President, Midnight Velvet catalog. Two years later he was promoted to Vice President, Marketing with a later promotion to Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning in 1994.  In 1996, Baumann, age 37, was promoted to President and CEO of Colony Brands.

During Baumann’s tenure, Colony Brands has blossomed from a traditional consumer catalog company to a diversified business including 10 e-commerce catalog brands, a consulting company (Integrated Marketing Solutions) and an air charter company (SC Aviation).  Now a billion-dollar business with more than three million active customers, Colony Brands is considered one of the largest privately held direct-to-customer retail companies in the United States.  Headquartered in Monroe, Wisconsin, 95-year-old Colony Brands has 1,250 full-time employees and 6,000 temporary employees in the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nevada; and Shanghai, China.

Baumann credits his employee team for continuing to make the successful transition from a catalog retail company to a more diversified omni-channel business.  “Continuing to harness new data forms and technology in a fast-changing marketplace will be paramount to our success”, Baumann said.

“Bob Erb brings a tremendous amount of industry knowledge to our executive team,” Baumann said.  “He’s very driven.  He understands why we’ve been successful and appreciates the daunting challenges ahead.  I’m excited for Bob and Colony Brands.”

Baumann will remain active in the oversight of Colony Brands as a member if its executive steering committee.  Beginning in 2020, he will be working closely with the company’s charitable arm, the Colony Brands Foundation.