Executive Team:
Our leadership team has over 120 years of experience working with some of the largest retailers in the world. With diverse backgrounds and proven track records of success, our leadership oversees a high performance team of over 400 employees set to exceed customer's expectations.
Thomas Pyle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
In 1998, Uniek was acquired by The Pyle Group, a financial services and investment firm. Prior to founding the Pyle Group, Tom Pyle was Chairman, CEO, President and principal owner of Rayovac Corporation, a worldwide leader in the production and sale of batteries and lighting products. Pyle has held management positions at The Deerfield Group, Butterick Fashion Marketing Company, Bristol Myers and Procter & Gamble. He serves on the Board of Directors for Johnson Outdoors, Inc., Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Georgette Klinger, Inc., Radix Health Connection, Uniek, Inc and the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the University Research Park, Inc., and is a member of the Smithsonian Institution National Board.
Dennis Bayorgeon, Executive VP, Operations, Finance and CFO
Dennis acts as Uniek's Chief Financial Officer in addition to having responsibility over manufacturing, procurement, distribution, human resources and shared services. Between his tenure at Uniek and previous roles at the Rayovac Corporation, Dennis has over 30 years of experience in financial, operations and systems oriented positions in the USA, Canada and Europe. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh and his Executive MBA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Robin Provost Birt, Executive VP, Product Development, Marketing and Sales
Robin oversees all of Uniek’s product development efforts, including product design and global sourcing, across all product categories and retail channels. With the oversight of Uniek sales, she enables a synergetic approach to marketing products that are timely, on-trend and tailored to the needs of top retailers across North America. With more than 20 years experience, Robin's background includes graphic, product and interior design experience. Prior to joining Uniek, Robin served as Senior Art Director at Stephan & Brady, and as Director of Communications and Design for Conley Publishing Group.
Joan Ballweg, VP, International Sales
Joan is responsible for all International sales. Joan has over 16 years of experience in the Home Décor Industry and has spent most of her career working internationally. Prior to joining Uniek, Joan worked in Marketing for ABS, a division of WR Grace, and for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. Joan has a degree in International Marketing from UW Madison, and a degree in French from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.
Julianne Brickl, VP, Import Planning and Marketing
Julianne oversees Marketing, as well Product Management, Creative Services, Forecasting and Import Planning. She joined the Company in 2002 and has held many advancing roles throughout the Organization during her tenure. Prior to joining Uniek, Julianne worked at Lands’ End in their International division. Julianne holds a bachelor’s degree in Production and Operations Management from the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, and her MBA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.