Squelching rumors of a merger with long-time interior design competitor March-Michaels & Associates, Florida model merchandising maven Betsy Godfrey (right) is expanding her firm instead.
Squelching rumors of an merger with long-time interior design competitor Marc-Michaels & Associates, Florida model merchandising maven Betsy Godfrey (right) is expanding her firm instead.
She recently moved Godfrey & Associates headquarters to Naples, Fla., where a branch operation of the past five years has now become the tail that wags the dog. And this fall, Godfrey appointed Daniel Durso executive vice president and COO. Durso was previously controller and director of finance for the Philadelphia 76ers during a 23-year career in professional basketball.
Long headquartered in the Orlando suburb of Winter Park, Fla., Godfrey had gone head to head with Marc-Michaels, also headquartered in Winter Park, for the model home merchandising business of builders throughout the Southeast. Last winter, industry scuttlebutt had the two firms merging, as Godfrey sought to ease her workload. Godfrey now acknowledges investigating a merger, but denies retirement was ever on her mind.
"There were a number of reasons, on both sides, that the deal didn’t come down, but retirement was never part of the plan," she says.
Veteran merchandiser Pat Wise, with 30 years in the South Florida market, has now joined Godfrey in Naples. With a staff of 38, the new additions to the Naples location are Mona McDonald, a 13-year veteran with Godfrey & Associates, who continues as vp and general manager and Lauri Godfrey (Betsy’s daughter), who is now vp and senior executive designer. Gayla Lees, a 14-year veteran of the Tampa market and 1999 chairman of the Florida HBA’s sales & marketing council, has also joined Godfrey in Naples as director of sales.
Godfrey designer Marnie Sorensen stays in Winter Park to head a downsized six-person staff in that location.