Kenmark Announces the Retirement of CEO Don Howard, and Promotion of Mike Cundiff

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Mike Cundiff (l) and Don Howard (r).
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Kenmark, a leader in optical eyewear and sunglass design and manufacturing, announced that Don Howard has retired as president and CEO of the company. The board has appointed Mike Cundiff, currently chief operating officer, as his replacement.

In his new position, Cundiff will retain his position on the board and the responsibilities of COO. Board members of employee-owned Kenmark, Michelle Clark, chief financial officer, and David Duralde, chief creative officer, will report to Cundiff.

Howard began his career at Kenmark in 1974. He has been instrumental in helping to build the business into one of the premier eyewear design and manufacturing companies in the industry, the company noted. “I would like to thank the countless people that I have met during my career at Kenmark,” Howard said. “Thanks for the love and friendship, the advice and concern and the compliments and criticisms that have molded my experience and made me the person that I am.”

A former board member at the Vision Council of America, Howard has been an active member of the eyewear community and Prevent Blindness America. Kenmark’s statement added, “His contributions and impact extend to the company, the industry and the millions of Kenmark eyewear customers.”

“I would like to thank Don for his many years of hard work and contributions to Kenmark. He has been instrumental in helping us get to where we are today,” said Cundiff.

Cundiff, also an industry veteran, joined Kenmark in 1983. He was promoted to COO in 2000 and has revolutionized Kenmark’s sales, distribution and manufacturing capabilities while expanding growth opportunities. Cundiff is an active member of the Vision Council and eyewear community. He works closely with the employee-owned board to position Kenmark to grow through new licenses, market expansion, and accelerated the company’s global presence, the company said.

Duralde added, “We wish Don well in his retirement. He has been an integral part of the Kenmark story. His vision has prepared the company to take on new challenges and develop into a global industry eyewear design leader.”

Kenmark designs, markets and distributes eyewear and sunglasses to optical professionals primarily through exclusive licenses, private label and house collections worldwide. The sunwear division oversees the design, production and distribution for the retail sunwear category for specialty sunglass stores and top-tier department stores. Kenmark works in collaboration with top fashion designers and brands including Vera Wang, Jhane Barnes, kensie, Dana Buchman, Original Penguin, and Lilly Pulitzer. Branded collections from Kenmark include Thalia, República, Timex, Wolverine and house collections.