Standard Textile CEO Gary Heiman Received Lifetime Achievement Award from EY (Ernst & Young)


CINCINNATI (6/20/2014) — Standard Textile announces that president and chief executive officer Gary Heiman was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 South Central Ohio & Kentucky Awards gala on June 19, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati.

EY’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the contribution of outstanding business leaders, like Heiman, who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Heiman’s contributions have included building a significant presence in global manufacturing and distribution, developing a collective innovation mind-set at Standard Textile, and guiding the company to a leadership position in the healthcare and hospitality markets. Heiman’s special recognition from EY is not only for his business success, but also for the way he has inspired others through mentorship and active engagement in community and philanthropic efforts.

Heiman became president of Standard Textile in 1988 and CEO in 1994. The company has expanded dramatically under his leadership. In 1988, it was a textile distribution company with one manufacturing facility and annual sales of approximately $100 million. Today, Standard Textile has 24 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries, customers in over 70 countries, and annual revenues approaching $800 million.

Throughout his career, Heiman has remained committed to the principle that participation in the global marketplace is vital not only to business success but also to the economic and social progress of the developing world. In 1997, Standard Textile became the first American company to build a manufacturing facility in Irbid, Jordan, as part of a joint venture with Century Investment Group in Amman. Created shortly after the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, this plant supported the U.S. government’s efforts to bring a “peace dividend” to the people of Jordan and Israel, at a time when unemployment stood at 40% in Irbid. Today, Standard Textile has three manufacturing facilities in Jordan employing approximately 1,200 workers. Heiman also established the first textile wholly foreign owned enterprise in China. Now, it is one of the largest vertically integrated textile manufacturing facilities in China.

While the company has expanded abroad, Heiman and his team at Standard Textile have also opened new production facilities and created jobs in the U.S., even as others were closing plants. Since 1988, Standard Textile has built, purchased, refurbished and reopened textile facilities in Enterprise, Alabama; the Los Angeles area, California; Augusta and Thomaston, Georgia; Las Vegas, Nevada; Union, South Carolina; and Brownsville, Texas.

Heiman’s commitment to innovation and technology is evident in the significant investments the company has committed to utilizing world-class automation, robotics, and vision QA systems to manufacture traditional products in a high-tech manner. This commitment has resulted in approximately 70 product and process patents.

Heiman’s tenure at Standard Textile has been characterized by a corporate culture that emphasizes continuous innovation, a robust global supply chain, and a company-wide dedication to customer service. He views innovation as the foundation for bringing never-before-imagined benefits to Standard Textile’s customers and actively collaborates with the company’s global teams to create and implement paradigm-changing ideas.

Standard Textile recently added two new facilities to support the company’s innovation process. The Global Institute for Innovation & Leadership, located on the campus of Standard Textile’s world headquarters in Cincinnati, is a space dedicated to driving exploration, discovery and creative solutions. The C.O.R.E. (Concept. Operation. Results. Execution.) facility is a world-class center designed to rapidly move an idea from concept to execution. Together, the two new facilities are transformative resources for the world’s textile industry.

Heiman is continuing a family tradition of business leadership that began in 1940 when his grandfather, Charles, founded Standard Textile as a small linen distribution company operating out of the Heiman family’s apartment in Cincinnati. Charles, a German immigrant who had been incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp, escaped from Germany and brought his family to the U.S. The tradition continued in 1966 when Gary Heiman’s father, Paul, took the helm of the company and grew the business by focusing on an expanding healthcare marketplace.

Heiman has been based at Standard Textile’s world headquarters since 1986. Prior to that, he lived in Israel for 14 years. After serving in the Israeli army during the Yom Kippur War, he established Standard Textile’s first manufacturing facility—a plant in Arad at the edge of Israel’s Negev desert, which opened in 1976. In 2001, Heiman was awarded the “Industrialist of the Year” Prize by the President of the State of Israel. In 2008, Heiman was honored as one of the “Pioneers of the Negev,” a recognition given to 12 people deemed as having had the most impact on building industry in the Negev desert, which contains 60% of the land in Israel.

A holder of dual citizenship between the U.S. and Israel, Heiman also served in an elite search-and-rescue unit of the Israel Defense Forces. He attributes his Special Forces experience to providing invaluable training for the business world because it taught him that even the most daunting obstacles can be overcome if there is sufficient dedication, planning, skill and teamwork.

Before moving to Israel, Heiman received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1972. He completed post-graduate work at the Georgia Institute of Technology, studying industrial engineering. He also studied mechanical engineering at the Saurer Institute in Arbon, Switzerland.

Heiman is a Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati and a member of the Cincinnati Business Committee. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Cincinnati where he also served as Chairman of the Finance and Administration Committee. Additionally, Heiman served as a member of the Board of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, was the former Chairman of the Jewish Community Center, and former Chairman of the Board of The Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati.

Heiman and his wife, Kim, have three adult children: Danielle, Alex and Thea.