Hickey Freeman VP of Manufacturing Joins Hardwick Clothes

New Vice President of Manufacturing at Hardwick Clothes, John Diacatos (left) and Director of Engineering Finn Wald-Jacobsen (right)

​​​Hardwick Clothes announced today the hiring of John Diacatos, Vice President of Manufacturing at Hickey Freeman, and Finn Wald-Jacobsen, Director of Engineering with Southwick Apparel. These industry experts will take the key roles of Vice President of Manufacturing and Director of Engineering, respectively, for America’s oldest tailor-made clothing manufacturer.

Their arrival is part of a turnaround effort that began in July 2014 with Hardwick’s post-bankruptcy acquisition by Cleveland, Tennessee, entrepreneur Allan Jones.

"In our rebranding of Hardwick, we had to attract the country's best talent. Now that we have the engineering skills of Southwick Apparel, manufacturing expertise of Hickey Freeman and sales and management talent from Hart Shaffner & Marx, we're at the top."

Allan Jones, Chairman

Hardwick Clothes has made significant strides in reestablishing itself as a national player in the tailored clothing industry,” said Hardwick CEO Bruce Bellusci. “Being named Garden & Gun’s Made in the South Style Award Winner and working with NBC’s national broadcasts of the NFL and NHL and the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics says a lot about our progress. The addition of John and Finn is instrumental in leveraging these opportunities and meeting our rapidly increasing demand.”

Prior to joining Hardwick, Diacatos spent 37 years with luxury brand Hickey Freeman of Rochester, New York. There, he most recently served as Vice President of Manufacturing, managing the entire manufacturing process and spearheading the implementation of advanced manufacturing technology projects. In the key role of VP of Manufacturing at Hardwick, Diacatos will oversee all manufacturing operations. Though primarily working away from the spotlight, Diacatos’ decades of experience in production scheduling, cut planning and quality management will be pivotal in sustaining the reinvigorated Southern company’s growing success.

Having once worked at Hickey Freeman, Hardwick’s newly hired Director of Engineering, Wald-Jacobsen, was most recently Director of Engineering at Haverhill, MA-based Southwick Apparel, a maker of Brooks Brothers’ tailored garments. Born in Norway, Wald-Jacobsen studied industrial engineering for sewn products in Germany and began his career in America in 1972. He has served as Plant Manager, Quality Control Manager and Senior Staff Engineer during his impressive tenure in apparel manufacturing. At Hardwick, Wald-Jacobsen will increase shop efficiencies and implement a new incentive-driven pay system to increase the earning potential for the company’s 300-plus operators.

“In our rebranding of Hardwick, we had to attract the country’s best talent,” said Jones.  "Now that we have the engineering skills of Southwick Apparel, manufacturing expertise of Hickey Freeman and sales and management talent from Hart Shaffner & Marx, we’re at the top. Bringing talent from these premier brands ensures America’s oldest tailor-made clothing manufacturer is now the best.” 

Rounding out the newly hired leadership team is Lean Manufacturing Manager Sheila Waddell. After graduating from Cleveland State Community College, Waddell worked for Maytag, Inc. until joining the Cleveland, Tennessee, division of Cormetech, Inc. Her experience in dependable manufacturing, advanced product quality planning and lean manufacturing will be leveraged to integrate advanced techniques into Hardwick’s current operating processes.

Hardwick is continuing to expand their manufacturing team and is actively hiring experienced sewing machine operators and is willing to offer paid training to the right candidates. Interested individuals can apply online at www.hardwick.com/careers.

Source: Hardwick Clothes

About Hardwick Clothes, Inc.

Hardwick Clothes, Inc., located and operated in Cleveland, Tenn., has been producing clothing domestically for over 135 years. Hardwick Clothes' mission is to provide customers with exquisite, high-quality, American-made products to wear with pride.

Hardwick Clothes, Inc.
3800 Old Tasso Rd. NE
Cleveland, TN


More Press Releases