Operation Warm Adds Garment Manufacturing & Distribution Expertise to Board

Chadds Ford, PA – Operation Warm, Inc. today announced that Randy Harward, Vice President of Materials at Under Armour and retired Vice President of Advanced Research and Development for Patagonia, Inc. and Eric Keane, Senior Vice President & CIO, FedEx Express will be joining the Board of Directors.

“We are so honored that Randy and Eric are joining our board,” said Richard Sanford, Founder and Chairman of Operation Warm. “Our mission is all about providing brand new winter coats to impoverished children in our country, and so behind that mission lie a deeply complex supply chain and logistics model, both paramount to the Fall/Winter delivery of over 200,000 brand new winter coats to children across 42 states.”

Randy Harward’s 26 years at Patagonia, Inc. and current position at Under Armour brings Operation Warm executive-level insight to the continuous progress of both the quality and appearance of the coats that are custom-produced for Operation Warm’s charitable work.  “Joining Operation Warm’s board is exciting for me,” said Harward.  “I love the mission and believe so wholeheartedly in providing basic needs to impoverished kids in our country.  The fact that Operation Warm is committed to domestic production in order to help provide sustainable jobs for Americans makes the story that much richer.  I look forward to helping Operation Warm expand their domestic production in years to come, and to ensuring that we are providing the highest quality coats to these kids.”

Eric Keane will officially join the Board in September 2014. “I am extremely proud that FedEx has been a long-time logistics partner of Operation Warm,” said Eric Keane.  “In order for Operation Warm to continue to grow and serve as many children as possible, it’s critically important that the coats are mobilized as efficiently as possible to reach the millions of children who need them.  FedEx has helped with this important work for a decade, and as the program continues to grow, I want to offer our assistance and expertise with distribution and deployment. I can help and am excited to begin.”

In 2013 Operation Warm introduced coats both sourced and manufactured 100% in the USA to their annual coat inventory, the balance still sourced off shore.  “Operation Warm has been focused on domestic production for quite some time,” said Dick Sanford, Founder and Chairman of Operation Warm. “Thanks to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and their support of our mission, Operation Warm currently reaches impoverished children in 42 states, and the expansion continues.  Our affiliation with the IAFF propelled our domestic production, and will mean that more and more of the children we serve will receive coats made in the USA.  It’s a dream come true.  With our newest trustees we will have depth and meaningful insight in garment manufacturing and the complexities of our delivery model that must change and grow in order to mobilize warmth and happiness to as many children as possible each year.”
There are over 16.4 million children in the United States living in poverty.  Operation Warm provides a critically important basic need that ensures school attendance, access to the Free and Reduced Meal Program, education, and socialization.  A new coat has been proven to boost a child’s self-esteem and to engender peer acceptance and healthy morale.

Operation Warm, Inc. is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit providers of new winter coats to children in need. Operation Warm’s vision is that every child wearing a new winter coat is healthy, able to attend school regularly and develop a strong self-esteem. To date, Operation Warm has served over 1.4 million children across 42 states. For more information visit: www.operationwarm.org.

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