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Paul J. Hooker ('75)

In 1977, just two years after graduating from Bowling Green State University with a BS in Business Administration, Paul Hooker purchased the New York City based luxury household linen importer, SFERRA, from the last of two family members who started the firm in 1891, Enrico and Albert Sferra. Paul recognized the need to maintain the company's identity and encourage growth within the luxury market. With that in mind, he took SFERRA from a one-room office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to a 35,000-square-foot distribution facility in Edison, New Jersey, plus a beautiful showroom just off of Madison Square Park in New York City. In the process, Paul grew annual sales from $250,000 when he bought the business in 1977 to over $30 million in 2011.

Paul's tireless focus to develop new business and his attention to details have established SFERRA's leadership position in the luxury linens industry and galvanized the company's emergence into the new global economy. Today SFERRA presents the most comprehensive range of luxury home textiles for the bed, bath, and table worldwide.

Paul umpires varsity high school baseball and was the varsity baseball coach at Red Bank Catholic High School from 1974-2000. In 1990 Paul, along with his wife Margo, founded a not-for-profit sports program for children with disabilities he named Challenged Youth Sports. Today, CYS assists over 150 families with programs in basketball, soccer, Little League softball, golf, flag football and tennis. Paul is hoping to sell his business this year, as he wants to take CYS national, making his volunteer run program available to children with special needs nationwide.

 

Published: 2012