Tom Lillie Leaves Holtkötter, Joins Modern Forms

After 15 years with Minnesota-based Holtkötter, industry veteran Tom Lillie has left the company to head New York-based Modern Forms’ specification market sales.

When Holtkötter International declared bankruptcy and its founder left, Lillie – the firm’s National Sales Manager of 12 years – stepped up to serve in the role of President and lend stability as new ownership took over the business. Under Lillie’s leadership, nearly all of the employees who had been with the former company stayed on to help rebuild the Holtkötter brand in North America and the firm went on to win a number product design awards, including this year’s ARTS Award for Best Portable Lamp Manufacturer.

“This was a very difficult decision for me and I’m not leaving without a heavy heart,” Lillie said. “I have built so many great relationships over the years and have learned so much. The support through the years, during both good and bad times, is something that I will forever be grateful for and will never forget.”

“We built up and continue to maintain inventory levels of 85%+, managed to lower our product costs without compromising our quality, and have regained the respect and confidence in the industry,” Lillie continued. “I especially want to thank the Holtkötter employees who have remained loyal to the company through thick and thin and remain at the top of their class in the industry. Without them, Holtkötter would not have experienced the successes it has. I have all the confidence in them to continue to grow the company with the same high quality and service.” 

Lillie said he is looking forward to the opportunity to focus on the specification market for the growing Modern Forms business, which is a sister company to WAC Lighting. Lillie will continue to be based in Minnesota.