John Jokinen transitions into new role at EJ Victor

Company co-founder and longtime executive moves from day-to-day operations to focus on strategy as board chairman

MORGANTON, N.C. — John Jokinen, a co-founder and longtime executive with luxury furniture resource EJ Victor, is shifting from his day-to-day operational and leadership role with the company to focus more on strategy and direction as board chairman.

John Jokinen

Over his 34 years with the company, which he founded in 1990 with Edward W. Phifer III and Joseph B. Manderson, he has served in executive level positions, including chief executive officer. In early 2021, he turned the CEO role over to former executive David Bennett, who served as president and CEO from March 2021 to June 2023. When Bennett left the company to pursue another opportunity last year, Richard Oliver assumed the role of chief executive officer.

Jokinen has remained involved in day-to-day operations, primarily as chief creative officer, while also continuing to serve as board chairman. While leaving behind the day-to-day operations, his role moving forward will continue to be board chairman.

“Over the span of 34 years, John’s visionary leadership has propelled EJ Victor into a powerhouse within the industry, renowned for its creation and manufacturing of American-made fine furnishings,” the company said in announcing Jokinen’s new focus at the company moving forward. “From its origins in 18th-century reproduction furniture, John’s guidance transformed EJ Victor into a forward-thinking manufacturer with a global distribution network. His astute focus on licensing opportunities fostered partnerships with leading brands across the home furnishings spectrum.”

Over time, the EJ Victor brand became synonymous with beautifully executed licensed and designer collections that included case goods and upholstery.

“An initial successful partnership with the Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, for their Mansions Collection swiftly paved the way for further agreements in the traditional realm with Carol Hicks Bolton and Randal Tysinger,” the company continued. “These achievements subsequently expanded into additional partnerships with Kelly Wearstler, Allison Paladino, Kate Spade, Antonia and Alfredo Parades. Notably, the enduring collaboration with the esteemed lifestyle brand Ralph Lauren stands as a testament to John’s commitment to excellence.”

Under Richard Oliver’s leadership, the company said, a transition plan has been developed over the past year in collaboration with Jokinen and the board of directors.

It noted that “this plan seamlessly integrates John’s wealth of knowledge while charting a course for sustained growth across the brand’s operational portfolio. We remain steadfast in our commitment to leveraging both John and his son, John Hunter Jokinen for continued guidance and support in shaping the future of EJ Victor, in our valued relationships, sales efforts, product development and marketing endeavors.”

“We commend John for his unwavering passion and dedication to the EJ Victor family and his many partners in the furniture industry. As John embarks on this new chapter in his life, we will continue to leverage his counsel. We eagerly anticipate celebrating his invaluable contributions to the company and the Morganton community in the months to come.”

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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