Poised to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2015, AHEAD is, well, looking ahead. The innovative headwear, apparel and accessories company – located in the New Bedford Business Park – is in the midst of a busy 2014 as it continues to expand and ride a wave of momentum that began when Sweden’s New Wave Group AB
purchased it more than two years ago.
Shortly after New Wave Group assumed ownership, it selected Anne Broholm as CEO and appointed Chuck Lord as COO. Business since has been full speed ahead.
Just last month, the company, which is the largest supplier of headwear to the golf industry, announced it was launching AHEAD Team. This new collegiate division gives AHEAD entry into the hot collegiate headwear market and represents another important long-term strategic growth initiative for the company.
It was less than two years ago when AHEAD debuted its corporate division under the direction of Jeff Waller, senior director of business development, and hired 24 new salespeople to take advantage of the opportunity to expand and enhance the company’s reach. Since 2012, AHEAD has expanded its sales force from 50 to 80.
At its New Bedford Business Park headquarters, AHEAD employs 230 people. “We want to be New Bedford’s best place to work,” Broholm said. “I am impressed by the tenure of so many of our employees, who have shown a great dedication and been integral in helping build this company into what it is today.”
AHEAD has put profits back into its workplace as evidenced by the June 2013 opening of its first-ever Design Studio. The studio helps foster creativity and promotes collaboration between senior designers while providing a place for customers to interact with staff on their custom graphics, products and logos.
Moreover, AHEAD re-opened the doors last November on an expanded fixture facility. Designed to meet the growing demand for its customers’ customized fixture solutions, the new facility will help with such key projects as designing and producing all the fixtures for the pro shop at the new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Well known by the company it keeps, AHEAD has forged partnerships with key organizations such as the United States Golf Association (USGA), Professional Golf Association (PGA) of America, Ryder Cup, The Open Championship, and the ANNIKA. AHEAD will be involved in more than 20 PGA Tour and major events this year alone, highlighted by its association with the U.S. Open (Pinehurst, N.C.) and PGA Championship (Louisville, Ky.).
For more information about AHEAD, visit the company’s website www.aheadweb.com.
AHEAD . . . By The Numbers
230 – Number of employees (as of April 2014)
1000 dozen – Number of hats embroidered each day
250 dozen – Number of apparel items shipped each day in peak season