Everyday as a teenager, Clay Farnsworth would walk past the old Lava® Lamp factory on his way to Lakeview High School in Chicago. Today, he has grown from consultant to CEO in five short years, elevating the 50 year-old company to new heights while maintaining it’s original shape of cool. With over 30 years experience, Farnsworth is a veteran in the marketing of hardline consumer products. While serving as Principal and Executive Vice President of Health O Meter® and Taylor Precision Products, he headed both companies to achieve significant growth and become market share leaders.
In 2010, Farnsworth became Executive Vice President and shortly after, President/CEO of Lava Lite LLC. He has led this iconic Lava® Lite brand and company to increased sales and market share while also creating a new bath scale division featuring the well-known and respected Detecto™ brand. Currently, Farnsworth continues to spearhead the expansion of Lava® Lite into other categories such as conventional lighting and grow beyond being the novelty lighting source.
Joseph Kostelc, CFA, CPA
Joe has been an integral member of the senior executive team while serving as Chief Financial Officer since 2010. As CFO, Joe is responsible for overall financial management of the company, its financial reporting and transparency, as well as other corporate functions. During his tenure, he has enacted several effective process improvements, cost saving measures and software implementations. His partnering with ownership, other executives and staff on strategic initiatives has been a primary component of the company’s ongoing success.
He originally joined the accounting department of the company in 2003, assuming the role of Controller in 2006, then Vice President of Finance in 2008. Prior to his experience at Lifespan Brands™, Joe was an equity market maker trading on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange after holding other financial services industry roles.
Joe earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Iowa and a Master of Science degree in Finance from DePaul University. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designations.
Vice President of Marketing & Product Development
Jennifer Courington joined Lifespan Brands™ in January of 2015 as Vice President of Marketing and Product Development. Jennifer has 17 years of career experience with proven expertise in Strategy, Marketing, Branding and Product Development. Jennifer has the unique ability to create innovative products and then lead the marketing efforts to bring them to their full potential. In addition she has a strong history of empowering teams and working cross functionally to make sure everyone is on the same path for success. Her passion, enthusiasm and work ethic combine, to create an innovative leader capable of leading great teams, developing innovative products and achieving brand success.
Vice President of Sales
Patrick McCartin rejoined Lava® as VP of Sales in April 2015. He previously worked at Lava as National Account Manager from 2011 thru 2013. Patrick has over 30 years of experiencing selling housewares/hardware product for major brands including First Alert®, Stiffel®, AEROBED® and Thermos®. Patrick’s strengths are that he is hard working, results oriented and a strong team player. He has a tremendous passion for his position and his enthusiasm shows through both internally and externally with customers. He knows how to structure profitable programs that are a win win for the retailer and Lifespan Brands™. He knows how to close the deal!
Jim Thiele joined Lifespan Brands in August 2012 as Accounting Manager and has served as Controller since 2013. Jim has over 16 years of accounting and finance experience, working at other iconic organizations like Motorola, PepsiAmericas, and Aon. He brings dedication and a tremendous passion for his position to the organization.
Jim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University. He also hold the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.
Director of Purchasing
Sharron Carl joined Lifespan Brands in 2010. As Director of Purchasing, with over 20 years of experience, Sharron established business rules and process improvements with the overseas suppliers allowing for streamlined production that flows direct to Lifespan customers as well as through our domestic warehouse. Sharron’s foundation is built from manufacturing, including US Robotics and Revell-Monogram where served as project-leader in strategically moving production internationally to the low-cost producer. Her professional expertise has played a role in reducing inventory levels, shorter lead-times and quicker turnaround on key projects with sales and marketing.
Tiffany Vargas joined Lifespan Brands in 2014 in the role of Product Manager. Tiffany is a passionate product professional with 8 years of experience and commitment to creating the most trend-right, fashionable, and functional product to the customer. Her career started as a buyer for Claire’s Accessories in 2008 where she developed and crafted her skills in buying, assortment planning and building, sourcing, and product development. She was brought on board to Lifespan Brands to drive innovation into the Lava Lamp product line, offering fresh interpretations of the iconic brand to propel the line into new retailers, generations of customers, and life-long fans. Tiffany’s enthusiasm and dedication are substantial assets to the company and her flair for fashion and eye for product work in harmony to create truly unique products in the marketplace.
Social Media Marketing Manager
Tami Craig joined Lifespan Brands™ in April of 2016 as the Social Media Marketing Manager. Tami is a passionate social media professional with over 10 years of experience in communications and marketing. She was brought on board to be the voice for the numerous brands in the Lifespan Brands portfolio through social media and digital marketing. Tami is constantly looking for new ways to engage with fans and loves coming up with fun and innovative ways to get the word out about our awesome products. She feels really lucky to be working with such iconic brands and strives to increase awareness and drive sales. #lavalove
National Sales Manager
David Seguin has been a valuable asset to the Lifespan™ team since 2010 when he joined the company as Direct Marketing Representative. Throughout his career with Lifespan™, he has contributed to the success of multiple departments driving results in both Sales and Marketing. His strength is working in cross-functional groups to identify creative solutions for customers and Lifespan™. Since 2013, David has held the position of Key Account Sales Manager responsible for maintaining and growing sales volume with a variety of retail accounts, including trend and specialty, international, catalog, mass, and club. In May of 2016, David was promoted to National Sales Manager.
David earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communication and Theater Performance from North Central College. He also has a MBA in Management from Roosevelt University.