>> Kevin L. Clayton will join Russell Corp. (NYSE: RML) as vice president of diversity, and was also elected a corporate officer by the board of directors at its December meeting. The board of directors also announced Matt Mirchin has been elected a corporate vice president. Mirchin is president of Russell Athletic and reports to Jon Letzler, president and COO. Mirchin joined Russell Athletic in August 2001 as president of team sports. He was named president of Russell Athletic in August 2002. And the board declared its regular quarterly dividend of $.04 per common share, payable Feb. 17, 2003, to shareholders of record on Feb. 3, 2003.
>> Nike has announced the appointment of three current general managers to vice president positions. Effective immediately, Tom Kennedy is vice president of U.S. apparel, Jeff Fardell is vice president of EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) apparel, and Stefano Caroti is vice president of EMEA footwear.
>> Big 5 Sporting Goods (Nasdaq: BGFV) has announced the opening of a new store in South Ogden, Utah, bringing the total number of stores the company operates to 275. With this opening, the chain achieved its goal of opening 15 new stores this year. Next year, it plans to open 15 to 20 additional stores.
>> Matrix Fitness won itself a profile in the New Mexico Business Weekly last week titled "Small Business Strategies, Southwest fit." The story explains how President Ken Lucas took manufacturing to Taiwan to save costs on the company's commercial equipment.
>> Not the next wave in fitness, we don't think: The EncoreSeat touted itself last week as a seat to complement home gyms for resistance exercises and comes with a comfortable and convenient chair for therapeutic or sensual massage "and whatever comes next." No, really. Could we make this stuff up? The company founder Richard Harris was even quoted in the press release: "We leave it up to the couple as to what activity they move onto after a sensuous massage on the EncoreSeat. What we do know is that they always seem to come back for an 'encore.'" We're not sure if he'll ever live this one down.