Schewel Furniture store manager retiring after 23 years

Published 11:17 am Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kevin Insull

Kevin Insull

FRANKLIN—After almost 23 years with Schewel Furniture Company, Franklin store manager Kevin Insull is retiring.

The date of retirement is set for June 25, and Insull and his wife Mary plan to do some traveling once it becomes official.

Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Insull and his wife moved around a bit when he worked with Warner Cable, which is what brought him to Franklin in 1985.

He started working for Schewel’s in October of 1990. For eight months he worked at the Ahoksie, N.C, store as manager, and then began managing the Franklin store where he has been ever since.

Insull said about his decision to retire, “In retail, you are always working holidays and weekends. I have grandchildren now and want to spend time with them and see them grow up.” His children and grandchildren live fairly close by in Fort Lee, Virginia Beach and Richmond.

When Hurricane Floyd struck in 1999, causing massive flooding, the Schewel’s store was located downtown, where Habitat for Humanity Restore is now.

Insull said he vividly remembers the damage to the store from the flood.

“There was eight feet of water in there,” he recalled.

After September of 1999, the store changed location temporarily to the old Airway Shopping Center. It then came back to the old downtown spot in May of 2000. When the current location became available at Franklin Plaza Shopping Center, 1100 Armory Drive, the business moved in September of 2004.

“It was a great move for us — a great location,” he said.

Under Insull’s leadership, the store has been in the top 10 in sales for the last 13 years.

“We’ve been in the top 10 in profit,” he said, adding Schewel’s has 51 stores throughout Virginia, North Carolina and West Virginia.

Insull praised his staff for their contributions. “Most of my people have been with me forever — 20-plus year employees. They are a dedicated staff and we’ve been together a long time. They are all very good people.”

Office manager Debbie Bowles, an employee of 22 years, is stepping up to take over as manager.

Insull has relished his longevity with the company.

“It is an excellent company to work for. I’ve enjoyed my time with them. There is positive leadership from the top all the way down,” he stressed.

Married to his wife for 40 years this September, Insull is also active in the community. He is past president of Franklin Kiwanis Club and current treasurer and has been a member for 25 years. He is also involved in the Masonic Lodge, Shrine Club and Eastern Star.

He and Mary are looking forward to traveling and indicated their next big trip is to Ireland, which they’ve been planning for several years.

In conclusion, Insull said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time (as store manager). I’ve enjoyed the people and the company itself. The customers have been very nice and I’ve enjoyed working with them and for them.”