Herff Jones appoints Down as president

Indianapolis-based Herff Jones, a provider of graduation and educational products, has named Steve Down as president. His appointment is effective immediately. Previously, he was vice president and general manager for Allegion‘s residential division. Herff Jones is a division of Varsity Brands, which is backed by Bain Capital Private Equity.


DALLAS and INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Varsity Brands, the market leader in team sports, school spirit and achievement recognition, today announced that Steve Down has joined the company’s Herff Jones business division as President, effective immediately. He will be based in Herff Jones’ home market in Indianapolis and report to Varsity Brands’ CEO Adam Blumenfeld.

Herff Jones is a leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students.
Down joins Herff Jones with proven strategic acumen and an impressive history of achieving sustainable top and bottom-line results. He recently served as Vice President and General Manager for the Residential Division of Allegion, a publicly-traded provider of security products for homes and businesses, where he had full P&L responsibility for a $550M business and delivered significant expansion through strategic initiatives, technology and skillful execution. Earlier in his career, Down served in a leadership role at Ingersoll Rand, where, among other achievements, he led a transformation at Ingersoll’s Commercial Door Division that included dramatic improvements with respect to both product delivery and quality.

“We had a long ‘wish list’ in identifying the next President of Herff Jones and Steve is the ideal candidate in almost every respect,” Blumenfeld said. “He brings proven top line success while emphasizing product development and innovation – both of which will be vitally important as Herff Jones executes on our growth initiatives. Operationally, he brings discipline, accountability and conviction in the power of our employees and Sales Partners to recapture student imagination and propel Herff Jones forward. We look forward to Steve’s contributions and welcome him to the Varsity Brands team.”

Down’s earlier work history includes sales leadership positions at, among other consumer and retail companies, Adams Rite, Heras Mobile and Sedis, an industrial equipment supplier. He attended MidKent College in the United Kingdom.

Varsity Brands is a portfolio company of Bain Capital Private Equity.

About Varsity Brands
With a mission to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for young people, Varsity Brands elevates the student experience, promotes participation and celebrates achievement through three unique but interrelated businesses: BSN SPORTS; Varsity Spirit; and Herff Jones. Together, these businesses promote personal, school and community pride through their customizable products and programs to elementary and middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities, as well as church organizations, professional and collegiate sports teams and corporations. Through its 10,000 dedicated employees and independent representatives, Varsity Brands reaches its individual and institutional customers each year via e-commerce sites, catalogs, telesales, and direct sales channels.

About Herff Jones
Indianapolis-based Herff Jones is a leading provider of graduation and educational products and services designed to inspire achievement and create memorable experiences for students. A division of Varsity Brands, Herff Jones’ products include class rings and jewelry, caps and gowns, yearbooks, diplomas and announcements as well as motivation and recognition programs. Focused on building long-term relationships through a nationwide network of over 2,000 employees and sales partners, the professionals at Herff Jones have been helping elevate the student experience throughout the lifelong journey of education for more than 99 years.
For more information about Herff Jones or Varsity Brands, please visit www.herffjones.com or www.varsitybrands.com.