The role marks an expansion in leadership for Cobbina at the company, where he serves as a board member and runs investing and philanthropic activities for Bedrock Group LP.
Cobbina, 41, will drive overall day-to-day business, as well as develop new opportunities.
“Awenate has become an active member of the BMC, Shinola and Filson leadership teams during the course of this year,” BMC founder Tom Kartsotis said in a statement. “In recent months, Cobbina has joined BMC’s board and worked closely with leadership to begin developing a blueprint for future growth.”
“The dynamic nature of our brands and businesses, combined with realities we have faced due to the pandemic, has brought us to a very exciting moment,” Kartsotis said. “The overall premise behind each of our brands has become stronger as we have repositioned everything about our company during recent quarters. I believe the relevance of each of our businesses is stronger than ever.”
“Awenate’s capabilities are exactly what we need to make the most of the investments that have been made over time. Even more exciting is the fact that we have assembled a management team that is well prepared to drive both shareholder and community value in unison,” he said.
Kartsotis will continue to guide Bedrock in his role as founder, working with Cobbina and his leadership team to fuel growth, cultivate new avenues of business, maintain core brand values, and support an equitable, diverse and sustainable culture.
Immediately prior to joining Bedrock Group LP, the leading investor in BMC, Cobbina led operations as a member of the Biden-Harris transition’s executive leadership team. He joined the transition from Pistons Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons, where he served as vice president of public and business affairs, and executive director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. While there, he and the leadership team moved the Pistons from Auburn Hills to Detroit in 2017.
Cobbina serves as the chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. executive committee, Michigan’s public-private partnership for job creation and economic development. He was appointed to this role by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in 2019.
Prior to his time at the Pistons, he served in the Obama White House as political appointee, with roles in legislative affairs, management and budget, and the chief of staff’s office.
“I am very honored to be offered the BMC CEO position and am excited to play a role in the company’s journey. I see a bright future for all of the BMC companies and look forward to embracing the challenges and opportunities ahead as our businesses evolve, grow and create impact on the communities in which we operate,” Awenate said. “The senior leaders at BMC, Shinola and Filson, including our newly hired BMC CFO [chief financial officer], Michele Santana, Shannon Washburn in Detroit, Paolo Corinaldesi in Seattle, and their teams, have knowledge specific to the industries that we operate in, experience both growing companies and managing large companies, and the determination to build businesses that make our employees, customers and the communities that we are a part of proud.”
Founded in 2005 by Kartsotis, Bedrock Manufacturing Co. is a Texas-based investment firm whose brands include Shinola and Filson.
Shinola, based in Detroit, is a design brand started in 2011 selling made-in-the-U.S. watches and lifestyle goods. The first Shinola Hotel opened in 2019. Seattle-based Filson is known for a 124-year history of making high-end outdoor clothing and accessories. Shinola and Filson products are sold on their respective e-commerce, through company-owned retail stores, and via U.S. and international distributors.