gil kemp

founder, home decorator collection

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Gil began his career developing direct-marketing programs for books and newsletters for New American Library, Bantam Books, and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. In 1990, he founded Home Decorators Collection, leading the company as president until 2009,  three years after it was purchased by The Home Depot.

Gil sits on the board of managers at Swarthmore College, his alma mater.  Since joining the board in 2003, he has three times chaired the college's Annual Fund as well as served as chair of the Strategic Planning Council, which led the college community through an 18-month direction-setting process and produced Strategic Directions.

Kemp is the co-author of Dale Carnegie: The Man Who Influenced Millions (1989). He currently serves on the board of the East Meets West Foundation, which supports health and education programs in Asia, and Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT preparation and college admission counseling to low-income high school students. A former student-athlete at Swarthmore, Kemp still holds the college's outdoor mile record of 4:15.5 that he set in 1970.

Gil, who lives in Florida but travels around the globe extensively, graduated with honors from Swarthmore and in 1976 earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.