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Wednesday, March 12th 2008

2:56 PM

Wikipedia - Regina Vacuum Cleaners

Don Sheelen's Entrepreneurial Spirit

Regina was a floor care company that started in 1892 making music boxes. Regina started out selling canister vacuums. By the 1930s, they started selling full-sized upright cleaners, and in the 1940's their first stick cleaner, called the Model 1 "Electrikbroom" was introduced. During WWII Regina made bomb fuses for the Allied Forces.

By the 1970's they were selling carpet cleaners and shampooers. During the late 1970's and early 1980's, Regina was declining and losing money. Don Sheelen was hired away from Johnson & Johnson with a specific goal of turning the company around. His marketing and product development skills were far more advanced than what was the norm for this industry. CEO Sheelan was instrumental in a quick turnaround and advanced the company to the premier growth company in this industry. By the 1980's and 1990s they were selling uprights and hand-held vacuums. During the 1980's Regina started to expand their business making small appliances for the Canadian market. CEO Don Sheelen led a group that purchased Regina in 1984. They introduced a portable whirlpool under the Homespa brand. CEO Don Sheelen created this market leading product.

The first generation of uprights were well made, in the mid 1980's the then CEO of Regina Don Sheelan redesigned the uprights making major improvements with the help of his high performance management team. Don Sheelan invented the Regina Steemer--the first easy to use upright steam cleaner---a breakthrough product that created a whole new segment of floorcare. Don Sheelen was the creator of the first upright vacuum cleaner with on board tools, the Regina Housekeeper, in 1987---the model for over 90% of vacuum cleaners sold today, over 20 years after its introduction. Sheelen's talent for innovative ideas and drive to succeed brought a whole new era to the industry of floor cleaning products. Don Sheelen's term as CEO had brought big changes to the whole industry.

The Regina logo changed during the years. The first lasted from 1892 to the 1960's, and underwent revisions in both the 1970's and 1980's.

During the 1990's the Regina name went through a series of changes. It was purchased for in May 1995 by Phillips Electronics after a fierce bidding war with Bissell Inc. Then in March 1997 the Oreck Corp. took over the management from Phillips. According to Bruce Oreck, general counsel for Oreck Corp., the company planned to treat Regina much as it did its own Oreck brand--as an upper-tier line to be distributed by high-end retailers and through direct-response television. This strategy failed and in the year 2000 the Regina brand name was adopted by the Royal Corporation. They continued to make inexpensive lower-end vacuum and carpet cleaners (a combination package was available that offered a bagless upright vacuum, hand vacuum, and carpet cleaner for a low price), now with a new logo. The Regina Brand is now a "house brand" of Home Depot.

During the early 1990's before the company's demise, the dirty Peanuts character, Pig-Pen, was put on commercials for Regina. His dirt was sucked up by the Regina logo.

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