Sam Mann received a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Cincinnati in 1957. He subsequently joined the prestigious industrial design and architectural firm of Eliot Noyes and Associates, where he had the good fortune to work on evolutionary IBM projects with visiting consultants Charles Eames and Paul Rand. In spare time he developed a group of kitchen and decorative accessory designs and resigned to start a manufacturing and marketing company selling to department and specialty stores. Five years later the company was acquired and he founded an industrial design consulting firm specializing in product design, engineering and prototype development as well as packaging and graphic design which was the recipient of numerous design awards for its consumer products, medical instrumentation and exhibit design.
In 1974, he decided to again pursue the design, manufacturing and marketing of his own product ideas. He invented several personal care appliances, skin care treatments and most significantly, a safe, efficient ear-piercing system which enabled simple, safe use by minimally trained retail store personnel, and built the facilities for manufacturing. His products received over 75 utility patents and numerous design patents. The company, Inverness Corporation, ultimately maintained offices in several countries and distribution in over 60 countries. In 1994 Sam was named Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of New Jersey by Inc. Magazine. In 1997, Inverness was acquired by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway group of companies.
In retirement, he accelerated a lifetime interest in vintage automobiles and built a collection focused primarily on mid nineteen thirties American and French automobiles, mostly one of a kind designs, and has succeeded in winning four Best of Show awards at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and numerous other venues. For many years, he raced vintage cars and is an avid skier and sailor. He served on the Board of the College of Engineering at Tufts University, and Englewood Hospital in his home community, and served as President of Bergen County Performing Arts Center, a regional theatre and performing arts school. Pursuing his love of music, Sam sang weekly for 25 years as a member of the 125 year old University Glee Club of New York City, which performed most years at Lincoln Center or Carnegie Hall.
His wife, Emily, is an accomplished interior architect and exhibit designer. One of their three sons earned a graduate Film degree at ArtCenter. Mann became a trustee at ArtCenter in 2005.
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