All Columns in Alphabetical Order

Sunday, May 15, 2016

MOVERS and SHAKERS: Suzanne Gavis, President of LipLidz Our Coverage Sponsored by Bergen Linen

Suzanne Gavis

Bergen Linen is a family-owned business that understands your need for quality linen cleaning and rental services. Your guests expect the best and we can help make that possible with our full line of services. From large at-home dinner parties to an extravagant wedding, we will work with you to create your vision. Table linens include tablecloths, napkins, overlays, chair covers and sashes. 

Are you a business owner? Bergen Linen has a menu of services for industries including restaurants, catering venues, boutique hotels, and spas. Allow us to create a program that works with your needs within your budget. And it doesn’t just stop at linens. Bergen Linen also offers full interior cleaning services and uniform sales. 

Bergen Linen 

172 Johnson Avenue 

Hackensack, NJ 07601 

If you are interested in our services, please feel free to email or call (800) 789-8115. A Bergen Linen team member would be happy to discuss your options. Schedule your complimentary consultation today. 

Suzanne Gavis grew up in a typical small town in upstate New York. Longing for a life that would be different from her small-town beginnings, Suzanne often dreamed of ways to shape her future. There wasn’t family money and, in those days, little encouragement for a girl to go to college. So when she met Joe in the mid 70's, a great-looking Marine just back from Vietnam, it was an easy decision to hop into his Dodge van to travel across the country. 

Their plan was simple, to find those paths less travelled, and for the next six months, that’s what they did. Their spontaneous, winding path took them from Connecticut to California. They wandered into Florida, meandered through Texas, and crossed the border into Mexico. Suzanne’s spirit of adventure and comfort with taking risks laid the foundation for the future she dreamed about as a little girl feeling trapped in a small town. “It was a perfect time to explore our country,” Suzanne muses, “Gas was cheap, there were no major safety concerns, and there were no distractions except for the occasional general delivery letter or package at one of their destinations. It would be hard for kids today to imagine being that disconnected, with no cell phones or internet.” 

Returning home after that adventure, Suzanne married Joe and started her corporate career as Human Resource Manager for Alfa-Laval. With a job to pay the bills, Suzanne kept her eye toward the future. She did some modeling for fun and extra cash and even won the Miss Super Smile Contest in 1978 in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her prize was a night on the town in Manhattan and an appointment with the Ford Modeling Agency. “That was huge fun and an unforgettable experience,” recalls Suzanne. She relocated with Alfa-Laval to Kansas City, MO where she attended Park College. After 10 years in KC, Suzanne’s adventurous spirit inspired her and Joe to quit their jobs, sell their home, and drive up and down the east cost three times looking for the next stop on their journey. They eventually decided they had found their future in Raleigh, NC. 

For the next 25 years, Suzanne was constantly on the move between being the VP of Sales, Marketing & Operations at a major insurance firm, giving birth to her son Hunter, being a den mom in Scouts, golfing, gardening, and living life. Throughout the whirl of life, Suzanne had a number of product ideas; ideas that she knew could be successful. One evening, hanging out at the pool drinking wine with her girlfriends, she thought of LipLidz, which are Highly Recommended by Whom You Know. After years of parties where red wine was spilled, glasses were broken, drinks were sloshed onto the carpet in enthusiastic conversations, and people complained about drinking wine out of plastic cups poolside, Suzanne knew her idea of drink-thru lids on a cool glass would be both functional and fun. Through focus groups, design iterations, and multiple prototypes, LipLidz finally made it to the marketplace in 2013. 

Suzanne always believed it was a viable, fun product – a product that satisfied a need. She also felt strongly that her product should be made in the United States. After launching LipLidz in July 2013, Suzanne pitched LipLidz to Shark Tank alum Kevin Harrington as part of The Big Pitch. LipLidz was one of 11 products selected from 150 candidates. Suzanne and LipLidz have been featured in a number of local newspapers and blogs. LipLidz is carried in over 190 retail stores throughout the United States, Canada and Virgin Islands and available online at  We are thrilled to present Suzanne Gavis as our newest Mover and Shaker! Peachy Deegan interviewed Suzanne for Whom You Know.

Peachy Deegan: What do you know now about designing a product that you wish you knew at the beginning of the LipLidz development? 
Suzanne Gavis: How much time it really takes to finally get your end result like you want it. 

What does manufacturing in the USA mean to you? 
It means providing jobs at home, for supporting our own economy 

Do you have a favorite LipLidz and if so why? 
 My favorite (or the one I use the most) is the LipLidz Wine glass – It holds 13 ounces so it is a nice full glass of wine. 

Please tell us about The Big Pitch and your experience with it. 
 I read that the Big Pitch was interviewing new companies/products at the Chicago Houseware Show and thought “this could be fun and interesting”. I was attending the show anyway. Obviously, I knew my product information by heart, I thought, let’s try it. The entire time, the panel, which Kevin Harrington headed up, the production crew and all support staff were genuine and made me feel so comfortable. I pitched LipLidz and amidst the camaraderie and laughs, left there relaxed and feeling very good about my “performance”. They called a few days later to tell me LipLidz was selected – one of 11 products out of 150 candidates. Their show aired on Fox Business News and LipLidz was the first product showcased. They have continued their support since that time as well. 

What are your future goals for LipLidz?
 I want to expand our products to more resorts, wineries, distilleries and cruise ships as a private label product. 

What or who has had the most influence on your pursuit of excellence? 
 My husband Joe – there is only one way to do something – the right way. 

What are you proudest of and why? 
 I am most proud of my son Hunter and the wonderful, thoughtful young man he has grown to be. 

What would you like to do professionally that you have not yet had the opportunity to do? Publish the children’s books I have written.

What honors and awards have you received in your profession? 
On the Insurance side – Prime Agent Award, Best Sale Manager Award. 
For LipLidz – Best New Vendor for 2014 at Yankee Candle 

What one word best describes you and why? 
 Honest – When you are honest you never have to wonder if what you did or said will come back and haunt you. 

What do you take your sense of identity from? 
 A clearly defined view that I can only control my own destiny 

What is your favorite place to be in Manhattan? 
 Walking through Times Square 
And North Carolina? 
 At the Beach 

What is your favorite shop in Manhattan? 
And North Carolina? 

If you could hire anybody who would it be and why? 
 Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank – for her business savvy

What is your favorite drink? 
 Top Shelf Margarita on the rocks 

What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a cocktail party? 
Left a rest room and did not realize my dress was tucked into my pantyhose.

What is your favorite restaurant in Manhattan?
 Tony’s Di Napoli 
And North Carolina? 
 Bellini's Italian Cuisine 

What is your favorite Manhattan book or favorite character in Manhattan literature? 
 The Catcher in the Rye 
 And North Carolina? 
 Nights in Rodanthe 

Who would you like to be for a day and why? 
 Adele – so I could belt out songs and they would sound awesome, unlike what I really sound like in the shower or singing in the car.

If you could have anything in Manhattan named after you what would it be and why? 
 5th Ave – it has a realistic perception of class & style, yet fun place to be. 
 And North Carolina? 
Our local Golf & Country Club – Bentwinds – we’re there a lot and our son grew up there. 

What has been your best Manhattan athletic experience? 
 Yankees baseball game (Ok maybe not Manhattan but..) 
And North Carolina? 
Watching the Carolina Hurricanes win the Stanley Cup in 2006!

What is your favorite thing to do in Manhattan that you can do nowhere else? 
 View/tour the Statue of Liberty 
 And North Carolina? 
 Horseback ride on the beach. 

If you could have dinner with any person living or passed, who would it be and why? 
Warren Buffett – to listen to his theories and rationale on how he pursues his interests 

What has been your best Manhattan art or music experience? 
 Off broadway – The Blue Man Group 
And North Carolina? 
 The Lion King at the DPAC (Durham Performing Arts Center) 

What do you personally do or what have you done to give back to the world? 
I am an avid recycler

What do you think is most underrated and overrated in Manhattan?
 Underrated – the expansive Subway system – Overrated – the shopping. 
And North Carolina? 
Underrated – our beautiful coast, Overrated – basketball teams.

Other than Movers and Shakers of course, what is your favorite WhomYouKnow

What else should Whom You Know readers know about you? 
Enjoy playing golf & gardening

How would you like to be contacted by Whom You Know readers? 

Back to TOP