Contributor Spotlight: Tim Rethlake

Published by Timothy Reed on

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Tim Rethlake

When Tim retired in 2023, he had been in the hearth industry for 45 years—20 at Majestic and 25 at Hearth & Home Technologies (HHT). He joined the industry because of a “dry Beefeater martini, up, stirred not shaken, with two olives. That was what Joe O’Brien, National Sales Manager for Majestic, drank,” Tim explained. “Whenever I saw him walk into the bar where I worked, I made his martini and handed it to him. One day he just said, ‘You need to be selling fireplaces.’” After he was recruited by O’Brien, Tim held a variety of positions. He started at Majestic as a Factory Sales Representative for many years, then became the Marketing leader before the acquisition of Majestic by CFM, which is when he came to HHT. During his 25 years at HHT, Tim had over a dozen roles in the Sales, Marketing, and Training areas of the business. “That is one of the keys to HHT’s success,” Tim insisted, “moving people around the org chart often to stay fresh and see with new eyes.”
When asked what advice he would offer to others in the industry, Tim urged hearth leaders to stay hopeful about the future. “Do not lose heart about the headwinds in our industry (regulatory pressures, incidence rate decline, etc.),” he said. “Stay confident and positive in the fact that the appeal of being close to a fire is baked into every human’s DNA and has been ever since Neanderthals figured out a fire kept saber-toothed tigers out of the cave.”

In his free time, Tim likes to walk around St. Paul with his wife, Justine, and look at the various architectural designs of homes, including mansions from the early 1800s, craftsman-style homes, and mid-century modern houses. He also enjoys cooking, especially on the custom woodfired pizza oven in his backyard.

Even though he’s no longer working for a hearth company, Tim insists that he’s “refired”—not retired—and that has led to TRaction Coaching. Those interested in learning more about coaching opportunities with Tim can visit or email

Thanks for all the wit and wisdom you’ve shared with our industry over the years, Tim. Your legacy will surely last for decades to come!

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