Our founder, friend, boss and number one Beau Ties Guy, Bill Kenerson, died peacefully
at his home on November 16th. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1931,
graduated from Yale University and served proudly in the United States Marine Corps.
He loved his wife and Beau Ties co-founder Deb Venman. He loved his family. He
loved his country.
For the past twenty years, Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont was Bill’s passion, and his
goal was to convince every guy who wore a bow tie to wear a BEAU tie. His career
didn’t start in the tie business, however. It came after he had been a Human Relations
professional with several large firms, including General Electric, Bausch and Lomb and
Simmonds Precision. And it was after he was tapped by Vermont’s governor to serve as
the Commissioner of Economic Development.
For many of you, the story of the birth of Beau Ties Ltd. Of Vermont is a familiar one.
Bill, always a fan of bow ties, had become quite discouraged with the availability of
a good selection of bow ties in men’s stores. Assuming that he was not the only man
facing this challenge, he, with enthusiastic help from Deb, decided to do something
about it. Thus, in 1992, was Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont born in the spare bedroom of
their house. In 1999, having outgrown all available space in the family home, Beau Ties
moved into a new facility just a few minutes away. The business continued to grow,
eventually employing 25 people, mailing nearly half a million catalogues each year,
creating a vital presence on the web and taking a lead in the niche bow tie market.
Along the way Bill became a friend and thoughtful mentor to other entrepreneurs. He
was always generous with his time, knowledge and opinions; he never ran out of ideas
When he wasn’t choosing fabrics, talking with customers, reviewing sales or rambling
around the building to chat with employees, Bill enjoyed golfing and had a great love for
dogs. (The same cannot be said for cats.) He was an avid fan of baseball. And here at
Beau Ties, where a corporate love of celebratory group lunches is the norm (any occasion
is worthy of a good lunch), Bill was never known to pass up pepperoni, deviled eggs or
lemon squares – particularly when someone else was doing the cooking.
We at Beau Ties will miss our best tie tester, our most consistent critic and our always-
enthusiastic cheerleader. We know that many of you will, too. You met him. You
passed along your opinions. Some of you even designed fabrics. He knew you, as well;
he respected you immensely. And that will never change. Bill will see to it.
—All of us in the Beau Ties Ltd. family