Phil Newman

Phil Newman


Originally from the United Kingdom, Phil moved to Montreal, Canada, as a young boy where he grew up. After graduating from Concordia University in 1979, Phil found himself working in the apparel industry. At the time, Montreal was the epicenter of Canadian fashion. Like many of his peers, his first years were spent on a factory floor learning about fabrics and the fundamentals of garment manufacturing. As the industry evolved globally, Phil began traveling throughout Asia, Europe and North America; you would often find him in factories learning the intricacies of sweater manufacturing from the fiber up. He later went on to grow revenues by leading the Sourcing, Design, Merchandising and Sales teams of a well-known private label and branded apparel import company for over 15 years. In 1998, he founded COBMEX®, a specialty import/export company to supply corporate knitwear. Over the last two decades, COBMEX® has evolved into the market leader for uniform sweaters in the Public Safety and Corporate Image Apparel markets. Today Cobmex proudly operates companies in 5 countries.

Phil has been known to enjoy the occasional glass of wine and play rock n’ roll surrounded by his prolific guitar collection.

Jon Edberg

Jonathan Edberg

Executive Vice President

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Jon grew up surrounded by family and friends who were in the apparel industry. Following his completion of high school in 2003, Jon took time off to travel overseas with friends. Upon returning to Toronto in the summer of 2004, Jon found a part-time job working at COBMEX® as a warehouse associate while deciding what his career path was going to be (he always wanted to be a lawyer). While this was not the career path he had envisioned for himself, his fascination for the apparel industry, specifically the uniform industry, quickly became apparent and low and behold, his career in apparel had begun. Jon swiftly moved up in the ranks at COBMEX® as he went from a Sales Representative to Sales Director, and eventually Executive Vice President in 2020.

Phil’s vision and mentorship helped guide Jon through his early days at COBMEX®. He started to fully understand the manufacturing process and understand every fiber of every uniform sweater that COBMEX® produced. He was soon traveling with Phil throughout Asia, Europe and North America and was introduced to both the sales and manufacturing side of the business. Jon has been a driving force at COBMEX® exceeding sales targets, expanding COBMEX®’s customer base globally while further developing the company’s manufacturing base. In 2018, Jon was the recipient of the “Rising Star, Young Leader” Award given each year by the North American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. As the executive team’s youngest member and with lots of runway left in his career, this is surely just the beginning of what will be a storied career.

Jon enjoys traveling, is an avid foodie and is well known for his libatious socializing skills!


Ernest Fernandes

Senior Vice President - Finance

Born and raised in Mumbai, Ernest moved to Toronto, Canada in 1983. Equipped with 25 years of fashion apparel expertise, Ernest joined COBMEX® at a crucial time of the company’s growth in 2011. He strategized how to strengthen the financial base of the operation that allowed the company to grow to where it is today. He manages the accounting and financial aspects of COBMEX®’s business. As Ernest reflects on the past nine years, he feels a great sense of satisfaction being part of the achievements they have made as a team.

“I’m grateful that Phil took a chance on me and I feel fortunate to have joined the COBMEX® ‘family’ nine years ago. COBMEX® is a diverse group of people who at the core, really is like a family. This has been the ride of my life.”

Outside of nine to five, you can find Ernest reading, doing yoga, listening to Leonard Cohen, and traveling.


Sonia Martinez

Vice President of Human Resources and Administration

Sonia immigrated from El Salvador to Toronto, Canada, with her family during a cold December day in 1995. “My first glimpse of winter was quite a sight. What a way to get introduced to my new home in the Great White North!”

Sonia left the corporate world in 2009 when she joined COBMEX® after getting a glimpse of the company’s culture and Phil’s vision for the future. It was a major career shift, but she knew right away that COBMEX® was the type of company that she wanted to grow with, and that is exactly what happened. Sonia joined the company as a Receptionist, and since then has worn many hats as an Accounting Clerk, Human Resources Manager, and then Accounting and Operations Manager. In 2019, Sonia officially became part of the Executive Management Team when she was appointed as Vice President of Operations. Sonia continues to build upon the company culture that makes COBMEX® feel like a family.

“I feel extremely grateful for this opportunity and for the mutual trust and respect amongst our team. Our journey together has certainly been a great adventure!”


Hilda Martinez

General Manager, Exportaciones PSC

As the longest-serving member of the COBMEX® Executive Team, Hilda has had a front-row seat for the evolution of COBMEX® into what the company is today. Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Hilda has been the driving force behind the company’s Mexico operation since 1997. In 2005 COBMEX® moved its Mexico headquarters from Guadalajara to beautiful Aguascalientes where Hilda managed to build an operation that began as two small contractors and a handful of employees to an infrastructure that includes both a fully vertical proprietary production line as well as a network of semi proprietary manufacturing units that employs 250 people. Hilda’s ability to nurture, as well as her passion for our industry, has played an integral role in helping to establish COBMEX® as a leading manufacturing resource in Mexico.

Hilda enjoys cooking and spending time with her family of 2 brothers, 7 sisters, 10 nieces, 8 nephews, 5 great-nieces and 3 great-nephews.