Board of Directors
Ms. Baekgaard co-founded Vera Bradley in 1982 and served as Co-President from 1982 through June 2010. In May 2010, she was appointed Chief Creative Officer and served in that post through August 2017 when Beatrice Mac Cabe assumed that role. She still serves as an active brand ambassador with the Company. She also currently serves as a board member of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center Development Board and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.
As Co-Founder of Vera Bradley, Ms. Baekgaard serves a key leadership role on our Board of Directors and provides the Board with a broad array of institutional knowledge and historical perspective. Since our founding, Ms. Baekgaard has provided leadership and strategic direction in our brand’s development by providing creative vision to areas such as marketing, product design, assortment planning and the design and visual merchandising of our stores.
Mr. Baum is the managing partner of Consumer Growth Partners, a private equity firm with an exclusive investment focus on specialty retail and branded consumer products companies, which he helped found in 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Baum spent more than a decade serving in various equity research roles with investment banking, securities and investment management firms Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Sanford Bernstein.
Mr. Baum serves on the Board of Directors of Harris Originals of NY, Inc., a privately-held jewelry retailer, and Factory Connection, Inc., a privately-held off-price retailer. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Retail Marketing Society. Mr. Baum brings to the Board of Directors particular knowledge and experience in finance and capital structure, strategic planning, consumer brand strategy, retail merchandising and operations.
Mr. Hall has served as Chairman of the Board since September 2010. Mr. Hall is the President of Green Gables Partners, a private investment firm that he founded in 2010. Prior to founding Green Gables, he started Andesite Holdings, a private equity firm, where he served as principal from 2007 to 2014. Mr. Hall served as an Executive Director for UBS Financial Services from 2000 to 2007.
Mr. Hall serves as a director of FlyLow Gear Co., a privately-held manufacturer of outerwear; as Board Chair of The Holderness School; and serves as Co-Chair of the U.S. Biathlon Association.
Mr. Hall provides our Board of Directors with insight and perspective on general strategic and financial matters stemming from his extensive experience in investment banking, investment management, financial planning and private placements.
Ms. Kelley served as President, E-Commerce for Best Buy from April 2014 through March 2017. Prior to joining Best Buy, Ms. Kelley served as Senior Vice President, E-Commerce for Chico’s FAS Inc. from June 2010 to March 2014. Ms. Kelley formerly held the posts of Vice President of Retail Real Estate and Marketing and Vice President of E-Commerce for L.L. Bean. Ms. Kelley serves on the board of Finning International, a public company that is the world’s largest Caterpillar equipment dealer with operations in Canada, South America, the United Kingdom and Ireland. She also is an advisor to the Board of Directors and senior leadership of Falabella Retail, the largest department store retailer in South America. In February 2019, Ms. Kelley was appointed to the Board of Directors of publicly-held Yeti Holdings, Inc. a premium cooler and drinkware company.
Ms. Kelley has deep capabilities in developing the retail omni-channel experience, as well as e-commerce, marketing and strategic planning experience. She provides insight and counsel on a variety of issues as the Company continues to pursue our long-term strategic plan, which includes elevating our marketing efforts and growing our verabradley.com digital flagship.
From February 2014 through May 2014, Mr. Kyees served as the interim Chief Financial Officer of Destination XL Group, Inc., the largest multi-channel specialty retailer of big and tall men’s apparel. In 2010, Mr. Kyees retired as the Chief Investor Relations Officer from Urban Outfitters, Inc., a retail chain headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after serving as Chief Financial Officer from 2003 to 2010. Mr. Kyees formerly held the position of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer for bebe stores, Inc., a retail chain headquartered in San Francisco, California, from 2002 to 2003. Mr. Kyees is currently a director of publicly-held Destination XL Group, Inc., as well as Arhaus Furniture, a privately-held retailer.
Mr. Kyees brings to our Board of Directors over 40 years of experience in the consumer products retail and manufacturing industries. He has over 30 years of experience as a chief financial officer and nine years serving in that role for a public company. Institutional Investor magazine selected Mr. Kyees as a top specialty retail chief financial officer on five separate occasions, evidencing his strong skills in corporate finance, strategic and accounting matters.
Mr. McEvoy is the former Chief of Strategy and New Business Development at Burberry Group plc, a luxury apparel and accessories company based in London which he left in September 2017. Prior to joining Burberry in 2002, Mr. McEvoy worked for nearly 15 years at Goldman Sachs & Co., a global investment banking, securities and investment management firm, where he held positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President of the Retail and Apparel Focus Group from 1993 to 2001.
Mr. McEvoy brings to the Board of Directors extensive experience in retail operations and strategic planning, years of experience at an international retail public company and a proven track record of driving international growth and expansion.
In 2013, Mr. Miller retired as a senior partner in the law firm of Hunt Suedhoff Kalamaros LLP, where he served as a partner from 1997. From 1990 through June 2010, Mr. Miller served as our Secretary and Treasurer. Mr. Miller also serves on the Board of Directors of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.
Mr. Miller has been involved with Vera Bradley since its inception and brings to our Board of Directors a broad array of institutional knowledge and historical perspective. Mr. Miller also provides insight and guidance on legal and business matters, stemming from his years of experience as a practicing attorney prior to his retirement.
From 1994 to 2011, Ms. Philip held positions of increasing responsibility at L.L. Bean, Inc., a privately-held outdoor apparel and equipment retailer based in Freeport, Maine, including Chief Merchandising Officer from 2002 to 2011. Prior to working at L.L. Bean, Ms. Philip was one of three principals who launched the innovative fresh flower catalog, Calyx & Corolla, and she served in a variety of roles with other specialty retailers, including The Nature Company, Williams-Sonoma and The Gap. Ms. Philip also serves on the boards of Coats Group plc., a UK-based leading supplier of premium and high-performance threads and yarn to a wide range of industries with securities traded on the London Stock Exchange; Sea Bags, a privately-held manufacturer and retailer of handcrafted tote bags and accessories made from recycled sails; Totes-Isotoner Corporation, a privately-held international umbrella, footwear and cold-weather accessory supplier; and Regent Holdings, a privately-held designer, importer and wholesaler of home décor. She also serves as an Industry Executive for Freeman-Spogli, a private equity company specializing in retail, consumer brands, restaurants and distribution services.
Ms. Philip brings to our Board of Directors extensive experience in product design and development, multi-channel merchandising and the retail and consumer products industry.
Mr. Schmults is the Chief Executive Officer of Calyx Peak Companies, which operates and manages assets in the legal cannabis market. From 2009 until 2018 Mr. Schmults served as the Chief Executive Officer and a director of Wild Things, LLC, a privately-held company that provides technical apparel, packs and bags to the U.S. military, federal and state law enforcement agencies and the consumer market. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Schmults served as the Chief Executive Officer of FAO Schwarz, a toy retailer. Mr. Schmults has also served as Chief Operating Officer at RedEnvelope, Inc. and Patagonia. Mr. Schmults currently serves on the advisory board of First Insight, Inc., a privately-held data analytics company, and is a member of the board of privately-held Calyx Peak Companies.
Mr. Schmults brings to our Board of Directors over 30 years of experience in branded consumer products, direct-to-consumer sales, finance, information technology and socially-responsible business practices. Mr. Schmults also has significant experience in customization of consumer products.
Mr. Wallstrom joined Vera Bradley as its President and Chief Executive Officer in 2013. From 2007 to 2013, Mr. Wallstrom served as President of Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, the outlet chain operated by Saks Fifth Avenue. Previously, he was Group Senior Vice President and General Manager of Saks’ flagship New York store from 2002 to 2007. Prior to joining Saks, Mr. Wallstrom held a variety of roles at retailer Macy’s Inc. from 1987 to 1995. Mr. Wallstrom serves on the Board of Directors of the privately-held Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
Mr. Wallstrom is a retail executive with extensive brand management experience, proven leadership abilities and a track record of driving growth. As President of Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Mr. Wallstrom developed and implemented a strategic plan that repositioned the division as a growth engine, propelling it to a market-leading position. Mr. Wallstrom is well-regarded in the retail industry for his ability to develop and execute strategic growth plans. He has a deep background in brand positioning, product development, store operations and merchandise planning and allocation.