Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRA) (the “Company”) today announced that Bradley (“Brad”) Weston, seasoned retail executive and former Chief Executive Officer of Party City Holdings, Inc., has been nominated to join its Board of Directors.
“We are so pleased to welcome Brad Weston as the newest member of the Vera Bradley, Inc. Board of Directors,” commented Jackie Ardrey, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “As we continue to make progress on Project Restoration, our strategic plan to drive long-term profitable growth and deliver value to our shareholders, Brad’s wealth of omnichannel retail experience, strong merchandising background, and visionary leadership will be invaluable assets.”
Weston is a battle-tested executive with a diverse background, having successfully operated in mature, start-up, turnaround/transformation, and high-growth situations over his 35-year retail career. Most recently, Weston served as the Chief Executive Officer of Party City Holdings, Inc., a role he assumed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic following a short period leading the company’s retail division. Previously, he spent seven years with Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. in roles of increasing responsibility from Chief Merchandising Officer to President and Chief Executive Officer. He also led the merchant organization at Dick’s Sporting Goods from 2008 to 2011 as Chief Merchandising Officer.
Weston’s merchandising expertise is grounded in the fundamentals he learned early in his career. Over 18 years, he successfully rose through the ranks at May Department Stores from Executive Trainee to Senior Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Ready-to-Wear. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a finance and marketing emphasis from the University of California, Berkeley.
In addition to his appointment to the Vera Bradley, Inc. Board of Directors, Weston is currently a member of the Board of Directors for Boot Barn, Inc. He has previously served in Director roles for Party City Holdings, Inc.; Petco; the National Retail Federation; and The Sports Authority.
Weston will join Vera Bradley Inc.’s seven other board members: Jackie Ardrey, CEO; Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, Co-Founder of Vera Bradley; Kristina Cashman, former Chief Financial Officer of restaurant group PF Chang's; Robert J. Hall, Chairman of the Vera Bradley Board of Directors and President of Green Gables Partners; Mary Lou Kelley, former President, E-Commerce for Best Buy; Frances P. Philip, Lead Independent Director of the Vera Bradley Board of Directors and former Chief Merchandising Officer of L.L. Bean, Inc.; and Carrie Tharp, Vice President of Strategic Industries for Google Cloud.