Theresa Strickland, EMBA '04
Chief Executive Officer
Theresa Strickland is a key-industry merchandising strategist who's vast and proven 25-year track record translates financial objectives into realistic merchandise assortment plans for leading national retailers.
Strategizing for companies such as Macys, Pottery Barn, Cost Plus World Market, Sears and Kmart, Strickland has conducted several company-wide vertical integrations, creating product development, merchandising and planning teams and an international sourcing organization that has continually resulted in substantial volume growth. She has also directly supervised company activities including full profit and loss responsibility, development of inventory, operating plans, sales plans, and her staff's execution of approved merchandise plans and objectives.
Strickland is highly proficient at identifying and forecasting trends that are developed into strategies for implementation of branded programs to maximize the impact these trends have on fashion and consumerism. Her adept negotiating abilities with both domestic and foreign markets, and proven analytical acumen have made her a key go-to figure among Wall Street analysts, leading educational institutions and national news agencies to name just a few.
Theresa Strickland originally received a BA in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Chico State University, and an MBA from Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.
In the following 25 years of management experience Ms. Strickland has excelled in leading a variety of merchandising initiatives. She joined the Macy's West training program where she spent 10 years working her way up to the Vice President of Tabletop and House wares. As Senior Vice President of Pottery Barn she helped to develop the retailer into one of the most successful multi-channel branded retailers of today's environment. At Cost Plus World Market she served as Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing, Design, and Planning, and gained notoriety on Wall Street As Chief Home Design Strategy and Branding Officer at Sears Holdings, Ms. Strickland has been responsible for Sears, Kmart and Land's End's Home store strategy, branding and design execution of all home merchandise where she successfully replaced the Martha Stewart brand with a comprehensive, differentiating stable of highly recognized National Brands.
Strong leadership skills allow Strickland to build consensus with management and develop superior professional merchandising teams.
Whenever possible, she serves as the Professor of "Introduction to Business" and "Leadership" classes at Santa Clara University. She was awarded by the Women in Leadership in the Board Room and the Executive Offices for Cost Plus World Market.
Theresa has been married for 26 years and has two grown children that attend the University of San Diego and Rutgers State University. A consummate athlete, each year she participates in the annual AIDS-Lifecycle fundraising event with her husband, on a seven-day, 545-mile cycling event from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Theresa lives in both San Francisco and Chicago with her husband and two dogs, Norman and Maci.