Skip to main content

Department ofManagement & Entrepreneurship

Strickland, Theresa

Theresa Strickland

Executive Professor of Business & Digital Marketing


Theresa Strickland is a key-industry merchandising strategist whose proven 25-year track record demonstrates her ability to translate financial objectives into realistic merchandise assortment plans for leading national retailers. 

For Macys, Pottery Barn, Cost Plus World Market, Sears and Kmart, and Chief Home Design, Strickland has conducted company-wide vertical integrations, and has created product development, merchandising and planning teams and an international sourcing organization that have resulted in substantial volume growth.  She has also directly supervised company activities including full profit and loss responsibility, development of inventory systems, operating plans, sales plans, and her staff’s execution of approved merchandise plans and objectives.  Strong leadership skills allow Strickland to build consensus with management and develop effective professional merchandising teams.

Strickland is highly proficient in identifying and forecasting trends that can then be developed into strategies for implementation within branded programs.  The objective is always to maximize the impact these trends have on fashion and consumer behavior. She is a skilled negotiator within domestic and foreign markets, and her proven analytical acumen have made her a significant source for Wall Street analysts, leading educational institutions, and national news agencies 

During her 25 years of management experience, Ms. Strickland has excelled in leading a variety of merchandising initiatives:

  • Joined the Macy’s West training program and spent 10 years through the ranks to become the Vice President of Tabletop and Housewares. 
  • Became Division President of Pottery Barn where she helped to develop the retailer into one of the most successful multi-channels, branded retailers in the nation.
  • Served as Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Marketing, Design, and Planning at Cost Plus World Market and given special recognition as key executive for Women in Leadership in the Boardroom and in Executive offices.
  • Gained recognition on Wall Street as Chief Home Design Strategy and Branding Officer at Sears Holdings.  
  • Consults on Wall Street in the Retail and Marketing Space.
  • Responsible for Sears, Kmart, and Land’s End’s Home store strategies, as well as branding and design execution of all home merchandise.  Successfully replaced the Martha Stewart brand with a comprehensive, differentiating stable of highly recognized national brands. 
  • Keynote speaker at women’s events around the country.  
  • Whenever possible, Theresa teaches “Introduction to Business” and “Leadership” courses at Santa Clara University where she sits on the Advisory Board to the Leavey School of Business.

  • Board member
    • Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP)
    • My Own Business Institute (MOBI)
    • Leavey School of Business (LSB)
    • Converge Consulting
    • IVY Exec

 

Today, Theresa is the Chief Executive Officer of Chief Home Design. Chief Home Design is a Brand, Trend, and Marketing consulting firm. We also engage in Product Development & Design, Interior & Re-Design, and Architectural Construction work. 

She is sought after for Branding, Marketing, Design and Product Development in the Digital Marketing Space.  Strong leadership skills allow Strickland to build consensus with management and develop effective professional merchandising teams.

Whenever possible, she teaches “Introduction to Business” and “Leadership” courses at Santa Clara University where she sits on the Advisory Board to the Leavey School of Business. 

She sat on the steering committee for Executive Women for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign where she was responsible for social media marketing.

Theresa Strickland received a BA in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Chico State University, and an EMBA from Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University.

Theresa has been married for 30 years and has two grown children.   A consummate athlete, she participates annually in the AIDS-Lifecycle fundraiser with her husband, on a seven-day, 545-mile cycling event from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Theresa lives in both San Francisco and New York with her husband Tye and French Bull dog Maci.