Alan founded Benchmark Brands after an extensive career in brand marketing and product development. Alan was the New Products Marketing Director for the Dr. Scholl's and OTC Drug Divisions of Schering-Plough and was the Sr. Director of New Business Development for the Shulton Division of American Cyanamid. As Vice-President Marketing, New Products for Holiday Inn Worldwide, he led the development team for Holiday Inn Express, one of the most successful hotel introductions in the 1990's.
In 2006, Alan was honored as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Retail Division for the Southeast. His entrepreneurial spirit has helped grow Benchmark Brands to a company with forecasted product revenues of $160MM in 2012.
Alan holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA, also from the University of Texas at Austin.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
David Rogalski joins Benchmark Brands with over two decades of finance and strategic management experience including domestic and international leadership across a range of industries. Most recently, David served as Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer for Harry & David Holdings, Inc, a leading multi-channel specialty retailer. Prior to his work with Harry & David, he was Chief Financial Officer for ecoFridge and Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller for Cornerstone Brands, Inc. Earlier in his career, David held financial leadership positions at Norwood Promotional Products, Inc., XeTel Corporation and Travis Boats & Motors, Inc.
David received his bachelor's degree from DePaul University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
As General Counsel, Julia Houston is responsible for handling all legal, regulatory and compliance matters for Benchmark Brands. Before joining Benchmark, she served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of both Convergys Corporation (NYSE: CVG), a global customer management outsourcing company, and Mirant Corporation (NYSE: MIR), an independent power producer. Ms. Houston also practiced as a corporate attorney at Delta Air Lines, Inc. and as an associate at King & Spalding LLP in the corporate practice group.
She received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law.
As VP, Merchandising, Jessica's team has buying responsibility for Footwear, Health, Hosiery, Socks and Intimates, along with merchandise planning, promotion management and creative execution across catalog, print, web site and channel marketing programs. Both she and her team lead the merchandising strategy for FootSmart.com and provide critical support for the development of proprietary products. Jessica joined Benchmark Brands in June 1999 from Macy's, where she spent 10 years in various merchandising roles. In 2008, she led the Contemporary Sportswear initiative at Macy's Central, increasing departmental volume from $5MM in 2006 to $50MM.
Jessica holds a BA in Advertising from The Pennsylvania State University.
VP, Talent Asset Management/HR
Thana brings over 20 years experience helping Fortune 500, mid-size and start-up companies align talent strategies with business growth. Thana was most recently the SVP, General Manager for Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), a professional services firm specializing in talent management solutions. Prior to joining LHH, Thana spent five years with Accenture delivering organizational design solutions and several years with Northgate Arinso where she built and led the company's HR Consulting Practice in North America. Prior to entering the consulting field, Thana spent eight years in corporate and field HR roles at Time Warner and Reed Elsevier in New York. She leads the Talent Asset Management team for Benchmark Brands which will play a crucial role in creating and driving people strategies for our dynamic, fast moving organization. Thana has responsibility for all aspects of HR and Talent Management.
Thana has a BA degree from the State University of New York at Oswego.
VP, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
As VP, Product Development, Meredith leads a team charged with executing an effective proprietary product development strategy for Benchmark Brands® in the Comfort Footwear, Footcare and Lower Body Healthcare categories. She joined Benchmark Brands from Spanx, where she was the Director of Product Development. Earlier, Meredith was the Director of Product Development at Express, a division of Limited Brands. As a consultant, she worked on numerous projects for signature brands such as WalMart, Limited Brands, American Eagle Outfitters, and Hancock Fabrics. Meredith also held various roles in design, manufacturing and product development management, at Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger. In each organization, Meredith led new product launches, built new brands, introduced brand extensions, and coordinated efforts globally to execute critical initiatives.
Meredith earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.
VP, ECOMMERCE Operations
As the VP of Ecommerce Operations, Brian is responsible for day-to-day website operations and for creating a best-in-class user experience for FootSmart.com. He comes to Benchmark Brands after spending almost 10 years with leading e-commerce outsource provider, GSI Commerce, an eBay company. During his time at GSI Commerce, Brian, defined product strategies, developed operational plans, and successfully led the execution of technology products for the GSI Commerce platform. He created numerous multi-channel growth programs for many of the Internet Retailer Top 100, such as Toys R Us, Ralph Lauren, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Aeropostale. Brian has also been an industry speaker on e-commerce best practices and growth opportunities.
Brian holds a Bachelor of Sciences in Accounting and Management Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
VP, ECOMMERCE Technology
As the VP of Ecommerce Technology, Vijay is responsible for leading the internal web development team and optimizing our site functionality by evaluating, identifying and implementing best-in-class technology platforms. Prior to joining Benchmark, Vijay was a senior ecommerce executive expert with Nutrisystem Inc. where he was responsible for the creation, execution, maintenance and measurement of strategic solutions, services, vendors, P&L and budgets. Vijay has more than 12 years of expertise in eCommerce, technology and direct marketing with deep experience in leading-edge, enterprise class digital solutions.
Vijay graduated from Temple University with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Business Administration.