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Designer Brands appoints Rich Paul and Tami Fersko as independent directors

By Prachi Singh


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Image: Rich Paul and Tami Fersko via Designer Brands

Designer Brands Inc. has announced two new appointments to its board of directors.

On November 17, 2022, the company said in a release, Rich Paul and Tami J. Fersko, were appointed to the Designer Brands board as independent directors, effective immediately.

Fersko was also named a member of both the audit committee and the nominating and corporate governance committee. Following these appointments, the board now has eleven members, eight of whom are independent.

Commenting on new additions, Jay Schottenstein, chairman of the board said: "Both bring extensive brand-building expertise and knowledge of the footwear industry to the table, competencies that will help us on our path to doubling sales of our owned brands.”

"They bring a wealth of experience in areas directly applicable to our brand building journey and I look forward to working with them as we move this vision forward," added Roger Rawlins, CEO of Designer Brands.

Designer Brands appoints Rich Paul to its board of directors

The company added that Rich Paul is the CEO and founder of Klutch Sports Group, the agency representing some of the biggest athletes across major professional sports. Paul founded Klutch Sports in 2012 in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, where he forged a personal approach to representing top NBA talent – putting athletes first and empowering them to build careers and brands on and off the court.

Paul also serves as United Talent Agency's (UTA's) head of sports and is an agency partner, and was appointed to UTA's board of directors in 2020.

In 2019, Paul was named GQ's "PowerBroker of the Year" and "The King Maker" on the cover of Sports Illustrated. In 2021, TIME recognized Klutch Sports on its first-ever list of TIME100 Most Influential Companies, and Variety recently named Paul to their "Variety500" list of the most influential business leaders shaping the global media industry. Paul is also credited with driving the reversal of the so-called "Rich Paul Rule," which would have banned agents without a college degree from representing NCAA student athletes.

In 2021, Paul and three former Nike executives formed a company called Adopt, a creative agency focused on sport, wellness, nutrition, tech and other consumer facing products. Paul joined the board of trustees of LACMA and the board of directors of Funko in 2022 and he is also a minority partner of The SpringHill Company.

Tami Fersko joins the board of directors of Designer Brands

Tami J. Fersko currently serves as the chief operations and supply chain officer for Centric Brands, a global lifestyle brand collective. Previously, Fersko served as president, LF Americas, a division of Li & Fung Limited, a 10 billion dollars Hong Kong based global supply chain corporation encompassing dual-gender, multi-classification private label portfolio servicing department store, mass, club, and off-price channels. The scope of her responsibilities spanned sales, design, merchandising, sourcing, operations, finance, and licensing/M&A. Her key accounts included Walmart, Costco, Target, Land's End, Macy's, Kohl's and Amazon.

Prior to her role at Li & Fung, Fersko was the executive vice president, finance and operations of The Jones Group, where she managed a team of more than 100 finance and operations professionals, and was responsible for management reporting, M&A/divestitures, five-year strategic plan, annual budgeting process, monthly forecasting, retail planning/allocation, inventory purchasing controls, and licensee contract negotiations.

Fersko is a graduate of State University of New York at Buffalo.

Designer Brands
rich paul
tami fersko