Jill Soltau is the chief executive officer of JCPenney and a member of the Board of Directors. She joined the Company in October 2018 and developed the Company’s Plan for Renewal strategic initiatives focused on driving traffic, offering compelling merchandise, creating an engaging customer experience, fueling growth, and building a results-minded culture. – read more
Jill Soltau is the chief executive officer of JCPenney and a member of the Board of Directors. She joined the Company in October 2018 and developed the Company’s Plan for Renewal strategic initiatives focused on driving traffic, offering compelling merchandise, creating an engaging customer experience, fueling growth, and building a results-minded culture.
Soltau has over 30 years of experience in the retail industry, previously serving as president and CEO of JOANN Stores, Inc., the nation’s largest fabric and crafts retailer. Under her leadership there, she reinvigorated the brand and bolstered its market position through a consumer-centric approach that offered compelling assortments, helpful advice, and memorable experiences digitally shared with others.
Prior to JOANN Stores, Jill spent eight years at Shopko Stores. She joined the company in 2007 as senior vice president and general merchandise manager over apparel and accessories, and served as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer before being named president in 2013. While there, she played an integral role in the successful conversion of Shopko Hometown. Jill began her retail career with Carson Pirie Scott, and has held senior leadership positions in merchandising, planning, and private brand management at Sears Holdings Corporation and Kohl’s Corporation.
Soltau earned a Bachelor of Science degree in retail and business from the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Wisconsin. She serves on the Board of Directors for AutoZone, and is a member of 4-H Luminaries, an exclusive group of the most influential alumni across the nation who generate support for bringing 4-H programs to more youth.
James (Jim) DePaul joined JCPenney in August 2019 as executive vice president of stores, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. DePaul leads all aspects of stores, store operations, environment and design, and asset protection. He is responsible for improving in-store and omnichannel operations to deliver an engaging and productive customer experience, grow store traffic, and increase customer retention.
Prior to joining the Company, DePaul spent more than 20 years at Shopko Stores. He most recently served as chief operations officer, where he oversaw all stores, pharmacy, optical, supply chain, e-commerce operations, non-merchandise procurement, store operations, store development, loss prevention, and merchandise support. While at Shopko, DePaul made key improvements to customer service scores, operating expenses, shrink, and overall productivity. He also served as Shopko’s chief administrative officer and senior vice president of store operations. DePaul began his career in 1995 and spent three years at Target Corporation, working in merchandising and operations positions before joining Shopko in 1998 as a store manager.
DePaul holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration-accounting from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and an MBA in finance from Lakeland College in Wisconsin.
Brynn Evanson is the executive vice president, chief human resources officer at JCPenney, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. Evanson is responsible for leading JCPenney’s strategic initiatives across talent acquisition, development, retention, culture, inclusion and diversity, organizational effectiveness, and total rewards. In addition, she oversees the Company’s philanthropic and community relations initiatives.
Evanson brings more than 20 years of experience in human resources within the retail industry. She joined JCPenney in 2009 and was promoted to her current role in 2013. Before joining the Company, Evanson served for 18 years at Target Corporation. She began her career in the department store division, Marshall Field’s, where she worked in stores, merchandising, finance, store operations, and human resources. She transitioned to the Target Stores division in 2000 and held several positions of increasing responsibility in human resources including director of executive compensation and retirement plans.
Evanson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing and finance from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. She is a former member of the board of directors for the American Heart Association in Dallas and is involved with Children’s Heartlink in Minneapolis.
Therace Risch is the executive vice president, chief information officer at JCPenney, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. Risch is responsible for the overall vision, strategic direction, and tactical execution of all information technology systems and teams, including the Company’s Bangalore operations in India.
Before joining the Company, Risch served as executive vice president and chief information officer at COUNTRY Financial, an insurance and investment services provider based in Illinois. She led the strategy, planning, security, and support of technology capabilities serving over one million households and businesses.
Earlier in her career, Risch spent 10 years at Target Corporation in various technology roles of increasing responsibility, including her last position as vice president of technology delivery services, where she was responsible for the end-to-end execution of technology programs for stores, merchandising, supply chain, and other business functions. She began her career with West Publishing, owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation, and held several positions with the St. Paul Companies prior to joining Target.
Risch holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and economics from Ripon College in Wisconsin, and completed a pre-MBA education program at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
Bill Wafford joined JCPenney in April 2019 as executive vice president, chief financial officer, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. As CFO, Wafford is responsible for all aspects of the Company’s finance and accounting operations. He also leads Supply Chain operations including fulfillment, logistics, and transportation.
Wafford brings over 25 years of broad finance experience to JCPenney. Prior to joining the Company, he served as executive vice president, chief financial officer for The Vitamin Shoppe, where he oversaw all aspects of the company’s finance strategy and execution. He joined The Vitamin Shoppe in 2017 as senior vice president overseeing strategy, finance, international operations, and business development.
Wafford served as a partner in the advisory practice group of KPMG following a five-year career at Walgreens Boots Alliance. While at Walgreens, he served in positions of increasing responsibility including vice president of international finance, where he was involved in the acquisition of Alliance Boots, creating the world’s largest retail pharmacy, health, and daily living destination. Before Walgreens, Wafford held multiple finance-related positions with Archstone Consulting, Bank of America, and Target Corporation, where he managed the financial planning and analysis for their $8 billion women’s and men’s apparel divisions.
Wafford holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of California, Riverside, and an MBA in finance and strategy from Indiana University, Kelley School of Management.
Michelle Wlazlo joined JCPenney in March 2019 as executive vice president, chief merchandising officer, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. Wlazlo is responsible for leading the Company’s global merchandise strategy and operations including Merchandising, Planning and Allocation, Pricing, Product Design, and Development and Sourcing.
Wlazlo brings 30 years of merchandising and stores experience from a variety of retailers. Prior to joining JCPenney, she served as senior vice president, merchandising over apparel and accessories, baby gear and essentials at Target Corporation, where she helped lead a robust merchandising transformation program impacting 1,400 stores and launched 15 new private brands.
Before Target, Wlazlo spent 19 years at GAP, Inc., in a variety of roles for Gap, Gap Outlet and Old Navy, most recently as senior vice president, GAP global merchandising across all brand divisions, including women’s, men’s, kids, baby, body, and fit. She began her career at Saks Fifth Avenue, Inc., before assuming roles as store manager and buyer at Bebe Stores, Inc.
Wlazlo attended Lowthian College in Minneapolis and the Executive Education Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. She currently serves on the board of directors for the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Brooke Buchanan joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president, communications, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. Buchanan is responsible for internal communications, public relations, and corporate events.
Buchanan is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of internal and external communications, government affairs, and investor relations expertise in the retail, consumable product, and political industries.
Most recently, she served as senior vice president of communications and government relations for Whole Foods Market, Inc., where she assisted the company through the 2017 merger with Amazon and the transition that followed. Before Whole Foods, Buchanan was vice president of communications for Theranos, Inc., vice president of public relations for Williams-Sonoma, Inc., and held several leadership roles at Walmart, Inc., including senior director of corporate communications and director of sustainability communications.
Prior to joining Walmart, Buchanan spent over 10 years in political and government communications. She served as communications director for The Office of Sen. John McCain and acted as chief spokesperson for the senator and Senate Armed Services Committee Minority Staff. Buchanan also served as national press secretary and senior aide for the John McCain 2008 Presidential Campaign.
Buchanan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and is a graduate of the Stagen Integral Leadership Program in Dallas.
Truett Horne joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president, chief transformation officer, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. He is responsible for the development and implementation of the Plan for Renewal, which encapsulates the Company’s strategic and transformational initiatives. He is also interim head of Marketing while the Company continues its search for a chief customer officer.
Horne brings extensive experience in retail and consumer packaged goods, including category management, advanced analytics, and pricing. Before joining JCPenney, he held positions of increasing responsibility at McKinsey & Company, where he most recently served as associate principal and was integral in developing retail business-to-business strategies and recommendations to improve sales, information technology, and marketing.
Horne also has expertise in merger and acquisition diligence and value creation, having led dozens of private equity and portfolio improvement initiatives. Earlier in his career, he served in associate and analyst roles at Lazard Freres & Co. LLC, Hovde Financial, and Bear Stearns & Co., Inc.
Horne holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and business administration from Rhodes College in Tennessee and an MBA from Columbia University in New York.
Brandy Treadway is senior vice president, general counsel and secretary at JCPenney, reporting to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. Treadway is responsible for all facets of the legal function at the Company, including corporate law, securities, transactions, litigation, legal real estate, labor and employment, and regulatory issues. She oversees the Company’s ethics and compliance, government relations and privacy groups, and is responsible for JCPenney’s environmental, social, and governance sustainability initiatives.
Treadway joined JCPenney in 2011 as senior counsel in the securities department, where she spent three years preparing the Company’s public filings and supporting the Board of Directors. She was promoted to assistant general counsel, legal operations in 2014 and to vice president, associate general counsel in 2016. In 2017, she became senior vice president, general counsel, and assumed the role of corporate secretary in 2020. Before joining JCPenney, Treadway spent nine years as an attorney practicing corporate, private equity, capital markets, bankruptcy, and mergers and acquisitions law at the Dallas and London offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Treadway holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in foreign affairs and French from the University of Virginia, and earned her law degree at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law in Dallas.
Colin Dougherty joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president of finance, reporting to Bill Wafford, executive vice president, chief financial officer. Dougherty leads the Company’s finance strategy, operations, and financial planning and analysis functions.
Dougherty brings more than 25 years of experience in the finance and retail industries to the Company. Before joining JCPenney, he worked at Hudson’s Bay Company as senior vice president of financial planning and analysis. While there, he focused on profit improvement, finance transformation, sourcing and strategic initiatives, and successfully launched the company’s first shared services and innovation center in Bangalore, India.
Prior to Hudson’s Bay, Dougherty spent 17 years at Target Corporation in a variety of roles, including vice president of financial planning and analysis and director of business services, where he led the core team to launch Target India. Before joining Target, he worked at U.S. Bank as a product manager and assistant vice president. Dougherty began his finance career at The Travelers.
Dougherty holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies and computer applications from the University of Notre Dame, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and Shattuck-St. Mary’s Education Services.
Victor Ejarque joined JCPenney in 2019 and is the senior vice president, general merchandise manager for women’s apparel, footwear, and accessories, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. In this role, Ejarque is responsible for leading and developing merchandising strategies and programs across the women’s apparel, footwear, and accessories businesses to create a compelling shopping experience for customers. He brings 25 years of broad retail experience in product, merchandising, supply chain, and operations.
Prior to joining JCPenney, Ejarque served as vice president and general merchandise manager of global operations at Guess, Inc., where he oversaw the company’s merchandising, buying, planning, allocation, supply chain and logistics. Before Guess, Ejarque served as vice president and general merchandise manager of women’s apparel and accessories for Kmart.
Ejarque spent 13 years with Stradivarius, which is owned by Inditex, the largest fashion group in the world and also the parent company of Zara. While at Stradivarius, he served in several leadership roles including head of buying, head of commercial department and allocation, and head of sourcing and supply chain for Asia. Ejarque began his career at Polo and Co., where he spent 10 years as a business and production manager.
Ejarque studied history at Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona and received a master’s degree in marketing from Spain’s EADA Business School.
Laurene Gandolfo joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president, product design and development for home, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. She is responsible for establishing and maintaining relevance across the Company’s home categories, and segmenting the Company’s exclusive home private brands.
Gandolfo is a seasoned leader with 35 years of retail experience in private and domestic brands, including over 20 years specializing in the home area at both Macy’s, Inc., and Bloomingdale’s, Inc. Most recently, she served as executive vice president of men’s and kids’ private brands at Macy’s, where she led a cross-channel growth strategy for private brands. Prior to that, Gandolfo served in several top leadership positions at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, including executive vice president of home private brands. Earlier in her career, she spent 15 years at Bloomingdale’s leading the merchandising strategy across multiple divisions. Gandolfo began her career at Levi Strauss & Co. and held merchandising and store line positions in ready-to-wear, men’s, and intimate apparel.
Gandolfo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and holds an MBA in marketing from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Val Harris is the senior vice president, product design and development for apparel, footwear, and handbags at JCPenney, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. She is responsible for establishing and maintaining relevance across the Company’s apparel, footwear, and handbag categories, and segmenting the Company’s exclusive private brands.
Harris joined the Company in 1978 as a sales associate in Chicago, where she discovered her passion for retail and customer service. With over 35 years of retail experience at JCPenney, she has held merchandising positions of increasing responsibility in stores and in the Home Office, including vice president, product development services, and divisional vice president, product design and development. Most recently, Harris served as vice president, product design and development for women’s apparel, intimates, and accessories where she was responsible for leading strategic brand direction and product design.
Harris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from Bradley University in Illinois.
Pam Mortensen is senior vice president, general merchandise manager for fine jewelry at JCPenney, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. Mortensen joined the Company in 2009 and has implemented popular concepts including Modern Bride® and Bijoux Bar to position JCPenney as a destination for style and fashion in jewelry.
Prior to JCPenney, Mortensen served in leadership roles at Walmart, Inc. as vice president and divisional merchandise manager of fine jewelry and watches, and at Service Merchandise as vice president and divisional merchandise manager. During her tenure at Walmart, she helped develop standards for responsible jewelry sourcing and launched the Love, Earth jewelry collection, giving customers the ability to trace the path of their jewelry from mine to market. Mortensen began her jewelry career at Zale Corporation and her retail career at Federated Department Stores.
Mortensen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas, and was named an Outstanding Alumna by the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food, and Life Sciences. For 10 years, she has served on the Board of Directors for Jewelers for Children, an organization founded by the U.S. jewelry industry to help children in need, and became chairman in 2017.
Melissa Pint is the senior vice president of information technology at JCPenney, reporting to Therace Risch, executive vice president, chief information officer. Pint is responsible for leading and developing the strategy and financial management of technology portfolios for stores, supply chain, customer care, merchandising, marketing, planning & allocation, corporate systems, and business intelligence and analytics.
Pint joined JCPenney in 2016 as vice president, information technology, application portfolio management and development, and led technology support across stores, supply chain and corporate systems. She also led the successful stabilization and advancement of the Company’s stores, supply chain, and corporate IT systems. Before joining the Company, Pint spent 12 years at Target Corporation, where she served in roles of increasing responsibility including senior director of application development. During her tenure at Target, she spent time in an overseas expatriate assignment to help establish and grow their captive center for IT software development in Bangalore, India. She began her career at Cargill where she served as a software engineer and technology project manager.
Pint holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and an MBA in corporate strategy from the University of Minnesota.
Stacey Shively joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president, general merchandise manager for home, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. In this role, Shively is responsible for leading and developing the Company’s home merchandising strategies, ensuring alignment across all product categories, including bedding and bath, window coverings, small electronics, cookware and tabletop, mattresses, home electronics, luggage, seasonal, and home décor.
Shively brings an extensive background in merchandising, product development, inventory management, and vendor relationships to JCPenney. She most recently served as senior vice president of merchandising for Gettington and Fingerhut at Bluestem Brands, Inc., where she optimized assortments, implemented new pricing strategies, and launched 15 new brands. Shively joined Bluestem in 2012 as vice president of merchandising for home, where she led new merchandising processes and developed a profitable brand suite of eight new proprietary brands.
Prior to Bluestem, Shivley was vice president of merchandising for Deal$, a chain of discount variety stores owned by Dollar Tree, and spent 17 years at Target Corporation in roles of increasing responsibility in merchandising, negotiations, inventory and planning, and stores.
Shively holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in interior design from Design Institute of San Diego.
Mark Stinde joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president of asset protection, reporting to Jim DePaul, executive vice president of stores. Stinde is responsible for leading and developing asset protection strategic initiatives and managing enterprise-wide asset protection operations to reduce shrink and ensure the safety and protection of our customers, associates, building assets, and facilities.
Stinde has nearly 25 years of experience in loss prevention and store operations, and is a leading retail expert in asset protection, safety, and security. He has a proven track record of significantly reducing shrink levels at several national retailers. Most recently, he spent eight years at 7-Eleven and served as vice president of asset protection, where he provided support to franchisees and associates in 8,700 stores. Earlier in his career, Stinde held various leadership positions of increasing responsibility in loss prevention, including vice president, asset protection at Circuit City and division vice president, loss prevention at Sears Holdings. He began his career in loss prevention at Mervyn’s, and held leadership roles at Toys ‘R’ Us and The Home Depot.
Stinde attended DePaul University and received an executive MBA from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business. He also attended the Executive Leadership Program at the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point. He serves on the board of directors for The Loss Prevention Foundation, which provides education resources and certification for loss prevention professionals.
Jeff Useforge is senior vice president, general merchandise manager for men’s and children’s at JCPenney, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. Useforge is responsible for leading and developing merchandising strategies for the men’s and children’s divisions to create a compelling shopping experience for customers. He has over 30 years of experience in retail and over 25 years of experience in merchandising.
Useforge joined JCPenney in 2002 and held roles of increasing responsibility including vice president, divisional merchandise manager for men’s casual, sportswear, team apparel, and big & tall businesses. Before joining JCPenney, Useforge served in leadership roles in men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel at various retail leaders including Goody’s Family Clothing, Bon-Ton Holdings, Inc., and Kohl’s Corporation. He was also the general merchandising manager for men’s and children’s in the Proffitt’s and McRae’s division of Saks, Inc. He began his career at Mercantile Department Stores, Co., as a department manager and was promoted into several buying roles across merchandising.
Useforge attended the University of South Alabama and studied engineering.
Karl Walsh joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president, chief digital officer, and reports to Jill Soltau, chief executive officer. In this role, Walsh is responsible for leading strategic initiatives and enhancing the Company’s digital platforms to offer an exceptional, innovative, and seamless experience for customers, most notably in the JCPenney app and flagship store, jcp.com.
Walsh brings more than 18 years of ecommerce expertise in building and implementing digital strategies to improve ecommerce offerings and drive traffic across channels.
Most recently Walsh served as chief digital officer at Pandora® Jewelry, where he grew its global ecommerce business and increased cross-channel consumer engagement. Previously, he led the U.S. consumer ecommerce and digital practice for Boston Consulting Group and served clients in the consumer and retail practices at McKinsey & Company. He was also the co-founder of Brandtone, a company focused on building consumer databases for mobile marketing, and was the vice president of operations and technology for Archetypes, a one-to-one marketing company. Walsh began his career as a consultant for Accenture.
Walsh holds a Bachelor of Business Studies and Economics from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and his MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.
Steve Whaley joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president, principal accounting officer and controller, reporting to Bill Wafford, executive vice president, chief financial officer. In this role, Whaley develops and executes strategic financial decisions and leads the Company’s accounting operations and financial reporting functions, including the support services teams in Salt Lake City and Bangalore, India.
Whaley has over 35 years of accounting and audit leadership experience and most recently served as senior vice president and controller, principal accounting officer at Walmart, Inc. During his time at Walmart, he developed the global controllership organization from both a talent and operational perspective. He was also responsible for financial reporting, SEC compliance, internal controls, and SOX compliance. Prior to Walmart, Whaley was with Southwest Airlines for over 16 years, ultimately serving as vice president and controller. Whaley began his accounting career with KPMG in audit services.
Whaley is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from the University of Oklahoma.
Laurie Wilson joined JCPenney in 2019 as senior vice president of planning and allocation and pricing, reporting to Michelle Wlazlo, executive vice president, chief merchandising officer. Wilson is responsible for leading and developing strategies to enhance inventory management, lower cost of goods sold, and restore profitable growth. She has over 25 years of experience in planning and allocation, merchandise, finance, pricing, operations, and strategy.
Prior to joining JCPenney, Wilson was president and CEO of LW Associates, a consulting practice focused on transformative strategies leveraging digital technology for retail and wholesale brands and solution providers. Before LW Associates, she spent the majority of her career at Macy’s, Inc., and Federated Department Stores. At Macy’s, Wilson served in several roles of increasing responsibility, including executive vice president of business strategy, where she was responsible for the development of a transformative retail strategy across multiple facets of the company. She also spent 10 years at Federated Department Stores in top leadership roles within planning, merchandise information systems, financial planning and operations, merchandise and financial planning, and allocation. Wilson began her retail career at Carter Hawley Hales Stores, Inc., and Bloomingdale’s, Inc.
Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and French from Princeton University and an Executive MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for Profitect, Inc.
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