Norman H. Axelrod
Chairman of the Board
Norman H. Axelrod has served as our Chairman since December 2011 and as a member of our Board since November 2010. Beginning in 1988, Mr. Axelrod served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of Linens ‘n Things, Inc., a retailer of home textiles, housewares and decorative home accessories, was appointed as Chairman of its board of directors in 1997, and served in such capacities until its acquisition in February 2006. Mr. Axelrod also serves on the boards of directors of the parent entities of Guitar Center, Inc., a musical instruments retailer, The Neiman Marcus Group LLC, a luxury retailer, and 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, a deep-discount retailer. Mr. Axelrod served on the board of directors of the parent entity of Smart & Final Stores, Inc., a warehouse-style food and supply retailer, until 2019. Mr. Axelrod was also appointed Chairman of the board of directors of 99 Cents Only Stores LLC in February 2018 and has previously served as the Chairman of the boards of directors of GNC Holdings, Inc., a specialty retailer of health and wellness products, National Bedding Company LLC, a mattress and bedding product manufacturer, and Simmons Company, a mattress and bedding product manufacturer, and as a member of the boards of directors of Jaclyn, Inc., a handbags and apparel company, Reebok International Ltd., a leading worldwide designer and marketer of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment, and Maidenform Brands, Inc., an intimate apparel retailer. Mr. Axelrod has provided consulting services to certain entities related to Ares Management Corporation (“Ares Management”). Mr. Axelrod received a B.S. in Management and Marketing from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from New York University. Mr. Axelrod’s vast experience led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
William Giles has served as a member of our board of directors since April 2021. Mr. Giles served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President—Finance, Information Technology and Store Development, Customer Satisfaction for AutoZone, Inc. (“AutoZone”) from 2007 to 2020. He joined AutoZone in 2006 as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President Finance. From 1991 to May 2006, he held several positions with Linens ‘n Things, Inc., a retailer of home textiles, housewares and decorative home accessories, most recently as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to 1991, he was with Melville, Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Mr. Giles currently serves on the board of directors for Brinker International, Constellation Brands and Youth Villages. He is also a member of the Alfred University Board of Trustees. Mr. Giles received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Management from Alfred University. Mr. Giles’ demonstrated financial proficiency and business leadership in the retail products industry, his skills as chief financial officer of a public company and his ability to provide the Board unique insights into the strategic, governance and financial issues facing public companies in the retail industry led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Dwight James has served as a member of our Board since September 2021. Mr. James is a Senior Vice President at Delta Air Lines, responsible for the company’s Digital Strategy, Customer Engagement & Loyalty and serves as the CEO of Delta Vacations, a wholly owned global subsidiary of Delta. Since 2009, he has held several senior executive roles at Delta, which included leading pricing and revenue management, where he led the development and execution of the company’s global revenue generating strategies. Mr. James also led Delta’s international franchise where he was responsible for the company’s international revenue and profit performance. He also served as the company’s Chief Economist and lead Revenue Forecaster after beginning his career at Delta as an executive in the Corporate Strategy group. From August 2002 to September 2007, Mr. James held executive roles with The Home Depot in Strategy & Business Development and within the At Home Services division. From 1997 to 2002, Mr. James was a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring practices. Mr. James serves on the Advisory Board Council of Cool Girls, Inc., and in addition to his community work, he is on the Executive Committee of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council at Delta. Mr. James also serves on the Board of Directors of Wheels Up (NYSE: UP). Mr. James earned his B.A. in Business Administration from Morehouse College and MBA from Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business. Mr. James’ leadership experience, which has included overseeing digital strategies, customer loyalty and engagement, and strategic growth, led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Melissa Kersey has served on our Board since May 2023 and is the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States. In this role, she oversees all Human Resources strategies for the Company, including compensation and benefits, recruiting, talent management, leadership development, and training, along with the Company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Before joining Tractor Supply in June 2020, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer for McDonald’s USA. She provided executive-level leadership to expand and build people capabilities, create and drive a high-performing culture and strengthen the business alignment of the human resources function. Before joining McDonald’s in 2017, Kersey held several executive-level roles with Walmart from 2008 to 2017, including Senior Vice President of Global HR Transformation and People Services, Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer of US Stores, and Senior Vice President of Learning and HR Strategy. Before Walmart, Kersey spent eight years with Alltel and four years with Target Corporation in Operations, Distribution, Human Resources, and Technology roles. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business with a communications minor from Emporia State University. Her experience in human capital management, including talent development and diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as her experience in high-growth retail, led to the conclusion that she should be nominated to serve as a member of our Board.
Ryan Marshall has served as a member of our Board since January 2021. Mr. Marshall has served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of PulteGroup, Inc. (“Pulte”) since September 2016. Prior to becoming the Chief Executive Officer and President of Pulte, Mr. Marshall served as the President of Pulte since February 2016 and had the responsibility for Pulte’s homebuilding operations and its marketing and strategy departments. Prior to being named President, Mr. Marshall served as Pulte’s Executive Vice President of Homebuilding Operations. Other previous roles with Pulte included Area President for Pulte’s Southeast Area, Area President for Florida, Division President in both South Florida and Orlando and Area Vice President of Finance. In those roles, he managed various financial and operating functions including financial reporting, land acquisition and strategic market risk and opportunity analysis. Mr. Marshall’s strategic growth experience, his financial expertise, his experience with home construction and ability to contribute to our commercial business and his experience as a public company CEO led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Peter M. Starrett
Peter M. Starrett has served as a member of our Board since November 2010. In 1998, Mr. Starrett founded Peter Starrett Associates, a retail advisory firm, and currently serves as its President. In connection with his activities at Peter Starrett Associates, Mr. Starrett also provides consulting services to certain Freeman Spogli affiliated entities. From 1990 to 1998, Mr. Starrett served as the President of Warner Bros. Studio Stores Worldwide, a specialty retailer. Previously, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Children’s Place, a specialty retailer. Prior to that, Mr. Starrett held senior executive positions at both Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores, each a department store retailer. Mr. Starrett is Chairman of the board of directors of Boot Barn, Inc., a specialty apparel and footwear retailer. From May to November of 2012, Mr. Starrett served as Boot Barn, Inc.’s interim Chief Executive Officer. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors of several private companies. Previously, he was also the Chairman of the board of directors of Pacific Sunwear, Inc. and served on the board of directors of hhgregg, Inc., an electronics and appliances retailer. Mr. Starrett received a B.S.B.A. from the University of Denver and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Mr. Starrett’s extensive experience as an officer and a director of both public and private companies in the retail industry led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Richard L. Sullivan
Richard L. Sullivan has served as a member of our Board since April 2017. Mr. Sullivan has been the President and CEO of the parent entity of PGA TOUR Superstore, a nationwide specialty golf retailer, since 2009 and the Chairman of the National Golf Foundation, a non-profit golf market research provider, since 2019.Previously, Mr. Sullivan was the Chief Marketing Officer for Home Depot Inc. (“Home Depot”) from 1992 to 2002.From 2002 to 2008, Mr. Sullivan served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer overseeing sales, marketing and other business-related functions for the Atlanta Falcons and team owner Arthur Blank. Mr. Sullivan was elected Vice Chairman of the board of directors of the National Golf Foundation in January 2016 and serves as a member of its compensation committee. He received his B.S. in Accounting from Roger Williams University. Mr. Sullivan’s business experience, including in home improvement and specialty retailers, led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Thomas V. Taylor
Chief Executive Officer
Thomas V. Taylor has served as our Chief Executive Officer and a member of our Board since December 2012. Prior to joining us, Mr. Taylor began his career at age 16 in 1983 at a Miami Home Depot store. He worked his way up through various manager, district manager, vice president, president, and senior vice president roles to eventually serve as the Executive Vice President of Operations with responsibility for all 2,200 Home Depot stores and then the Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing, again for all stores. After leaving Home Depot in 2006, for the next six years, Mr. Taylor was a Managing Director at Sun Capital Partners. During his tenure, he was a board member for over twenty portfolio companies in the United States and Europe. Mr. Taylor currently serves on the board of directors of National Vision Holdings Inc., an optical retailer, and Cooper’s Hawk, a differentiated wine club and restaurant concept. Mr. Taylor’s significant experience as a board member and his expertise in the home improvement retail industry led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Felicia D. Thornton
Felicia D. Thornton has served as a member of our Board since April 2017. Ms. Thornton served as Interim Chief Executive Officer from June 2019 to March 2020 and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer for 99Cents Only Stores LLC, a deep-discount retailer, from November 2015 to August 2018. Ms. Thornton was appointed to the board of directors for 99 Cents Only Stores LLC, where she currently serves as Chair, in February 2018 and served as the Audit Committee Chair from November 2018 to April 2019. In September 2020,Ms. Thornton was appointed to the board of directors and audit committee of Pactiv Evergreen Inc., a food and beverage packaging company. Ms. Thornton is a member of the board of directors and Audit Committee Chair of Covergint Technologies and Coolsys, both private companies. In February 2021, Ms. Thornton was appointed to the board of directors and audit committee of Ares Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company. Previously, Ms. Thornton served as Co-Chief Executive Officer, President and Chief Operating Officer for DeMoulas Super Market, Inc., (“DeMoulas”), a supermarket chain, from June 2014 to December 2014 and as the Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Universe U.S., a private childhood education company, from 2006 to 2011.Ms. Thornton served as Chief Financial Officer and led overall strategy for Albertsons, a grocery and drugstore company, from 2001 to 2006. Ms. Thornton served in a variety of executive strategic and financial roles from 1992to 2000 for Ralphs Grocery Company, Inc., a grocery store chain, and for Fred Meyer, a retail supermarket company, both of which eventually became part of The Kroger Company, a global retailer of grocery, multi-department, discount, convenience and jewelry stores, where Ms. Thornton served as Group Vice President responsible for retail operations. Ms. Thornton has served as a member of the boards of directors of public and private companies, including Nordstrom, Inc., a luxury retailer, from November 2010 to May 2012 and for Knowledge Universe Education, Inc. from November 2006 to May 2012. Ms. Thornton also served as an Advisor to the Special Committee of the board of directors of DeMoulas from April 2014 to June 2014. Ms. Thornton is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association and is a National Association of Corporate Directors Fellow. Ms. Thornton received a B.S. in Economics from Santa Clara University and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. Ms. Thornton’s extensive executive experience in retail, and particularly in large high-growth multi-unit retailers, led to the conclusion that she should serve as a member of our Board.
George Vincent West
Vice Chairman of the Board
George Vincent West has served on our Board since he founded us in 2000. He served as our Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2002, as Co-Chief Executive Officer from 2008 to 2010 and as Chief Executive Officer from 2010 through 2012. Currently, Mr. West serves as the Vice Chairman of our Board, a position that he has held since December 2012. Mr. West began his business career starting a successful retail glassware business in Atlanta. He was eventually recruited to work for his family building materials business, West Building Materials, which operated in five southeastern states, and eventually became its President. Mr. West also developed and sold a multistate billboard company and has developed several real estate projects across the state of Georgia, the most recent being Utana Bluffs, a boutique mountain home community in the north Georgia Mountains. Mr. West graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia in 1977. Mr. West’s experience and intimate knowledge of the Company led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.
Charles Young has served as a member of our Board since January 2021. Mr. Young was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of Invitation Homes in 2023, after having served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 2017 to 2023. From 2015 until Invitation Homes completed its merger with Starwood Waypoint Homes (“SWH”), Mr. Young served in a number of senior roles with SWH and its predecessor. Earlier in his career, Mr. Young worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. in its Real Estate Principal Investment Area (Whitehall) and Goldman’s Investment Banking Division, in mergers and acquisitions. He also has prior experience in real estate development and diversity consulting. Before starting his career in real estate and investment banking, Mr. Young spent several years as a professional football player in the National Football League and the World League of American Football. He is a member of the Stanford Board of Trustees and currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. He was also a founding member of the LEARN Charter School Network. He received his B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Mr. Young’s operating experience, including in a high-growth public company, his experience in mergers and acquisitions and his real estate expertise led to the conclusion that he should serve as a member of our Board.