The Orvis Company
Board of Directors
Leigh H. Perkins
Chairman of the Board
From fishing for bluegill as a child, to hunting big game in India, Morocco, and Scotland, Orvis Chairman Leigh Perkins has dedicated his life to outdoor sporting pursuits. His passion extends well beyond mere participation, however; Perkins has been one of the sporting life’s great ambassadors, sharing his passion with everyone within reach, from working people to presidents.
Perkins combined his love of sport with a sharp mind for business when he purchased The Orvis Company in 1965, taking the highly respected, albeit small, business from $500,000 in annual sales to nearly $100 million annually when he chose to retire in 1992. Under Perkins’ guidance, The Orvis Company, once a niche fly-fishing outfitter, became a mail order powerhouse and the destination for people the world over seeking the distinctive country lifestyle. Despite wildly successful forays into apparel, home furnishings, and gifts, The Orvis Company has never forsaken its roots in fly fishing, and remains at the forefront of innovation in the sport.
Leigh Perkins is also a successful author whose books have received critical acclaim from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has related his amazing life experiences in such books as A Sportsman's Life and Rising Fish and Pointing Dogs.
Although Leigh Perkins passed the daily running of The Orvis Company on to his sons Perk and Dave Perkins more than ten years ago, he remains Chairman of The Orvis Company and still manages to log nearly 300 days of hunting and fishing a year.
Thomas M. Belk Jr.
Thomas M. “Tim” Belk Jr. is chairman and chief executive officer of Belk, Inc. He joined the company in 1981 as a management trainee in the Matthews Belk store at Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, N.C., and subsequently was named manager of the former Belk store at Dixie Village shopping center in Gastonia. Mr. Belk was named vice president of real estate, Belk Stores Services, Inc., Charlotte, N.C. in 1991, and he served as president of store divisions, human resources, real estate and visual presentation of Belk, Inc., before his election to chairman and CEO in May 2004.
Mr. Belk serves on the board of trustees of the Carolinas HealthCare System and the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Additionally, he is a member of the board of directors and a past president of the Boy Scouts of America – Mecklenburg County Council, and is an Elder at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte.
Mr. Belk is the son of the late Thomas M. Belk, longtime president of Belk stores, and Katherine McKay Belk Cook. His grandfather, William Henry Belk, founded the company in 1888 in Monroe, N.C.
Sean M. McAvoy
Sean M. McAvoy is Co-Founder and Managing Member of Hillair Capital Management LLC, a registered investment advisor and investment manager for the Hillair Capital Investments family of onshore and offshore alternative asset hedge funds which make fundamental investments in growing U.S. and Canadian small-cap and micro-cap public companies. Previously, Sean served as a senior staff member in the presidential campaign of John S. McCain, providing legal and policy advice to the candidate and the campaign.
Prior to the McCain campaign, Sean was, from 2002, a partner in the mergers and acquisitions practice at Jones Day, an international law firm, as well as a co-founding partner of Jones Day's Silicon Valley office. At Jones Day, Sean lead the establishment of Jones Day's west coast transactional practice, representing public companies and their boards of directors, as well as private equity sponsors, in mergers and acquisitions and capital raising efforts. Sean also counseled boards of directors and senior management regarding corporate governance, fiduciary duty and takeover preparedness matters as well as disclosure and periodic reporting obligations.
Sean is active in a number of civic, charitable and political endeavors, and has most recently served as the Vice Chairman of the Cate School's successful $65 million facilities and endowment Centennial Capital Campaign concluded in 2011 as well as the Co-Chair of Live Oak School's successful $3.5 million facilities and endowment 40th Anniversary Campaign concluded in 2012.
Sean and his wife Melissa live in Hillsborough, California, outside of San Francisco, with their children Spencer, Emma, and Ralph, and three dogs.
Joel T. Murphy
From 1995 until 2008, Joel served as President of the retail division of Cousins Properties Incorporated (NYSE:CUZ), and had full accountability and responsibility for all retail development activities for Cousins. He developed more than 10 million square feet of retail space with a total development cost of more than $1.5 billion; these projects spanned from California to Florida and up through the Mid Atlantic to Virginia. In addition, Joel had responsibility for the operation of the Cousins’ retail portfolio, including Cousins' acclaimed The Avenue® open-air specialty centers. Noted for its pedestrian-friendly nature, extensive landscaping and distinctive architecture, The Avenue places traditional mall merchants in upscale, open-air centers alongside select local merchants and specialty restaurants.
Joel retired from Cousins at the end of 2008 and is currently undertaking select consulting assignments in the real estate sector, including some special assignments for Cousins Properties. He is an active member of the Board of Trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Joel lives in Atlanta with his family and serves on the board of several academic and community service organizations there, including the United Way of Atlanta, the Westminster Schools, and the Woodruff Arts Center.
Michael C. Ruettgers
Mike Ruettgers is the Retired Chairman and Special Advisor of EMC Corporation. With 2004 revenues of $8.23 billion, and more than 25,000 employees worldwide, EMC is the world leader in products, services, and solutions for information storage and management. Ruettgers joined EMC in 1988, and served as CEO from 1992 until January 2001, leading the company in a decade-long trajectory of accelerating profitable growth. From his arrival through year-end 2000, EMC's revenues grew from $120 million to nearly $9 billion.
Ruettgers has been a frequent speaker at influential venues around the world, including the World Economic Forum, Harvard University Nieman Fellows seminars, the Park Distinguished Lecture at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management, and major IT industry conferences. Ruettgers spent much of his early career with Raytheon, where he played a key role in the Patriot Missile Program. In November 2002, Ruettgers was inducted into the Industry Hall of Fame, joining a select group of the innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders who have helped shape and expand the global IT industry. Ruettgers sits on the Board of Trustees of Lahey Clinic, on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Holy Cross College, and is a member of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the Massachusetts High Tech Council, and Business for Better Schools.
Dickson L. Whitney
Dick Whitney is the Retired Chairman and CEO of McGean Inc. McGean, Inc. is a privately held specialty chemical company serving the military, automotive, and other industries, with corporate headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Whitney’s leadership enabled the company to grow and expend operations during the 1980’s and 1990’s, to serve markets worldwide through a combination of wholly-owned subsidiaries, licensees and joint ventures. McGean is currently led by Dick’s son, Dickson L. Whitney, Jr.
Mr. Whitney has long been a personal and business advisor to the Perkins family. He was an Orvis Stockholder when Mr. Perkins originally purchased Orvis and a trusted advisor ever since. In addition to Orvis, he has held Board of Director positions serving various organizations throughout his career, and has also been very involved in nature and civic organizations, including the American Museum of Fly Fishing, Cleveland Zoological Society, Glen Oak School, and University Hospitals of Cleveland.
Mr. Whitney served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Currently residing in Stuart, Florida, he spends a good deal of time and enjoys fly fishing, duck hunting, riding, and golfing.
Marka Hansen’s specialty retail career spans more than 25 years of increasing responsibility. A significant portion of her career was with the Gap and Banana Republic, including four years as President of Gap North America from 2007 to 2011 and four years as President of Banana Republic from 2003 to 2007. She also held the position as head of Human Resources for Gap Inc from 2000 to 2002 and led the expansion of Gap Brands International expansion from 1993 to 2000. Since leaving the Gap, Marka has been a retail consultant for Stitch Fix, an innovative online personal styling service for women where she helped with talent acquisition, merchandise strategy, and as advisor to the leadership team. She now serves as a director for Stitch Fix. Marka has been a merchandise and marketing advisor for Sur la Table where she has served as a director since 2001. She is also a director for True Religion.
Marka started her career at Robinson’s department store in 1977, holding positions in Women’s and Men’s before joining Banana Republic in 1987.
Marka and her husband Joe live in San Rafael, CA
Roger Farah has been President and Chief Operating Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation and a member of the Company’s Board of Directors since 2000. Mr. Farah oversees the development and execution of Ralph Lauren’s strategic growth and operating initiatives on a global scale. During the last thirteen years the company’s global sales have grown from $1.5 billion to over $7.0 billion and company market value has grown from $1.2 billion to $18 billion. Ralph Lauren is a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products, including men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories, fragrances and home furnishings.
From 1994 to 2000, Mr. Farah was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Footlocker, Inc. Prior to that, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Macy’s, Inc., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Federated Merchandising Services as well as of Rich’s Department Stores. From 1975 to 1987, Mr. Farah held several executive positions at Saks Fifth Avenue, including Senior Vice President and General Merchandise Manager.
Mr. Farah is on the Board of Directors of Aetna, Inc., a $52 billion Health Care Company. He is also on the Board of Progressive Corporation, a $17 billion auto insurance company.
Mr. Farah is a member of the Executive Committee for the National Retail Federation and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wharton School of Business.
Mr. Farah received his Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1975 from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. He also completed the Harvard University Executive Education 8 week summer program in 1987.
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