Senior Vice President of Merchandising
31 years in the industry
Black Leaders In Consumer Tech Award Winner 2021
Tell us about your career so far.
I have had the honor of starting my career with BrandsMart USA as a Sales Specialist in the Audio Department. I was promoted to Corporate Trainer in my second year working for the organization. I later became the Audio Buyer and after several years with BrandsMart USA I took a role with HSN. BrandsMart USA offered me an opportunity to come back to the company in a VP role which eventually led me to where i am today, Senior Vice President of Merchandising, Electronics Division.
Describe your current role.
I work with a great team of merchants, where I oversee all buying aspects for Electronics and Technology.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, how is the CE industry doing both historically, and also in the past year?
The industry has certainly come a long way since my early days. I was often the only person of color at trade meetings. I see a lot more companies hiring people of varying backgrounds now than when I started in this business. We still have a long way to go, but I do believe we are headed in the right direction.
What could the CE industry do to improve on diversity and inclusion?
I think our business has a tendency to behave like a lot of professional sports teams. There is a lot of diversity in entry-level positions and front-line retail positions. We need to emulate that in the management field where we are still lagging behind. Some companies have done an extraordinary job of inclusion, but several others have work to do. I also think it falls on all of us to promote our industry at the educational level- high school and college. Let the up-and-coming young adults out there know how great our industry is and what opportunities await them in CE.
What would you tell non-black professionals in the CE industry who want to support the inclusion of black people in the industry?
Get proactive, I will bet many organizations have people working for them right now, that just need to be provided an opportunity. I think that is one of the biggest things. Promote our opportunities and think outside of the traditional box.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I have a lot of things I am proud of, but I take to heart helping and watching my team grow. When you have worked with one organization for almost 30 years, the people I work with are truly family.
What technology are you most interested in at the moment?
That’s a tough one because I am interested in all of it. I would probably say AI because of the way it is now tying together everything. I find it beyond fascinating to see how smart technology has permeated every facet of electronics, automotive and even appliances. The advancement in AI promises to take this interactivity to unimaginable heights.
What’s the top trend in CE for you right now?
Great question. I think Co-vid 19 has truly changed the way we interact as a society. I believe that will impact product development across all categories as we move forward.
What’s your favorite gadget right now?
Probably my phone. It is pretty much the center of the universe and it enables me to interact with all of my other favorite gadgets.