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Global Luxury and Management Spring Meeting Welcomes Three New Board Members

Global Luxury and Management Advisory Board

The Global Luxury and Management program hosted its spring 2018 Industry Advisory Board Meeting on May 16 in the Park Alumni Center on NC State’s Centennial Campus. Dr. Kristie McGowan, director of the program, led board members in welcoming three new industry leaders to guide the program as it continues to grow as a leader in global luxury management preparing graduates for the business of luxury.

Co-hosted by board member William D. Humphries, executive vice president, company group chairman of Ortho-Dermatologics, the day was focused on sustaining and evolving the success of the program while continuing to innovate as a leader in the luxury field. With an already diverse membership that includes leaders from around the world of luxury products and services, the board welcomed three new members from various sectors of luxury-focused businesses, including the first ever Global Luxury and Management program alumni board member, Anna Reynolds.

As a 2014 graduate of the program, Reynolds gave a presentation that summarized both her experiences as a Global Luxury and Management student, as well as the doors that were opened with that education.

Reynolds focused on the definition of luxury within the context of the skincare industry and highlighted the specific ways in which luxury is expanding to new sectors of our economy. “Luxury has changed in the past few decades. There is one end of the spectrum where you have yachts, and there is the other end where you have more tangible things that everybody can enjoy, like high-end skincare products or a high-end handbag. Luxury is very different to different people,” she said.

Reynolds also focused on how the program prepared her to go straight into a successful career. “The Global Luxury and Management program set the path for my career by building my understanding of brand management. Skincare has always been my passion and this program gave me the understanding to succeed in this industry.” As a brand manager for Rodan and Fields, Anna now brings her expertise in that industry to the advisory board.

The two other new board members also bring unique experience and expertise. Kevin Bowman, president of the Luxury Division of Heritage Home Group and Hickory Chair, specializes in the luxury home furnishing segment. Cara Fratto, founder of C. Fratto Consulting, LLC brings specific knowledge of luxury consumer branding and marketing.

Following are highlights  new Industry Advisory Board members are highlighted below.

New members, Global Luxury and Management Industry Advisory Board

Kevin Bowman, President, Luxury Division: Heritage Home Group and Hickory Chair

Kevin Bowman is the first advisory board member from the luxury home furnishings segment. He has been president of Heritage Home Group’s three iconic luxury brands – Hickory Chair, Pearson and Maitland-Smith – since 2016. Founded in 1941 in High Point, N.C., Pearson upholstery is known for its exquisite upholstery designs, tailoring and unique sit due to special construction techniques that provide a slightly softer and more luxurious sit than comparable competition.

Maitland-Smith products, which span from dining tables and chairs, to occasional tables, desks and libraries, unique table and lighting accessories, and high-end gift items, are produced in Cebu, Philippines, with some of the world’s most exotic materials, including wood veneers, beautiful shells and other sea materials, along with metal works. Hickory Chair is the largest of the three brands and produces high-end wood and upholstery products that are sold to designers for their luxury consumer and commercial clients world-wide. The Hickory Chair factory in Hickory, N.C. is the corporate headquarters for these three brands and has been in operation there since 1911.

Bowman has more than 20 years of experience as a leader in the home furnishings industry. He previously served as vice president of sales (key accounts) for Stanley Furniture, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Avalon Furniture, and vice president of sales and retail development for Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc. With a reputation for results and leadership throughout the southeast region, Bowman has cultivated a keen and unique comprehension of modern distribution strategies and tactics for both the open and closed distribution models.

He graduated from Florida State University and currently lives in Hickory, N.C., with his wife Christine of 25 years and his three children Bryson, Ian, and Garrett. Given the proximity of the High Point Furniture Market and their Hickory, N.C. headquarters to the Raleigh campus, he is poised to engage students directly with this exciting segment of the luxury industry.

Cara Fratto, Founder: Luxury Marketing Consultant

Cara Fratto is an independent marketing consultant specializing in luxury brand marketing. She currently works with a number of clients including KRW Consulting, a New York City-based firm founded by industry powerhouse and former senior vice president of partnerships and media for Hudson’s Bay Company, Kathleen Ruiz, and Luxury Shoe Club, a shoe resale startup app. She has over 15 years of experience across multiple marketing disciplines including strategy, branding, selling, events, public relations, and communications in the luxury sector.

Prior to starting her own consulting company, Fratto worked for luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue for eight years in both store and corporate roles. She served as marketing director for Raleigh and Boston locations, developing marketing strategies and executing large scale fashion and top customer events. In 2014, Fratto moved to New York and began working at Saks Fifth Avenue’s corporate offices as director of event marketing before transitioning to a strategic role focused on integrated marketing campaigns across Saks Fifth Avenue’s communication channels. She previously held a lead marketing role for seven years at VIETRI, one of the largest U.S. importers of luxury Italian tableware and home decor.

Cara holds an MBA from North Carolina State University Poole College of Management and a bachelor of science in business administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Anna Reynolds, Brand Manager: Rodan and Fields

Anna Reynolds is the first-ever alumni member of the industry advisory board for the Global Luxury and Management (GLAM) program and a leader in the skincare industry as an associate brand manager with Rodan and Fields. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 2013 with a bachelor of science in international business, Reynolds was accepted to the GLAM program and graduated with dual master of science degrees – both in 2014- in global luxury management from NC State, and luxury and fashion management from Skema Business School in Sofia-Antipolis, France.

Those degrees were quickly put to good use as she received a marketing internship with Radiesse & Belotero Balance in Greensboro, N.C., immediately after graduation. From there her passion for the skincare industry – combined with the real-world training offered by GLAM – led her to prominent roles within Merz North America and their NEOCUTIS skincare line here in Raleigh, N.C. As associate brand manager, Reynolds spearheaded digital marketing efforts with a collective social media following of over fifty thousand. With her leadership, NEOCUTIS revamped their customer loyalty program, adding sixty new participating physicians as well as one thousand new customers.

Reynolds also led the launch of the NEOCUTIS Skincare Systems from concept to market, leading to incremental sales growth of $500,000 during the fiscal year of 2015 to 2016. For her efforts, she received the “Merz Spot Award” for outstanding sales launch. Promoted to marketing manager with NEOCUTIS in 2016, she continued to be a leader in product sales as she transformed branding to better resonate with the high-end beauty consumer and successfully oversaw the launch of the MICRO-ESSENTIALS Riche Collection during the 2016 holiday season.

Now located in San Francisco, Calif., Reynolds joined Rodan and Fields as an associate brand manager in 2017 and currently oversees key business objectives and tactical execution for Consultant Business Kits and the SOOTHE product line. She continues to apply her innovative spirit and practical training from the GLAM program to create and launch successful products for one of the fastest growing skincare brands in the world.