Karen Ryder, a retail and digital veteran, has joined Dallas Market Center as chief operating officer, responsible for overseeing marketing, retail development, market services, IT, and digital.
Ryder has been consulting for Dallas Market Center for several months and she brings experience in retail, brand development, and technology to her new role, the company said. Ryder reports to President and CEO Cindy Morris.
“This is a pivotal moment for the future of our company,” Morris said in a statement. “As we evolve to meet the changing demands of our customers, Karen’s background in technology, brand development, and growth strategies will be invaluable. She’s a proven leader who has demonstrated the ability to advance corporate goals while also serving customers and developing talented leaders. Our continuing focus on growing buyers and brands, supported by technology, will benefit from her knowledge and expertise.”
Dallas Market Center said that it has been experiencing an unprecedented growth in buyers visiting the marketplace and new brands taking space in its 5 million-square-foot collection of buildings.
The marketplace said it debuted more than 50 new or expanding showrooms, held market events that are larger than in many years, and welcomed a record number of new buyers from around the world. Its largest growth is coming from the southeast, upper Midwest, and western U.S., the company said.
“I’m pleased to join a company motivated to create new pathways to growth supported by a strong family legacy and marketplace momentum,” Ryder said in a statement. “I’m also looking forward to advancing our mission of inspiration and commerce in innovative ways. This business is driven by great products and people with a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, so I view the opportunity to work together with such important stakeholders as the chance of a lifetime.”
Ryder joins an executive team with decades of experience including Morris, Joan Ulrich, EVP of Leasing for gift, home, and lighting; Eva Walsh, SVP of leasing for apparel, accessories, and footwear; Cherie Marcus, EVP of finance; Mitzi Tally, EVP of lease administration; and Jeff Bachman, EVP of technology and facility services.
Ryder has a background that includes brick-and-mortar retail and digital. Previously, she held positions including VP of growth for Michaels, global head of brand & retail at RewardStyle (now LTK), and director of global innovation and corporate strategy at the Estee Lauder Companies.
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