Two of the brands in the top slots may come as a surprise.
Lisa Bridge Named CEO as Ed Bridge Announces Retirement
Ed Bridge will step down as CEO and chairman of the board of Ben Bridge Jeweler effective Jan. 31.
Ed Bridge, Lisa’s father, will retire as CEO and chairman of the board effective Jan. 31, at which time Lisa, now president and COO, will step into the role and also will join the board.
Ed joined the family company in 1978 and in 1990 was named co-CEO along with his cousin, Jon, who retired last year. The two of them oversaw the acquisition of the company to Warren Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, a decade later.
Ed has held a number of leadership positions in the industry, including serving as chair of Jewelers of America and Jewelers For Children, board member of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the Jewelry Information Center, vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, chair of the Seattle Victims Fund, and board member of both the University of Washington Hillel and Tyee Club.
The American Gem Society honored him and the Bridge family with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. They also were inducted into the National Jeweler Retailer Hall of Fame.
“It has been an honor and privilege working with our associates to create incredible moments and touch the lives of so many customers,” Ed said. “I cherish the relationships I have with our team and the treasured friendships with our many industry partners. I feel thankful to have had the best mentors and bosses one could ask for in my father Bob Bridge, my uncle Herb Bridge and Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffett.
“I had the pleasure of working with my cousin Jon Bridge as my partner for 28 years before he retired last year. It brings me great joy to know the company will be in such capable hands. Lisa will surely propel the business into its next phase and a bright future.”
Lisa represents the fifth generation to run the company. She was named president of Ben Bridge last fall, making her not only its first female president but also, at age 32 at the time, the youngest top executive in more than 60 years.
Since then, she has been working on a redesign of the retail chain’s stores.
The new atmosphere—which includes locating the watch craftsmen at the front so it’s the first thing shoppers see when they enter, an open layout allowing for educational opportunities for shoppers and hologram technology that lets bridal consumers visualize customized designs prior to purchase—will continue to roll out in 2019 to additional stores.
“I am endlessly grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Ed and the generations before me. They have been generous with their wisdom and perspective and will continue to be an inspiration,” she said.
“I am humbled to be stepping in to this role, and I am excited to build a bright future with our incredible team. My mission as CEO is to help our customers celebrate wonderfully meaningful and joyful moments in their lives through the power of jewelry.”
Ben Bridge has 95 retail stores in 11 states and one Canadian province.
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