Marie McGrath-Brown has over +30 years of leadership and experience in home related product development, merchandising and marketing. She is an accomplished leader in the development and motivation of diverse management teams with additional background in operations and P&L responsibility. A former executive of Sears Holdings Corp., a $44 billion Fortune 100 company and the parent of Sears, Roebuck & Co., McGrath-Brown built upon this foundation to launch her successful track record in the strategic development and execution of new business start-ups, business turnarounds and growth initiatives. A subject matter expert in product development, buying, merchandising and consumer marketing, she has been responsible for driving profitable sales growth across a wide array of product categories including, home appliance, housewares, mattresses, plumbing, flooring and most categories in the home improvement and home decorating space.
As President and Founder of MetaVision Group, LLC, Ms. McGrath-Brown currently consults with private equity groups, manufacturers, retailers and start-ups on a variety of business enhancing initiatives including brand strategies, product development, marketing, competitive and assortment reviews, ecommerce and integrated customer experience strategies. She works with leadership to forecast financial goals and other line items that impact operating profits.
Ms. McGrath-Brown is most recently President and General Manager of Gaia Group USA, LLC. Dedicated to bringing consumers “the best of the earth, woman-owned/woman-led Gaia Group USA is the product development, sales and marketing arm of a Shanghai based tabletop products start up. Noted for designs and finishes inspired by mother nature and patterns around the world, Gaia Group very quickly built a solid foundation of B2B product development relationships with its distinctive brand positioning and unique merchandise design.
Ms. McGrath-Brown is a member of the Board of Specified Juristiction for Cicero Catholic Schools. She is a former Advisory Board Member for Parlore, a comprehensive project management software program designed by and for the interior design professional. Ms. McGrath-Brown is also a former member of the Marketing Committee for the Board of Trustees at Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
McGrath-Brown is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism. She recently completed the Woman’s Director Development Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband where she volunteers, along with her dog, Gracie, to serve the needs of special needs children and their families.
Ray Brown is a former executive of Sears Holdings with over 25 years of merchandising, marketing and leadership experience and a successful track record of driving profitable sales growth. In addition, Ray is a seasoned IT professional with a focus on business development within the Cisco Systems Integration space. He has been responsible for the strategic development and execution of new business start-ups, business turnarounds and growth strategies.
Ray was an Executive Consultant and Partner with the Sightline Group, LLC, an executive consulting firm with expertise in the introduction, marketing, and sales development of new technology and consumer products. He has worked with +20 companies to develop and execute new product launches, channel expansion, development of marketing and merchandising programs as well as national and international sales development.
Utilizing his experience in networking, IoT, wireless, and collaboration, Ray currently serves as a Global Business Development Executive for Black Box Network Services; a global IT solutions provider.
Mr. Brown received his MBA from Benedictine University and is a graduate of DePaul University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Economics.
Bettina Settecase is a former executive of Sears Holdings Corp., then a $40+ billion Fortune 100 company and the parent of Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Kmart Corporation. She had full P & L responsibility for the $5.5 billion home appliances group at Sears for 12 years. Under her leadership, the home appliance business achieved the highest outlet share and Kenmore brand share -- as well as the best level of profitability -- in its history. She has over 35 years of retail merchandising, brand management, and strategic business and marketing experience.
Following her tenure at Sears, she served as Vice President of Marketing at Masco Cabinetry, a division of Masco Corporation, where she was a key player in consolidating two separate companies and developing a new marketing organizational structure for the combined companies. She was responsible for strategic planning, product development, and differentiated marketing plans for a portfolio of four consumer/builder brands, including KraftMaid and Merillat.
She is currently working as a consultant to appliance and electronics manufacturers and retailers, including serving as the Consultant Project Leader for JC Penney’s entrance into the major appliance business. She is a resource for private equity firms in the hard lines retail and brand space.
Since 2008 she has been on the Board of Directors of Over the Rainbow Association, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing independent living alternatives for severely physically handicapped adults. She also served on the board of the Twinbrook Family YMCA of Schaumburg.
Bettina Settecase is a graduate of Northwestern University with a Bachelor and Master’s degree.
Miller Opie is an innovative design director with over 25 years of experience working with high profile home fashions brands. She has led design and brand development for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Pottery Barn Kids, Sears Holdings Corp., and Ethan Allen Global, Inc.
Throughout her career, Miller has created exclusive products for all home fashions categories, including rugs, wall décor, lighting, tabletop, furniture, soft home, and holiday. Most recently she directed the brand and product development of the exclusive Ethan Allen | Disney collection, working directly with the merchandising team to meet stringent pricing and timing goals. She takes a holistic approach to design development by collaborating with cross-functional teams to create consistent and comprehensive branded packaging, signage, planograms, e-commerce, and promotional strategies.
As color is integral in brand recognition, Miller creates color palettes as a strong foundation to all design work. She is currently working as a design and trend consultant to the home fashions industry, using her experience to monitor and spot trends in the retail home décor space.
Miller Opie earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is also a sculptor, exhibiting in Brooklyn and the Northeast. She is a member of the Sculptors Guild of New York City.
Miller Opie was featured in the Art section of the Boston Globe. Read the full article at the Boston Globe.