Divisional Merchandise Manager, Fishing & Marine,

Academy Sports + Outdoors

Native to rural East Texas, I was afforded the freedom of running amok in the outdoors with my older brother. My father encouraged an active lifestyle of camping and waterfowl hunting and I encountered the breadth of the country sleeping in a camper as we zigzagged across the U.S. After graduating from Texas A&M University, my first job was assistant buyer at May Department Stores where I worked for five years. I joined Academy as an athletic footwear buyer in 2006 and have served in a variety of buying roles including baseball equipment and camping. My wife and I enjoy travel, backpacking, and literature with our three children.

EDUCATION & DEGREE(S) ACHIEVED: BS, Communications, Texas A&M University

BIGGEST LIFE LESSON: Opportunities to cultivate relationships with team members, vendors and customers are the most sustainable reasons to come to work every day.

BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT TO DATE: In my last DMM role, we implemented a modified line review process. By defining success as “better today than yesterday,” we worked to continually improve without falling into the trap of targeting perfection. We also encouraged each other to “embrace the nuance,”- a reminder that we could build a healthy level of discipline without becoming excessively rigid in process. With contributions from all team members and a few process modifications, we gained traction and delivered great results.

WHAT YOU WOULD WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE: To contribute to the personal and professional goals of those around me. Helping to make us effective and efficient can lead to more time spent with family away from work.

MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE LEARNED: Team members want to learn and be challenged in a satisfying work environment that values engagement and allows for autonomy.

WHAT OR WHO HAS ENABLED YOU TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL: My former manager and our current VP of Merchant Systems, made a significant investment in my development and reshaped how I think about our supply chain and assortment planning.

BEST ADVICE I WAS GIVEN OR THAT I WOULD GIVE: Learn how to manage your energy, not your time.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU’VE OVERCOME: Leading change at a growing retailer – especially in merchandising. Planning disciplines are changing rapidly to make use of increased customer information and technology. Our team has had a lot of success working with internal partners to adopt new methods that enhance our ability to deliver on our customer service promise.