Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 28, 2007
Franz von Bradsky, Chairman of the Northwest Growth Financing Conference, announced today that James M. Weber, CEO and Director of Brooks Sports, will give the keynote address at the conference.
The conference, which is being presented by the Seattle chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), will be held at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on Pier 66 in Seattle on August 9, 2007.
Jim joined Brooks Sports as President and CEO in April 2001. Under his leadership, Brooks repositioned its 90+ year old brand to high end performance running shoes. The result has been dramatic -- record growth and profits for 5 consecutive years. Sales have grown from about $65 million to around $150 million in the most recent fiscal year. EBITDA, which was negative when he joined the company, is now in the mid to high teens.
Brooks was owned by J. H. Whitney, a private equity firm, when Jim joined the company -- the fourth CEO in four years. In late, 2004 Brooks was acquired by Russell Corporation, a $1.4 billion NYSE listed firm. Russell was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's investment vehicle, in 2006 and Jim now reports to the CEO of Fruit of the Loom.
Jim has extensive consumer products and sporting goods brand building experience that includes packaged foods, outdoor products and summer and winter sports. He was Chairman and CEO of Sims Sports, Inc., an action-sports company, President of O'Brien International, Inc, a leading water sports company, and President of Coleman Spas, Inc.
His professional experience also included investment banking as a Managing Director at Piper Jaffray leading its Seattle practice advising both public and private companies in the consumer products industry and as a Commercial Banking Officer for Norwest Bank in Minneapolis.
He has been active on several boards including Brooks, Nautilus Inc. (NLS) and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). He is currently serving on the Board of Zumiez (ZUMZ), Eastside Catholic High School Board of Trustees and the Seattle Sports Commission Board.
Jim holds an MBA degree with high distinction from The Tuck School at Dartmouth College and received his BS from the University of Minnesota.