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Alex and Ani Hires Execs, Plans to Create 250 New Jobs

The Cranston-based company has hired six executives and announced plans to hire 250 people over the next six months.

A few months after a management shakeup at Cranston-headquartered Alex and Ani, including the departure of CEO Giovanni Feroce, the jewelry and lifestyle company has announced it has brought on several executives and will hire 250 people over the next six months.

"As Alex and Ani continues its national retail expansion, the perspective, insights and breadth of experience of these senior management professionals give us a strategic and competitive advantage and help to position us for future business growth," said Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, Creative Director and CEO of Alex and Ani. "The collective track of this team is to continue to create company value, worldwide branding and positive consumer engagement and I look forward to their strategic leadership as we expand our brand."

The jobs will be at both the corporate and retail level, Rafaelian said.

The company hired six executives to fill a variety of roles, including a new CFO. Below is a brief biography for each:

Jayne Fitzpatrick-Conway: Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Fitzpatrick-Conway joins Alex and Ani with a long track record as a senior executive building strategic and financial value for a variety of high-profile national consumer and lifestyle brands. She will begin her new position on June 23, 2014. Prior to joining Alex and Ani, Ms. Fitzpatrick-Conway served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of CIRCA Brands, Inc., a global buyer and reseller of previously-owned luxury jewelry, and previously-owned luxury goods. Earlier, she held positions as Chief Financial Officer for Planet Fitness, LLP, and Gulf Oil, LP, and served for a decade with Dunkin' Brands rising to Chief Strategy Officer. While at Dunkin' Brands, Fitzpatrick-Conway led the strategic planning process for the national expansion of the Dunkin' Donuts brand which was based on a consumer awareness platform. She also has experience at Bain and Company and General Electric. Fitzpatrick-Conway holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.

She replaces David Rozen who left the company to pursue other opportunities.

The following individuals were named to newly created positions:

Wendy Duncan: Senior Vice President of Marketing. Ms. Duncan has responsibility for evolving and achieving clearly defined marketing, communications, entertainment and events strategies worldwide that support consistent business growth, and enhance brand equity and awareness. Previously, Ms. Duncan held positions as Vice President of Global Digital Marketing for Staples, Inc., and as Global Director of E-Commerce and Digital Marketing for A.T. Cross. Earlier she served as Vice President, Marketing at Digitas where she led digital marketing teams for several leading brands including Dell, Gillette, Kraft and others. Ms. Duncan holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor's of Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Tarik Chaudhary: Senior Vice President of Information Technology. Mr. Chaudhary has responsibility for the vision, leadership and management of the company's technology systems with a mandate to assist in the growth of Alex and Ani's competitive position. Mr. Chaudhary most recently served as the lead IT merchandising solutions architect for The TJX Companies. He also held a series of senior IT positions in both the US and Canada for several companies including Dress Barn, The Sports Authority, Casual Male Retail Group, and Oracle Corporation. He is a graduate of Aimstech Institute of Technology.

Igor Bekker: Vice President of E-Commerce: Mr. Bekker is responsible for developing and driving the strategy, development and implementation of activities surrounding all e-commerce initiatives within Alex and Ani. His prior experience includes Director of e-Commerce for NYGARD International as well as head of e-commerce for Swatch. He holds a Master's Degree in Finance/Marketing from Barauch College, Zicklin School of Business as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from New York University.

Mary Beth Schneider: Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Operations. MsSchneider will serve as the principal assistant to the General Counsel, will advise the company on a wide range of legal matters including risk assessment and mitigation, developing and executing legal strategy, structuring global distribution and agency relationships, intellectual property management and implementing operational compliance programs, in addition to other legal matters. Ms. Schneider's prior experience includes positions as Associate General Counsel at A.T. Cross and Divisional Counsel at Textron. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College.

Jane Danek: Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Finance and Compliance. Ms. Danek will provide legal strategy and direction to the company relating to finance and securities law, regulatory compliance, corporate governance and other corporate issues. Ms. Danek comes to Alex and Ani from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, LLP in New York where she was a member of the Capital Markets and Securities Practice Group. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, and both a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Civil Law, with Great Distinction from McGill University in Montreal.

Jeff Thomas: Senior Director of Human Resources. Thomas will provide Human Resources strategic and operational leadership in a variety of areas, including training, leadership, performance, talent acquisition and development. He will also work with other divisions within Alex and Ani to develop the company culture, promote the company's mission and values and implement talent management strategies. Thomas was previously an HR Business Partner & Talent Acquisition Manager for Swarovski. Prior to Swarovski, he served as an HR Generalist & Compensation Analyst for A.T. Cross. Thomas graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Master's Degree in Human Resources and Labor Relations and a Bachelor's in Business Management Information Systems. He also volunteers as a Lieutenant Firefighter and Training Officer for Dunn's Corners Fire Department in Westerly, RI.

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