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Alumna, Build-A-Bear CEO Sharon Price John to Get Hileman Award

Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. and a proven expert in corporate turnarounds, will receive the 2014 Donald G. Hileman Alumni Award from UT’s College of Communication and Information at its awards and scholarship donor appreciation banquet on Friday, November 14.

The banquet is being held in conjunction with the college’s fall 2014 Board of Visitors meeting.

“Sharon Price John has a remarkable ability to innovate, manage change, and turn around corporations,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “In recognition of her many accomplishments as a leading business executive, we are proud to present her with the college’s highest alumni award. She is a true role model who serves as an inspiration for our students.”

She took over as CEO and “chief president bear” of Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. in June 2013. Since then, the company has experienced six consecutive quarters of improved operating performance, and it generated $3.4 million during the first nine months of 2014.

Prior to joining Build-A-Bear, John was president of Wolverine Worldwide’s Stride Rite Children’s Group LLC, another company she helped revitalize.

And before that, she held senior management roles with Hasbro, where she helped oversee the marketing of brands such as NERF, Transformers, and My Little Pony while managing key licensing relationships such as Star Wars and Marvel. She also worked with Mattel in a number of roles, including marketing director of Barbie and a vice president in the Disney business unit.

John began her career in advertising and worked at several top New York City agencies.

She serves on the board of directors of Jack in the Box and is a member of the Committee of 200, an invitation-only membership organization of women entrepreneurs and corporate leaders.