Thomas Via has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of Brookstone Inc. since December 1, 2014. Prior to Brookstone, Mr. Via spent 12 years at Toys“R”Us, most recently as its Senior Vice President for Babies“R”Us in the U.S., where he was responsible for leading the company’s juvenile product growth strategy and served on the Global Commercial Committee. From 2010 to 2013 he was Managing Director (President) of Toys“R”Us, Australia, where he was the senior executive responsible for all operations and business activities for the company’s Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us brands. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, Toys“R”Us, Canada, where he was responsible for leading all Merchandising, Marketing, Ecommerce and Store Planning activities for the Canada division. Mr. Via helped direct the expansion of the Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us integrated store format in Canada, as well as the launch of Toysrus.ca. Prior to joining Toys“R”Us, Mr. Via held merchandising positions at Wal-Mart (Canada), Payless ShoeSource, Kmart, Hills Department Stores, Fishers Big Wheel Stores, Gold Circle Stores and Adam, Meldrum and Anderson Department Stores. Mr. Via is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in Business Administration.
Jim Ferguson has been the Vice President, Retail since February 8, 2015. Prior to joining Brookstone, Mr. Ferguson held several leadership positions at Sears, including most recently as the SVP for Sears Retail Services. At Sears, Mr. Ferguson was responsible for 720 full line stores with a Field staff of over 64,000. Prior to Sears, he held several senior leadership positions at Toys R Us in the planning, supply chain and finance areas, including two years as the Chief Operating Officer at Toys R Us Australia. Mr. Ferguson received his BA from the University of South Australia, and his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Stephen A. Gould was appointed Vice President, General Counsel in January 2011. Prior to this appointment Mr. Gould was Operational Vice President, General Counsel since February 2010. From 2000 to 2010 Mr. Gould was a Partner at Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP specializing in mergers, acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, joint ventures, strategic partnerships, complex restructurings and recapitalizations, and corporate law. From 1992 to 1999 Mr. Gould held positions with several law firms specializing in real estate and corporate law.
Frank Hu was appointed Vice President, Operations, in September of 2014. Prior to joining Brookstone, Mr. Hu served as Executive President at HongTu San Bao High Tech Co. and Vice President of Jiangsu HongTu High Tech Co. in Nanjing China from 2013 to 2014. Prior to this, he served as Imation Fellow with Imation in the USA from 1996 to 2013. Mr. Hu holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a BA in Material Science from Shanghai JiaoTong University.
VALEN TONG was appointed Vice President, CFO in February 2015. Prior to this appointment Ms. Tong was Vice President, Corporate Strategy, since September of 2014. Prior to joining Brookstone, Ms. Tong served as divisional CFO at Graphic Packaging Inc. from 2012 to 2014. Prior to this, she served in various finance and strategy roles with Procter & Gamble in the USA, Australia and Singapore from 2002 to 2012, as well as for Deutsche Bank in Singapore and PwC in China. Ms. Tong holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology – Sloan School of Management, an MS in Business Policy from National University of Singapore, and a BS in Economics from Renmin University.