Debbie O’HaraChief Marketing Officer
Debbie is an executive brand marketer with experience in manufacturing and retail operations across multiple channels.
Debbie is a graduate of the Syracuse University S. I. Newhouse School and began her professional career as Director of Marketing for the Electronics Boutique and Games ‘n’ Gadgets a mall-based retail chain of video game and software stores. She was part of the management team that grew the chain by 300 stores nationally and internationally. She also launched and managed a mail order division of the business that opened new markets and established national presence for the brand.
She was recruited by The Wall Music, an American subsidiary of W. H. Smith where she was instrumental in consolidating several local chains into one regional chain. During this same period of time Debbie was also responsible for the marketing of a second W.H. Smith brand, Waterstone’s Booksellers, and it’s entry into the United States market.
During her tenure with W. H. Smith, Debbie earned her Masters of Management from Penn State University.
As Vice President of Account Management for The Forbes Group in Dallas, Texas, Debbie provided strategic analysis, marketing insight, resource optimization, and turnkey marketing management for several food-related and retail accounts including Denny’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Koo Koo Roo, Chevy’s Fresh Mex, Q Lube, First Plus Financial and Primedia. At the same time, Debbie was Vice President of Polygon, sister company to The Forbes Group, that delivered strategic brand identity management.
After a one-year sabbatical that Debbie spent sailing in the Western Caribbean and exploring Central America, she joined BI-LO Supermarkets, an Ahold USA company, owned by Royal Ahold. As Director of Consumer marketing she was responsible for the BI-LO brand experience, driving sales through database insights and marketing integration across the business units.
As a member of the Executive Management Team at Quoizel, a manufacturer of decorative lighting, Debbie provided leadership in the development of the Quoizel brand and the products that it created. During her tenure Quoizel opened a factory in China and became a major supplier to big box stores.
Most recently Debbie was the Director of Marketing for Environmental Express a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of innovative solutions for environmental laboratories worldwide. The company is committed to providing technology to ensure clean air, soil and water for tomorrow’s generations. Debbie was responsible for developing the brand marketing and refining the product assortment.
Debbie is the Vice President of the Charleston, SC Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association and the Vice Commodore of the Charleston Ocean Racing Association. She is also a volunteer for the South Carolina Maritime Association. She is a Big Sister with the Carolina Youth Development Coalition and the Big Brother/Big Sister Association.
In her spare time Debbie enjoys all things water related. She participates in yacht and sailboat racing both in the CharlestonHarbor and offshore. She also kayaks and loves to walk the beach. Traveling, reading, doing yard work and playing with her dogs top her list of spare time activities.