(Sharon Hill, Pa.) – Nathan EVP Bridgit Lombard, a passionate and seasoned executive with almost two decades’ experience in the sporting goods and financial industries, has been appointed CEO of Nathan’s parent company, Penguin Brands, Inc. Lombard assumes the role from founder Jon Reichlin, who will continue to advise and support Lombard and the team on long-term opportunities for the organization as chairman.
Since assuming the role of EVP in 2010, Lombard has deftly guided the organization and its two main subsidiaries – Nathan and Penguin Shoe & Apparel Care - to nearly 40 percent growth each year; brokered distribution into 45 countries and counting; and assembled a world-class leadership team comprised of experienced executives from companies like Adidas, Foot Locker, Patagonia, and City Sports. Most recently, she was named a top executive in the Sporting Goods Business’ 2013 “40 under 40” awards, honoring executive leadership in the industry.
“Bridgit deeply embodies the values of our company as her leadership vision, relentless curiosity, and passion for growth have helped propel us to new heights,” says Reichlin. “Over the past year, Bridgit has assembled a high-caliber management team that has quickly established new processes, systems, and platforms for growth, giving me full confidence we are poised for even greater things to come.”
Working with a leadership team that includes CFO Tricia Papile, VPs Brent Hollowell (marketing), Jim Frazier (product), Rick Olson (sales), and Canice Harte (licensing and innovation), director of purchasing and planning Michael Lewis, and director of operations Dennis Henriques, Lombard will lead the development and execution of the company’s long term strategy while overseeing day-to-day management operations.
“I am truly grateful and honored by the opportunity to build upon the 38-year foundation Jon established here, and believe this move is indicative of the continued evolution and cohesion of a stunningly talented, focused, and dedicated team that allows us to move forward with confidence,” says Lombard. “I feel fortunate to carry on Jon’s vision for the company, and seize the opportunity and momentum we currently have to achieve new levels of success and partnership.”
Lombard remains focused on living a healthy and active lifestyle, and affording those around her the chance to do the same. She helped ensure that the company’s 75 employees have access to an on-site gym with scheduled classes from local trainers. Additionally, she created the company’s own corporate health initiative, Penguin Health Inspired Team (PHIT). Through PHIT, over 50 percent of employees have completed a 5K or more for the first time, with more events planned for 2013.