Paul Bundonis, Chief Workshop Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Steps in for Maxine Clark to Share the Company’s ‘Bearstory’
Although she was unable to attend Voices of Experience due to illness, Maxine Clark, founder and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, told the Voices of Experience audience on February 21 via a video message that big goals and a lot of heart were the inspiration for the company she founded in 1997.
In Clark’s place, Paul Bundonis, chief workshop bear, spoke to the Voices of Experience audience. Bundonis’s first experience with Build-A-Bear was when he was the vice president of stores at Zany Brainy, a specialty toy retailer. His company approached Build-A-Bear during their early success about a possible merger, but ultimately opened a Vermont Teddy Bear store within one of their New Jersey Zany Brainy retail locations. The initial store was a great success, but the five that followed were not. “We learned our lesson,” said Bundonis, who joined Build-A-Bear Workshop in 2006 as managing director of stores, West, and has been the chief workshop bear, North America, since 2011. “Bears were not the only thing we did.”
Lee McIntire: From Farm Boy to CEO of CH2M HILL
How did a Central City, Nebraska boy from humble beginnings get to be the chairman and CEO of one of the world’s most admired sustainable engineering and environmental services firms? As Lee McIntire tells the story, it was “a mix of grabbing opportunity, a little bit of luck, hard, hard work” and being the right person for the job—at the right time.
CH2M HILL is a 30,000-employee, $6.4 billion enterprise that operates in 119 countries. They’ve planned, designed and constructed major projects such as the 2012 London Olympic stadium and venues, the Shah Gas Fields in the United Arab Emirates and the Panama Canal expansion.