Highland and Yoko join Shafley, Nauman and Johnson on executive team.
COLUMBUS, OH—Chute Gerdeman, a global leader in retail innovation, insights and design, today announced an expanded executive team, including the appointment of Brian Shafley as CEO.
The new leadership reflects Chute Gerdeman’s business growth plans and positions the company to meet the distinct demands and challenges facing retail, hospitality and CPG brands today. “We are in one of the most productive and innovative periods of Chute Gerdeman’s 25-year history,” said Chute Gerdeman Co-Chairman Denny Gerdeman. “With these promotions, we have assembled a highly-talented leadership team that is building on the exciting opportunities at hand.”
As CEO, Brian Shafley will lead Chute Gerdeman’s executive team and guide the company’s evolution. Shafley is a 23-year Chute Gerdeman veteran and has been President and Chief Creative Officer for the past nine years. He will report to Co-Chairmen Gerdeman and Elle Chute.
“Chute Gerdeman’s proven reputation and client success have positioned the company among the top tier of all U.S. design firms,” Shafley said. “As our clients continue to evolve in their quest to successfully unite digital and physical experiences for their customers, we will continue the expansion of CG’s capabilities to meet these challenges.”
Shafley’s expertise includes strategic retail brand image development, planning and retail experience design, consumer trend and market analysis, creative direction and industry advocacy. He directed the company’s Chicago office for four years and has led successful programs for a diverse and distinguished client list including Walt Disney, M&M’s World Times Square and Orlando, Target, Kodak (China), Smithsonian, Buckle, Foot Locker (Six:02, Champs Sports), Jimmy John’s, HMS Host, Timberland, Harley-Davidson, Lowe’s, Hamleys (UK, Dubai and Jordan), H20+, AAFES Exchange, and Polo Ralph Lauren. Shafley is a past President of the Retail Design Institute’s Ohio Chapter and has received numerous professional awards. He is a popular speaker at industry events worldwide, and his work has appeared in all the major industry publications. He is a member of VMSD’s Editorial Advisory Board.
In addition to Shafley, Chief Marketing Officer George Nauman and EVP Account Management and COO Wendy Johnson will continue to serve on the executive team. Joining them are:
Jay Highland, who has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer, will bring a strategic perspective to all CG creative efforts, providing account leadership and creative oversight. Highland has more than 20 years of design experience, including 11 years with Chute Gerdeman. He has deep experience in developing key client relationships, with considerable brand strategy, advertising, and design firm background.
Highland has been instrumental in championing CG’s core capabilities and building CG’s diverse creative teams. Always challenging the status quo, he is a consummate retail design authority, and has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences and events.
Gary Yoko, who joins the leadership team as EVP Development. Yoko comes to Chute Gerdeman from HMSHost, where he was Senior Director of Design. Responsible for design of all new retail and restaurant locations, Yoko opened more than 1,500 locations during his seven years at HMSHost.
With more than 30 years experience working on the business side of design, Yoko brings proven senior level real estate, construction and architectural knowledge seldom seen within design agencies. Gary’s role represents a critical shift in retail design toward providing proof and accountability to the full scope of creative services.