Statement as issued Thursday by the company:
Fort Wayne, Ind. (September 6, 2012) – Vera Bradley, Inc.(Nasdaq:VRA) Cofounder Patricia R. Miller announced today she will retire from the business she and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard started more than 30 years ago. She will continue to serve as a member of the Vera Bradley Board of Directors and on the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Board.
"Vera Bradley is a thriving enterprise today because of a friendship that spans several decades. Pat's business skills paired with Barb's creative talents were the perfect combination to successfully launch this company in 1982," said Mike Ray, Vera Bradley CEO. "The solid foundation and positive culture that Pat helped build will certainly live on at Vera Bradley. We wish her the best as she starts another chapter and look forward to her ongoing contribution as a member of our Board."
"Barbara and I decided to enter the world of women's bags and accessories 30 years ago. With an idea and a vision, Vera Bradley became a reality. Today, thanks to loyal customers, dedicated employees, sound management and a strong Board of Directors, that small beginning has grown into a publicly traded, internationally recognized brand," said Patricia R. Miller. "It's the American dream, and we're fortunate to be living it."
In 2005, Miller served as Indiana's first Secretary of Commerce and as president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. In addition to her service on the Vera Bradley boards, she is a board member of the Indiana University Foundation, Indiana University Varsity Club, and is a founding member of the Indiana University Women's Philanthropy Council.
Baekgaard will continue her role as Vera Bradley's Chief Creative Officer.
About Vera Bradley
Vera Bradley infuses color into all aspects of women's lives with vibrant handbags, accessories, luggage, eyewear, travel items and gifts. Founded in 1982 by Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand inspires women to "be colorful" with designs that reflect their personal style. Vera Bradley employs 2200 and fiscal 2012 sales were $461 million. The company's commitment to breast cancer research continues to expand through the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. For more information about Vera Bradley (NASDAQ: VRA), visit www.verabradley.com/mediaroom.