COLLEGE STATION, March 24, 2008 - Payless ShoeSource CEO and President Matt
Rubel will receive the 2008 M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Award, announced
officials of the Center for Retailing Studies at Texas A&M University's Mays
Business School. The award, which recognizes vision and outstanding
achievements in retailing, will be presented at 10:15 a.m. April 2 in Ray
Auditorium as part of the center's 25th anniversary celebration.
While on campus, Rubel will present a keynote address to business students
on the topic of his reinvention of the Payless brand through the addition of
major designer brands and new marketing campaigns. He will also have a
private round-table discussion with the Zale Leadership Scholars, May's top
retailing students. Rubel's presentation will be the highlight of the
center's annual Sponsor Forum and Zale Lecture event, which will bring
senior executives from more than 20 sponsoring companies into the classroom
to address business students on April 1 and 2.
Rubel took over the reins of Payless' 4,900 stores in July 2005. Since that
time, he has spearheaded the dramatic expansion of Collective Brands, the
parent company of Payless, including the recent acquisition of Stride Rite.
His mission at Payless has been to "democratize fashion," making great shoes
accessible to millions at a budget price. Rubel's management in the last
three years has strengthened Payless' position as the No. 1 shoe retailer in
the Western hemisphere. The top spot at Payless is the latest achievement in
his prestigious career, which has included leadership positions with brands
such as Cole Haan, J. Crew, Pepe Jeans USA and Revlon.
The award is named for M.B. Zale, founder of the Zale Corporation, which has
been a corporate sponsor of the center since its opening in 1983. A grant
from M.B. and Edna Zale established the center 25 years ago.
The Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) is a bridge between the academic and
business communities. Committed to excellence in retail education, research,
and service, the center's programs prepare students for careers in retailing
and provide retailers with outstanding graduates. The CRS was the first
retailing center partnered with a business school and it remains the
nation's premier institution of retailing education.
Housed in the Department of Marketing at Mays, the center is privately
funded by more than 35 sponsor companies from throughout the nation.
Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate
students and 875 graduate students. Mays is nationally ranked among public
business schools not only for the quality of its undergraduate program, but
also for its MBA program and the faculty scholarship of its 105 professors
in five departments.