Meet the Executive Leadership Team

 

DownSteve

Steve Down
President

Steve Down joined Herff Jones as President on October 22, 2019.
Down joins Herff Jones with proven strategic acumen and an impressive history of achieving sustainable top and bottom-line results. He recently served as Vice President and General Manager for the Residential Division of Allegion, a publicly-traded provider of security products for homes and businesses, where he had full P&L responsibility for a $550M business and delivered significant expansion through strategic initiatives, technology and skillful execution. Earlier in his career, Down served in a leadership role at Ingersoll Rand, where, among other achievements, he led a transformation at Ingersoll’s Commercial Door Division that included dramatic improvements with respect to both product delivery and quality.

 

NealeJon

Jon Neale
Chief Financial Officer

Jon Neale joined the Herff Jones executive team as Interim Chief Financial Officer in May 2019. In his role, he is responsible for being a value-driven leader of Herff Jones’ finances across the enterprise. His responsibilities as a strategic business partner include financial planning, risk management, decision support, cash flow management, analysis and reporting.

Prior to joining the executive leadership team, Neale served as the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. Prior to coming to Herff Jones, Neale held various financial management positions at Dow AgroSciences and Siemens, most recently as the Senior Finance Manager for Dow’s Canadian Crop Protection and Seeds business unit. Neale has a diverse background managing the financial portfolios of international businesses, with a strong emphasis on business transformation, system implementation, financial analysis, planning and forecasting.

Neale earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. He is also a Certified Management Accountant.

 

QuesadaMichael

Michael Quesada
Interim Chief Information Officer

Michael Quesada joined the Herff Jones executive team as the Vice President of IT in May 2019. In his role, he oversees the IT team as well as the company’s overall technology modernization strategy. Quesada is responsible for overseeing the operation of our current systems, assessing and managing technological risk, and implementing technology improvement across the enterprise.

Prior to joining the Herff Jones team, Quesada served as the Vice President of Infrastructure and Security for ITT Technical Institute. He has a strong leadership background in IT strategy development, project management and operations. He also has a wealth of experience in technology transformation and a multitude of success in the deployment and adoption of systems to generate immediate business value. Having held positions in France and Mexico, Quesada’s business acumen includes international experience as well.

Quesada earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at El Paso. He has also served on the board for The Hispanic Center of Indianapolis and La Plaza, Inc.

 

FlemingBrian

Brian Fleming
SVP, General Manager – College & Commercial

Brian Fleming joined the Herff Jones executive leadership team in December 2017 after being named Senior Vice President of Sales Operations & Strategy. He is responsible for driving increased performance and effectiveness of the sales force as well as strategy execution. In 2019, Fleming assumed the additional responsibilities of leading the Herff Jones college sales division. His experience working with private equity backed companies and his passion for instilling discipline and fact-based decision-making to initiate growth is what brought him to Herff Jones in 2016 as the Director of Finance Planning and Analysis.

Prior to joining Herff Jones, Fleming served in various finance leadership roles within global manufacturing organizations where he worked closely with sales, marketing and operations. He held global management roles as Manager of Finance at Firestone Industrial Products and Director of Finance Planning and Analysis at Envigo. He began his career in public accounting, with later experience in business valuation consulting.

Fleming earned a bachelor’s degree in finance as well as his MBA from Valparaiso University. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

 

CheckettsAndrew

Andrew Checketts
SVP, General Manager – K-12

Andrew Checketts joined Herff Jones as Vice President of Strategy and Business Transformation in January 2020. Checketts most recently served in a senior consulting role at Bain and Company, one of the top global management consulting firms. He is responsible for the company’s ongoing strategic planning process, including strategy development and the identification of new transformational initiatives in collaboration with other top leaders within the organization. Checketts also plays a critical role in connecting the needs of our customers, sales partners and plants via thoughtful human and technological integration.

Prior to moving into the consultancy industry, Checketts held several account services and analyst roles with ESPN based out the New York office. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University and MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

CuffRika

Rika Cuff
VP, Sales – Scholastic

Rika Cuff joined the Herff Jones executive team as Vice President of Sales for the scholastic division in January 2018. She is responsible for leading the sales organization with a concentration of winning new schools and driving improvement in same schools sales.

Cuff previously served as National Account Manager for Herff Jones’ parent company, Varsity Brands, via its IMPACT program since 2014. Prior to that, she worked with Varsity Spirit Fashion beginning in 2010. Her career background includes having a strong emphasis on human resources, business management, sales and business ownership. Cuff and her husband have also owned a successful construction company since 1994, which has given her great perspective as it relates to entrepreneurship.

Cuff earned a BBA degree from Arizona State University. Cuff’s former organization affiliations include: Executive Advisor for the Arizona Interscholastic Association, President of the Arizona Cheer Coaches Association and professional liaisons volunteer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

 

CrouchKelly

Kelly Crouch
VP, Sales – Yearbook

Kelly Crouch was named Vice President of Yearbook Sales in 2018. Previously, she served as an Area Sales Manager for four years and a sales partner for 12 years.

Crouch first began her yearbook career more than 25 years ago, when she accepted a teaching position that included yearbook. Today, she leads sales for the company’s yearbook division. She credits her time spent as an HJ customer as the most valuable experience in preparation for her success in the various roles she has held at Herff Jones over the years. As a former educator, she believes in the value that we bring to each and every customer. As a sales leader, her focus is keeping the customer at the center of what we do in order to achieve great success.

Crouch earned a bachelor’s and master’s in educational leadership from Southeastern Louisiana University. She has also served as a CASA volunteer for seven years.

 

Doug McWilliams Bio

Doug McWilliams
VP, Yearbook Ops

Doug McWilliams was named Vice President of Yearbook Operations in November 2014. His primary focus is on continuous improvement within the company’s two yearbook manufacturing facilities, ensuring the delivery of a quality product on time and defect-free to customers.

McWilliams previously served as Plant Manager for Herff Jones’ Kansas City yearbook facility since 2012. During his more than 25-year career with the company, McWilliams also served in other leadership roles including Systems Coordinator, Customer Service Manager and Art Director. At the division level, McWilliams introduced standard operating procedures across six yearbook manufacturing facilities in addition to four successful plant consolidations. Earlier in his career, McWilliams was a creative artist at Jostens.

McWilliams earned a BBA degree in from Baker University, with an emphasis in graphics arts. He also represents Herff Jones within the Professional School Photographers Association.

 

ReidPhil

Phil Reid
SVP, Global Supply Chain

Phil Reid was named Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain for Herff Jones in July 2018. He previously served as VP of Operations for Fine Papers, Diplomas, Covers and Frames since July 2017, where he created a customer focused culture and turned around an under-performing business. Reid leads all areas of scholastic and college manufacturing.

Reid began his career at Herff Jones in 2009 as Division Manager of Process Improvement and Quality for the cap and gown business, where he developed metric-based reporting and team-based management systems that created easier feedback loops to increase productivity and enhance profitability. He introduced a lean continuous improvement program with a Six Sigma structure, training and instructing employees to lead projects in process improvement. He then became Plant Manager, where he developed supply chain strategies to increase profitability through working with new partners in China. He later held the enterprise role of Operations Lead for business transformation, driving improvement through an ERP implementation.

Earlier in his career, Reid worked at Stanley Works, known now as Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., and Shares, Inc. In both of these roles, he was responsible for driving supply chain development and strategic planning for production and quality.

Reid earned a bachelor’s degree from Franklin College and an MBA in finance from Indiana University Kelley School of Business. Reid holds a Black Belt Certification in Six Sigma.

 

BonnellTravis

Travis Bonnell
SVP, BUSINESS & STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

Travis Bonnell joined the Herff Jones executive team as Vice President and Associate General Counsel in April 2017. He is responsible for all of the company’s legal, compliance, contract, strategic development, and insurance and risk management needs.

Prior to joining Herff Jones, Bonnell served as Senior Corporate Counsel for Carrier Corporation. He has also held strategic roles at Allison Transmission, Rolls-Royce, and Ice Miller LLP. Bonnell has a diverse international background, with a wealth of experience in all legal aspects of business, as well as strategic development, financial management, real estate, and risk management. He has extensive experience as a business and legal advisor to executive management as an attorney in a large law firm and as in-house counsel for large public and private equity-owned multinational organizations.

He began his career at Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation, serving in a variety of roles within the organizations including finance, technology transfer, negotiating industrial and federal research contracts, and advising high tech startup companies within the Purdue Research Parks.

Bonnell earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and master’s degree in business and finance management from Purdue University and his law degree from Valparaiso University. He is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional, and holds a green belt certification in Lean Sigma.

 

SalenaScardina

Salena Scardina
VP, Customer Experience

Salena Scardina joined Herff Jones as Vice President of Customer Experience in March 2020. Scardina, a veteran executive with more than 25 years of experience in customer service, joined the company from HeroCX management consultancy firm, of which she is the founder. She owns the vision for evolving the brand experience throughout the customer journey, delivering a consistent approach at each of the company’s contact centers.

Scardina has worked with top national brands like HanesBrands and Crate&Barrel in the consultant space. Prior to starting her own firm, Scardina held senior leadership roles at Sweetwater Sound, a national music technology and instrument retailer, and international handbag and accessories company Vera Bradley, in addition to multiple customer engagement and experience positions during her 15-year tenure at McDonald’s Corporation.

She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and Spanish from Monmouth College, and holds a MBA from Benedictine University with a concentration in marketing. She is currently an executive committee member on the board of directors for the Greater Fort Wayne YMCA. Prior board appointments include the International Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals and Northeast Indiana Public Radio.

 

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