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Diane Sullivan steps into CEO role at Brown Shoe Company

BY CSA STAFF

Diane Sullivan is now CEO, president and chairman of the board of Brown Shoe Company. The company’s board of directors appointed her as chairman last June, and her new role became effective Feb. 2.

Sullivan was named president and CEO in May 2011. Since that time she has been focused on aligning the company’s brands and businesses with both its mission and strategic financial goals. During the past two years, Brown Shoe Company has made great strides in its portfolio realignment efforts at the infrastructure, retail and brand levels, which has led to a significant improvement in shareholder value.

Sullivan joined Brown Shoe Company in 2004 as president and assumed the additional role of chief operating officer in 2006. She was elected to Brown Shoe Company’s board of directors in 2007. Prior to Brown Shoe Company, she worked at the Stride Rite Corporation, where she served as president and chief operating officer of the corporation and as a member of the board of directors. From there, Sullivan went to Phillips-Van Heusen as vice chairman of footwear before joining Brown Shoe Company. In addition to serving on several footwear industry boards, Sullivan is currently on the boards of BJC HealthCare and Enterprise Holdings, as well as the board of trustees at Washington University.

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FINANCE

NRF stresses collaborative approach to reduce fraud, PIN-and-chip adoption

BY Marianne Wilson

Washington, D.C. — The National Retail Federation on Monday urged Congress to take a comprehensive approach as it contemplates a national response to criminal cyber attacks in which millions of consumers’ credit and debit card numbers were stolen. NRF said retailers are willing to do their part to improve security, but that banks and card companies must also take major steps to shore up the current fraud-prone payments system.

“Rather than resort to blame and shame, the parties should work together to ensure that the data breach is remedied and steps are taken to prevent and mitigate future breaches.”
 said NRF senior VP and general counsel Mallory Duncan. “

Duncan went on to say that while retailers have every reason to want to see fraud reduced, they have only a portion of the ability to make it happen.

“We did not design the [payments] system, we do not configure the cards and we do not issue the cards,” he said. “We will work to effectively upgrade the system, but we cannot do it alone.”

Duncan was scheduled to testify Monday afternoon before a hearing on data security being held by a subcommittee of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. In testimony prepared for delivery at the hearing, Duncan said the United States is under constant criminal attack from sophisticated cybercriminals – largely located overseas – who target financial institutions, manufacturers, public utilities, and other businesses, not just retailers.

“This is a continuous battle against determined fraudsters,” he said. “Every party in the payment system, financial institutions, networks, processors, retailers and consumers, has a role to play in reducing fraud.”

In the short term, Duncan said the banking industry needs to replace current cards that store consumer data on 1960s-era magnetic strips, and have users sign their name with modern cards that encrypt data on an embedded microchip and require use of a secret personal identification number (PIN). Instead, banks and card companies have pushed so-called EMV – Europay, MasterCard and Visa – proprietary cards that use a chip but remain open to fraud by allowing the use of a signature. Duncan said replacement of easily forged signatures with a PIN-and-chip card is essential to security.

Duncan urged the United States to look beyond the payment card industry’s (PCI) security standards and proposed EMV cards, and embrace a more secure and technologically advanced payments system that is as innovative as it is competitive.

In the longer term, Duncan said further improvements, such as point-to-point encryption of data, “tokenization” of transactions and mobile payments offer potential solutions to better protect consumers.

Duncan also urged Congress to pass the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which would make it easier for the commercial sector to share information about cyber threats and ensure that cybercrimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted. He said NRF also wants Congress to replace the varying data breach notification laws currently on the books in 46 states and the District of Columbia with a single, uniform nationwide standard and bolster law enforcement agencies’ abilities to combat cyber attacks.

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REAL ESTATE

DSW takes Waugh Chapel Towne Centre to 100%

BY Michael Fickes

Owings Mills, Md. — Designer Shoe Warehouse has inked a deal to open a new store at Waugh Chapel Towne Centre in Gambrills, Md., between Annapolis and Baltimore, this summer. DSW has leased a 10,010-sq.-ft. space that the property’s owner Greenberg Gibbons will expand to 16,680 sq. ft. The deal leases the project up to 100%.

Anchored by Wegmans and Target, Waugh Chapel Towne Centre is a $275 million mixed-use project with 650,000 sq. ft. of retail and 130,000 sq. ft. of Class A office space. The development also includes The Beacon at Waugh Chapel, a 298-unit apartment complex built by Bozzuto Group and a community of 40 townhouses being built by Sturbridge Homes.

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