Sterling Jewelers Inc., the Akron-headquartered operator of Kay Jewelers and the Jared chain, said Monday it had added two new vice presidents — one executive new to the company and the other an existing employee.
Sterling, one of Akron’s largest companies with 2,250 headquarters employees, named Cathy Fischer vice president of marketing strategy and business development and Patrice Harris vice president of leadership development, training and diversity.
Fischer is new to Sterling and previously worked as chief product officer for paint and coatings giant AkzoNobel, which has its U.S. headquarters in Strongsville, and global chief marketing officer for Akron’s Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.
Fischer also worked in executive marketing jobs at Newell Rubbermaid, the Atlanta-headquartered maker of storage containers and consumer products that has area operations. She also worked in various brand management positions at Procter & Gamble of Cincinnati.
Fischer is an Ohio native and received bachelor’s degrees in business management and English from Miami University of Ohio. She lives in Richfield with her husband, Dave, and their four children.
Harris received a promotion, moving up to her new vice president’s post after working 11 years at Sterling.
The jeweler said Harris will have overall responsibility for the company’s leadership development, training and diversity initiatives. Her role is being expanded to include Sterling’s headquarters as well as the company’s 1,328 stores in the United States.
Harris received a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University in Virginia, and a master’s in business communication and organizational development from Regent University, also in Virginia.
Harris and her husband, Michael, live in Warrensville Heights outside Cleveland and have one son.
The appointments follow Sterling’s announcement earlier this month that Ed Hrabak will succeed Bill Montalto as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Hrabak is now Sterling’s senior vice president of merchandising. The change will happen at the end of June, when Montalto retires after 26 years as the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Sterling, the country’s largest jewelry store operator, is a subsidiary of Signet Jewelers Ltd., which has financial headquarters in Bermuda. Signet gets more than 80 percent of its revenue in this country. Signet also has stores in the United Kingdom.
Sales at Sterling Jewelers Inc. stores open at least a year — including Kay Jewelers and the Jared chain — were up 9.2 percent for the nine-week period ended Dec. 31.