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From Home Furnishing Business

Vera Bradley Co-founder Gets Icon Honors 2014 Lifetime Achievement

Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder and chief creative officer of Vera Bradley, will receive the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Honor in ceremonies marking the fifth annual Icon Honors this summer.

The Lifetime Achievement Honor presentation traditionally caps the sequence of select recognitions bestowed in the annual Icon Honors celebration. It is conferred by the Icon Honors board of governors, which is co-chaired by Icon Honors founder Jeffrey L. Portman Sr., vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of AmericasMart Atlanta, and George Kacic, president of Giftcraft and Icon Honors founding partner.

The 2014 Lifetime Achievement Honor celebrates Baekgaard’s imprint on the gift, fashion and home sector through the continuing influence of the Vera Bradley brand, Portman said.

Baekgaard co-founded Vera Bradley in 1982.  From 1982 through June 2010, she also served as co-president. From the outset, Baekgaard has provided leadership and strategic direction in the brand's development by providing creative vision to areas such as marketing, product design, assortment planning and the design and visual merchandising of the company’s stores.  In May 2010, she was appointed CEO.

As co-founder of Vera Bradley, Ms. Baekgaard serves a key leadership role on the company’s board of directors, and provides the board with a broad array of institutional knowledge and historical perspective as well as an in-depth knowledge of business strategy, branding, product development and store design.

She currently serves on the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center Development Board and as a board member of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer.  

Vera Bradley creates luggage, handbags and accessories combining product designs with distinctive and colorful fabrics and trims.  

“Barbara embodies American entrepreneurism," Portman said. "She is a pioneer and a dreamer, naturally dauntless and always ready for the next creative adventure. Her life and her career give voice to the hopes and dreams of all who aspire to do great things.”

The awards dinner will be held July 10 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. More details about the event and ticket sales can be found online

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