Our Company

Executives

Bruce Cazenave
Chief Executive Officer

Bruce joined Bluestem Brands in March 2019 after having served as CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Nautilus Inc. since 2011. Prior to Nautilus, he served as Managing Director of Inflection Point Consulting, a business consulting firm, where Bruce consulted with and served as an executive advisor to private equity firms. From 2006 to 2009, Bruce worked for Central Garden & Pet Company, as President of the Garden Décor Group. As a strategy consultant to Timex Corporation in 2006, Bruce focused on supply chain, operational and organizational priorities. From 2002 to 2005, Bruce served as President and CEO of Dorel Juvenile Group, a subsidiary of Dorel Industries, Inc. Bruce has also served in senior executive roles at Black & Decker U.S., Inc. and Timberland. Bruce is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and received a Masters’ degree from George Washington University.

Neil Ayotte
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Neil joined Bluestem Brands in February 2018 from Medtronic, the world’s largest medical device company, where he most recently served as Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel for the Americas. Neil joined Medtronic in 2002 and held positions of increased management responsibilities, including serving a year as Interim General Counsel. Prior to Medtronic, Neil was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of a venture capital backed web services provider that merged with Web.com in 2002. Previously, Neil was a partner in the corporate and securities law practice group of Maslon, LLP. Neil received his law degree from the University of Minnesota, holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, and earned his BA from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Pete Michielutti
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Pete joined Bluestem Brands in July 2017. Prior to Bluestem, Pete was the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Christopher & Banks. Before he joined Christopher & Banks in 2012, Pete served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Whitehall Jewelers. From 2001 to 2006, Pete was the Chief Financial Officer at Wilsons Leather; from 1998 to 2001, he was the Head of Information Services at U.S. Bancorp. Pete served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Fingerhut Companies for three years in the 1990s, after having spent over 16 years at Household International. Pete graduated from DePaul University with a BS in Accounting.

Jackie Punch
Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer

Jackie joined Bluestem Brands in November 2017. Before Bluestem, Jackie was Vice President of Home Office Human Resources and Talent Acquisition for J.C. Penney in Plano, TX. Jackie has held several human resources executive positions including Chief Human Resources Officer at Archway Marketing, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at G&K Services, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Marshall Field’s/Macy’s, as well as positions of increasing responsibility over 18 years with Marshall Field’s, a former division of Target Corporation. She also was President of Punch HR Consulting, LLC. Jackie graduated from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) with a BA in Public Relations/Journalism.

Jim Slavik
Executive Vice President & President of Credit Services

Jim joined Bluestem Brands in August 2016. For six years prior to Bluestem, Jim was Chief Executive of Credit and Insurance for Edcon Ltd., southern Africa’s largest non-food retail group, which is owned by Bain Capital in Johannesburg, South Africa. Edcon managed 3.5 million in-store cards, accounting for nearly 50% of group retail sales. For nearly 20 years prior to Edcon, Jim held executive leadership roles for GE Capital in banking and insurance, as well as consumer-finance businesses in general management, operations, and financial roles in the USA, Europe, and Asia. Jim graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Finance.

Mark Williams
President, Northstar Portfolio

Mark joined Bluestem in August 2018. Prior to Bluestem, Mark was President Financial Services, SVP, Loyalty and Capability Marketing at Best Buy. During his 10 years at Best Buy, Mark led the expansion of the My Best Buy credit card program, which played a pivotal role in Best Buy’s turnaround. He also held responsibilities in the My Best Buy loyalty program, Geek Squad Marketing and Marketing Operations. Before Best Buy, Mark worked for General Electric’s GE Money division, where his roles included General Manager of HBC Credit Services, and VP of Marketing Strategy and Business Development. Originally from England, Mark came to the United States to build a consulting business for MasterCard Worldwide, after gaining experience with payments consulting across Europe.

Marc A. Kermisch
Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer

Marc joined the Company in June 2019 from Red Wing Shoe Co., the country’s leading provider of premium work boots and shoes. While at Red Wing Shoe, Mr. Kermisch served as Chief Information Officer and Vice President from November 2014. Prior to Red Wing Shoe, he spent 7 years at Target Corporation, a $70 billion national retailer in roles ranging from application development and infrastructure operations to security and program management. Prior to Target, Mr. Kermisch spent 5 years at The Hartford Financial Services helping transform their Individual Life Insurance business. Mr. Kermisch comes to the Company with further information technology related experience in the fields of High-Tech Software, Manufacturing, Retail and Public Utilities. Mr. Kermisch graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.