News release

The Middle Market Transformative CEO Features Build-A-Bear's Sharon Price John

Aug 29, 2018
Aug 29, 2018
0 min. read

Kimberly Bartok, National Public Relations Leader,, 212.372.1239
Andreia DeVries, National Public Relations Manager,, 954.449.8096
for media use only 

RSM US LLP (“RSM”) – the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – and The CEO Forum Group are pleased to announce the third episode of “The Middle Market Transformative CEO,” featuring guest Sharon Price John, president and CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. The episode, which aired over 25 nationally-syndicated AM radio stations on Sun., August 26, is now also available as a podcast.

Co-hosts Robert Reiss, founder and CEO of The CEO Forum Group, and RSM Chief Economist Joe Brusuelas, speak with Ms. John about the constantly changing environment of the retail industry and how to navigate the significant transformation that’s impacting the sector.

Some of the key topics discussed during this episode of “The Middle Market Transformative CEO” are: embracing change in an organization and why it can be necessary for success; entering new geographical markets effectively; licensing your brand and the potential coinciding benefits; identifying some of the current trends in the retail industry; distinguishing why retail is so critical to the economy; and evaluating opportunities and developing strategies for success in the future.

“When you start out trying to evaluate the best direction to take, you need to do assess where you have the greatest value,” said Ms. John, while explaining how to develop a vision and strategy for the future. “We believe that our greatest value is in the brand. One of the good ways to think about ‘pressure testing’ where your value may lie is, if you took one thing away, what would be the most critical thing for you to rebuild your company? Could I rebuild this company without my headquarters? Yes. Could I rebuild the company if I had to start over from scratch without the Build-A-Bear brand and the intellectual concept behind it? That’d be pretty tough, particularly because it’s not just about the brand awareness but about the brand affinity.”

“To me, once you assess where your value lies, you can start building out tactical aspects and putting capital behind those,” continued Ms. John. “That allows you to monetize your most valuable asset, which for us is the brand.”


RSM is the leading provider of professional services to the middle market. The clients we serve are the engine of global commerce and economic growth, and we are focused on developing leading professionals and services to meet their evolving needs in today’s ever-changing business landscape. Our purpose is to instill confidence in a world of change, empowering our clients and people to realize their full potential.

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