Kendra Reichenau

Re-Release: Kendra Reichenau, CEO, Heartland America
ROI Podcast Episode 282

In CEO Podcast Series by Brandt A. HandleyLeave a Comment

Kendra Reichenau is CEO of Heartland America. She is a transformational Global Senior Executive with extensive experience leading well-known consumer-facing brands spanning multinational public companies to owner-operator and founder-led organizations. Strong track record of driving results in general management, omnichannel, merchandising, consulting, and strategy development. A clear communicator and developer of high-performing teams and a cross-functional collaborator with global teams, vendors,  customers, and investors. Known for solving problems, creative rebranding, commitment to the customer, and positioning businesses for innovative growth and potential sale. 


  • Extensive turnaround experience in the omnichannel consumer sector. 
  • Experience working with private equity including both sell and buy-side. 
  • Implemented ERP, warehouse management, and new web platforms. Deep experience in product development,  sourcing, and manufacturing. 
  • Recipient of leadership and product design awards including Women in Business Honoree Minneapolis/St Paul  Business Journal, (2019) and Corporate Leadership Award, Melanoma Research Foundation (2018). Member of private and non-profit boards of directors.  


Strategic Planning & Execution, Growth Leadership, Change Management, P & L Management, Forecasting,  Global Cross-Functional Team Leadership, Supply Chain Management, Lean Process Improvement, M & A, Integration  Strategies, Retail & Industrial Channel Management, Organization Development, Global Partnership Development,  Board of Directors, Product Innovation, Private Equity (PE), Transformational Leadership 


HEARTLAND AMERICA, Greater Minneapolis, MN 

Chief Executive Officer 2021 – present 

In business for 40+ years, Heartland America is a private consumer-based company with investors that sells a full range of end-of season retail products through catalog, phone, and digital to consumers nationwide. 130 employees, ~ $50M annual revenue. 

Hired to develop strategies and plans to turn around, stabilize, and grow the business. Report to the BOD Chair. 


Founder and CEO 2019 – present Support companies and PE firms to evaluate businesses with a focus on growth, opportunities, and customers. 

Work with multiple private equity firms to help with due diligence and identify opportunities for multiple companies in the consumer space. Successfully conducted a business unit analysis for CEO/Board to decide how to grow a division of a  $300M consumer-based company. 

COOLIBAR, Minneapolis, MN 

Chief Executive Officer 2014 – 2019 This mission-driven brand has introduced numerous innovative fabric technologies, raised standards in sun protective ratings, and designed a variety of UPF 50+ apparel. In 2016 the business was acquired by Olivarius Hospitality. 

Recruited to succeed the founder in 2014 to reposition the company for the next phase of growth.  

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP | STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT | CORPORATE ALIGNMENT | EXIT STRATEGY Collaborated with the BOD and senior leaders to develop strategy and implantation plans, budget, and portfolio.

Kendra Reichenau – page 2 

  • Led the business turnaround with a successful transaction to new ownership in 2016. 
  • Deployed significant change management and prioritization methods including new systems, implementation, ERP  integration, warehouse, and web platform. 
  • Led global growth including 200 retail and luxury resort wholesale accounts. Attained Double-digit growth for three consecutive years, with 100% growth in year five. 


  • Increased from 45 FTE employees to 100 global employees; added in-house production offices in Thailand and India. Migrated 50% of all production away from agents to in-house to improve margins, quality, and supply chain. Achieved strong growth by prioritizing e-commerce and Amazon businesses. 
  • Focused on growing new wholesale channels and strengthening core business, as well as identifying new product categories and brand partnerships. 
  • Built a strong online community through social media with a focus on education and support. Grew customer engagement by 300%. 


President, McGuire Furniture – San Francisco, CA 2011 – 2013 One of the largest privately-operated global firms with 48 divisions and ~$6.5B in annual revenue. 

Led turnaround, management, and growth of an international, omnichannel luxury furniture company in wholesale,  retail, manufacturing, and design. Managed a 300-member global team. 

  • Re-invigorated a 60-year-old heritage company known for high quality and beautiful design. Managed full P&L for two manufacturing plants, three unions, and 120 wholesale partners globally. Grew successful e-commerce and digital strategy. 
  • Won multiple design awards for new product launches. 
  • Created a strong foundation of sales and products for the successful sale of the company in 2015. 


Senior Vice President and General Manager – N3L Optics – Orange County, CA 2007 – 2011 Luxottica is a global leader in eyewear, with over 5,800 optical and sun retail stores in North America, Asia-Pacific, China, and Europe with a strong brand portfolio including Ray-Ban, the best-selling sun and prescription eyewear brand globally. 

Reported directly to the CEO of Oakley. Managed 70 employees with full P&L responsibility. Developed and launched an interactive, multi-branded sports performance sunglass retail concept. Grew the business to 10 locations when successfully transferred over to the Sunglass Hut division. Attained + 20% YoY store increase on 10% less inventory (2010). 

  • Created the branding, defined the consumer, and developed the PR/marketing strategy to drive awareness in national and local markets. Drove all assortments and visuals, and ensured field support and training. 

Senior Vice President and GMM – Sunglass Icon, division of Oakley, Inc. 

Responsible for the general management of a 125-retail inline and kiosk sunglass store chain. Created the vision for all marketing, merchandising, and field training and execution. 

  • Negotiated new terms and relationships with the vendor community. 
  • Improved margin by 1.5 pts. Grew revenue by 6% to over $80M business. 
  • Led the migration of all 125 locations to be re-branded under Sunglasses Hut name and systems once Oakley was purchased by Luxottica. 


Interim Executive and Consultant – San Francisco, CA
2004 – 2007 Worked with Board Members at Oakley, CEO of Gymboree, President of Dockers, and CEO of Crescent Jewelers to review existing product development processes, identify business opportunities, and implement organizational change.

Acting VP of Design for Dockers Women’s – Focused on improving fit and defining the design process by calendar month.

Acting GMM for Crescent Jewelers – Created a marketing plan, new brand image, and visual standard for all stores.  Reduced inventory by 20%; improved sales by 10%. 

Acting Head of Merchandising for Janeville (Gymboree) – Defined and clarified the customer, streamlined the product fits, and the go-to-market processes. 

GAP, INC., San Francisco, CA – Senior Director and Divisional Merchandise Manager – Women’s NORDSTROM, INC., Seattle, WA – Vice President, Brand Manager, Halogen  

ARTHUR ANDERSEN/KPMG, San Francisco CA – Manager  


SCRIPPS COLLEGE, Claremont, CA – Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science 


Women in Business Honoree – Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal 2019 

Corporate Leadership Award – Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) – 2018 

Several Design Awards for Product Launches – KOHLER COMPANY – McGuire Furniture 


CHIEF (National Executive Women’s Group) – Selected Member 2022 


Board Member– WASHBURN CENTER FOR CHILDREN, Minneapolis, MN (2021 – present) 

Board Member; Executive Committee – CRISTO REY HIGH SCHOOL, Minneapolis, MN (2015 – 2021) Board Member; Chair, Marketing Committee – IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ACADEMY – Cristo Rey (2009-2013)

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