Indianapolis-based Herff Jones, a provider of graduation and educational products and services, has hired Jeff Blade as its chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Blade most recently served as interim senior vice president and COO at Bradley University in Illinois.
The company says Blade will take over day-to-day responsibilities for finance, the execution of the corporate strategy and program management office. He will also be responsible for business processes that support the company’s transformation initiatives.
“With an eye towards a return to normalcy post vaccine by the fall of 2021, and strong confidence in our supply chain, we look forward to making further investments in innovation and technology – as well as an expanded sales footprint – in 2021 to better serve the nation’s schools and to help improve the lives of more than 55 million kids in K-12 and 19 million students in college,” said Steve Down, president of Herff Jones. “Jeff is a multi-dimensional leader who brings to the table a wealth of experience working in fast-paced, complex organizations in highly competitive, consumer-facing industries.”
Blade will report to Down, as well as John Hutchinson, executive vice president and CFO of Herff Jones parent Varsity Brands.
In addition to his experience at Bradley, Blade also previously held leadership roles at international and national brands such as Vera Bradley Inc. (Nasdaq: VRA) in Fort Wayne and Steak ‘n Shake in Indianapolis.