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1 Thank you for the kind introduction. I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected for this award, and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Alumni Association, the Selection Committee, Chancellor Brady, Dean Banks, and Mary Ellen Boelhower. I certainly owe Mary Ellen a big thank you for her help through this process and arranging this wonderful evening. I m pleased that some very special people are able to attend tonight and share in this event with me. First, my family. My wife Linda, my son Tim, and my father in law, Mr. Jim Bellows. I would also like to acknowledge a number of my VF colleagues who are in attendance. Scott Moree, Tom Glaser, Rod Hewitt, Sandra Harris, Stuart Reichenbach,, Ann Wyrick, Mark Holt, Wickie Carroll, Randy Price, and Bruce Wiley. I want to acknowledge two other very special people who are not able to be here tonight, my parents, Boyd and Billie Rogers. It s rare for someone my age to still have both parents, and I feel blessed each day that they re still going strong and enjoying a peaceful life in their mountain home. 1

2 I want to share a short story with you now. In my office at VF, my desk faced a large map of the world, covered with many pins. These pins represented the places I had the opportunity to visit during the course of my 40+ years with VF. If one could go back and look at that map when I finished high school, you would have seen only 3 or 4 pins, all in North Carolina. You see, I grew up in Andrews, a very small rural community in the mountains of North Carolina, a pretty unlikely start to a map that s now so full of pins. I grew up, an only child, in a small four room house with my parents. My Dad went off to work every day at the railroad as a telegraph operator; my Mom was a stay at home Mom who provided a safe, loving, home for our small family. I was a very good kid, never getting out of line or in trouble. There is nothing inherent in my character or anything special about me in that way, but it was the circumstances in which I grew up. In addition to my great parents, my grandfather Papa Mulkey lived just across the street. My Aunt Josephine had a beauty salon over his garage. My Uncle James and his family lived beside us. My Grandmother Rogers lived 4 houses away. 2

3 I could go on..it seems that everyone in town was either a relative or close friend of the family. I couldn t do anything or go anywhere with being under close scrutiny. Linda, my wife, likens my childhood to Opie of Mayberry. I remind her, though, that Andrews had 3 stoplights and Mayberry had only one. So again, it seems pretty unlikely to me that I could start in that humble beginning, and end up with a map full of pins. What I know now is that that was a perfect start. I received grounding, support, love, the self confidence, and foundation upon which bigger things would come. But it wasn t always easy, and there were several key steps along the way to filling up that map. Going away to NC State University in Raleigh was a very big step. I had never been that far away from home. There were ten times more people in the University than in my home town. No longer was I a big fish in a small pond. However, I survived, getting an engineering degree, and landing a job with Blue Bell, the parent company of Wrangler jeans. Blue Bell was an international company, and I was fortunate enough to move 3

4 around a number of times during my time in the manufacturing organization, ending up as the head of manufacturing for Blue Bell Canada. Mayberry seemed far away some days. More pins for the map. Near what would turn out to be the end of my manufacturing career, I attended a management development program, the Young Executives Institute at UNC Chapel Hill. This program was in intensive six week mini MBA program, taught by the graduate faculty of the UNC Kenan Flagler business school. This, too, turned out to be one of those steps along the way to my ever expanding world. I left the experience hungry to learn more and raise my career aspirations. I developed a plan to become President of Wrangler, which then led to my enrollment into the Bryan School. My original goal was not an MBA; rather I was seeking knowledge in marketing, finance, economics, and the other disciplines I felt I needed to become President. But once I began classes, I became so motivated, challenged, and excited by the experience, I decided I really wanted to complete the program. The Bryan School 4

5 experience was another one of those life changers, and it provided many things that prepared me for the rest of my career at VF. First, functional knowledge. I remember being very stimulated and interested in Professor Martha McEnally s marketing classes, Sheldon Balbierier s finance class, and the economics learnings from Professor Stuart Allen. There were many other courses and professors who made a big impression on me. This was all new territory from my engineering and manufacturing experience. Another requirement of the Bryan experience was learning to manage time and the ability to multi task. Balancing a demanding day job, a family and young son at home, and the rigors of night class were a challenge. Perseverance and stamina helped. The program also was geared to develop leadership skills, and throughout the program I could feel my self confidence growing and my ability to make better analytical, fact based decisions. As much as I enjoyed my Bryan experience, it was a happy day when I 5

6 finished that last final exam, checked the last box, and collected my degree. About a year after completing the Bryan School, Wrangler was acquired by the VF Corporation, another one of those lifechanging events. Having the MBA on my internal resume led to opportunities within VF in the newly reorganized Wrangler world. Again, the self confidence sharpened by the Bryan experience took me places I wouldn t have gone otherwise. So, VF. As much as I loved Wrangler, the chance to work at VF certainly opened more doors. The opportunities, challenging assignments, and rewarding experiences were many. Armed with a strong background in manufacturing and engineering, time spent in Wrangler marketing, and a fresh Bryan School MBA, I was in good position to continue to enjoy stimulating work. For the next 14 years I was able to move progressively through the Operations area in Wrangler, and then the Jeanswear Coalition. 6

7 During that time, we went through a lot of change, moving manufacturing off shore, reducing inventory, developing vendor managed replenishment programs, reengineering business processes, forming coalitions, and implementing an ERP system. I was given the chance to move from the Jeanswear Coalition into a corporate role in 2000, after almost 30 years in Wrangler and the Jeanswear Coalition of VF. Another life changer, and chance for more pins. Those final 10 years turned out to be the most interesting, most challenging, and most rewarding of my career. I can remember stepping off the plane in Hong Kong for the first time. Man, it felt a long ways from Andrews! But, having a solid base and my MBA tucked away, I moved ahead confidently. (Often wrong but never in doubt ) During that time, VF transformed itself from a commodity business to lifestyle brand driven business, from manufacturer to a global sourcing company, from a slow growth to rapid growth firm. Significant increases in international business and owned retail were other key changes in VF. This transformation of the company certainly led to changes in our supply chain. In 2004 I was given the 7

8 chance to join VF s operating committee, and was given the assignment to form a global supply chain from what had been a model of each business coalition controlling their own supply. In this role I had involvement with VF s Board of Directors, reported to the CEO, and to develop an organization of 30,000 associates located around the world. My experiences included global strategic planning, support of growth, organizational design and development, vendor and customer relationship management, systems integration and capital management. During that time, VF s supply chain was transformed into a global organization, which subsequently achieved substantial product cost reduction, capital management, and speed tomarket benefits. During that time, VF grew from $5 billion to $11 billion in annual revenue. While I never achieved my goal of becoming Wrangler President, things worked out pretty well for me after all. The pins on the map pretty much tell the story. I have now moved into the next chapter of my life, having retired at the beginning of this year. While I miss seeing my 8

9 colleagues and friends, I m not missing the day s headaches that much, and enjoying my retirement. I m happy to report that my search for more pins is not over.linda already has plans for pins in Hawaii, the Mediterranean, the French Riviera, and so on! As I close, I would again like to thank the Bryan School and all concerned for this award. I am truly honored and humbled by the gesture and I hope I ve demonstrated what a prominent role the Bryan School played in my career. I congratulate you on the great school and exciting growth plans you have. One of the brightest pins on my map is the B school building on Spring Garden Street! Thank all of you again for attending this evening and sharing this with me. 9

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