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Thomas Mitchell
IU Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design

Last modified: Tuesday, February 13, 2007

CEO of Sears Holdings Corporation to speak at Whittenberger Auditorium

Feb. 13, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Aylwin B. Lewis, chief executive officer and president of Sears Holdings Corporation, will visit the Indiana University Bloomington campus for a free, public presentation on March 1.

Aylwin Lewis

Aylwin Lewis

Sponsored by the Indiana University Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design (AMID) and the Merchandising Education and Resource Center, Lewis' presentation is open to all IU students, faculty, staff and interested community residents. The event will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Entitled "Sears Holdings Corporation: The $55 Billion Start-Up Company," Lewis' presentation will focus on the challenges his firm faces as they integrate the 2005 merger of Kmart and Sears. Sears Holdings Corporation is now the nation's third largest retailer, with approximately $55 billion in annual revenues, and 3,800 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada. In addition to his remarks, Lewis will address audience questions.

"We are honored to welcome one of America's leading business executives to the Bloomington campus," says Janis Shaffer, senior lecturer in the AMID department and director of the Merchandising Education and Resource Center. "Mr. Lewis will share his insight for how we can practically recognize and embrace innovation and change to achieve our professional and personal goals. Students and other attendees will find his conversational and approachable manner to be especially interesting."

Prior to being named to his current position in September 2005, Lewis was president of Sears Holdings and chief executive officer of Kmart and Sears Retail following Sears' acquisition of Kmart Holding Corporation. Prior to that acquisition, he had been president and chief executive officer of Kmart. He has also served as chief multi-branding and operating officer of YUM! Brands, Inc., a franchisor and licensor of KFC, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and A&W, and as chief operating officer of Pizza Hut.

Lewis is a member of the board of directors of Sears Holdings Corporation and The Walt Disney Company. He received undergraduate degrees in business management and English literature, and a master's in business administration, from the University of Houston, as well as a master's degree from Houston Baptist University.

Indiana University's Department of Apparel Merchandising and Interior Design ( is a multidisciplinary academic environment within the university's College of Arts and Sciences that helps motivated students shape their futures in retail and design fields. The department's educational programs offer a blend of academic theory combined with practical knowledge and skill-building techniques to encourage critical, independent thinking by students and prepare graduates to be leaders in their chosen fields. Located in Memorial Hall on the IUB campus, AMID enrolled more than 450 undergraduate majors in the fall 2006 semester.