Gordmans CEO chose UMSL for accounting program, outstanding value
Andrew Hall looks back on his days at the University of Missouri–St. Louis with fond memories.
“What I liked about UMSL was the real emphasis on education,” says Hall, who earned a degree in accounting in 1983. “I’ve always been thankful to the professors for the outstanding education I received.”
In August 2014, he became president and chief executive officer of Gordmans, an Omaha-based apparel and home décor chain. He is the first non-family member to lead the company.
“Thinking back, there were many professors who made an impression on me,” Halls says. “Dave Ganz, Jim Krueger, Jack Cox and Wayne Winter to name just a few. They provided their students with not only an education but the real-world tools needed to be successful.”
While attending McCluer North High School in Florissant, Mo., he knew his future included accounting, and he began looking at colleges and universities to see where he could find the accounting program that best fit him.
“UMSL was the obvious choice,” Hall says. “The strong accounting and business program, location and value proposition made it an easy decision.”
After graduation, he spent 10 years at Arthur Andersen, at the time one of the “Big 8” accounting firms. Hall was then recruited away by his largest client, May Department Stores. His time at May included stints with the operating divisions in Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Houston. Hall ended his May career as the chairman of Foley’s, the May division in Houston.
“What I like about the retail environment is that it is a very dynamic business, and you learn something new every day,” he says.
Since taking the helm of Gordmans, which operates 102 stores in 22 states, Hall has put the company’s focus back on its “everyday value price market proposition” and has launched an e-commerce website.
“In 2015, we made tremendous improvement in our comparable store sales trend,” he says. “The launch of our e-commerce site has helped increase sales and makes our products more convenient and accessible for our guests.”
Even with his busy schedule and the long distance between his job in Nebraska and UMSL, Hall has continued to support his alma mater.
“I think it’s important to give back to UMSL,” he says. “I credit the university for helping me achieve my goals, and I hope that I can help others to do the same.”
This article originally appeared in the spring 2016 issue of UMSL Magazine.
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