by John Russel Jones

Retail and digital veteran Karen Ryder has joined Dallas Market Center as Chief Operating Officer, the company has announced. Ryder, who has been consulting for the company for several months, is responsible for overseeing marketing, retail development, market services, IT, and digital. She brings experience in retail, brand development, and technology to her new role. She reports to president and CEO Cindy Morris.

“This is a pivotal moment for the future of our company,” said president and CEO Cindy Morris. “As we evolve to meet the changing demands of our customers, Karen’s background in technology, brand development, and growth strategies will be invaluable. She’s a proven leader who has demonstrated the ability to advance corporate goals while also serving customers and developing talented leaders. Our continuing focus on growing buyers and brands, supported by technology, will benefit from her knowledge and expertise.”

Ryder joins Dallas Market Center during unprecedented growth in buyers visiting the marketplace and new brands taking space in its 5 million square foot collection of buildings. The marketplace has recently debuted more than 50 new or expanding showrooms, held market events that are larger than in numerous years, and welcomed a record number of new buyers from around the world with the largest growth coming from the southeast, upper midwest, and western U.S.

“I’m pleased to join a company motivated to create new pathways to growth supported by a strong family legacy and marketplace momentum,” said Karen Ryder. “I’m also looking forward to advancing our mission of inspiration and commerce in innovative ways. This business is driven by great products and people with a remarkable entrepreneurial spirit, so I view the opportunity to work together with such important stakeholders as the chance of a lifetime.”   

Ryder brings to the position an impressive background that includes brick-and-mortar retail and digital. She previously served in positions including VP of Growth for Michaels, Global Head of Brand & Retail at RewardStyle (now LTK), and Director of Global Innovation and Corporate Strategy at the Estee Lauder Companies.