Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her 30+-year career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. Today there are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide, including company-owned stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, and franchise stores in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, Mexico and the Middle East. The company extends its in-store interactive experience online with its award winning virtual world at bearville.com®. In 2011 Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list for the third year in a row. Maxine’s first book “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart” was published in 2006.