Spotlight: Anne Broholm, CEO, AheadPublished June 11, 2012
Headwear, apparel and accessories company Ahead recently named Anne Broholm chief executive officer. Broholm joins Ahead after nearly seven years with Cutter & Buck, most recently serving as global director of golf sales. Her past roles also include time with Imperial Headwear, Liz Claiborne, Ocean Pacific and O’Neill. Broholm spoke with staff writer Brandon McClung.
■ New title: Chief executive officer, Ahead.
■ Previous job: Global director of golf sales, Cutter & Buck.
■ First job: A summer job as a cashier in a Mexican food concession stand at Elitch Gardens, our local amusement park.
■ Education: Bachelor of science, merchandising, Colorado State (1986); MBA, University of Colorado (2000).
■ Resides: Permanent residence in Denver, with husband Tom and four-legged son Luigi; secondary residence in Mattapoisett, Mass.
■ Executive most admired: Condoleezza Rice, for her extraordinary accomplishments in so many areas. I also have had the pleasure of working closely with and truly admire Annika Sorenstam.
■ Favorite vacation spot: Anywhere tropical with water and plenty of sun, or Italy.
■ Last movie seen: “The Descendants.”
■ Favorite movie: “The Sound of Music.”
■ What will be the biggest challenge in your new position?
Taking Ahead from being an entrepreneur-owned company into the next chapter in its history. I am only the second CEO in the company’s history since the company’s founding in 1995. There will be a balance to be achieved between driving growth and moving the company forward while at the same time not completely abandoning the great legacy and culture the company has developed under its original founder and CEO, Ken Shwartz.
■ What is the biggest risk you've taken in your career?
Accepting a position at Liz Claiborne in my 20s and moving to New York all in two weeks’ time. That decision was certainly a pivotal point in my career, although at the time I did not realize that and made this decision in a very carefree manner.
■ What is your biggest professional accomplishment?
I’d have to say being named as CEO of Ahead.
■ What is your biggest professional disappointment?
It may sound corny, but I always look at those “40 Under 40” lists and think if I had just been a little more serious about my career in my 20s, who knows? While I’ve always been career-minded, I spent some of those years really enjoying life, which I guess is what you are supposed to do, right?
■ What is one element that you would like to change about the sports industry?
I think there is always room for more women in the sports industry. In golf specifically, I look at Donna Orender, former WNBA president, who is currently leading the Golf 2.0 initiative to get more women into the game, and Cindy Davis, president of Nike Golf, as two great examples of women who are making things happen in a traditionally male industry.