Jo-Ann Appoints Susan van Benten to the Role of SVP/GMM, Sewing

Announces new leadership in merchandising department with senior vice
president and two vice presidents

HUDSON, Ohio–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, the leading fabric and craft specialty
retailer, today announced an organizational change in the merchandising
department with the appointment of Susan van Benten as senior vice
president/general merchandise manager (SVP/GMM), sewing. She will report
to president and chief executive officer (CEO) Jill Soltau, effective
August 15, 2016.

“Susan has developed strong supplier relationships and a keen
understanding of our industry’s dynamics,” said Soltau. “She will be key
in implementing new merchandising fundamentals as part of our retail
strategy. Susan brings a passion for serving customers, and we are
thrilled to welcome her to the Jo-Ann leadership team.”

van Benten most recently served as chief merchandising and marketing
officer/senior vice president (CMO/SVP) with Hancock Fabrics, where she
led merchandising, marketing, planning, allocation and data integrity.
Previously, she was the SVP/GMM for Books a Million, VP/DMM with
Michaels and divisional merchandise manager (DMM) for Steinmart. van
Benten began her career in merchandising roles with regional chains in
both The May Company and Federated Department Stores. She holds a
Bachelor of Science Degree in Merchandising from Indiana University.

In support of this new merchandising structure, Mary Jo Schoenfeld and
Kathy Lacks are also joining Jo-Ann.

“I am excited to welcome Mary Jo and Kathy to the Jo-Ann team,” said
Soltau. “Over the course of their careers, they have proven themselves
to be accomplished leaders in an ever-changing retail environment, and I
am confident their knowledge and abilities will help us deliver the
right merchandising strategy for our customers at Jo-Ann.”

Schoenfeld is joining Jo-Ann as VP/DMM, seasonal/floral. She most
recently served as a DMM for Boot Barn Holdings, Inc., driving sales in
stores and eCommerce.

Previously, Schoenfeld served as the VP/DMM ladies/juniors/plus apparel
with Shopko Stores, where she was instrumental in fueling growth in the
Shopko Hometown small store growth format. She also held roles with
Sears, Roebuck and Co., Right Start Acquisition Company, and Robinsons
May/Meier & Frank, a division of May Department Stores.

Schoenfeld is a graduate of Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA where
she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration.

Kathy Lacks will serve as VP/DMM, trend craft. She most recently served
as VP/DMM, hardlines with Hancock Fabrics. At Hancock, Lacks led
merchandising strategy, sourcing and execution of the craft and
hardlines division.

Prior to Hancock, she was VP/DMM at Michaels, where she was responsible
for the improvement of revenue results for a wide array of
merchandise. She also brings experience as a buyer for Federated
Department Stores, Eric Chandler Merchandising Partners, Noggins/ABC
School Supply, Sportstown and Maas Brothers.

Lacks earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the
University of Alabama.

To learn more about Jo-Ann, visit

About Jo-Ann Stores, LLC

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, the nation’s leading fabric and craft
retailer with locations in 49 states, was founded in 1943 as a single
retail store. Today, approximately 850 Jo-Ann stores across the country
provide consumers all the fabrics, craft supplies and inspiration they
need, conveniently under one roof. For additional information, visit
To make creative connections, visit


Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
Beth Shivak