Build-A-Bear founder to speak on entrepreneurship for Assembly Series

Maxine Clark, chair, CEO and founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop, will respond to questions about entrepreneurship in today’s economy for the Assembly Series at 5 p.m. Feb. 5 in Graham Chapel.

The event is co-sponsored by the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Olin Business School as well as several organizations outside WUSTL.

Following the discussion, Clark and Ken Harrington, director of the Skandalaris Center, will present the Olin Cup to the winners of a student competition. (For more on the Olin Cup competition, go to

The goal of the center and the Olin Cup competition is to harness WUSTL’s entrepreneurial potential and that of the St. Louis region by using three tools: collaboration, learning and funding.

Clark will answer questions from colleagues on stage as well as from the audience. Questions may be submitted in advance to

Clark’s entrepreneurial enterprise was founded in 1997 in St. Louis and is the only company, with more than 400 locations worldwide, to offer an interactive “make your own stuffed animal” retail entertainment experience.

Build-A-Bear also operates “make-your-own Major League Baseball mascot” in select stadium locations as well as Build-A-Dino stores. The company’s most recent honor, announced Jan. 22, includes a ranking on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list.

Clark’s extensive retail career has included president and chief merchandising officer of Payless ShoeSource and key management and merchandising positions throughout May Department Stores in areas including merchandise development, planning and research and in marketing.

Clark serves on the boards of a number of organizations, including the J.C. Penney Co., Sara Lee Corp., Teach for America St. Louis Chapter and BJC Healthcare.

Clark is a member of the WUSTL Board of Trustees and a member of Olin Business School’s National Council. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.

Assembly Series talks are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call 935-4620.