Executive Vice President – Stores & Wholesale
Barry Kelley is a 30-year veteran of the marine industry, having spent the last 24 years leading West Marine stores, wholesale and direct sales teams. He joined West Marine in 1989 in Southern California as a Store Associate, and was soon called upon to support the company’s expansion on the East Coast. Barry and his wife moved to South Florida, where he took on the role as the first District Manager of the Southeast Region. He was soon promoted to Southeast Regional Vice President and under his management the region grew quickly from the original 5 stores to well over 100. By 2005, the Southeast Region had grown to the largest volume sales region with over 140 stores in 10 states. In addition, the Southeast region had the highest wholesale growth for 7 years running. Managing this incredible wholesale growth made Barry the ideal candidate for the position of Vice President of Port Supply, West Marine’s wholesale division. In 2012, Barry was promoted to Senior Vice President, leading both the Port Supply Team as well as the Shared Services organization. In December of 2013, Barry was promoted to Executive Vice President of Stores and Wholesale. A lifelong boater, Barry equally enjoys a good day sailing or one spent offshore fishing. He currently enjoys life on the central coast with his wife Penny and three children.
Vice President – Human Resources
Deb Ajeska has been with West Marine since 1999. In April 2016, Deb was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources where she is responsible for West Marine’s people strategy. This includes recruiting, maintaining excellent Quality of Work Life, training and leadership development, succession planning, compensation, benefits, legal compliance, payroll and safety programs and tools.
Prior to joining the Human Resources team, Deb developed her strong leadership skills and business acumen by serving in various roles in our Finance division and most recently was our Divisional Vice President of Finance and Controller. Prior to joining West Marine, she held various positions at Household Credit Services.
Deb has a B.S. degree in Accounting from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. She grew up in Virginia fishing on the James River, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and discovering her love of waterlife activities on the many beaches and coastlines of the Hampton Roads and Tidewater areas. She and her husband enjoy getaways to the mountains of California where they kayak and spend time on and around the water with their two boys.
Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President - Information Technology an eCommerce
Virginia Wright joined West Marine as our Chief Information Officer, Senior Vice President in 2014. She brings more than 20 years of technology experience, with 14 years in the retail industry.
Virginia joined West Marine from Ascena Retail Group where she served as the Vice President, Divisional CIO for their flagship brand, Justice & Brothers, a specialty retail brand focused on the Tween market, girls and boys between the ages of 9-13 years old. While at Justice, she created a three year technology refresh roadmap, opened international franchises in Mexico and Japan, updated the hardware in the stores, implemented video devices in all stores and participated in the design, development and implementation activities of Tradestone and OrPOS.
Her experience includes Kohl's Department Stores where as Vice president, Customer Facing Systems she was responsible for the systems that enabled the five customer facing channels: POS, eComm, In-Store Kiosk, Mobile and Social. She brings deep store knowledge and digital commerce experience in addition to omni-channel and multi-channel planning. She offers a broad perspective, an analytical mind and an absolute passion for the customer experience.
Additional experience includes: Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Charles Schwab, Kaiser Permanente and GTE North.
Virginia has a Master of Science from Ball State University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Coming back to California, she is looking forward to updating her sailing skills and being on the water year round.