Our Team


Cheryl Bridges
Interim Director & Executive Professor

MKTG 425, Retail Merchandising
MKTG 426, Advanced Retail Case Study

Cheryl Holland Bridges joined Mays Business School in 2003 following a successful career as a senior officer in the retailing industry.

She held senior vice president positions with Federated Department Stores, now Macy’; the corporate office in New York for Saks Fifth Avenue and other fine stores in the BATUS chain; Hallmark Cards; and Ashford.com.  Her expertise is in retail merchandising, product development, marketing and management.  Bridges teaches MKTG 425, a retail merchandising course she created; and MKTG 426, advanced retail case study.  From 2006 to 2014 she served as the Director of the Center for Retailing Studies in Mays Business School.  In 2009 Bridges was honored with the Distinguished Achievement in Teaching award at the college level, and again in 2012 at the university level by the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students.


Venkatesh Shankar
Director of Research, Center for Retailing Studies
Coleman Chair Professor of Marketing

Venkatesh (Venky) Shankar is Coleman Chair Professor of Marketing and Director of Research at the Center for Retailing Studies, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University. His areas of specialization include digital business, marketing strategy, innovation, retailing, international marketing, and pricing.

He has been recognized as one among the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thomson Reuters and as a Top 10 scholar worldwide on innovation. He is a three-time winner of the Krowe Award for outstanding teaching. He has been a visiting faculty at MIT, INSEAD, Singapore Management University, SDA Bocconi, Chinese European International Business School, and the Indian School of Business. He was selected as the 2014 Guru to deliver the Guruspeak lecture across India. He is a Research Fellow of Northwestern University’s Retail Analytics Council. Venky has a Ph.D. in marketing from the Kellogg School, Northwestern University.


Lauren Osborne
Program Manager, Center for Retailing Studies

Lauren joined the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) as Program Coordinator in 2013, and became Program Manager in 2016.

In this capacity, she oversees the planning, development and implementation of CRS programs including but not limited to: annual Retailing Summit in Dallas, two Retailing Career Fairs each year, Executive Professor Program, M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture Series and company showcase days. Lauren is the Advisor to the Student Retailing Association, one of the largest student groups within Mays Business School comprised of over 80 members, and helps the organization connect with company leaders and retail executives.  She is also a key liaison for CRS partners regarding campus engagement, recruitment, and sponsorship of the Center. Additionally, Lauren provides support to the M.B. Zale Leadership Scholar program and leads the group’s annual Market Tour in New York City over spring break. Lauren earned her degree from Texas A&M in 2006.


Andrew Vernon
Communications Specialist, Center for Retailing Studies

Andrew joined the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) in 2017.

In this capacity, Andrew helps make CRS world-famous. He oversees the creation of engaging and relevant content for articles, presentations, newsletters, social media, website, photography, and video for multiple audiences to promote the CRS brand. He handles visual, digital, print, and speaker content for the Retailing Summit. Additionally, Andrew manages the CRS database platform, ensures that CRS complies with Mays and Texas A&M brand standards, and serves on the Mays Communication Committee.

Andrew is a graduate of Texas A&M, where he earned a degree in Communication in 2007.


Mary Zimmer
Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing

MKTG 322, Consumer Behavior
MKTG 325, Retail Concepts & Policies