WWOM: Beth Cross

Beth Cross, co-founder and CEO of Ariat International, was born and raised on a working thoroughbred farm just outside of Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.  Beth received her BA from the University of Colorado in 1986, and her MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1988.

In 1990, Beth and co-founder Pam Parker, a classmate from Stanford GSB, met while working at Bain & Company in San Francisco. While focusing on strategic marketing and product development for Reebok, they saw an opportunity to apply the principles of athletic shoe technology and sports marketing to the equestrian footwear market.

In 1992 Ariat International was founded, and the first Ariat riding boots shipped in 1993.  Today, Ariat is the largest equestrian footwear and apparel brand in the world with over 6,500 retail locations and a team of 500 employees located in offices in Northern California, the UK, China, Mexico and Japan. Ariat continues to lead the market in designing, developing and manufacturing the most innovative footwear, apparel and denim for the world’s top equestrian athletes.

Beth was honored as Entrepreneur of the Year® 2018 in the Consumer Driven category by Ernst & Young. She is a member of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council and is a past member of the Stanford GSB Management Board. Beth currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Two Ten Footwear Foundation as well as the Compassion Institute.  She is also an active member of the Barbary Coast/Exiles Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Beth currently resides in San Mateo, CA with her husband, and they have three grown children.

 

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