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  • Michael J. Knell

Konkle to become Brick president, CEO in 2012

EDMONTON, Alberta — Vi Konkle will become president and CEO of the Brick Group on Jan. 1, succeeding current CEO Bill Gregson, who will then become executive chairman of the company's board.

Konkle joined The Brick, Canada's largest full-line furniture and appliance retailer, in February 2010 as president of business support and will take over the reins in accordance with the company's succession plan.

"Since joining The Brick, Vi has demonstrated strong leadership and retail acumen and has had a major impact in her areas of responsibility," Gregson said in a statement. "I am confident that she will lead the Brick team to continued growth, profitability and relevance to the Canadian customer."

Prior to joining The Brick Group, Konkle held a number of positions with Wal-Mart Canada, including chief operating officer. She also held senior executive positions with Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Ron D. Barbaro, who has been board chairman since The Brick went public as an income trust in 2004, will step down. He also chairs The Brick's two subsidiaries, Trans Global Insurance Co. and Trans Global Life Insurance Co.
Barbaro said he intends to seek re-election as a director at the company's annual meeting on May 12.

"Ron has been a great asset to The Brick over the years," Gregson said. "His experience and insight has been invaluable in making The Brick the leading furniture retailer in Canada."

Gregson succeeded Kim Yost - now president of Warren, Mich.-based retailer Art Van Furniture - as CEO in July 2009 and oversaw the company's transition from an income trust to a publicly held corporation.

"I have really enjoyed my time at The Brick," said Gregson. "We have built a fantastic team and I am thrilled to be continuing to contribute to The Brick in this new capacity."

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