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Deborah Chaves

Director of Operations

A little about me. I must admit I do have a competitive edge, but this ambition acts as an internal driver. I grew up in Southern California, but I learned to love the outdoors from regular family trips to Idaho. My love for ice skating also started in Idaho at the age of four, and I later achieved a gold medal from the United States Figure Skating Association in Ice Dancing.

I went to the University of Arizona on a dance scholarship and later moved to San Francisco to dance for a professional modern company. During this time, I was considered a "poor starving” artist. So, one day my mother and I visited Nordstrom to buy a coat, which turned into me being offered a full-time sales position. Here is where my retail career began.

My career started with customer service, and have viewed this as the core of any position I have held. The coat I had purchased launched into a 20-year career at Nordstrom and a move to Seattle to develop a planning organization. Over these years I developed a Replenishment program, Merchandise Planning organization, and partnered with other divisions on key strategies which led to becoming the Sr. Director of Nordstrom Product Group for Planning and Finance. Nordstrom is in my core, but an opportunity arose for me to develop the Merchandise Planning organization at Recreational Equipment, Inc (aka REI). This is where I learned that gear matters. 

After almost three years at REI, I had the amazing opportunity to leave corporate America and focus on family.

As the kids aged, I began to miss the leadership role and delivering results. I learned about True North Gear, and the brand resonated with me. It pulled together my love for customer service as well as keeping customers safe through gear. It felt right.

My experience is deep in Strategic Planning, Operational Management, Merchandise Planning, Product Management, Private Label Planning, and People Development. What motivates me is a dynamic team where we learn from each other and focus on continuous improvement to create superior customer experiences. My days are spent communicating with the team (Warehouse, Customer Service, Planning, and Production), customers, improving processes, and engaging in future strategies through an Operations lens. I remain focused on balancing risk and opportunity to achieve optimal results.

When I am not working, I enjoy adventures and being in the great outdoors. But, most of all, I just like to be with my family.