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This profile was last updated on 12/8/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Ms. Pamela Forbes Lieberman

Wrong Pamela Forbes Lieberman?

Chief Executive Officer

Phone: (773) ***-****  HQ Phone
TruServ Corporation
8600 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago , Illinois 60631
United States

Company Description: TruServ Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world's largest member-owned wholesale hardware cooperatives with revenue of $2 billion in 2003. The...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Evanston Township High School
  • B.S. , accounting
    University of Illinois , Champaign
  • M.B.A.
    Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University
  • M.B.A.
    Northwestern University J.L. Kellogg School of Management
  • MBA
    Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University
  • MBA
    Kellogg School of Business
  • MBA
    Kellogg School of Management
  • MBA
    Northwester University Kellogg Graduate School of Business
  • MBA
    Northwestern University's Kellogg School
  • bachelor's degree , accounting
    University of Illinois
  • bachelor's degree , n accounting
    University of Illinois Champaign
  • bachelor's degree , psychology
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • master of business administration degree
    Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management
  • master's degree , business administration
    Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University
  • master's of business administration
    Northwestern University J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management
200 Total References
Web References
Jo Napolitano » Private Sector; No, She Doesn’t Breathe Fire | Writer, reporter, editor [cached]
WHEN subordinates called Pamela Forbes Lieberman "the dragon lady" at her former job, she didn't balk at the name. She embraced it, and even hung a watercolor of a dragon in her office.
Ms. Lieberman, the chief executive of the hardware co-op TruServ, based here, makes no apologies for her management style: a bottom-line-driven mentality that has been credited with helping to restore the good name of her company three years after accounting problems nearly crippled it.
TruServ, which supplies inventory to its members, who own True Value hardware stores, lost $131 million and hundreds of investors in 1999 because of accounting errors. But after a revamping that called for the dismissal of top executives, a 5 percent staff reduction and the sale of Canadian holdings, TruServ, under Ms. Lieberman, is trying to pay its debts. So far, the numbers look good.
Ms. Lieberman, who joined the company as chief financial officer in March 2001 and became chief executive that July, said it has abandoned the accounting practices that led to the problems in 1999.
"With regard to the time the C.F.O. and myself were here, we gave clean certifications," Ms. Lieberman said in an interview.
Ms. Lieberman, 48, who started out at Price Waterhouse in 1975, is a Chicago native with an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She worked in the manufacturing and distribution industries for 26 years before joining TruServ.
Ms. Lieberman, whose mother and sister were opera singers, calls herself a workaholic, but she spends some of her free time at the Lyric Opera House here. Her husband, Stuart, is an avid golfer, but she has also had some luck on the green, once even hitting a hole in one.
She is not the type to sit at her desk sipping coffee and talking about her weekend, but she has been known to loosen up. At a recent conference in Colorado that included a karaoke night, she grabbed the microphone, hit the dance floor and belted out "We Are Family" with her top executives at her side.
"I don't think they really understood the changes in the economy, as well as members' buying patterns, and they didn't cut costs fast enough," Ms. Lieberman said.
Ms. Lieberman was soon on the phone with lenders, trying to renegotiate TruServ's debt. She immediately started cutting costs and even put the paint business up for sale. But when she was able to raise capital elsewhere, she took it off the market rather than sell it at a fire-sale price.
She was hired for her business acumen but says that lifting morale is just as important. She ends monthly executive meetings by playing the song "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now."
An animated speaker who makes sweeping hand gestures to emphasize her points, she also uses humor in meetings. She once asked top executives to meet at an ice rink at 6 a.m. dressed in full hockey gear to film an in-house commercial spoof about teamwork that was shown at a conference in Dallas. But she also has a hard-nosed approach that has helped weed out poorly performing employees.
"If they succeed, then they will be rewarded, but if they don't, then we're going to have to look for new people sitting in their chairs," she said recently, drinking bottled water in a conference room at the headquarters.
Employees and store owners hold her to the same standard. She was eager to lead the effort to turn around the company, but she knows that there are naysayers who question her as a leader.
Ms. Lieberman, the first woman to be chief executive of TruServ, a business with roots going back to the early 1900's, does not think of her gender as an obstacle.
"In a turnaround situation, it doesn't matter what the gender of the person is, as long as they can be successful," she said.
Coworkers say Ms. Lieberman is trying to rid her workplace of an industry "good ol' boy" mentality.
"She's a straight shooter," said Neil Hastie, who has known Ms. Lieberman for 11 years, starting when the two worked at Fel-Pro, an auto products company, and is now TruServ's chief information officer.
Ms. Lieberman has also worked to rebuild TruServ's image, starting with seeking better relationships with store owners.
Jay Weathers, a partner in a True Value store in Sacramento, said Ms. Lieberman has greatly improved communication between headquarters and members.
In the meantime, Ms. Lieberman visits wavering stores to try to keep them on board.
"There is nothing so broken here it can't be fixed," she said.
Pamela Forbes Lieberman, ... [cached]
Pamela Forbes Lieberman, Former President and CEO of Tru Serv Corporation
Board of Directors - VWR International, LLC [cached]
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
VWR Corporation - Audit Committee Charter - September 9, 2014 - VWR International, LLC [cached]
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
VWR Corporation - Audit Committee Charter - September 9, 2014 - VWR International, LLC [cached]
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
Pamela Forbes Lieberman
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