The three nominees for election as Class I directors are Robert E. Creager, R. Stephen Stagner and William E. Watts, each of whom is currently a Class I director and each of whom has agreed to serve as a director if elected.
Mr. Stagner, as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, is not an independent director under the NASDAQ Rules.
R. Stephen Stagner is the Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
Mr. Stagner became the Company's Chief Operating Officer in January 2005 as a result of the merger between Mattress Firm and his former Mattress Firm franchise, Elite Management Team, or Elite.
From February 2006 until his promotion in February 2010, Mr. Stagner served as the Company's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
He was promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer in February 2010 and has served as a Director of the Company since February 2010.
In connection with the Company's acquisition of The Sleep Train, Inc. on October 20, 2014, Mr. Stagner became the Company's Chief Executive Officer.
From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Stagner was the Chief Executive Officer of Elite.
Mr. Stagner has 22 years of experience in the bedding industry, including employment with mattress manufacturers Sealy Corporation and Simmons Bedding Company, and owning and operating the largest franchise in the Mattress Firm network while with Elite.
Mr. Stagner has also served in various capacities with the Mattress Firm Foundation, including as its President since January 2011 and director from January 2007 until December 2010.
Since October 2009, Mr. Stagner has served as director of Rusche College of Business Advisory Council at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Mr. Stagner also currently serves on the TGEN Advisory Board and the Board of Mattress Firm Foundation.
Mr. Stagner's experience as the Company's Chief Executive Officer, and his former experience as Chief Operating Officer, coupled with his in-depth knowledge of the Company's industry, led to the conclusion that he should serve as a director of the Company.
R. Stephen Stagner
Carlsen and Stagner
are described above under "Corporate Governance—Directors Continuing in Office."