ATLANTA – July 18, 2023 – Mud Pie, leading gift manufacturer, announces the retirement of the company’s president, Fred Pannek, after nearly 20 years of service. Pannek has made the decision to retire after the summer markets have concluded, and will stay on in an advisory capacity.
During his tenure, Pannek has played a pivotal role in the success and growth of the company, contributing significantly to its achievements and establishing a solid foundation for future endeavors. Under Pannek's leadership, Mud Pie has experienced remarkable milestones, including tenfold sales growth, the introduction of sourcing and manufacturing in India, creation of a direct-to-consumer business, and countless industry awards and accolades. His unwavering commitment, strategic vision, and dedication to excellence have been instrumental in positioning Mud Pie as a market leader in the gift and home décor industry.
Succeeding Pannek in the position of president is Zander Brekke, the company’s current executive vice president and general counsel. Brekke has been with Mud Pie for more than seven years and has been instrumental in developing the company’s organizational structure, creating standard operating procedures, and overseeing all legal aspects of the company. Brekke received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University.
Brekke has shown exceptional leadership abilities during his time with Mud Pie and has played a key role in developing the company’s executive team, overseeing sales channels, streamlining distribution center operations, implementing a human resources team, and supervising product safety and testing.
In this new capacity, Brekke will oversee each department within the organization and will create and implement strategy, enabling the company to capitalize on emerging opportunities and overcome challenges in an ever-evolving business landscape.
Marcia Miller, Mud Pie’s founder and chief executive officer notes, “Fred’s retirement is bittersweet. He has been my right hand for almost two decades and has helped grow the business to a scale that is greater than I could have imagined. His well-rounded business background, coupled with his expertise in product development, has proven invaluable, and he has been a trusted advisor and dear friend. I am thrilled that Fred is staying on in an advisory capacity and has been able to spend time mentoring Zander and imparting wisdom on the entire leadership team. I am proud of Zander’s personal and professional development over the last seven years, and have tremendous confidence in his capabilities as president.”
The entire Mud Pie family wishes to express sincere gratitude to Pannek for his exceptional contributions, remarkable achievements, and unwavering dedication throughout his tenure. Pannek leaves behind a lasting legacy, and the entire organization extends best wishes for a fulfilling and enjoyable retirement.
About Mud Pie
Mud Pie is a home décor and lifestyle brand founded in 1988 with 10 home items, and has since expanded to design, manufacture and distribute thousands of new products each season across three divisions: Home, Kids and Women. Mud Pie is a female-founded and operated company headquartered in Atlanta, GA, selling to over 12,000 specialty retailers nationwide and directly to consumers at www.mudpie.com.