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Alumni and Friends Directory

Dave Finnegan

Dave Finnegan

Title: CIO/VP of Information and Interactive

Company: Orvis

Location: St. Louis, Missouri

Educational Background:

BS, Business Information Systems, Utah State University, 1997

Huntsman School Interactions:

"Build A Career" Speaker - September 29, 2010
Business Week 2010 Networking Dinner - September 29, 2010


Dave Finnegan joined Build-A-Bear Workshop in December 1999 as director of inbearmation technology and was named Chief Information Bear in January 2007, adding logistics responsibilities in March 2009. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Finnegan held information systems management positions at Novell, Inc. in Provo Utah and Interchange Technologies Inc. in St. Louis, Missouri.

Under Mr. Finnegan’s leadership, Build-A-Bear Workshop launched in December 2007 as an extension of the company’s in-store experience with enhanced games, imagination, education, and learning. Today, there are over 15 million online characters in The company launched its online Jr. CyBearGuide program in October 2008 and the following year, in October 2009, introduced a comprehensive educational outreach program on internet safety for kids and their parents to help prevent cyberbullying in the online space. As part of the outreach, over 165,000 kids have taken the stop cyberbullying pledge and over 200,000 have taken the Cyber Safe Quiz online and the campaign has garnered over 70 million media impressions.

In 2009 Build-A-Bear Workshop received the 2009 WiredKids Best of the Web Award sponsored by and was included in WiredSafety’s StopCyberbullying Toolkit for Schools, a free resource sponsored by industry leaders. The company has also earned the Socially Safe Seal and Socially Safe Kids Seal from, for its Web site and virtual world. Build-A-Bear Workshop was also recently honored by with the 2010 Stop Cyberbullying Award.

Expanding on the company’s commitment to internet safety, in June of this year, Dave was invited to Washington D.C. to provide testimony to a legislative subcommittee on the topic of cyber-safety. The Congressional Hearing on Healthy Families and Communities was convened to explore the topic of cybersafety and specifically asked Dave to address industry best practices and background on the company’s award-winning corporate efforts in the areas of cyber-safety education and outreach. Dave testified along with several other experts on the panel including well-known cyber-lawyer, Parry Aftab, and daytime syndicated talk show host and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw to discuss legal aspects of the issue of cyber safety and to provide helpful advice to parents, their kids, and teachers.

Under Dave’s leadership, the company has received numerous awards for outstanding service, including the RIS Outstanding Achievement Quick Growth award 2004, and the RIS Fusion Award in 2005 which recognizes organizations that successfully blend business objectives with technology. In December 2005, Dave was nominated as one of the top 10 retail information technology ‘influentials’ by Retail Information Systems magazine.

In addition to Dave’s management role in the company, he is also vice-president of the Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the company that provides in-kind support and funds to charitable causes throughout the United States.

Related Huntsman News Articles:

From Build-A-Bear to Orvis (Huntsman Alumni Magazine Fall 2014)