• Home
  • >
  • Dara A Meath, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop

Dara A Meath, Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Build-A-Bear Workshop

Describe your career to date

I am the Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer at Build-A-Bear Workshop, where I hold responsibility for shaping the company’s global strategy, overseeing development initiatives, and ensuring cross-functional delivery of their portfolio. I am an active participant on several advisory boards, a sought-after global speaker, and a prolific technical and business writer.  

Before my tenure at Build-A-Bear Workshop, I was Divisional CIO and Head of Digital Development at Conair LLC. At Conair, I orchestrated a successful digital transformation by fostering an agile approach, prioritizing data-driven strategies, and crafting digital solutions that aligned with the company’s strategic objectives.  

Other prior experiences include serving as Vice President of Technology at Camuto Group LLC and Director of System Implementation at Apparel Business System. In these roles, I undertook the transformation of companies, implementing and advising on both existing and novel technology platforms.  

I have been instrumental in designing bespoke application architectures to support comprehensive business solutions, overseeing custom modular applications, project management, application training, and implementation plans. With over 25 years of experience, I am regarded as a distinguished leader who has demonstrated expertise in managing diverse product portfolios and strategies. My collaborative approach with channel partners has been pivotal in propelling technology innovation forward.

How are you developing the data literacy of your organization, including the skills of your data teams and of your business stakeholders?  

Preparing artificial intelligence (AI) for Build-A-Bear is a combination of talent and skill development, strategic planning, and culture change to AI adoption. Regular reviews of the company’s business needs and identify areas where AI can bring significant value. I am working to align AI initiatives with the overall strategic goals of the organization, and we have developed a comprehensive long-term roadmap for AI adoption, outlining milestone requirements, resources, and expected outcomes.  

We provide education and workshops to increase AI literacy and awareness. This allows us to build a culture of experimentation and innovation. Our goal is to make sure that employees understand how AI can augment their roles and contribute to overall business success. 

What role do you play in building and delivering conventional AI solutions, including machine learning models? Are you involved in your organization’s adoptions of generative AI? 

I am leading and developing a robust data strategy, emphasizing the importance of high-quality, accessible, and secure data for AI initiatives. My goal is to support a cross-functional collaboration with all departments and to work closely with data scientists, data engineers, and other stakeholders to establish data governance practices that ensure ethical and compliant use of data. 

How are you preparing your organization for AI adoption and change management? 

Communication is the key in preparing for AI adoption and change management! We are working on plans and talking openly about what AI means to the business, what areas are essential to start, and how to use it with proper governance. 

Dara A Meath
has been included in:
  • 100 Brands 2024 (USA)