Steven Lightman – President of Harry and David
Steven Lightman serves as the President at Harry and David, including its Wolferman’s, Moose Munch and Stock Yards brands. Additionally, he sits on the boards for KEH Infogroup and Distinctive Apparel.
He joined Tucson company in 1982 as a partner of catalog distributor Fingerhut, later becoming president of Arizona Mail Order and creating Crosstown Traders; an apparel and gift catalog chain.
Early Life and Education
Lightman was always interested in both science and writing, winning numerous city and statewide science competitions while at White Station High School in Memphis.
After graduating from MIT, Lightman became a professor at Harvard and later Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In the mid 1990s, Lightman served on the committee that established communication requirements for undergraduates at MIT; additionally he cofounded Catalyst Collaborative with Central Square Theater of Cambridge that creates and sponsors plays that celebrate science culture.
His father was a movie theater owner who integrated his theaters during the civil rights movement in Memphis. Lightman’s mother was a ballroom dance teacher and volunteer Braille typist.
Lightman played an essential role in developing basic theories of astrophysical processes at extreme temperatures and densities, including new theories for accretion disks, stellar dynamics and radiative processes.
Prior to this position, he served as President and CEO of Crosstown Traders Tucson, comprising 11 women’s apparel catalog titles for women’s clothing, food, and gift products. Co-founded with JP Morgan Private Equity in 2002, Crosstown Traders was sold to Charming Shoppes in 2005.
Lightman has held senior roles at Boston Apparel Group, Orchard Brands and Sharper Image. Additionally, he serves on the boards of Gruppo Levey, KEH Infogroup and Distinctive Apparel; being active in community business and civic endeavors – as a graduate from University of Hartford Connecticut he remains active today.
Achievement and Honors
As a physicist, Lightman has made significant contributions to our understanding of astrophysical processes under extreme temperatures and densities. His research has been featured in Science 80, Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times and numerous other periodicals and books.
Since 2006, Dr. Alexander has served as a postdoctoral fellow in astrophysics at Cornell University, assistant professor of physics at Harvard University, senior research scientist with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, as well as founding the Catalyst Collaborative at MIT to sponsor plays that celebrate science culture.
His novels explore dichotomies between physical and spiritual worlds, skepticism and faith, science and art, among other themes. Einstein’s Dreams has become an international bestseller that has been translated into 30 languages as well as being used for independent theatrical, dance, and video productions worldwide.
At Fingerhut, Steve oversaw numerous due diligence and restructuring initiatives on behalf of private equity firms, while serving as Executive Vice President, Catalogs & Specialty Food for Harry & David, Wolferman’s, Moose Munch & Stock Yards brands.
Mr. Payne was one of the founding members of Arizona Mail Order (AMO). Additionally, he co-founded and served as President for Crosstown Traders – a collection of 11 women’s apparel, specialty food and gift catalog titles that was later purchased by Charming Shoppes in 2006.
Kelli Williams plays Dr. Gillian Foster, Lightman’s colleague in The Lightman Group. They share an informal agreement not to allow their professional skills to interfere with each other’s personal lives; unlike Torres who is considered an “innate” talent, Foster learned her trade through academic training and practice – adhering strictly to Radical Honesty, never lying even if it means losing clients or jobs.
Steven Lightman serves as President of Harry & David and its Wolferman’s, Moose Munch and Stock Yards brands. With more than 30 years of leadership experience in multi-channel marketing industry under his belt, he brings unparalleled expertise to this role.
Seemingly inspired by his 2-year-old nephew watching low-quality YouTube videos for entertainment, an uncle decided to start his own channel that soon evolved into Blippi – an educational show with youthful energy that proved popular with children and which eventually helped propel its expansion.
Prior to becoming president and CEO, Lightman founded Crosstown Traders catalog title and served in senior capacities at Fingerhut Companies and Arizona Mail Order. Additionally, he co-founded Sharper Image with Mark Sharperman before serving on their respective Boards of Directors as well as participating in community business and civic activities in his hometown of Baltimore.