Bill Bradley joined Schnuck Markets, Inc. as its chief Marketing and Communications officer, leading the company’s newly merged marketing, communications and customer insights team.
Bradley, who was honored as the St. Louis American Foundation’s 2019 Corporate Executive of the Year, will begin on August 3 after nearly three decades with Anheuser-Busch, where his most recent role was vice president, Community Affairs. Previously he was senior director of Corporate Social Responsibility and held key positions in brand and special event marketing.
“I’ve known Bill for more than 20 years and cannot express how excited I am to have him join Schnucks where he will thrive in our culture and with our team,” said David Peacock, Schnucks president and chief operating officer.
“We know customers are determining where they shop based on their emotional connection to retailers – making our brand’s message and community focus more critical than ever – and Bill’s expertise and leadership is paramount as we leverage these core areas.”
Talking about a previous promotion at Anheuser-Busch, Bradley told The American, “You want to continually be challenged. A new challenge is very interesting to me,” which would help to explain this move as well.
“I am very proud of the contributions that I have made at Anheuser-Busch over the last 28-plus years, and will miss the day-to-day interactions with colleagues and business partners, many of whom are also personal friends,” he told.
“However, I am very much looking forward to joining the Schnuck Markets team and working hard every day for my new teammates, our customers, and the communities that we serve.”
Bradley grew up in North St. Louis (“basically on the corner of Marcus and Labadie,” he told The American in 2016) for the first nine years of his life, before his family moved to Spanish Lake. Central Baptist Church was his home church. His father, William Bradley Sr., was a St. Louis city police officer for 35 years. His mother, Amanda Bradley, was a registered nurse for the City of St. Louis.
“Most of that time she worked for the old Homer G. Phillips Hospital,” he said. “So, I grew up in a household of civil servants, really.”
He went to high school at Hazelwood Central, then earned his associate’s degree from St. Louis Community College – Forest Park, where he also played baseball. His bat and glove were critical to his transferring to Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, where he graduated with a degree in business (with an emphasis in marketing).
He was recruited to Anheuser-Busch by Lincoln Scott, an African-American human resources professional who exercised at the Vic Tanny health club where Bradley worked shifts while he tried, and failed, to make it as a professional baseball player. The time spent pulling shifts at the gym was not wasted professionally, however.
“It was a great bridge for me coming from being a college athlete, being very comfortable in that environment,” Bradley said. “It taught me some interpersonal skills from a business standpoint, some selling skills that I did not previously have.”
Bradley attributed his success to “keeping my head down, going about my job and treating people the way I want to be treated. For the most part, that’s worked out for my professional and personal lives.”
His current board member service includes the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Chapter, United Way of Greater St. Louis, COCA and Guns ‘N Hoses.
“Growing up, my parents exposed me to doing things for other people. So, it's really kind of a natural fit for me,” Bradley said. “It's very comfortable for me helping others. Service to others can certainly be in many ways more rewarding for the servant than for the people who are being served.”