Founder and Executive Chairman
Richard ("Rich") Balot founded ABC Phones of North Carolina, Inc. (dba: Victra) in October of 1996 as a freshman in college. Under his guidance the company has grown from single store location to over 1,145 store locations across 45 states, and annual sales exceeding $1.5 billion. Victra has become Verizon’s largest exclusive premium retailer and Rich is considered a thought leader within the industry and among his peers. Rich is an active member in Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and on the local council board of the Boy Scouts. He also volunteers with numerous local charities, participating with his family. Rich holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from East Carolina University.
Rich is married and has four children. He enjoys spending time with his family; watching his children play sports and gymnastics.
Chief Executive Officer
George Sherman, Chief Executive Officer at Victra. Sherman joins Victra from Advance Auto Parts, a national retailer and commercial provider of automotive aftermarket parts and services, where he served as president, as well as interim CEO. At Advance, he was responsible for the organizations over 4000 stores, merchandising and marketing teams, IT organization, supply chain, and commercial sales team. He joined Advance from Best Buy, a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. As a senior vice-president and President of Best Buy Services, Sherman oversaw the Best Buy Services Business Group, which included consumer services, small- and medium-business capabilities, channel partnerships and integrations, as well as Best Buy for Business.
Prior to joining Best Buy, Sherman spent 15 years with Target Corporation, where he held a variety of retail and corporate positions, including general manager, supply chain, district manager, and regional vice president in Dallas and Chicago. Sherman also was senior vice president of stores and executive vice president of operations for Target Corporation’s mid-tier retailer, Mervyn’s. In addition to his extensive Target experience, Sherman was senior vice president of operations and home services division president at Home Depot.
Sherman received his bachelor’s degree from St. Michaels College and his master’s degree from Central Michigan University. He served as an officer in the Air Force for nearly 7 years, leaving with the rank of Captain. An active community volunteer throughout his career, Sherman served on the board of directors for Literacy Instruction for Texas and as chairman of the Chicago Cares Celebration of Service, and on the board of KaBoom!, a non-profit organization focused on building safe playgrounds for children.
He currently sits on the board of directors of Building Homes for Heroes, which builds mortgage free homes catered to the unique needs of disabled veterans. In his spare time, he golfs, skis and runs, as well as travels with his wife Laura and two children, Ashley and Evan.
Chief Experience Officer
Michael offers 30 years of experience through a unique combination of retail, ecommerce, loyalty marketing and consumer products goods. As Chief Experience Officer for Victra, Michael’s current responsibilities include overseeing Merchandising and Procurement, Marketing, Insights and Loyalty, Product and Program development, and eCommerce development.
Prior to joining Victra, Michael served as Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President at Lowe’s Foods, a grocery store chain with approximately 100 stores located in the Carolinas. Michael’s responsibilities included the rebranding effort across the store base and the redesign of the store brand product portfolio. Michael also led the complete reinvention of the ecommerce business. This included building a new company infrastructure, technology platform, order fulfillment process, curbside and delivery experience, and the creation of a new business-to-business model. Michael was honored by Retail Touchpoints as 2016 Innovator of the Year, and by the Category Management Association with the 2016 Best Practice Award for Omnichannel Experience.
Prior to Lowes Foods, Michael served as Chief Strategy Officer for LoyaltyOne, a company specializing in loyalty marketing and advanced retail analytics. Prior to Loyalty One, Michael served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at SUPERVALU, which was the third largest grocery company in the United States. Michael began his career at Procter and Gamble, the world’s largest and most profitable consumer products company. During his career, Michael held executive roles within sales, customer business development, marketing strategy and planning, global beauty care, and M&A. Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of North Dakota.
Outside of work, Michael serves on multiple advisory boards and as a featured guest speaker and lecturer at industry events and at universities. Michael is married and has three sons. Michael enjoys competing in triathlons, golfing, wine tasting and traveling.
Chief Sales Officer
Gene serves as the Chief Sales Officer of Victra and is responsible for overseeing the retail sales team for the company’s store base. Gene was promoted to CSO in 2015, previously serving as Executive Vice President of Sales and Operations for Z Wireless beginning in October 2014.
Prior to Z Wireless, he served as President of the retail division of EZ Corp from 2012-2014, and was responsible for all aspects of this $750 million financial services company. Gene also served in senior roles at Radio Shack from 2009-2012 including Senior Vice President of US Operations, where he was responsible for leading the integration of the Verizon wireless partnership into Radio Shack. Gene started his career at Blockbuster where he held roles of increasing responsibility including Vice President of Operations in the United Kingdom and Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations, with responsibility for 4,500 US stores. Gene earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Toledo.
Gene is married and has four children. He enjoys spending time with his family, vacationing and watching his children play sports.
Chief Administrative Officer
Bill Carter is Chief Administrative Officer of Victra, responsible for the Strategy, Real Estate, Legal, IT, and Loss Prevention functions. Bill joins from Advance Auto Parts where he held various roles including Senior Vice President – Independent Business, Senior Vice President – Business Development and Integration, and Senior Vice President – Operations Support. In these roles, he led several functions including strategy, acquisitions and integrations, real estate, store labor, and commercial sales. Prior to his time at Advance, Bill spent twelve years at Bain & Company, Inc, where he served as a partner. Bill began his professional career as a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy, serving on USS LABOON (DDG 58). Bill is a graduate of Duke University and has an MBA from the University of Virginia (Darden Graduate School of Business).
Bill and his wife, Erica, have three daughters, Lauren, Lindsey and Courtney, and live in Raleigh.
B. Clyde Preslar
Chief Financial Officer
Clyde Preslar is Chief Financial Officer of Victra. He has 16 years of public company CFO experience and before joining Victra, Inc. was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Dollar Express Stores LLC, a privately-owned discount retailer formerly part of Dollar Tree/Family Dollar. Prior to joining Dollar Express, Clyde served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for The Pantry, Inc., an $8 billion Fortune 500 convenience store operator. He has also held Chief Financial Officer roles at RailAmerica, Inc., Cott Corp., and Lance, Inc. Earlier in his career, Clyde served as Director of Financial Services for Worldwide Power Tools at Black & Decker and as Director of Investor Relations at RJR Nabisco. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Economics from Elon College and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Wake Forest University.
Clyde and his wife, Carol, have three grown children.
Chief Talent Officer
Eric Harkins is Chief Talent Officer of Victra. He began his career at Target Corp., and lived in Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, and California his first six years after graduation. As a Store Operations leader, he helped open the fourth SuperTarget ever built in Mason City, Iowa. Making the leap from Store Management to Human Resources, he spent several years with the Mervyn’s division of Target Corp. and ultimately became Director of Stores Human Resources. He’s been Chief Human Resources Officer at Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and The Nerdery. Most recently Eric was President of Navigate Forward, a consulting firm based in Minneapolis.
Eric and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Laurynn and Jack. Not too long ago, Eric and his family joined a karate studio, initially as a fun family activity. A few years later, all four of them became black-belts on the same day. His son is now a third degree black-belt.