Bill Shouldice, CBO of the Vermont Teddy Bear Co., will be the commencement speaker at the College of St. Joseph commencement ceremony on May 12, 2013.

Shouldice was appointed president and CBO (Chief Bear Officer) of The Vermont Teddy Bear Company in January 2013. Founded in 1981, VTB is one of the largest producers of teddy bears in the world, handcrafting approximately 300,000 Bears a year.

Before joining the Bear Crew at VTB, Bill served as the president and CEO of The Vermont Country Store for over seven years, a position he earned after spending three years as the executive vice president managing all of the store’s day-to-day operations.

Born and raised in Montpelier, Vermont, Bill spent his entire youth and young adulthood working for his family’s business, The Country Store. Located on 68 Main Street in Montpelier, the store had been in operation for more than 26 years until a fire forced the family to close its doors in 2004.

Shouldice earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science in 1986 from Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1992, he attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University.

Shouldice lives in Rutland with his wife Susan. They have three children.