Executive Team

James Degan
President and Chief Executive Officer

Jim has served Stuart Dean in a variety of capacities during the course of his career. This is his second tour as Chief Executive Officer, having formerly held the position between 2002 and 2011. Prior to that, Jim had served as Chief Operating Officer, Vice President and General Manager, Sales Manager, and began his career nearly thirty years ago as a salesman in the company’s Chicago office. Since 2002, he has continuously served as a member of the Board of Directors, where he serves on all five committees and chairs two (Investment and Nominating). After completing his MBA in 1993, Jim worked for four years for the Tetra Laval Corporation as an account manager, where his clients included Ocean Spray, Cadbury Schweppes, Arizona Beverages, Austin Nichols and several other internationally distinguished brands.

Jim earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, with twin concentrations in finance and marketing, in addition to earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with twin majors in Economics and History from Northwestern University.

Robert T. Cook
EVP & Chief Financial Officer

Robert (Bob) Cook has served as Stuart Dean’s chief financial officer since April 2006. Bob also serves as secretary of the company.

Bob is a certified public accountant with more than 25 years of experience. He began his career with KPMG, one of today’s “Big Four” global accounting firms and later held positions with Siemens AG, a global electronics and electrical engineering firm, in U.S. financial mergers and acquisitions, and with Omnicom, an international advertising conglomerate, as a divisional CFO. Bob’s disciplinary strengths are in corporate turnarounds and restructuring, due diligence activities, cost control and forecasting, strategic planning, Sarbanes-Oxley review and implementation, and operational and corporate third-party services.

Bob holds a BA in accounting from Adelphi University on Long Island, where he lives with his wife and three children.

Steven J. Materazzo
Chief Operating Officer

Steve started with Stuart Dean in 1985 working in the Boston office as a field finisher while going to college. He came aboard full time in 1988, and in 1990 Steve relocated to Southern California, where he has been for over 17 years.

In 2002, Steve was promoted to general manager of the Southern California division, which serves all of Southern California, Las Vegas and Hawaii. He established the Tustin office, which currently oversees Orange County and San Diego.

Steve is proud to be a graduate of Boston Latin School (the first public high school in America) and holds a BA in economics from The University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Allen N. Podratsky
SVP of Operations

Al joined Stuart Dean in January 2014 with over 25 years of experience in purchasing, project management and production and supply chain management. Most recently, he executed a strategic supply chain redesign at ATT Mobility and has operated his own global supply chain consulting practice since 2005.

Before opening his consulting business, Al was the senior vice president of supply chain and product development for Simmons Bedding Company. Prior to that, he held leadership positions in supply chain management and product development with Xerox, Mattel/Fisher Price and Hasbro.

Al holds an MBA from St. Bonaventure University and a BS from West Liberty State College. He and his family reside in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Joseph A. Gargiulo, Jr.
SVP Mid-Atlantic Region & General Manager Virginia Office

Joe is a third generation family member with more than 30 years of experience in restoration and maintenance of architectural substrates. His disciplinary strengths are in sales, operational management and client relations.

Joe started his career as a field mechanic in the Chicago and Boston offices in the early 1970s. He moved into a sales role and later was promoted to sales management in the Chicago office in the early 1980s. In 1987, Joe opened the Mid-Atlantic division outside Washington, D.C.

Joe holds a BS in accounting/marketing from Boston College. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Jerry, and his four children.

Karishma Israni
SVP of Human Resources

A human resources professional with over 15 years of experience, Karishma Israni has a broad skillset focused on executive-level organizational initiatives.

Beginning her career at Sony Music Entertainment, Karishma quickly developed an impressive resume, holding positions as vice president of human resources at HSBC Securities and CITI Cards, director of global human resources for Cushman & Wakefield, and associate director of human resources at KPMG LLP.

Before becoming Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Karishma was an independent human resources consultant for Stuart Dean. During her time with the company, she has implemented the operating model design, developed job profiles and competencies, and made key recommendations for performance management, talent development, team development and mentoring.

Karishma holds a double-major B.S. in marketing and management from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University.