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Stein Mart's Torreyson gets industry send off

Much-loved retail veteran Pat Torreyson closed out a long career and a 15-year tenure as gmm for home textiles and gift at Stein Mart with a retirement party that drew suppliers and vendors to the company's headquarters earlier this month.

Stein Mart president Jack Williams made the presentation of a farewell gift, a Faberge egg decorated with her favorite Irish shamrocks. "I don't know how we're going to do it without you. We really do love you, and we sure are going to miss you."

In another salute, Gwen Manto, executive vp and chief merchandising officer, said, "What we have in Pat is an original — and originals have no set value, which makes her literally invaluable. She's the heart of this organization, and thus irreplacable."

Jay Stein, chairman and ceo, who recruited Torreyson 15 years ago, said, "She has enriched all of our lives. She can't be replaced, only succeeded. We don't use the term going away when we refer to Pat — we can't bear to. She's too much a part of our lives."

A clearly moved Torreyson returned the praise. "There's no way you can be successful without a great team, and I've had the best team in retailing make me look good all these years. I've been extraordinarily fortunate to work with all these folks. Gwen has been the best boss that anyone could hope to work for. And Jay and Jack, there's no way to thank them. They've changed my life for the better."

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