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Tina Klocke

Tina Klocke

Chief Operations and Financial Bear
Build-A-Bear Workshop
St. Louis, MO


Not many little girls become accountants in hopes of walking across the stage at the Miss America Pageant.

But that was little Tina Klocke in front of the glimmering TV screen – not envisioning herself in the evening gown or bikini, but in a business suit. At each year’s Pageant, a PricewaterhouseCoopers accountant hands the official results to the emcee, verifying that the votes were counted expertly and accurately. Tina saw herself holding that envelope.

Today, as Chief Operations and Financial Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc., Tina has had the chance to fulfill the dreams of countless little girls.

Over the past 12 years, she’s helped grow the Build-A-Bear empire to more than 400 retail outlets – each one designed to get kids creating in their own personal styles. That creativity carries over into the company offices as well: Employees are encouraged to bring their dogs and children to work.

It’s turned out to be even more rewarding than the pageant thing. “With the position I’m in at such an entrepreneurial company, I get to do way more than ‘count,’” Tina says. “I lead policies, assist in development, build budgets … I know that what I do is big part of my business’s success.”

Sure beats a tiara.

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I know that what I do is big part of my business's success.

Stats at a Glance

Years as a CPA: 33

Best job: Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc.

Worst job: They have all provided learning experiences and made me who I am today

Hobbies outside of work: Reading, attending kids’ sporting events, volunteering

Words to live by: "Bear in mind: always be kind" and "Be the bearer of good news."