I begin every day with gratitude. This centers me. As I process the pain I feel for losing my husband, George, I’m able to find serenity in all the places where we enjoyed immense happiness. I’m grateful for the silence that enables me to hear the birds in the woods at our farm; for the clear blue sky over the vineyard; for the moment the burner fills our hot air balloon as we float higher in the sky; for our cozy bedroom at night with the stars shining with the wonderment of the future; and for every fishing trip, footstep through the woods and fantastic adventure we took together.

We have always felt a deep spiritual connection with nature, and the discovery that comes from being curious. There’s a whole life in the woods, and I love to be sitting in a tree in the middle of it as the dawn breaks and the forest comes to life. I believe it all translates back to human life. When we take time to explore things in our surroundings, including the people we interact with, we’re able to celebrate differences and the various facets of our individuality.

My defining characteristic is courage and it shows up in all aspects of my life. Personally, it’s about pushing the edge of whatever I’m discovering – whether I’m canvassing dozens of stores finding design and fashion trends … or scouring the woods with an appreciation for the constant evolution and beauty of every phase.

At the core of my belief system, I seek to build an authentic culture with a common purpose. Sleep can and will change the world by improving the quality of rest and evoking kindness. We have the ability to enable a kinder society through better sleep.

The proudest thing I can do is cultivate an environment that assembles the right talent – people who have great hearts and combine their capabilities with their passion for making a difference. To me, this is incredibly rewarding, and it’s one of the reasons why I wanted to become a CEO.

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  • Shelly Ibach

    CEO, Sleep Number; Sleep Editor-at-Large, Thrive Global

    Shelly Ibach, Sleep Number® setting 40, average SleepIQ® score 82, is president and chief executive officer of Sleep Number Corporation (NASDAQ: SNBR), the sleep innovation leader delivering the best quality sleep through effortless, adjustable comfort and biometric sleep tracking technology. As CEO of Sleep Number since June 2012, Shelly has combined her passion for delivering increased value to the consumer with her visionary leadership to develop innovative sleep experiences and deliver superior shareholder returns. She has positioned Sleep Number at the intersection of sleep, health, and technology trends, and is a thought leader shaping the growing understanding that sleep is at the center of health and wellness. After joining the company in April 2007, Shelly served across a wide breadth of executive leadership roles in consumer strategy, sales, marketing and product development, including Chief Operating Officer in 2011. Prior to Sleep Number, Shelly honed her instincts as an expert retailer and brand marketer during her 25-year tenure at Target Corporation and Macy’s. Based in Minneapolis, Sleep Number’s 2018 net sales were over $1.5 billion. The company employs more than 4,300 team members and operates over 580 Sleep Number® stores located in all 50 U.S. states. Shelly is also Sleep Editor-at-Large for Thrive Global – the behavior change media and technology company founded by Arianna Huffington. The Special Section, “Sleep Well by Shelly Ibach,” shares perspectives from opinion leaders, personal experiences, and advice and insights to create a dialogue around the importance of quality sleep. Shelly serves on the executive committee of the Minnesota Business Partnership, an organization comprised of presidents and CEOs from Minnesota companies focused on further enhancing the region’s quality of life. Shelly has served on the board of trustees for The Goodman Theater, located in Chicago, and as a retail associate advisor for her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin – Stout.