Patricia Miller and Barbara Bradley Baekgaard founded Vera Bradley in 1982, which quickly grew into an internationally recognized brand. Vera Bradley designs handbags, travel bags and accessories, eyewear, rolling luggage, and paper & gift item. Miller took a leave of absence from Vera Bradley in 2005 to serve as Indiana’s first Secretary of Commerce for the State of Indiana and CEO of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. She returned to Vera Bradley in early 2006. She has served as a board member on more than 15 boards and is currently serving as a board member of the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer. Miller and Baekgaard founded the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer in 1994, after suffering the personal loss of a dear friend to the disease. To date the Foundation has contributed more than $12 million to the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center, and has pledged a total of $20 million.