Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Group President, North America,
The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
Thia Breen is the Group President of North America overseeing the U.S. and Canadian affiliates for the Estée Lauder Companies. She is known for her thought leadership and invaluable experience in the beauty industry, where she has built a dynamic career spanning over 35 years. Currently, Ms. Breen leads over 25 brands in the U.S. and Canada for the Estée Lauder Companies, one of the beauty industry’s leading prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care manufacturers.
Ms. Breen joined the Estée Lauder Companies in 1977 as an Account Executive for Clinique. Since then, she has risen steadily as a driving force for the Company’s signature brands like Aramis, Origins, Clinique, and Estée Lauder. Ms. Breen is recognized for becoming the first female national sales manager for Aramis and the first national sales manager for Origins.
In 2003, Ms. Breen left the Estée Lauder Companies to explore the retail side of the beauty business as the Senior Vice President of Cosmetics and Fragrances for Federated Stores, which includes Macy’s and Bloomingdales. She returned to the Estée Lauder Companies shortly thereafter in 2005 as the President of the Americas for the Estée Lauder brand.
In 2007, Ms. Breen became the Global Brand President for Estée Lauder and is regarded for igniting the brand’s business in China. She assumed the role of President of North America for the Estée Lauder Companies in 2009 and was named to the new position of Group President of North America in 2012, building on her outstanding success leading the Company’s home market.
During her illustrious career, Ms. Breen has driven successful brands and regions all while being a transformative leader. People love to work for her. She’s earned a reputation for building high-performance teams, where people feel both challenged and fulfilled. She is revered for being fearless, loyal, and poised under pressure.
Ms. Breen is recognized by many in her field as a leader in the industry and a trailblazer for new ideas and ways of working. In addition to her career success, she is a pioneering champion for women in business. Her family-friendly policies have enabled brilliant women to keep the jobs they love while managing a household. She also serves on the board of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), an organization that focuses on mentorship and career advancement for women in the cosmetic industry. Most recently, Ms. Breen was honored by the Women’s Project with the Women of Achievement award.
Ms. Breen is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and, in May, she delivered the commencement speech to the University’s Carlson School of Management Class of 2012.
Chief Industry Analyst,
The NPD Group
Marshal Cohen chief industry analyst of The NPD Group, Inc., is a nationally known expert on consumer behavior and the retail industry. He has followed retail trends for more than thirty years, at NPD and as the head of leading fashion and apparel manufacturers as well as major retailers. As part of his work at NPD, Marshal leads many top firms in long range and strategic planning sessions. He often utilizes motivational presentations to help launch corporate goals and kick-off meetings. Marshal is the author of two books, Why Customers Do What They Do (2006) and Buy Me! How to Get Customers to Choose Your Products and Ignore the Rest (2010).
In addition to his duties at NPD, Marshal is currently a member of several Boards of Directors and has most recently been appointed to the Cotton Board and American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). He is also a guest professor at North Carolina State University, School of Textiles. There he is introducing students and faculty to techniques for analyzing and applying data. Marshal has been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Savannah College of Art and Design. He has also been twice named to the Footwear News Power 100 list.
Marshal is also a regular contributor to many major media outlets. He is frequently quoted in publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Women’s Wear Daily. Additionally, he appears on various television news programs including ”Today,” ”Good Morning America,” ”CBS Sunday Morning,” and has been a regular guest on Bloomberg TV and Radio. He is also a sought after speaker at key industry events such as MAGIC, The Fairchild CEO Summits, The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention and The American Apparel and Footwear Association’s (AAFA) Annual Executive Summit. Recently, Marshal was the only industry expert who appeared in the documentary, ”God Save my Shoes,” (godsavemyshoes.com) produced by Caid Productions.
Since joining NPD in 1999, Marshal has held a variety of positions analyzing and interpreting NPD’s uniquely combined consumer and point-of-sale tracking services for the apparel, footwear, accessories, and sports industries. His career began in the training program at Bloomingdale’s, where he worked his way up to merchandise manager. From there, he became president of WilliWear and subsequently president of Stanley Blacker. He was also founder, owner and president of Motive Marketing Group.
Vice President, and Global Beauty Industry Analyst,
The NPD Group
Karen Grant is vice president and global beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group. In this role, she provides a comprehensive view of the market – coupling expertise on brand management with the strategic insights of market research. Regarded as the beauty industry expert, Grant’s concentration is on uncovering emerging market trends, brand vulnerabilities, and opportunities. Her expertise is in providing market insights and evaluating new and missed client opportunities and competitive threats. She provides ongoing consultation to the leading retailers and beauty manufacturers, as well as top financial institutions. As NPD’s beauty industry spokesperson, Grant also provides industry insights on key trends and has been a featured speaker for major associations such as HBA (Health and Beauty America), CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women), and The Fragrance Foundation. She is frequently quoted in print publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily, Fortune, and Forbes, among others. Additionally, she has appeared on “TODAY,“ “CBS Sunday Morning,“ and “NBC Nightly News.“
Prior to joining The NPD Group, Grant spent over 15 years in the high-end consumer goods and service industries, where she held leadership roles in sales, marketing, brand management, business planning, and account management for companies such as Christian Dior Couture and Cartier, Inc.
Most recently, Grant was director of national sales and merchandising for Christian Dior Couture. In this role, she was responsible for sales and merchandising in all U.S. Christian Dior retail stores, lease departments, and wholesale accounts. Reporting directly to the President of Christian Dior USA, Grant also worked closely with Christian Dior international executives such as the Chairman & CEO of Christian Dior SA on USA strategies.
Before Dior, Grant was Northeast regional sales director for By Paloma Picasso.
Here Grant established chain-wide Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s businesses. She successfully doubled comp-store sales volume within the first year by working extensively with senior management at key retailers to develop sales and marketing strategies and negotiate stock and sales plans, merchandise assortments, open-to-buys, and stock replenishment programs.
At Cartier Inc., Grant started her career as a product manager, where she developed and managed brand communications budgets, sales forecasting, marketing objectives, and strategies.
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