Cosmetic Executive Women held its annual achiever awards ceremony Friday, Oct. 14, where in addition to honoring outstanding leaders in the beauty industry it also issued a Corporate Empowerment for Women Award to Procter & Gamble Beauty & Grooming, which was accepted by none other than Bob McDonald, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble Co., while The Great Idea Award, a CEW first, went to Ouidad, often known as the “Queen of Curls,” who founded Ouidad hair care and salons.
This story first appeared in the October 21, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Winners of the Achiever Award included Gina Boswell, executive vice president, Unilever Personal Care North America; Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president, marketing, education and events, North America, Dior Beauty; Barbara Zinn-Moore, svp, general merchandise manager, Cosmetics and Home, Lord & Taylor, and Leslie Marino, general manager, Kérastase, Shu Uemura Art of Hair and Essie, L’Oréal USA. CEW has been issuing the Achiever Award since 1975. This year’s honorees were recognized for a variety of their outstanding characteristics and qualities, at least according to their beauty colleagues who presented their awards.
In the case of Boswell, Jill Granoff, former ceo of Kenneth Cole Productions, presented the award, recalling Boswell’s vast résumé, including a mergers and acquisitions role at Estée Lauder (Boswell was part of the team that led Lauder’s initial public offering in 1995), a position at Ford where she oversaw its vehicle personalization team when her husband landed an important job in Michigan, a top spot at Avon, a leadership role at Alberto-Culver and most recently her current role at Unilever.
Hawkins accepted her award from Terry Darland, president of North America for Christian Dior Perfumes LLC. Hawkins talked about her 25-year beauty career and her rise through the beauty ranks, from “coloring people’s faces” on the cosmetics floor to meeting “the amazing Pamela Baxter and Terry Darland,” who taught her to “shift her focus from being good at her own job to seeking the outcome that is truly best for the team.”
Ouidad accepted her award from Nicolas Mirzayantz, president of IFF Fragrances. Ouidad commented on how she started her business targeting curly-haired women by winning a coin toss with her husband, who wanted to open a restaurant. In 1984, the two borrowed money from family and friends, and Ouidad, as a woman from Lebanon, qualified for a $25,000 five-year bank loan. After opening their salon in April of that year they were able to pay back everyone within six months. Today the flagship has quadrupled in size, there’s a West Coast salon in Santa Monica, Calif., and a product line sold on HSN, among other outlets.
P&G’s McDonald accepted the CEW Award, saying how “it is humbling for me to be on the same stage” as the award winners that day. He added that can P&G proudly say that nearly 50 percent of its global work force are women and that half of its non-executive directors and board members are women. “That is something that is unprecedented among the Fortune 500.”
Carol Hamilton, president of L’Oréal USA’s luxury products division, presented Marino with her Achiever Award, commenting that Marino “is such a powerhouse, full of energy, so nice and really, really smart.” Marino started her career at Jordan Marsh on the cosmetics floor in Boston, and 21 years ago L’Oréal offered her a job as a Lancôme account executive, where she rose through the ranks in the firm’s designer fragrance division. In 2008, Marino became general manager of the designer fragrance division and “successfully navigated the business through the recession.” She was rewarded by being named general manager, Kérastase and Shu Uemura in 2011.
Zinn-Moore accepted her award from Liz Rodbell, executive vice president of merchandising for Lord & Taylor, who described Zinn-Moore as a winner because of how she has achieved her accomplishments, not merely the accomplishments alone. As an example, she cited how Zinn-Moore worked tirelessly over the recent overhaul of L&T’s beauty floor, and instead of cutting the congratulatory ribbon herself, she had the floor’s various brand managers take the spotlight. “It wasn’t about Barbara, it was about the team. This is how she motivates people.”