Cosmetic Executive Women held its annual Achiever Awards Friday, honoring the professional achievements of four women in the beauty industry.
This story first appeared in the October 7, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This year’s honorees were Cristina Carlino, executive chairman and founder of Philosophy; Jane Hertzmark Hudis, president of the BeautyBank division and the Origins and Ojon brands at the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.; Betsy Olum, senior vice president of marketing for Sephora, and Cheryl Vitali, formerly senior vice president of U.S. marketing for Maybelline New York/Garnier, who began her new job as senior vice president of marketing for Lancôme on Monday.
“These women are chosen to be honored by their peers because they inspire both colleagues and the industry,” said Jill Scalamandre, chairwoman of CEW’s board, at the event held at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Actress Mariska Hargitay introduced Carlino, tearing up when she recounted how Carlino encouraged her to set up her Joyful Heart Foundation, which provides support to survivors of sexual assault. Later, Carlino launched a bath gel in honor of the foundation, with proceeds going to fund it. “This award is packed with love and admiration,” said Hargitay.
“I wasn’t a girl who aspired to beauty or ever felt beautiful,” said Carlino, praising her mother for teaching her “reverence and charity” and her father with “teaching me to tie my shoes and how to get up over and over.”
Calling her “the light of my life other than my wife,” Leonard Lauder, chairman of the board of the Estée Lauder Cos., introduced Hudis. “She’s a great marketer and epitomizes what an executive should be — passionate and driven,” said Lauder. “I’ve had lots of Waldorf chicken in my life,” said Hudis, referring to the hotel’s ubiquitous entrée choice. “It’s never tasted as good.”
Too Faced Cosmetics creator Jerrod Blandino introduced Olum. “For me, Sephora was an earth-shattering moment which changed the paradigm of beauty,” said Olum. Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris, introduced Vitali, who announced to the crowd that she would begin a new job at Lancôme on the next business day. Vitali also spoke movingly of mothering a special-needs son. “I’ve learned not to look for what’s normal, but for what’s possible,” she said.