By  on June 27, 2014

Robin Burns-McNeill had just stepped into her post as president of Calvin Klein Cosmetics Co. in 1983, when Cosmetic Executive Women came calling.

She recalled that Susan Hays, a prominent leader in the organization who at the time was executive vice president of Geoffrey Beene’s fragrance division, had ask her to join the CEW board. Burns-McNeill acknowledged, “I was quite reluctant, as I had just joined Calvin Klein and didn’t think I’d have the time [to devote to CEW].” But Hays persuaded Burns-McNeill to join by sharing her mission of developing CEW into a meaningful organization for women that attracted executives across the entire beauty industry as members. Hays, said Burns-McNeill, envisioned an organization comprising executives from every aspect of the industry — from retailer to supplier, manufacturing to publishing and editing to the financial world.

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