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CEW Hosts Annual Beauty of Giving Lunch

The organization raised $520,125 for Cancer and Careers, the CEW Foundation program that assists working women with cancer.

For Cosmetics Executive Women, it’s been a season of honoring women and men who give.

At its annual Beauty of Giving lunch, held Dec. 13 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, the organization raised $520,125 for Cancer and Careers, the CEW Foundation program that assists working women with cancer. The charity provides support to more than 250,000 women a year.

Recognizing L’Oréal USA’s record of philanthropy, CEW honored Frédéric Rozé, president and chief executive officer for L’Oréal Americas, with the CEW Foundation’s Beauty of Giving Award for Uniting Business and Benevolence at the event.

“Life is beautiful because it is short and fragile, and this program is an important mission; it is a creative innovation to support those with cancer,” Rozé told the group of approximately 600 executives at the lunch, explaining why he feels strongly about supporting CEW and Cancer and Careers. “Here in America, you are so good at giving back. It’s a fantastic example for the rest of the world.”

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“L’Oréal USA has played a vital role in Cancer and Careers’ growth since its launch 12 years ago, raising both funds and awareness for the program,” said Kate Sweeney, executive director of the CEW Foundation. “L’Oréal is a shining example of good corporate citizenry. And they’ve been critical to our success.”

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One initiative, spearheaded by Carol Hamilton, president of L’Oréal Luxe USA, and Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris USA, involved distribution of more than 250,000 brochures for Cancer and Careers Awareness Week, noted Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW.

At the lunch, Heidi Manheimer, ceo of Shiseido Cosmetics America, was named chairman of the CEW Foundation Board, accepting the gavel from Gina Drosos, president of Assurex Health. “It’s particularly meaningful to me to accept this role in such a transformative time,” said Manheimer. “We will continue to grow our existing programs and launch new ones to provide comprehensive support to those who have cancer and are continuing to work.” Manheimer added that 30 magazines held beauty-closet sales in 2013, donating a collective $73,000 to Cancer and Careers.

A spirited live auction, which brought in proceeds of more than $38,000, was also held at the event. Earlier this fall, on Oct. 18 at the Waldorf-Astoria, CEW honored women who give of their time and talent to the beauty industry. “The Achiever Awards are so important to the beauty industry because they celebrate the accomplishments of powerful women leaders,” said Jacobson. “This event motivates women to excel and to become leaders.”

Sheri McCoy, ceo of Avon Products, gave a keynote speech. “One of the things I really enjoy about the CEW Achiever Awards is that it’s not simply about honoring great leaders, it’s also about making the road a little easier to navigate for the next generation,” said McCoy. “It’s really great to get together to celebrate these extraordinary women. These women, and so many of you in the room, will pave the way for tomorrow’s leaders. It’s our job to grow the women leaders of tomorrow. We need to reach behind, to mentor.”

While she noted that knowing one’s business and selling cycles are key to success, she also offered her own guiding principles.

“In the interest of helping to build tomorrow’s great beauty leaders, here are some leadership principles that guide me,” McCoy said. “First, approach all challenges with a broad view. Don’t just solve the issue immediately in front of you, have the insight to anticipate future impact and have the courage to make difficult decisions now that will have the longest lasting effect. Next, be sure to surround yourselves with diverse opinions, be it your direct reports, your peers or your mentors. You need to build a network of people who think differently than you, and who are courageous enough to share their opinions. Listen, carefully, to all points of view before deciding how to move forward. Never make a decision in a vacuum. And push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to learn and explore new areas of the business or industry.”

After McCoy’s keynote, Achiever Awards were presented to Julia Goldin, chief marketing officer of Revlon; Carolyn Holba, senior vice president of marketing for Maybelline New York, Garnier and Essie; Agnes Landau, senior vice president of global marketing for Clinique, and Claudia Lucas, director of beauty merchandising for QVC. Karen Buglisi-Weiler, global brand president of MAC Cosmetics, a 2012 honoree, also accepted her award at the event.

Karen Dubin, founder and director of Sniffapalooza, received CEW’s Great Idea Award for Fragrance Innovation for bringing excitement to the fragrance category by engaging consumers in events worldwide with a knowledge and love of fragrance. The award was presented by International Flavors & Fragrances.

CEW also honored Unilever with the Corporate Empowerment for Women Award for its commitment to the advancement of women within its organization. “I very gratefully and humbly accept the Corporate Empowerment Award on behalf of Unilever,” said Gina Boswell, executive vice president of personal care, North America, at Unilever. “This recognition is a truly distinctive honor, as it represents both internal and external appreciation for the advancement of women at Unilever. Internal in that the company recognizes the value of gender balance as a winning balance. And external in the recognition by CEW of our achievements, for which we are most thankful. As a relative newcomer to Unilever, I have seen impressive results just in my two-year tenure. Using our diversity lens, we have enhanced our programs in recruiting and retention, which has resulted in steady progress toward reaching our goal of 50/50 gender balance throughout the company — from marketing and sales to supply chain and factories. Unilever’s commitment to women runs broad in its global reach, wide in its application at every level and deep in its roots as a company founded on helping women and society.”

The requisite bit of levity was provided by Mally Roncal, who presented Lucas’ Achiever Award. “I’ll keep it PG-13 because I’m QVC-trained and I know what I can and cannot say,” she cracked, before launching into a roast of Lucas. When Lucas took to the stage, she sharply noted, “You know, it wasn’t supposed to be a roast, Mally.”