Brooke White, Nordstrom Inc.’s vice president of corporate communications since 1999 and a 31-year veteran of the retailer, has decided to leave the company to spend more time with her family and her shellfish farm. Her last day is Friday.
“Brooke has been an instrumental leader at Nordstrom,” said Pete Nordstrom, copresident. “She was given the director of public relations responsibility when the third generation of Nordstroms felt the most important attribute a person could bring to the job is trust and confidence to understand and communicate the spirit of what happens at Nordstrom. This was a huge responsibility, especially when you consider Brooke’s background with us was in human resources. She learned on the job and in the heat of some tough times how to be a p.r. expert. She never let us down.”
With the Nordstroms tending to be low profile, White’s role was critical as a voice of the company for the media. She supported the overall communications strategy including business and fashion public relations, public affairs, events and internal communications; worked on the corporate social responsibility and contributions program, and launched the Nordstrom’s social media and digital public relations teams, in 2009 and 2012, respectively. She also worked on new stores, attending 88 full-line openings from 1995 to 2015 during which time Nordstrom grew from $4.1 billion to $14.1 billion in revenues.
White began her career as a salesperson at Nordstrom store in La Jolla, Calif., in 1984. She spent a decade on the sales floor and in human resources. In 1995, she was promoted to director of communications when the leadership of the company was transitioning from the third to four generation of Nordstroms, before assuming her current role. She also owns and operates Halcyon Sea Farms for clams and oysters in Quilcene, Wash.
“Every single day has remained intellectually stimulating for me as we have kept our focus on improving customer service even as the definition of service constantly evolves,” White told WWD. “It’s been the most exciting time in retail with the advent of competitors that didn’t exist when I started my public relations career and the development of forms of communication and media that no one could have imagined. I am proud to have been part of Nordstrom’s growth and know that I leave it today as one of the world’s best retailers. I’ll miss the people the most — we have a special culture here which will be part of me forever.”