Six months after the death of its longtime leader Margaret Hayes, Fashion Group International has tapped Maryanne Grisz as her successor as president and chief executive officer.
Directly prior to taking on these responsibilities, Grisz had served as FGI’s managing director of events and operations since January of this year. As an insider, she has worked closely with chairman James D’Adamo. Grisz joined FGI as director of special events and social media strategies in 2012 and shouldered the additional responsibility of handling brand development in 2015.
As an attorney, film producer of producer of global events, Grisz offers a diverse skill set. Having become a member 20 years ago while living in Philadelphia, she became a regional director in the late Nineties before taking on the voluntary role of district director for the East Coast, overseeing Boston; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C., and three regions in Ohio. In 2003, she relocated to New York and later pitched in at FGI as a member volunteer by co-chairing “Career Day” and serving on the “Frontliners” committee. At Hayes’ request, she agreed to act as a consultant for the group’s social media. When the position of FGI’s director of special events became available in 2013, Grisz, a proven executive in that field, came in and took the role.
She enters as leader with three key initiatives. The first will involve surveying FGI’s members since the career landscape has changed over the years and updated programming and services are in order with digital being integral, Grisz said. Connecting more closely with FGI’s regions and directors will be another priority for Grisz, who plans to get on the road and spend more time with them. To strengthen partnerships in New York, Grisz intends to use technology and processes to help attract members and provide new resources, she said.
Grisz has a clear sense of what she has signed up for, since she and Hayes worked together in New York for seven years. “It’s my honor to follow in the footsteps of the accomplished Margaret Hayes. I met her 20 years ago and I thought, ‘What a great lady.’ I am excited to embrace the new technology ahead…and building on what Margaret has created in the last 20 to 25 years,” Grisz said. “It’s great. I’ve always loved fashion group. It’s part of my life and has been for 20 years. It’s nuts — it doesn’t feel like work to me.”
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