“We are the ones who have the power to change this,” she told the audience. “In this room are executives who have the power to select the images we want to put out for women to see globally. Each of you can make your mark on the beauty industry. How do the images you see of beauty inspire you, your daughter, your mother and sister? What will you do with the power that is you?”
Kern Lima was one of eight honored by the Cosmetic Executive Women for their leadership, accomplishments, and contributions to the industry. Jill Scalamandre, chairwoman, CEW, noted that CEW has presented the Achiever Awards since 1975, when the event honored one woman in the industry. “We are now presenting the awards to eight, proving that we are having growth in women’s leadership, advancing women’s empowerment, and their professional development,” she said, adding, “And behind every successful woman, there’s a tribe who have their back.”
According to Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW, Cosmetic Executive Women was the first-ever organization to commit to the advancement of women in the beauty industry—and protect their own. Jacobson said CEW’s fundraising initiatives continue to help fund a range of programs, including, this year, the ability to provide assistance to 300 of their members living in flooded areas of Texas and Florida.
“We can provide them with assistance because of our members’ generosity. Appreciation and generosity can change lives,” said Jacobson.
Innovation, Leadership, and Philanthropy
Three key components, innovation, leadership, and philanthropy, were a part of every awardee’s story. In addition to Kerns Lima, honorees included Barbara Calcagni, president, Nars Cosmetics; Maureen Kelly, CEO and founder, Tarte Cosmetics; Gemma Lionello, EVP, GMM, accessories & beauty, Nordstrom; Loretta Miraglia, corporate senior VP, global brand product development & innovation, La Mer; and Kelly Vanasse, VP-communications, P&G global business units. CEW also presented its first Philanthropic Award to Linda Marshall, founder of the James E. Marshall OCD Foundation; and presented its Scent Innovator Award to Judith Amores, PhD student and Rresearch assistant, MIT Media Lab.
In presenting the Scent Innovator Award, IFF’s Global Vice President of Fine Fragrance, Dionisio Ferenc, reflected on the role of scent and the human connection. He introduced Amores as an innovator who had created an olfactory interface via a computational necklace activated by brain activity and heart rate, called Essence, and stated that Amores had pushed the boundaries in the arena of scent.
Amores described how the sense of smell differs from other forms of perception, due to its direct connection between the two brain areas that control emotions and memories. “Interestingly, the sense of sound, sight and touch do not pass through these brain areas. Essence was inspired by the idea of creating a system that would enhance existing perceptions by subliminally affecting human behavior to help communicate, focus, relax or learn.”
In accepting the award, Amores posited that the device might ultimately be used in the medical field for pain reduction and stress relief, and of course, beauty.
“Synchronized with the body’s own information to release a scent into the air, the device presents an opportunity to potentially influence technology and the future of beauty,” said Amores.
Achiever Award Honorees
Marc Rey, president, CEO, Shiseido America, presented the Achiever Award to Barbara Calcagni, president, Nars Cosmetics. Calcagni shared her life and career philosophy, saying, “First, surround yourself with the best and the brightest, be passionate about what you do and stay true to your commitment, never stop learning, and prioritize.”
Tara Simon, senior vice president, merchandising prestige, Ulta, presented the next award to Maureen Kelly, CEO and founder, Tarte Cosmetics. Kelly said she had started the company with a dream and maxed out her credit card along the way, but the rest is history.
“Tarte’s ability to give back and the closeness of the Tarte family continues to fuel Tarte projects,” she said, citing Habitat for Humanity, Amazon protection, and the creation of the Kiss and Makeup campaign, which is all about “not being mean behind the screen,” an initiative which works to end cyber bullying and encourage positive messaging with its #kissandmakeup project.
Pete Nordstrom, co-president, Nordstrom, presented the Achiever award to Gemma Lionello, executive vice president, GMM, accessories & beauty, Nordstrom. Lionello emphasized the importance of knowing your customer.
“In 29 years, I’ve learned to stay focused on the customer first and surround myself with an amazing team,” she said, noting she looked forward to working with her brand partners when Nordstrom opens in New York in two years.
Jane Hertzmark Hudis, group president, Estée Lauder, presented the Achiever award to Loretta Miraglia, corporate senior vice president, global brand product development & innovation, La Mer.
Miraglia, thanked Leonard Lauder for entrusting the La Mer brand to her, saying, “If you surround yourself with extraordinary people, you’ll have all the mentors you’ll ever need.”
She urged generosity of spirit, and quoted Maya Angelou, saying, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
In appreciation of the Lauder company, Miraglia added, “For all those millennials out there, run, don’t walk to the Estée Lauder Companies,” and remember, she said, citing Lee Ann Womack, “when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.”
Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer, Procter & Gamble, presented the honor to Kelly Vanasse, vice president, communications, P&G global business units, highlighting strengths that included the value she places on differences and inclusion.
Vanasse said her “keys to an awesome life,” were adventure, agility, and awareness, and she wished the same to all in attendance.
Carol Hamilton, group president, luxe division, L’Oréal USA, presented the Achiever award to Lima, noting that relentless determination defined her, and has made IT Cosmetics the number one performing brand at Ulta. “The biggest acquisition in L’Oréal history was the acquisition of IT Cosmetics,” said Hamilton, who said Kern Lima had “an unrestrained commitment to personally touch as many women as possible. She is a self-made woman and a true philanthropist,” said Hamilton.
Kern Lima thanked her team for “taking a chance to do things differently.” She explained her philosophy, saying, “I knew that women were tired of buying cosmetics from women that didn’t look like them. I decided to risk everything and do things differently.”
This meant removing her makeup live on QVC, and showing her rosacea. The response was overwhelming. “This showed me the power of the people was greater than the people in power,” she added. “Now you see real women. Real women come in all sizes, all shapes, and have hair that is all different textures,” she said.
As the applause subsided, Carlotta Jacobson approached the podium to introduce the final award of the afternoon, the Philanthropic Achiever Award, to Linda Marshall, Founder, James E. Marshall OCD Foundation. Jacobson explained that the foundation began with the loss of Marshall’s son, James, and that Marshall had channeled her grief into the James E. Marshall Foundation. A longtime beauty executive who has run and built Elysée Cosmetics, Marshall has raised more than $3.5 million through the Beyond Beauty events to support the OCD Foundation.
“I have been part of this industry for 58 years and the honor of receiving this award means more than you’ll ever know,” said Marshall.
She described how OCD affects the brain and the importance of financial support for such an important, yet underfunded cause. Her philanthropic work extends beyond the Marshall Foundation, and because of her concern for abused women and children, a portion of Elysée sales supports this cause. She is also active on the board of the “Look Good, Feel Better,” program for women recovering from breast cancer and ensures that Elysée contributes to the cause.
Marshall graciously concluded, saying, “What Carlotta and CEW have done for OCD is nothing short of miraculous.”