Top Women Execs Share What They Would Be Doing if They Weren’t in Retail

By: Melissa Campanelli

In the Winter 2016 issue of Total Retail (sister brand of Women in Retail Leadership Circle), the cover story featured the brand’s annual list of the leading female executives in retail. To get know the 17 honorees better, Total Retail sent them each six questions. Here are select answers from some of this year’s honorees to the question, “If you weren’t working in the retail industry, what do you think you’d be doing?”

Jan Clevenger, Executive Vice President, General Merchandising Manager, Belk
“I would do something in the nonprofit sector. Corporate philanthropy is a part of my company’s focus, and is integral to many of the brands that we do business with each year. To get more involved in my local community, I’ve recently joined the board of directors of the United Way of Central Carolinas. Senior leaders have a responsibility to be good corporate citizens, and that includes everything from sustainability to philanthropy and community involvement. Senior leaders have a responsibility to have a strong set of internal values and ideals, which allows us to be effective at motivating others to act in ways that support the greater good rather than their own self-interests.”

Diane Ellis, CEO, The Limited
“I would be an architect, interior designer or astronaut.”

Lisa Gersh, CEO, goop
“If they would have me, I would be the head of the LPGA … or a caddy.”

Adrienne Lofton, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, Under Armour
“I would be doing one of two things: on the agency side or the owner of a gym concept. On the agency front, my goal would be to open my own branding agency with a focus on projects that serve our underserved communities such as women, youth, multicultural, etc. On the gym side, I would own a concept studio that focuses on bringing the newest and most cutting-edge fitness and lifestyle practices to markets around the world. I’ve always been fascinated by the power of branding, and the personal empowerment and confidence that comes with living a healthy and holistic life.”

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