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From left to right: Ouidad, Leslie Marino, Barbara Zinn-Moore, Gina Boswell and Lisa Hawkins
Carlotta Jacobson, president of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), welcomed honorees and attendees to the 2011 Achiever Awards, on Oct. 14, 2011, at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria. Noting that the annual event celebrates the women who really do make the beauty industry great, Jacobson acknowledged this year’s recipients: Gina Boswell, executive vice president, Unilever Personal Care, North America; Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president, marketing, education & events, North America, Dior Beauty; Leslie Marino, general manager, Kérastase & Shu Uemura Art of Hair, L’Oréal USA; and Barbara Zinn-Moore, senior vice president, general merchandise manager, cosmetics & home, Lord & Taylor.
Also honored at the event was the winner of the first Great Idea Award, sponsored by IFF, presented to Ouidad, founder, Ouidad; and The Corporate Empowerment Award for Women (C.E.W.), presented to P&G Beauty & Grooming. “The Achiever Award honorees are selected by their peers and business achievement is the raison d’etre of the ceremony,” said Jacobson, and provided numerous reasons for the longevity of the CEW Achiever Awards, which have been celebrated for the past 36 years. “The awards keep pace with the changes in the industry and in addition to honoring top flight female executives, they also recognize companies that demonstrate a commitment to establishing and leveraging female talent, like the C.E.W. Award, and innovation, through the new Great Idea Award. These awards keep women’s achievements top of mind. And yes, even in the 21st century, with all we’ve accomplished, that’s still important,” said Jacobson. “When I think about what makes the Achiever Awards so special, so successful, and such a cornerstone of CEW as an organization, it’s all of those reasons. But it’s also the great mix of recipients who are selected, all with different back stories and paths to the tops of their fields,” she said.
Jacobson also acknowledged the contributions of event sponsors, Meredith, IFF, Arcade Marketing, Mana, BeautyInc, Ulta Beauty, Maesa Group, Devries, Walgreens, MMC-Marina Maher Communications, Wells Fargo, JH Partners, Manpower Group, HSN, Suite K, iNDELIBLE, Consultancy Media, Kaplow, and LifeMinute.tv.
Nicolas Mirzayantz, president, IFF Fragrances, offered congratulations to all the winners, and presented the first annual Great Idea Award to Ouidad, “The Queen of Curl.” He acknowledged CEW as a beacon for recognizing and developing talent in the beauty industry and cited the recently departed Steve Jobs and his “Think Different” campaign for Apple as a metaphor for creativity and foresight. “The ones who see things differently are not fond of roles, and while some see them as the crazy ones, they are the ones who will change the world,” he said, noting the ability of some individuals to identify a need before others realize it exists.
With that, Mirzayantz introduced Ouidad, whose name means love in Lebanese, as a woman who created a new category for women with curly hair that celebrated their beauty. Ouidad, who debuted her eponymous New York salon 27 years ago, began her business with a $25,000 loan from the Small Business Administration, and is now the creator of a successful product line that’s sold in Sephora, has a flagship salon that has quadrupled in size and relocated to West 57th Street in New York, has established an L.A. presence in Santa Monica, is a regular on HSN, and is a global educator. In addition, there are now 145 certified Ouidad salons around the country. In her remarks, Ouidad admitted that she and her husband, Peter Wise, had tossed a coin to determine which business idea they would pursue (he wanted a restaurant and she wanted a salon), and she clearly has no regrets about who won the toss. “This isn’t work. This is fun, and I’m not saying that for political reasons. I love what I do,” said Ouidad.