Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient
Carlson School of Management, September 22, 2011
Cynthia Breen received a bachelor of science degree in marketing from the Carlson School of Management in 1972 at the University of Minnesota. A native of Benson, Minnesota, she started her career at Dayton's Department Store and worked her way up through the ranks at three different brands at Estee Lauder including Clinique, Aramis, and Origins. She went on to become the first national sales manager for Origins. She left Estee Lauder and became a senior vice president for Federated Stores (Macy's and Bloomingdales). She returned to Estee Lauder in 2005 to assume her current role as president of the North America Division of Estee Lauder. Described as a leader in the industry and a trailblazer for new ideas, she is known as a smart business woman who is equally recognized as a kind, caring mentor and generous friend. She was named one of Crain's 100 Most Influential Women in New York City Business (2007), received a Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Achiever Award (2007), and named Honored Member in Business by Princeton Premier (2008). In 2010, she was inducted into the Fragrance Foundation's Circle of Champions for the significant impact she has made on the fragrance industry. She is the former chairperson and current board member of The Father's Day/Mother's Day Council, a not-for-profit organization, which donates almost $21 million to deserving family-related charities nationwide. She is also a board member of the Cosmetics Executive Women and active director of the Personal Care Products Council, the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Fragrance Foundation, the Fashion Group International, and she serves as co-chair of Volunteers of America. She has given back to industry newcomers by teaching and guest lecturing for The Fashion Institute of Technology, as a CEO Circle member of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing at the University of Arizona, and as a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Biographies are as-of time of award presentation.