Summary

I am a creative and results-oriented retail executive who has the ability to recognize the best and brightest within an organization.  I bring these individuals together to solve complex business issues.  The result is the flawless execution of key strategies that drive revenue and dramatically increase profitability.

Skills

Skills

Entrepeneur

As Managing Director/COO of Donna Distefano Ltd.,  I was reponsible for merchandise planning, sales training and recruiting, financial planning and reporting, and the day-to-day operations of the Atelier.  Since joining Donna Distefano Ltd. as a consultant, I have re-organized our accounting and reporting system, and implemented a sales forecast and formal budget process.  To date, Donna Distefano has enjoyed a sales increase of more than 30% compared to 2009.

Luxury Goods Merchandising

As VP of Retail Operations for Luxury Resorts and Hotels, I was responsible for the merchandising of all resort-operated retail including golf and tennis pro-shops, spa and swim retail, and branded boutiques.  As GMM at Little Switzerland, I improved sales of diamond jewelry by more than 40% by streamlining the product assortment and implementing a core replenishment program for best selling styles.  I was also responsible for managing the wholesale/licensed boutique arrangements with Coach, Tiffany & Co., and Lalique.  Sales from licensed boutiques reached more $8.7 million or 14% of total sales in 2004.  As a Director and a VP in merchandising at Tiffany & Co. I was responsible for more than $100 million in sales and $60 million in inventory. 

Vendor/Client Relations

As Vice President of Product Sourcing for Tiffany & Co., I enhanced vendor performance levels by more than 15% through development and coordination of an innovative vendor certification program, emphasizing quality, delivery, and service.

Strategic Planning

As General Merchandise Manager for Little Switzerland, I developed a five-year merchandising and marketing strategy to transform existing store environments and increase brand awareness throughout the Caribbean.  As a seasoned Director of Merchandising at Tiffany & Co., I collaborated with senior management to create a blueprint for an innovative product planning, design, development and product launch process.  As a key player in building the new business process, I effectively communicated re-defined merchandising roles and responsibilities to more than 200 professionals while achieving a less than a 3% attrition rate. 

Brand/Product Development

Also as VP of Retail Operations for LXR, I developed an exclusive line of signature sportswear for LXR logo shops with a run rate of $1M. As a product development consultant, I created a signature writing instrument collection for Birks & Mayors Inc.  I also developed exclusive keepsake baby china sets to be merchandised with signature sterling silver baby gifts. Both collections met expected 2006 Holiday launch deadlines.  As a merchandising VP for Tiffany & Co., I supported sales growth of $75M by successfully coordinating activities for a worldwide launch of a luxury watch collection within aggressive time constraints.   

P&L/Expense Control

As VP of Retail Operations for Luxury Hotels and Resorts, a division of The Blackstone Group, I implemented cost savings strategies in retail operations and retail leasing managment that resulted in more than a $150K contribution to the bottom line. 

Education

Education

Certifications

Certifications
2009 - 2021

Luxury Marketing Council of Florida

Fellow
2004 - 2005

Centurion Retail Advisory Board

Member
1999 - 2001

Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing

Harvard Business School