Paula Bennett has been named to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business’ (AACSB) 2019 Class of Influential Leaders.

Bennett (BSBA ’71) was one of 33 individuals selected for the challenge, which recognizes notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.

“Fisher is proud to see Paula’s contributions to the retail industry and her commitment to future leaders in business recognized by this distinction,” said Anil K. Makhija, dean and John W. Berry, Sr. Chair in Business at Fisher. “Paula’s continued engagement with the college and her support of our students embody the dedication and leadership that differentiate Fisher and Ohio State alumni. We congratulate Paula on this incredible honor.”

As a marketing professional with proven leadership experience, Bennett has shaped the retail landscape as a visionary at some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Tiffany & Co., Calvin Klein, Eileen Fisher, and, most recently, J.Jill, where she served as president and CEO until her retirement.

Bennett has long been an advocate and supporter of business education at The Ohio State University. As an undergraduate student, she was one of only seven women in a class of 234 undergraduate business students. That disparity, however, did little to dampen her enthusiasm and passion for marketing. Years later, Bennett established an endowed scholarship fund in honor of Dr. William Davidson, a beloved marketing professor who inspired her to embark on a successful career path in marketing. Since its inception in 2015, the fund has supported 20 students studying retail and multi-channel marketing.

Paula Bennett – 2019 Influential Leader

“AACSB is honored to recognize Paula Bennett and applauds her achievements as a leading example of business education as a force for good in the world,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “The diversity of backgrounds, industries, and career paths of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders demonstrates that AACSB-accredited schools are preparing graduates to succeed wherever their passions may take them.”

Now in its fourth year, the Influential Leaders challenge has recognized almost 200 business school graduates for creating lasting impact in business and society. All honorees have earned an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree from one of the more than 800 AACSB-accredited business schools worldwide.