Women's Leadership Forum - June 23, 2017

A Conversation with Paula Bennett, President/CEO, J.Jill

Fawcett Center | 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH | 9 - 10:30 a.m.

paula bennett jjillAt COE’s next Women’s Leadership Forum, network over breakfast and enjoy a keynote presentation from Paula Bennett, an Ohio State University graduate who since 2008 has served as President and CEO of J. Jill, a nationally recognized omni-channel women’s apparel brand. In March, Paula led the company to a successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, the first such debut of the year – and a unique one. Less than 3% of all IPOs in the past decade have been led by a female CEO. 

At this session, find out what Paula believes has enabled her and her team to deliver consistent profitable growth within a shifting retail landscape, and hear how she guides, inspires and empowers her team to fuel the company’s success. Paula also will share how the J. Jill team has turned obstacles into opportunities to create a strong and growing business with a loyal and growing customer base.

More Info

  • About the Speaker

    Paula Bennett was appointed President of J.Jill in January 2008 and was named Chief Executive Officer in July 2009. She has also served on our Board of Directors since 2009. Ms. Bennett is responsible for the strategic leadership, growth and profitability of the brand and business, while guiding the organization successfully through profitable turnaround and ownership transitions. Ms. Bennett has over 35 years of retail experience and has extensive expertise in merchandising, buying, sourcing, product development and marketing across both retail and direct marketing channels. Prior to joining J.Jill, Ms. Bennett served as President and CEO of a number of portfolio companies of Orchard Brands Corporation (“Orchard Brands”).   

    Prior to Orchard Brands, Ms. Bennett led Eileen Fisher, Inc. as Chief Operating Officer. Earlier in her career she served as VP of Retail Sales at Calvin Klein and at Tiffany & Co., where she was VP of Sales while also serving as General Manager of the Fifth Avenue flagship store. Ms. Bennett began her career in buying and merchandise management at Bloomingdale’s, and later Federated Merchandising Services. Ms. Bennett is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Ms. Bennett was selected to serve on our Board because of her experience as an apparel industry executive, including as our Chief Executive Officer, and her extensive knowledge of the omni-channel and women’s apparel industry. 

  • About J.Jill

    J.Jill is an omni-channel premier retailer and nationally recognized women’s apparel brand committed to delighting our customers with great wear-now product. The J.Jill brand represents an easy, relaxed, inspired style that reflects the confidence and comfort of a woman with a rich, full life. J.Jill operates an omni-channel platform that delivers a seamless experience to customers through 275 stores nationwide and a robust ecommerce experience. J.Jill is headquartered outside Boston. 

    The basics:

    • 1,400 full-time and 2,400 part-time employees
    • Total sales in fiscal year ended 1/28/17: $639 million, up 14% from the year before
    • Total fiscal year profit: $24 million, up 68% from prior year


    (Source: Regulatory filings)

  • Agenda
    • 8 - 9 a.m.: Check-in / Networking breakfast
    • 9 - 10 a.m.: Keynote - Paula Bennett, President/CEO, J.Jill
    • 10 - 10:15 a.m.: Q&A with Fisher College of Business Prof. Nathan Craig
    • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m.: Audience Q&A
  • Location / Directions / Parking

    Location: Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43210

    Click here for directions.

    Parking: Registered attendees will receive a voucher for complimentary parking the week before the event.

Registration is full. To join waitlist, e-mail Jackie at mcclure.92@osu.edu.