Judith S. Harrison
Judith Harrison is an experienced retail and manufacturing senior executive with more than 30 years of leadership experience building global brands, driving business improvement and creating notable shareholder value for public and privately held organizations in growth, turnaround and restructuring situations. Ms. Harrison has broad experience in mass market and luxury consumer goods, private equity, multi-unit retail and e-commerce.
Ms. Harrison has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of several companies where she achieved noteworthy company and product turnarounds and rapidly grew sales and profits. Her rare mix of product, operational and financial strengths is demonstrated in her work as President of Liz Claiborne Handbags where innovative merchandise strategies supported by expanded global sourcing capabilities, revamped product design and development processes and new sales and marketing strategies quickly delivered record revenues and profitability. Her turnaround expertise is highlighted by her accomplishments as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Monet Group, where she developed and implemented a financial and strategic turnaround strategy that maximized value for its stakeholders and led to the successful sale of the company in less than 10 months. She continued to lead the company to improved profitability, dominant market share and functional excellence through major shifts in brand strategy, operations, product design, packaging, category management, promotions and improved management capabilities.
Additionally, Ms. Harrison had significant impact on the profitability and growth of Yves Saint Laurent Parfums, Inc., where she was the President and Chief Executive Officer, and Hecht’s, a division of May Department Stores, Inc., where as Senior Vice President, General Merchandise Manager, she was responsible for the Cosmetics, Accessories, Jewelry and Shoe businesses. The exclusive brands carried in these key categories differentiated Hecht’s from the competition and established the retailer’s dominance in its markets. Ms. Harrison’s achievements have been featured in Forbes, Women’s Wear Daily as well as other business media.
For the past 12 years, as the founder of Way Point Partners, Inc., Ms. Harrison has been providing rigorous strategic assessments of businesses and helping private equity partners, their portfolio companies and corporate senior executives determine the actions a company should take to create value. For private equity funds this assessment takes place during the due diligence phase and post-acquisition: identifying cost improvement, new markets, product assortments, and process improvements. Advisory services, interim management and mentoring of the CEO and management team are provided to portfolio companies throughout the private equity fund’s ownership of the company. Double-digit sales and EBITDA growth and top quartile investment returns were achieved in all private equity portfolio companies.
Ms. Harrison serves as a six-term elected Trustee of the Village of Plandome, Long Island, where she resides with her husband and son. Ms. Harrison previously served on the Boards of The True Value Company, Mulberry U.K., The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, The International Institute of Education and several private boards. She was also a past member and co-membership chair of the Gotham Chapter of Young Presidents Organization. Ms. Harrison received her MBA and BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.