By: Jessica Matlin
It was a night to celebrate the bright young things of the fragrance world, but for those listening closely, The Fragrance Foundation’s 4th Annual Notables event was a crash course in how to get ahead in business.
The 12 new Foundation Notables—Katheryn Rodriguez, Alexandra Mammolite, Alexandra Cassar, Jesica Leszczynski, Anais Nouvet, Cotton Codinha, Hannah Silver, Tracy Taylor, Jordan Saxemard, Karissa Ciliento, Megan Greenhalgh, and Katie Bell—were honored for their leadership, creativity, passion, and potential.
“I am personally looking forward to collaborating with this ambitious group on future initiatives for the Foundation,” said Linda Levy, President of The Fragrance Foundation. Levy specifically welcomes both the big brands (“You know who you are!”) and indie companies to the Foundation’s second event of the year.
In front of a packed crowd at the LVMH Magic Room, each Notable was introduced by a presenter from their company, who explained why they were chosen. It was as much about their attitude as it was about achievements.
Preparation is half the battle, according to Miranda Gordon of MANE, one of the evening’s sponsors. She noted that graphic designer Alexandra Mammolite is “prepared for anything,” she said. “We can count on her to have a safety pin, a lint brush, Scotch tape, a backup copy of the entire server on a jump drive.” And, “She always looks like a million bucks.”
Being good to your team matters, said Florence Pauzin of LVMH who also sponsored the event. She highlighted Givenchy marketing coordinator Katheryn Rodriguez’s “kindness as a person” as one of the attributes that “earned her the respect of the most senior members.”
Being curious will get you everywhere, added Andrea Kaye of Firmenich, talking about Tracy Taylor, senior manager of consumer insights. “She has an abiding interest in people and what makes them tick.” (Like all Notables, Taylor had to give a five-word explanation for what she’s learned: “Ask questions, stay curious, learn.”)
Of course, not everything is within your control, says Givaudan’s Seda Biliginer. Yet there’s power in how you react to the ups and downs of business. “Hurricane Karissa,” is a “lightning bolt inside of a hurricane, who somehow exudes a solid calm,” she said of junior account executive Karissa Ciliento.
Julianne Pruett of Symrise seconded this idea, likening the fragrance industry to “a competitive sport.” She described senior project manager Jessica Leszczynski as someone who “bounces back from setbacks with ease, and skillfully navigates around obstacles and challenges.”
Ultimately, nearly all of the Notables’ introductions pointed to the power of positivity at work. But one honoree took it to a new level.
“Once a week, [trade marketing director Jordan Saxemard] stops by my office and says, ‘This is my dream job,’” said Peggy Elsrode of Coty Inc., his presenter. That isn’t just lucky for Saxemard, she says. “It’s incredibly inspiring for the people who you work with.”
The Notables Class of 2018 will be bringing that energy and creativity to The Fragrance Foundation year-round, as all four classes of Notables from now gather quarterly to brainstorm and create initiatives for The Fragrance Foundation. You can see some of their ideas come to life during Fragrance Day, March 21.