Women in Business: Noreen Dodge, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing, LUXE Brands

05/06/2015 05:26 am ET | Updated May 06, 2016

With over twenty years of experience developing and marketing global luxury and mass consumer products focusing on the fragrance category, Noreen began her beauty career at Calvin Klein Cosmetics Company, a division of Unilever, serving in various global Marketing roles before joining Elizabeth Arden, Inc. as Director of Global Marketing before becoming the Senior Vice President of Global Brand Development.

Noreen is currently President of Give Back Brands Marketing & Creative Development, where she was directly responsible for some of the most successful celebrity fragrances, including Justin Bieber's and Nicki Minaj's.

Most recently Noreen has formed a marketing partnership with Luxe Brands where she will guide the expansion of the brand portfolio and oversee the North America marketing and brand strategy for the world renowned Jean Patou Brand from her position as Executive Vice President of Global Marketing.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position as Executive Vice President, Global Marketing for LUXE Brands?
One of the pivotal experiences in my career was working for Unilever, specifically on the Calvin Klein portfolio of fragrance brands. Unilever was a great training ground - they invested in their employees with education and prominent exposure and as a result, the company jumpstarted the talented careers of many of today's top beauty industry leaders. The Calvin Klein brand was run as a global, cutting-edge paradigm that kept a sharp focus on innovation and brand sustainability. The fragrance division was uniquely entrepreneurial and dynamic, and was instrumental in shaping my career and my approach to business.

After spending more than a decade on the Calvin Klein franchise, I broadened my experience beyond designer to include both lifestyle and celebrity brands, which ultimately lead to a bold step in my career - forming a start-up company with industry veteran Paul West. Called Give Back Brands, the overall vision was to leverage the talent of many industry leaders, launching brands with a mission to give back to the community. Our first partnership was with Justin Bieber - he was an incredible partner and we broke retail records with his fragrance brand. Our team worked together tirelessly to bring to market an amazing brand that connected with the target demographic, and re-ignited the industry. The Give Back Brands Foundation has helped many incredible causes including Pencils of Promise, St. Angela's Preschool, Operation Food Search and the Starfish Foundation.

In summary, passion for the product or category is always at the root of my experiences; it is a key driver and a thread woven throughout the development process. Excitement for the brand in development takes the focus off of challenges, opens doors to new possibilities, and creates a team environment with a unified vision that will ultimately achieve success.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your time as Executive Vice President, Global Marketing for LUXE Brands?
This is an incredibly exciting time for LUXE Brands. The company inspires consumers around the world, and is creatively exploring and taking on new brands aligned with their global leadership of world-class beauty. Tony Bajaj and Dilesh Mehta work closely to strategically build the diverse portfolio of brands, while continuing to strengthen their footprint globally.

A true jewel in the LUXE Brands portfolio, the Jean Patou brand stands for true luxury with its incredibly rich heritage. Within the House of Jean Patou, the JOY fragrance is regarded as one of the most iconic fragrances of all time, and continues to be relevant today through its timeless symbol of quality. The organization is currently focused on building this iconic brand, exciting a new generation of women.

We are focused on developing and executing with excellence around the world. The most recent license for the company is celebrity Ariana Grande. Ariana is an incredibly special talent and we are dedicated to partnering together to launch a fragrance brand that is authentic to the artist, and that excites her fans around the globe.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking to start their own business?
Starting a business or becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting paths to pursue. If you have vision, passion and a well thought through business plan - take the leap and don't look back!

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Maintaining work life balance is probably one of the most difficult challenges for men and women today. I have a wonderfully supportive family; I made a promise to myself a long time ago to never miss an important milestone, performance, game or event that was important to my children, or to me personally. It was a great line in the sand to draw, and I have been able to live up to that personal promise, continuing to pass on that advice to colleagues throughout the years. In the end, no one will remember a year from now that you missed the meeting or left early to make a game; however, the event that you missed is something you never get back.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
This question really goes hand in hand with work life balance. The reality is that there are still industries where it is challenging for women to have a family, and pursue the position or level that they are capable of achieving. Companies and industries must continue to change - as leaders, we have to be the catalyst for change. We need to provide flexibility in the workplace where women do not feel they have to choose between work and family, and to be open to addressing what may come up as new models for family continue to evolve.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
There are so many people throughout my life that have played a huge part in my professional and personal life. I have always made it a point to absorb as much as I can from everyone around me whether it is my children, CEO's of fortune 500 companies or the talented teams I personally hire. I believe that no matter where you are in your life, if you want to succeed, you always need someone to look up to. Even if they don't know it!

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
One woman I have great respect and admiration for is Josie Natori. She is interesting, remarkably humble of her achievements, and has strong family values. Her hard-working and driven approach is what's most admirable, because it is always adaptable. Not only was she a classical pianist at age 9, but she also became the first female Vice President of investment banking at Merrill Lynch. Ultimately, her passion to pursue a simple idea, led to the creation of a fashion empire - and that doesn't just happen. I know her as a person who fearlessly challenges traditional methods, pushes boundaries and takes risks with enthusiasm. I have had the pleasure of working with Josie on her beauty brand. She continuously asks questions to stay current and she highly values people and her relationships with them, and really listens to what's important to key partners. She thoroughly stands for her vision and her brand in every aspect of her business.

What do you want to personally and professionally accomplish in the next year as Executive Vice President, Global Marketing for LUXE Brands?
In the next year, my most important objective is reinvigorate the celebrity fragrance category with the launch of Ariana Grande's fragrance. Ariana is an incredible talent and we have the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to create a brand that excites both retailers and consumers. Not a small task, however we have the right team to achieve our goals!