Top Female Leaders Honored at Industry Luncheon

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers Inc., the newly merged nonprofit, feted top leaders in fashion, entertainment and real estate in New York on Tuesday. Footwear News spoke with two honorees ahead of the luncheon about their business ventures and the importance of the charity organization.

Celeste Gudas, founder and CEO of 24 Seven Inc.:

What does this honor mean to you?
Doors have opened for us, but that’s because we live in a connected world and it’s always important to keep that in mind. We lose sight of it in our day-to-day, but our needs are all met. But around the world, that’s just not the case. An organization like [K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers] really steps in. The organization has really survived and flourished, which says a lot about what’s relevant and the impact it has worldwide. It’s an honor to be associated with K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers.

What’s next for 24 Seven?
We see the importance of talent growing for skill sets that will be required for the next two years — let alone 20 years — and those are increasingly digital, increasingly cross-functional. So we see that demand for talent, managing that talent and being able to retain that talent is a crucial piece of what we do and how we advise clients. There’s an international component, where many of our larger clients are much more global. We have to be able to step up to serve them and connect the talent on a global basis.

Patti Buckner, VP of apparel & accessories, Warner Bros. Consumer Products:

How does it feel being honored by the organization?
PB: This is very humbling. It’s wonderful that K.I.D.S. and Fashion Delivers support such a great organization that gives back to kids. That is what’s most important to me.

What is the top lesson you’ve learned in your profession?
At the end of the day, it’s all about people: the people you work with, the people you’re surrounded by. And although so much of our time is spent at work and giving to work, it really is a balance between work and home. Having the family support ultimately helps your work and your environment.

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