Volunteering + Nonprofits


Celebrating women entrepreneurs and their successes.

Photos by Becca Sabot
Keynote speaker Thia Breen, Estée Lauder executive


Meet Thia Breen

President of North America, The Estée Lauder Companies0912-Thia_400.jpg

WomenVenture is pleased to welcome Thia Breen, president of North America, The Estée Lauder Companies, as keynote speaker for the 2012 Fall Event. Known throughout the beauty industry for her fearlessness, loyalty, and poise under pressure, Breen will share anecdotes, advice, and wisdom from her 30-yearplus career and provide a thoughtful perspective on what it takes to be successful in any business.

Breen’s upcoming keynote speech will be her second appearance in the Twin Cities this year. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, she was invited to deliver the commencement speech at the Carlson School of Management in May. “I feel very blessed,” says Breen. “I’ve worked very hard in my career, but there’s certainly been luck attached to that. I feel that it’s important for me to give back by giving advice and communicating how I got here.”

Breen grew up in Benson, Minnesota, where her family owned a drugstore. She attributes much of her success to what she learned by selling Bonne Bell cosmetics and other products in the pharmacy. “I learned how to work very hard but also to look forward to not working—I love weekends!” she says. “I also learned the importance of having support from family and close friends.”

Throughout her career, Breen has been a tireless advocate for women in business. She was one of the first high-level executives to champion job-sharing and other innovations. Along the way, Breen has become a powerful industry role model for her ability to build high-performance teams of people who feel both challenged, respected, and fulfilled.

“My formula for success consists of people, team-building, and passion,” says Breen. “If you can achieve this combination in your own business, you can achieve anything.”

Snapshots of Success; Breen as a young child in Benson, Minnesota, where her drive was already evident; Thia Breen; Leonard Lauder, Breen, and Mrs. Estée Lauder; Breen celebrating the power of her North American team.