In this episode of Women in Retail Talks, Women in Retail Leadership Circle Senior Content Strategist Ashley Chiaradio interviews Marie Thomas, vice president of applications and integration technology, direct-to-consumer solutions at TOMS, and Vanessa Cartwright, chief client success officer at Astound Commerce. Listen in as Thomas and Cartwright discuss their respective career journeys and roles (0:58), how Astound Commerce works with retailers to optimize digital commerce capabilities (4:20), and why TOMS leaned into its company roots during the COVID-19 pandemic (6:03).

In addition, Cartwright shares how artificial intelligence can help implement sustainable practices across a retail business (10:41), Thomas details the process behind TOMS’ recent e-commerce website refresh with partner Astound Commerce (14:48), and how she’s keeping her team motivated in the new year (18:40). Lastly, Cartwright and Thomas discuss the impact of mentorship and a strong network on their careers (20:48), and how they’re each paying it forward by mentoring other younger women.

Marie Thomas is vice president, technology applications for TOMS, a rapidly growing footwear and apparel firm that has gained global recognition due to its philanthropic focus. In addition to strategically evolving and maintaining TOMS technology solution landscape, Marie led the global implementation of Salesforce Commerce Cloud for TOMS. Previously, Marie spent 17 years in the consumer packaged goods industry at a Fortune 500 company, where she headed the marketing and sales systems for the world’s largest food company. During her tenure, Marie led numerous business integrations to deliver planned synergies and successful financial investment returns. Prior to her CPG experience, Marie worked in the healthcare industry in accounting and process redesign.

Vanessa Cartwright is responsible for client success and strategic direction at Astound Commerce, ensuring that the company provides the very best partnership and solutions to all of its clients while managing Astound’s business and operations. Prior to becoming CCSO, Vanessa was the CEO for Fluid for six years, managing client relationships and the delivery of services and solutions. Vanessa has deep experience in retail and e-commerce, as well as financial services, telecommunications, publishing, and CPG. Previously, Vanessa was general manager (NY) and senior vice president, senior client partner for Blast Radius. Vanessa has also held senior leadership positions within RMG Connect/J Walter (Canada) and Rapp Collins (UK), and carries with her a deep digital background.

Date: February 16, 2021

Credits: Marie Thomas, Vanessa Cartwright

Duration: 27:25