In the Winter 2016 issue of Total Retail (sister brand of Women in Retail Leadership Circle), the cover story featured the brand’s annual list of the leading female executives in retail. To get know the 17 honorees better, Total Retail sent them each six questions. Here are select answers from some of this year’s honorees to the question, “Do you have any mentors in the retail industry?”

Deborah Cavanagh, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Talbots
“I consider Lizanne Kindler, CEO of Talbots, both mentor and friend. She leads with courage, focus, compassion and accountability.”

Mary Dillon, CEO, ULTA Beauty
“I really admire Howard Schultz and his vision for Starbucks. I was honored to join the board of directors this January, and I look forward to working with this world-class organization.”

Lisa Gersh, CEO, Goop
“I always look to great leaders for mentorship and advice, regardless of what industry they’re in. Gerry Laybourne has been my mentor in business since 1998, and I’ve been lucky enough to have Karen Mills, former head of the SBA, as a mentor for almost 30 years. I’ve also gotten amazing advice from women in the media industry throughout the years, like Abby Raven, Dawn Ostroff, Bonnie Hammer and Pat Fili-Krushel.”

Adrienne Lofton, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, Under Armour
“I have several mentors in the industry who not only gave me my career start, but who continue to be my sounding boards for advice and unbiased counsel. My mentors aren’t just former co-workers and industry leaders, but also include family members and close personal friends who have seen a great deal of success in the retail industry and outside of it. One of the coolest things I’ve learned is that sometimes the best advice comes from those who approach a challenge without the preconceived notions possessed by industry vets. The group I call my ‘personal board of directors’ is an awesome mix of talented individuals who share the same goal of having successful and — more importantly — happy lives.”