MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Regina Reyes
She’s soft-spoken and speaks with a great deal of humility, passion, and support for others. The entire time, she’s smiling and there is a spark that illuminates from her presence, even on a Zoom call. What is that glow that outshines all negativity and inspires those in her presence? The answer is, it’s the joy and peace that Regina Reyes holds within, and shows up in her work. That spark is what allows her to stand out from others as she engages, always keeping an open mind, embracing every opportunity to learn something new that can bring about positive, effective change. Her desire will always be, to make an impactful difference.
Regina Reyes started her career journey by obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management at Pace University in New York City. After school, Regina jumped into her first job, working at Bankers Trust in the internal audit department. Who knew her career would take a drastic turn after a job in banking, that would reveal her desire and ability to analyze numbers, data and processes?
A glimpse of the light begins
In search of something more creative and fulfilling, Regina decided to spread her wings and take a job at Bloomingdales, working in the retail stores and buying office where she began obtaining her apparel industry experience and desire to learn more about supply chain. After four years with Bloomingdales, Regina worked for Anne Klein II on the wholesale side as a Regional Merchandising Manager. This role allowed her more exposure in the field working in the Anne Klein stores to educate and train staff, engage with customers, and create events to enhance the overall customer experience. She would later move into their wholesale sales department. After working at Anne Klein II, Regina took a job at Eileen Fisher; a position that would be an 18-year journey forever impacting her career. She said she loved working at Eileen Fisher because it merged her personal and professional life, as well as allowed her to discover her purpose. It created a sweet spot that impacted who she is as a businesswoman and entrepreneur. Regina’s spirituality is a reminder that she genuinely believes and appreciates that everything happens for a reason. She says, it was no surprise that in 2001, the masters of the universe were drawing her into the doors of Eileen Fisher.
A Growth Mindset finds its voice
At Eileen Fisher, Regina found her voice and the ability to truly make a difference in the supply chain fashion industry. She started as Director of Sales for petite and plus sizes. Within one year, she realized the landscape of the buying industry was changing in women’s apparel, and that her department wasn’t having a relevant impact on the organization. Rather than go through the motions,
Regina, being a woman of integrity, let executives know that Eileen Fisher no longer needed a Special Size Director or the department. It made more sense to the company and its wholesale partners to approach sales vertically, by account.
As a strategist and Growth Mindset leader, Regina used that conversation as an opportunity to propose a solution to an organizational concern that would benefit the entire company. That role focused on intentional business analysis and business planning to ultimately make processes and communications more efficient for leadership and teams across the organization. Regina’s proposal was accepted, and she wasted no time. She closed the specialty size, sales department and started the very first business planning department at Eileen Fisher.
“In that time, I was able to see for myself just how siloed our functions were”
It didn’t take long before Regina was in demand. She found herself being asked to merge with other departments taking on merchandising and operations planning. “In that time, I was able to see for myself just how siloed our functions were”, says Regina. As she listened to the frustrations and challenges the teams were dealing with in their day-to-day work, it became clear to Regina that something needed to be done.
Regina's mission for breaking down the silos began. She became a trailblazer, the ‘go to’ person working to find solutions and ways to work more efficiently. Regina knew how to lead change. Regina is being modest when she says she probably helped improve some of the processes at EF, but JAG can confirm she was a change-maker who made a difference, as we had the opportunity in 2019 to work as consultants at Eileen Fisher under the vision and sponsorship of Regina.
“No doubt 18-years at Eileen Fisher changed the total trajectory of my personal & professional life”
Regina will always owe a debt of gratitude to Eileen, for creating a workplace that is based on values and the well-being of the individuals. She emphasizes how the culture and integrity is built into the organization’s structure, which is one of the things that causes employees to have such longevity in the organization. She says, working at Eileen Fisher is like being a part of a family.
“No doubt 18-years at Eileen Fisher changed the total trajectory of my personal and professional life” Regina stated. But as the Eileen Fisher model changed and Regina’s perspective on life changed, she knew it was time to move on. She felt it was the right time, and the right thing to do for herself and for the company.
The New Journey Begins and Continues
After taking some time to reflect on all the experience and knowledge she had obtained in 18-years at Eileen Fisher, Regina knew it was time to pay it forward and help others. She said she knew she was driven to help others, so she took a leap of faith, and began her journey as an Independent Personal Stylist at J. Hilburn.
As a Stylist representing J. Hilburn, Regina says, " I don't see myself as someone who just sells clothes, but more as someone who can help instill confidence in others through the power of custom-made clothing."
Regina says there is so much joy she feels when watching a transformation take place as someone steps into the best fitting, high quality, sustainable clothing, that she helped create. She said she has witnessed the light that comes on when the transformation takes place and her clients feel confident and empowered and of course, also look great.
The Secret to the thought process
Regina shared some of the secrets to her personal inner peace and ability to maintain a holistic and positive perspective in her business and personal life. She described two Thought Model Systems that she obtained and embraced years ago and continues to use today as it keeps her grounded. “These two theories really solidified a lot of what I was thinking and feeling, but had trouble expressing” says Regina.
The first practice Regina uses, is Theory U, a Change Management method developed by Otto Scharmer, a professor at MIT who was brought in-house by Eileen to work with leadership. His process for strategizing and implementing sustainable change includes five steps to seeing, sensing, presencing, crystallizing and then prototyping, all with an open mind, open heart, and open will. This theory speaks about the blind spot we all have and the power that our past experiences have on our current ability to influence our outlook and perceptions. As Otto says, "the quality of results achieved by any system is a function of the quality of awareness that people in these systems operate from."
cultivate systems thinking, which means ultimately looking at life holistically, always considering the big picture. Senge encourages that "continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively" creates personal wellness. Regina shares that these techniques and thought processes and fundamental theories she uses throughout her career and personal life, especially when she tries to analyze situations and people. It helps her process with patience and understanding; it helps her maintain a healthy perspective on life. And now we see exactly what makes Regina Reyes who she is, what makes her tick, and what makes her glow with peace.
“Overall, what I drew from my experience at Eileen Fisher, is confidence in who I am as a person, confidence in my skills, confidence in my purpose, and the connection to that purpose.”
Throughout her tenure at Eileen Fisher, Regina says, “Overall, what I drew from my experience at Eileen Fisher, is confidence in who I am as a person, confidence in my skills, confidence in my purpose, and the connection to that purpose.” She has and always will be a change-maker, a thought-leader and trailblazer, motivating others, especially women.
Regina's optimism and determination to bring about change, while working with an inner peace that radiates within, and outward, inspires those in her presence. It was at Eileen Fisher that she grew up, found her confidence and her voice, but today, she is exercising her voice in everything she does. It is a voice that is soft-spoken and gentle, but always makes others want to stop and listen. It is the voice of reason, the voice of vision, integrity, respect and inclusion. Regina Reyes is the voice of a woman of excellence, who is worthy of our attention.
What’s next for Regina?
Regina has had an amazing journey filled with so many wonderful experiences and life-long learning opportunities. It is evident that she loves the work she is doing today. She is extremely humbled and grateful for every path she has taken and every obstacle she has endured. She says she is excited about the future and what it holds for her, but no time will be more fulfilling than the time when she becomes a grandmother.
Written by Gina Moore-Herring
Director of JAG Learn
Jordan Alliance Group
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