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Deborah Krulewitch: A Career Of Leadership And Impact

By BCRF | October 30, 2017

Deborah reflects on the beginning of BCRF and what’s next for the Foundation

For Deborah Krulewitch, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Secretary of the Board of Directors, helping people has always held much value in her life and leadership. From the start of her career in social work to her position at The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) as Senior Vice President, Corporate Administration, Deborah has been able to impact the lives of countless people around the world.

Deborah’s journey with BCRF began during her role as Executive Director for the restoration of Gracie Mansion when she was first introduced to BCRF’s Founder, the late Evelyn Lauder. They instantly connected and their friendship naturally blossomed. Shortly after, Mrs. Lauder introduced Deborah to her husband, Leonard Lauder, and thus began her 29-year tenure with ELC.

After joining the company in 1988 as Assistant to the President and Executive Director, Corporate Administration, Deborah’s relationship with Mrs. Lauder deepened and she gained a closer insight to the causes that she held close to her heart.

In 1992, Deborah worked alongside Mrs. Lauder to launch ELC’s Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign and secured a place in history when she sourced the very first pink ribbons to distribute at all the Estée Lauder counters. A year later, Deborah encouraged and supported Mrs. Lauder as she founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with the aim of transforming awareness into action by funding critically needed research.

Now after 29 years of service, Deborah describes her most rewarding moments on her journey with BCRF as “…helping keep the ‘pink’ programs alive; from here in the corporate offices, to out in the field and to our very own staff, we are touching so many lives affected by this disease every day.”

“At the end of the day, no matter how large we are now, we are a family business. When someone is in need we help.”

After Mrs. Lauder’s passing in 2011, Deborah remained committed to upholding her legacy and has dedicated her life to making each program stronger. With the support of BCRF Board of Director Co-Chairs Kinga Lampert and William Lauder, Executive Chairman of ELC, Deborah believes that the Foundation is set for continued growth and lifesaving impact.

“We are bigger and better than ever. Every year I go to the Evelyn Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering to get my mammogram and I can’t help but get emotional at how much great work and research is happening right there,” she expressed.

Deborah was honored with the Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award, presented by Michael R. Bloomberg (pictured above left) at BCRF’s 2016 October Symposium and Awards Luncheon for her leadership and dedication to eradicating breast cancer.

“It was the pinnacle of my career to receive that award,” she explained. “I could not think of a higher honor.”

As of July 1, 2017 Deborah retired from The Estée Lauder Companies. She is excited to travel more and spend quality time with her family, friends and pets.

“I also want to buy a red car,” she exclaims. “I’ve never bought a car and now is the time to do it.”

As a devoted board member, Deborah is looking forward to everything that BCRF has in store for the future as she remains an integral part of the leadership after retirement.

“BCRF is poised for success. It keeps getting bigger and bigger. We need to find more treatments, more preventions for all those affected,” said Deborah.

“I am really so impressed with the quality professionalism and passion at BCRF. We are the best we’ve ever been.”