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The Power of Partnerships: Employees of The Estée Lauder Companies Making a Difference
Terry Gutierrez shares her story.
Over the last 25 years, The Estée Lauder Companies’ Breast Cancer Campaign (The Campaign) has been a leading voice for breast cancer awareness, igniting a global movement that has helped fund innovative research and inspired meaningful action against the disease.
Evelyn H. Lauder founded The Campaign and co-created the pink ribbon in 1992, sparking this global movement to end breast cancer. Mrs. Lauder founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) the following year in 1993 and The Campaign has remained a critical partner since. The Campaign has raised $70 million dollars globally, of which $56 million dollars has funded 225 medical research grants through BCRF. Employees of The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) have played an integral role in The Campaign’s success in raising awareness and propelling research forward, faster.
We talked to several of the incredibly dedicated staff at The Estée Lauder Companies to learn what drives them, year after year, to support research.
Terry Gutierrez serves as the Executive Director of Account Management for Estée Lauder based out of Miami, Florida. A 22-year veteran at The Estée Lauder Companies, she currently works with Department Store and Specialty Store retail partners as well as the Estée Lauder field to grow sales. Terry is also an ardent volunteer for The Campaign and can personally attest to the power of research as a breast cancer survivor.
How do you raise money for The Campaign?
I was introduced to The Campaign when I started working for the company 22 years ago. Each year I would attend a field sales conference and Evelyn Lauder would do a presentation about the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She was always so inspiring and her passion was infectious. Over the years, we have done many fundraisers including picnics, bake sales, walk-a-thons, and live auctions where we get our retail partners to donate merchandise and auction the merchandise to benefit The Campaign.
Most recently I partnered with my gym to host a pink ribbon day to benefit The Campaign. I’ve also worked with my children’s schools to have the students fundraise. As a leader and as a survivor I have tried to inspire my friends and colleagues and I’ve had the pleasure of rallying our field at many sales conferences. Together, with a little effort, we can all make a difference.
What inspires you to raise money for breast cancer research?
I am a two-time breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed at the age of 36 with no family history of cancer. I supported The Campaign for years before I was diagnosed, never imagining that I would become the one in eight women that are affected.
Evelyn Lauder was and still is today a great source of inspiration for me. She worked tirelessly to raise awareness and money for a cure. We proudly honor her and the legacy she built with The Campaign and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation with every pink ribbon we wear and every fundraiser we organize.
Research is very important to me as it is my dream that we will find a cure in our lifetime. I have a beautiful 23-year-old daughter and it’s my fondest wish that she will never have to face breast cancer. I am incredibly grateful to the amazing doctors who receive grants from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. I know I benefitted in my own personal treatment from the advancements made thanks to the research supported by BCRF.
Any words of inspiration for others who are hoping to make a difference like you have?
At Estée Lauder we love to say “focus on what you can control.” We can’t control whether we will get breast cancer, but we can control our ability to get involved and make a difference. Every penny counts and everyone can do something. It is important to get involved and lead by example, but just as important to encourage everyone around you to do the same. The power to influence and inspire others can take a small idea and turn it into something really big.