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The Power of Partnerships: Employees of The Estée Lauder Companies Making a Difference

By BCRF | November 30, 2017

Kris Howard 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. 

Kris Howard serves as the Regional Vice President of Estée Lauder North America, based out of Los Angeles, California. She has worked with The Estée Lauder Companies since 1984, having held various positions at Aramis Designer Fragrances, Origins, Clinique and with Estée Lauder since 2006. Kris also volunteers her time to raise money for breast cancer research.

How do you raise money for The Campaign?

Our Team raises both awareness and money for The Campaign with activities ranging from “gift wrapping stations,” dinner parties, raffles of donated items, and sporting events, among many others. This year, our West Super Territory Team raised $80,000 through their efforts with family, friends and Estée Lauder Beauty Advisor Teams in our local communities. It truly takes a team and I’m so very proud of their efforts as individuals and as a team!

What inspires you to raise money for breast cancer research?

Having met Mrs. Evelyn Lauder many years ago and watching her inspire and move thousands of women to action through her efforts with the pink ribbon really drove me to consider what I could do to make a difference. I was eager to enlist my West Super Territory Team to spread awareness and encourage donations for BCRF.

Our entire Super Territory is inspired every day at our Estée Lauder counters. Many women who have faced breast cancer or had a mother, grandmother, sister, or friend impacted by the disease, often share their personal stories at our counter.  Some are looking to pamper themselves with a new makeup item or share how their skin has changed due to their cancer treatments. It means a great deal to have women place their trust in our beauty advisors. Many know of the connection between Mrs. Evelyn Lauder, The Campaign and BCRF and it gives us all great pride to know we are working to completely eradicate this disease while helping women feel more beautiful every day at our counters.

We believe through our continued efforts and those who also contribute to BCRF that we will find a cure!

Any words of inspiration for others who are hoping to make a difference like you have?

Having a corporate culture that fosters and encourages giving back can really make a huge difference. Sometimes there are added programs that can help keep the momentum going. After more than 10 years of fundraising activities we needed some new ideas to increase our donations. The Estée Lauder Companies GOOD WORKS Matching Gifts Program re-energized our Super Territory last year. The GOOD WORKS program provided a “dollar-for-dollar” matching contribution which really resonated with our team.  This year once again we are utilizing this exceptional employee benefit to raise more money in hopes of exceeding last year’s record number of donations.

While we’re fortunate to work at a company that values giving back, it’s important to be proactive and search for ways to make a difference.