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Business Hall of Fame

Karen Janes

Karen Janes

Pilon School of Business
Program: Business General
Year of Graduation: 1989

Corporate, Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate, Ralph Lauren

Karen Janes took on the role of Corporate Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate at Ralph Lauren in early 2015. Ralph Lauren Corporation is a leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances. For more than 47 years, Ralph Lauren's reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company's brand names, which include Polo Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, RRL, RLX, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, Denim & Supply Ralph Lauren, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco, constitute one of the world's most widely recognized families of consumer brands. Karen is a leader in the Real Estate industry and has built great relationships throughout her career. As she leads the team at Ralph Lauren, she plans to leverage her existing relationships while forging new ones to grow and improve the existing Ralph Lauren brand store network.

Karen joined the luxury retailer following two years as Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate and Construction for American Eagle Outfitters, and more than a dozen years as Vice-President Real Estate for The Gap. “My work is fast-paced and creative; you meet a lot of people and you are not tied to a desk”, explains Karen, who is based in Oakville, Ontario but travels around the world. In addition to studying business at Sheridan, Karen pursued her CGA designation, attending night school and spending a year at the University of Toronto. In recent years, Karen has passed on her know-how to other professionals by teaching classes through the International Council of Shopping Centres and has been recently appointed a Trustee for ICSC.

"Sheridan’s Business School provided me with strong fundamentals and the confidence required to break down complicated problems and provide solutions. Early in my career I took a newly formed position as a Retail Accountant for a large landlord and they basically gave me a desk, computer and a phone – with no direction. I brought my finance and accounting text books from Sheridan to the office and began setting up the books for 10 stores. The first year was tough but my education and work ethic carried me through and made future obstacles less challenging." - Karen Janes