Pilon School of Business
Program: Business General
Year of Graduation: 1989
Year of Induction to Hall of Fame: 2016
Senior VP, Real Estate Development & New Business Development at Aritzia
Karen Janes is a leader in the real estate industry.
In 2017, she was appointed to Senior Vice President, Real Estate Development & New Business Development at Aritzia – an upscale Canadian women’s fashion brand with retail stores across Canada and the U.S.
Prior to joining Aritzia, Karen was the Corporate Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate at Ralph Lauren Corporation. 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, Ont., but travels around the world. In addition to studying business at Sheridan, Karen obtained her CGA designation, attending night school and spending a year studying 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. She sits on the Board of Trustees for the 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 textbooks 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