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Karen Janes joins Sheridan Business Hall of Fame

June 01, 2016

Sheridan is proud to announce that alumna Karen Janes has become the latest member of the Sheridan Business Hall of Fame.  A 1989 graduate of the Business General program, Karen was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at Sheridan’s Business Awards ceremony on May 31, 2016.

Janes is the Corporate, Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate at Ralph Lauren, a role she took on 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.

A leader in the real estate industry, Janes has built strong relationships throughout her career. As she directs 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.

Janes 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 Janes, who is based in Oakville, Ontario but travels extensively.

“I’ve had the privilege of travelling around a large part of the world, learning about new cultures and my favourite place is still Canada,” says Janes, who grew up in Brampton, Ontario.

Sheridan’s Business education provided her with strong fundamentals and the confidence required to break down complicated problems and provide solutions, said Janes. “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.”  

In 1994, Janes took a temporary posting with a pay cut in the area of leasing. “I wanted to try something new, and I never looked back,” she says. “I believe in doing what you love. If you do what you love, it doesn’t seem like hard work.”

In addition to studying business at Sheridan, Janes pursued her CGA designation, attending night school and spending a year at the University of Toronto.  In recent years, Janes 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.

During the induction ceremony which took place at the Mississauga Convention Centre, Janes thanked her family for their support over the years. Her husband and three children, as well as her mother and aunt, were in attendance.

Janes also congratulated Sheridan students for their academic and personal achievements, offering some words of encouragement and advice. “Have a strong work ethic; remember that nobody can control how hard you work. Be curious and ask a lot of questions. It is the way to learn and make the right decisions. As well, connect with a mentor to help you and, as you grow, become a mentor yourself and help other people make the right decisions.”

The Sheridan Business Hall of Fame honours the accomplishments of outstanding Business alumni who have become leaders in industry, as well as ongoing and generous supporters of the College. The achievements of our honoured Business graduates serve as an inspiration to current and future generations of Sheridan Pilon School of Business students.

Click here for information about all the members of Sheridan’s Business Hall of Fame.