Elisa D. Garcia

Board Experience

Dollarama, Inc.

2015
Board Member; Nominating and Governance Committee Member

Q & A

How did you learn about your current board opportunities? Did active networking play a role?

I received a call from a recruiter form a firm I had previously connected with for possible Board roles. How has DirectWomen helped you achieve your board service-related objectives? The DirectWomen Institute and pre-work taught me what a Board resume needed to stress and helped me view my experience as a set of skills rather than chronological jobs. DirectWomen also helped me to tell my story.

What have been/were the most challenging aspects of establishing yourself as a director?

I am the first woman on the Board of Dollarama, so I wanted to be sure that I wasn't just a check the box appointment. Making sure that I learned the business and contributed quickly was important.

Which of your skills/attributes do you believe have been most instrumental in your board role(s)?

Governance and international experience.

What specific events, people or tactics (if any) have helped your transition from career woman to board director?

The lead director and management have been very welcoming and have helped me learn about the business. Management has welcomed my requests to tour stores and distribution facilities and have given me access to executives to jumpstart my learnings. It takes a year (a full cycle) to really understand the seasonality of the business and how it affects earnings.

What ongoing activities continue to develop/enhance your effectiveness as a director?

Deeper understanding of the company's risk profile and tolerance, as well as strategic presentations

What are your further short/medium/long-term board service objectives?

Joining another committee (short term). I am still employed full time as a CLO, so I do not foresee adding another board in the medium term, but long-term, I would like a second board.

What advice would you give to aspiring women directors?

Look at your skill set and understand how you can bring value to a company.

Biography

Elisa Garcia is an accomplished corporate executive and attorney with over 25 years of experience advising management and boards of directors on legal, business and government relations matters. Through her broad-based experience in all aspects of international business and corporate law, Ms. Garcia has guided her clients through a myriad of business and legal issues, government investigations, international acquisitions and investments, debt refinancings, domestic and international labor issues and legislative and regulatory attacks. She is recognized for her well-grounded yet creative approach to problem solving. 

Ms. Garcia has held general counsel and senior executive positions with Macy's, Office Depot, Domino’s Pizza and Philip Morris International. She also has worked as counsel for GAF Corp., a chemical and roofing manufacturer, and began her legal career with the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York City. Ms. Garcia has particular expertise in international business transactions, corporate governance, securities laws and compliance. Prior to her career as an attorney, Ms. Garcia was an Energy Analyst working in-country with developing country governments and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Ms. Garcia is currently Chief Legal Officer for Macy's, Inc. From 2007-2016, Ms. Garcia served as a trusted advisor to the Board and senior management of Office Depot, Inc., a $12 billion dollar multinational retail, B-to-B and E-Commerce company. Ms. Garcia served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, and has global responsibility for all legal, investor relations and government relations matters. In addition, Ms. Garcia was responsible for global compliance, comprised of loss prevention, risk management and internal audit. Ms. Garcia oversaw over 120 legal and compliance professionals located in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Ms Garcia led the preparation for and execution of the Domino’s Pizza, Inc. Initial Public Offering, while serving as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Domino’s is a pizza delivery company with over 9,000 franchised and corporate stores with global retail sales of over $5 billion. Ms. Garcia joined Domino’s in 2000, shortly after the company was purchased by a private equity company from its founder. Ms. Garcia served as Domino’s first General Counsel, building the legal department and managing the franchise services and real estate departments.

As Regional Counsel for Latin America, Ms. Garcia advised Philip Morris International executives on M&A, strategic partnerships and joint ventures and the day-to-day matters affecting a global tobacco and food manufacturer. Ms. Garcia’s Spanish language fluency and pragmatic business approach made her a valued asset to the Latin American management team.

Ms. Garcia is a frequent speaker on legal education panels and an advocate of value based legal billing. Ms. Garcia serves on the Board and the Executive Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), an organization that represents over 25,000 in-house attorneys. Ms. Garcia also served on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce from 2005-2007.

Ms. Garcia is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law in New York (1985), where she was an Editor of the Law Review. She also received a joint BA/MS in Political Science and Management and Policy Sciences from W. Averell Harriman College, State University of New York at Stony Brook (1980). Ms. Garcia is a member of the New York and Michigan Bars and is an authorized house counsel member of the Florida Bar.

Related News

Elisa Garcia, DirectWomen Alumna, Joins Dollarama Board of Directors

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