Susan McGalla has quite a unique background and personality that people who’ve come to know her admire. She’s had a highly successful career as a female executive and creative marketing entrepreneur, but she has a very rugged personality from being raised in a small town in eastern Ohio and growing up the daughter of a football coach. In fact she loves discussing sports and talking about things outside of business, but most of all she’s passionate about people and mentoring young women. She’s also given tips to mothers both single and married about how to balance their time with children with taking care of their own needs.
Susan McGalla became one of the first female presidents of a fashion company when she was elected to that position in 2003 at American Eagle Outfitters. But the way she describes that achievement is as something she’s accomplished as a person and not a woman. And it’s because she always believed a person’s accomplishments have no gender attached to them and that there really is no “glass ceiling” to break. In fact, when she was being nominated for a female executive award the reporters who asked her about the accomplishment were shocked by her answer. But McGalla has so much to be proud of over her 30-year career.
After growing up in the small town of East Liverpool, OH and completing studies at Mt Union College, McGalla started out with the Joseph Horne Company. She worked there for 8 years until moving into the regional merchandising department of American Eagle. She became highly adept as the merchandising officer that she was eventually promoted to executive Chief Merchandising Officer and company President. American Eagle saw great sales increases thanks to McGalla’s vision, and a new rollout in female apparel. She left American Eagle in 2009 and started various consulting companies including HFF and P3 Executive Consulting, and on the side she’s also the Vice President of Business Strategy for the Pittsburgh Steelers.