Susan McGalla has been praised by many for making her mark in what is often considered a predominantly male role. She climbed the corporate ladder to lead some of the best retail companies in the industry. She credits her success, in part, to her parents who always gave her the freedom to express her ideas. She says that even though she was raised in a home with two brothers, by a father who was the local football coach, she was always treated as an equal.
McGalla began her career with Joseph Horne Co. where she held various management and marketing roles with the company from 1986 to 1994. She left Joseph Horne Co. for the opportunity to work for American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. Through hard work and dedication, McGalla was able to work herself up the corporate ladder on prnewswire.com to become the president and CMO (Chief Manufacturer Officer) of the company.
Under her direction, the company created both the aerie and 77kids subsidiaries. 77Kids was later sold to Ezrani 2 Corp and aerie, still a subsidiary of American Eagle Outfitters, Inc., has many stand-alone stores across the country. In 2009, McGalla left American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. to pursue a career as an independent consultant for the investment and retail industry.
She briefly held the CEO position for Wet Seal, Inc. from 2011 to 2012, before leaving the company to form her own consulting business, named P3 Executive Consulting. This company specifically focuses on investment services and consulting for the retail industry. It offers a wide range of consulting services, such as branding, talent management, marketing, and operational efficiency.
In addition, she became the Director of Strategic Planning and Growth for the Pittsburg Steelers in February 2015. McGalla also serves on the HFF Women’s Hospital Research Institute and Foundation board, as well as, the board of directors of her alma mater, Mount Union College. She formerly held the position of a trustee for the University of Pittsburgh and was a director for the Allegheny Conference of Community Development.
McGalla has been asked to speak at numerous events, including the Women and Girl’s Foundation of Pittsburgh and the Speakers Series for CEOs at Carnegie Mellon University. She strongly believes that is was her hard work, confidence, and dedication to her career that earned her the level of success she has been able to obtain.
She never considered herself different from her male counterparts. However, she does believe that her vast knowledge of sports, thanks to her father and brothers, has helped her start conversations with many of her male colleagues and perhaps it helped her get her foot in the door. No matter what she credits her success to, she has certainly become one of the best know American business women and executive consultants in the retail industry.