AAPN Women Stories – Jill Coleman, Business Development Director Alvanon

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This is the latest installment of our series introducing the amazing members of AAPN Women. This week it’s the turn of Alvanon’s Jill Coleman.

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hi, My Name is Jill Coleman. I currently am Business Development Director, Alvanon, Inc. My focus is to continue to expand my knowledge and relationships with in the Apparel Supply Chain. Understanding how each component of a product opens up ideas to connect the dots and look for new ways to adapt in this changing landscape.


Tell us about your favorite AAPNetwork memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I have been a member of the AAPN Network for over 15 years. I have stayed involved with this organization because it is the pulse of what is happening in the Americas/Industry. AAPN has allowed me to understand the needs of the Retailer, Brand, and The Factory. AAPN has provided me information and access to individuals who have educated me on different points of view, which allows me to be open minded and more creative in my solutions.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
The ability to listen, learn and show up.

How would you define your professional mission?
Staying true to myself and always doing the right thing, standing up for individuals who haven’t found their voice. Be honest, even if the message is something no one wants to hear. This professional journey is for the long run…

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
Surviving my 1st job’s training program… where my desk was located in the men’s lounge… “Attention K-Mart Shoppers”…

What are some career challenges on your radar?
Staying relevant and building new relationships within technology, innovations and fabric companies. The landscape is changing…. I want to continue to adapt..

What project have you worked on that you are most proud of? Why?
I am currently working on a project, that I had no experience with.. I am proud that I have built new relationships, opened new doors into a space I never have played before. There are days where I have to “google” new terminology to understand the definitions. It feels good to break out of my comfort zone..

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I started out in the Kmart Management Program, based in Atlanta, GA. I knew this would be a stepping stone for better things to come. Understanding Retail Operation and how things were merchandised, how to deal with employee relations, understanding the use data would be key in my career. After Kmart I went to work for Kayser Roth, learning what it took as a manufacturer to sell into different retailers, from mass to department stores, would make me understand the differences and similarities in the supply chain..

My next step( Avery Dennison) was learning what it took to be a supplier to a brand and retailer. This was an awesome experience to understand that data is key. In addition, the importance of relationships at the factory/vendor level taught me the importance of a multi- tiered approach. Understanding cultures in a global company was key to internal success. Relationships and Networking allowed me the opportunity I have now at Alvanon. It’s about data and how data can be used in different aspects of the product development and supply chain.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The ability to use my experience and coach people to see things differently, while highlighting the strengths of that person’s ability. Seeing someone’s confidence grow in front of you is so rewarding.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into the industry?
Look at each project, each job, each conversation as a stepping stone for your career. Learn and ask questions, be curious. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Always ask for what you want. The answer is 50% Yes!

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?
Your Network is your networth! Focus on relationships, both professional and personal.

What is your morning ritual?
I say my morning prayer before getting out of bed.. pray for calmness, courage and confidence to face the day.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Breathe. You got this!

What is the best career advice you ever received?
I received advise from one of my Managers, early on in my career. Opportunities came forward to move up the Corporate Ladder, as these opportunities became available, decisions had to be made, that only I could make. Any decision you make needs to be a yes in these 3 categories: Personal, Professional and Financial. If any one of these does not make sense, then don’t do it. Another opportunity will be around the corner.

What would you say your personal superpower is?
My EQ

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