Charlene Deegan-Calello

Vice President, New Product Development

Atlantic Coast Brands

Why is CEW membership important to you?

My CEW membership has been instrumental and invaluable. It connects me to a community of thought leaders, of passionate, interested individuals, and of new voices who bring with them creative approaches and provides us all with a platform to learn and to grow, professionally and personally. Whether it be articles, or invitational events, it’s a tremendous resource that allows you to be ever-connected and current. The CEW grounds us all in one creative community.

 Do you have any tips for getting the most out of CEW membership?

Attend events. New members this is essential! Even if and perhaps especially if you are an expert, its important to attend and gain insight and perspective from others, not just in your field, but in others as well. You never know where you will find your next best inspiration!  Prioritize networking opportunities; the beauty industry is a small family and you can’t underestimate the value of connecting with people during your career.

What is the most exciting aspect of your current role?

I have been in the industry for 38 years, and for much of that I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of various haircare brands. I am currently at Atlantic Coast Brands where I oversee New Product Development, R&D, Retail Creative, Packaging and strategic branding. While we have a stable of brands, I feel the most exciting aspect of my current role is with our amazing brand Keranique, apologies for picking a favorite! It is a brand focused on solutions for, and the education and empowerment of women. It is an honor to be a part of something that changes women’s lives, their self-perception, and enhances their sense of well-being. It is a purpose-driven brand and so I find it incredibly rewarding. I am most excited about this, because in my role, I have the opportunity to educate women, to add experiential beauty to a segment typically devoid of it, to change the discourse and the approach in the industry that surrounds hair loss. It’s an enriching experience and meaningful work.

How do you spend your time when you’re not working?

I mentor students interested in product development, marketing and science at institutions like FIT and others, and am developing a preliminary program to do the same in underprivileged school districts like Newark. I am raising two incredible, strong, capable, confident and intelligent young women who want to be scientists! Researching (because it is second nature, I am ever-curious about so many things). I love reading, writing, kayaking, biking, cooking things my husband loves to eat, and growing beautiful flowers that I hope deer don’t love to eat!  Work gives me pleasure. Family and friends give me meaning and joy I couldn’t begin to convey!