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Edward Koh

About the Guest

Kara Cutino, a Store Development, Asset Protection & Facilities Services professional currently at Ascena, has over two and half decades of experience in leading operational teams. Ascena, which is a national specialty retailer offering apparel, shoes and accessories for women through these collective brands—Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey, Lane Bryant and Cacique – serves women across generations, identities, affiliations and body types.

In 2017, Kara was given the opportunity to create a Store Development Collective that managed over 4000 retail stores supporting 8 Brands with a small team of professionals located across the US.

She specializes in building highly motivated teams that focus obsessively on the client by providing unparalleled customer service. Her management style is driven by the relationships she builds with her teams and the needs of their clients; whether that be cross-functional business partners or the clients that shop Ascena’s brands. Deep down inside, she is a data nerd that leans on analytics to guide fiscally responsible business decisions in support of creative solutions to problem-solving.

“When I first started out, I thought I had to do it all, be it all, solve it all myself. But really, I think the best leaders are the ones that’ll allow their teams to lead. The hardest lesson and the best lesson I learned was that, you know, to be a good leader, you actually have to trust the teams that work for you and let them fail.”

— KARA CUTINO

TIMESTAMPS

**(02:08) – Kara’s journey to her role 

**(06:05) – How has facilities evolved?

**(11:15) – Kara’s approach 

**(19:00) – How you do it

**(22:14) – Tools Kara can’t live without 

**(28:16) – Words of wisdom

**(35:35) – Advice for others in the field

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