Susan McGalla: A Lesson in Self Confidence

“Just do it.” This is what most would predict Susan McGalla would give as the best advice to women or anyone who is aspiring to rise to the top in business. She makes no bones about being assertive and fearless when it comes to expressing her ‘good ideas.’ This is the advice her parents gave her at an early age. She was encouraged work hard to have no hesitation to express her best objectives to whomever was in an audience that she would address.

Being a female at anything never filters into her thoughts when she performs her occupation. She learned that despite the fact that there could be gender bias surrounding her in the work place, it did not matter. Susan J. McGalla worked her way up several ladders, basically ignoring any gender issues on wikinvest.com. What she did was simply a great job that was far better than anyone else working with her. So, it was a ‘no brainer’ to promote her and not another employee. There was no need to spend precious company funds head hunting for a leader and a CEO as she was perfect for the role.

Pittsburgh found in McGalla a hard working, positive, sports enthusiast and expert at merchandising. Soon after she earned her Bachelor of Arts in business, she began working in marketing. Joseph Horne Company took her in by way of her contagious enthusiasm. The next step in her rocket ship launch of a career was the company where she ascended to the top, American Eagle Outfitters. This is where her work filled a dual role because she had such a great command of merchandising skills. They also needed her for her powerful performance level for the company as a strong leader. McGalla spent time as chief merchandising officer and then was elected to be President.

This ride went well and came back down to land on earth in January of 2009. At this point she was ready for offering her direction and expertise to others who wanted to reach for the stars. She found a new role as private consultant of retails and financial investment managers, which is the same occupation that her husband Stephen McGalla hails from in the financial investment management arena. New opportunities kept knocking as she was appointed to the Board of Directors of HFF, Inc. in the fall of 2009. She took on yet another leadership role as CEO of Wet Seal, Incorporated in January 2011. After only one year, things changed again. By new year of 2012, McGalla founded her own firm, P3 Executive Consulting where she is now the current Director of Strategic Planning for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Having been born of a family of sportsmen and women, with father and brothers involved in coaching and playing football, this seemed to be where she felt the most comfortable. She does still wear many hats as she is currently on the board of advisers of her alma mater, Mount Union College, the place that awarded her with her degree in business and marketing.