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Elisa D. Garcia

Elisa is a 2011 Alumna of the Board Institute. Her bio is available here


Dollarama, Inc.


Board Member; Nominating and Governance Committee Member

How did you learn about your current board opportunities? Did active networking play a role?

I received a call from a recruiter form a firm I had previously connected with for possible Board roles.

How has DirectWomen helped you achieve your board service-related objectives?

The DirectWomen Institute and pre-work taught me what a Board resume needed to stress and helped me view my experience as a set of skills rather than chronological jobs. DirectWomen also helped me to tell my story.

What have been/were the most challenging aspects of establishing yourself as a director?  

I am the first woman on the Board of Dollarama, so I wanted to be sure that I wasn't just a check the box appointment. Making sure that I learned the business and contributed quickly was important.

Which of your skills/attributes do you believe have been most instrumental in your board role(s)?

Governance and international experience.

What specific events, people or tactics (if any) have helped your transition from career woman to board director?

The lead director and management have been very welcoming and have helped me learn about the business. Management has welcomed my requests to tour stores and distribution facilities and have given me access to executives to jumpstart my learnings. It takes a year (a full cycle) to really understand the seasonality of the business and how it affects earnings.

What ongoing activities continue to develop/enhance your effectiveness as a director?

Deeper understanding of the company's risk profile and tolerance, as well as strategic presentations.

What are your further short/medium/long-term board service objectives?

Joining another committee (short term). I am still employed full time as a CLO, so I do not foresee adding another board in the medium term, but long-term, I would like a second board.

What advice would you give to aspiring women directors?

Look at your skill set and understand how you can bring value to a company.

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