Banana Republic

September 18, 2020

Doris and Don Fisher built our company on the principles of innovation, integrity, community and store excellence. To honor this legacy, each year, the Donald G. Fisher Award is given to a Store Manager in each brand who demonstrates these principles. This is the highest honor a Store Manager can receive. We’re thrilled to announce Julie Gogel (Specialty) and Hilary Vance (Factory) are the North America winners for this year’s Fisher Award for Banana Republic! 

So, let’s meet these incredible leaders! 

Julie is a results-driven leader who runs one of most consistent stores in the brand. This truly speaks to Julie’s 20+ years of leadership experience and her unwavering focus on meeting field focuses, goals and objectives. She has created an environment that enables and inspires growth at all levels, and you can feel the team’s energy, focus and engagement every time you walk into the Aventura store in Florida. 

What gets you energized to come to work every day?

Julie: I get energized knowing that every day I get to come to work and impact people’s lives in a positive way – make them better than they were the day before, which also helps me grow as a person and a leader. 

What’s the biggest thing your team has taught you? 

Julie: Simply put it’s all about being a team. We support one another, inspire each other, and motivate each other and being responsible to each other! They need me as much as I need them to be successful. 

Moving on up the East Coast into Hershey, Pennsylvania, Hilary is known for her thoroughness and for always thinking beyond the four walls of her store. She’s passionate about providing an exceptional store experience for every customer and for delivering stellar service results.  

What has being a leader taught you about yourself? 

Hilary: Being a leader has taught me agility. As I continue to grow personally and especially throughout this year of the pandemic, I have had to overcome a variety of obstacles. Being a leader has taught me to view challenges as a learning and growth experience. Leadership has taught me that without a strong team of leaders and brand associates, I would not be able to grow my own set of leadership competencies. 

What advice do you have for others looking to grow into a leadership position? 

Hilary: Create your own path and don't let one obstacle ruin your overall goal. Sometimes as leaders, we get stuck in the day to day routines, waiting for someone to recognize our skills and abilities. Don't be scared to put yourself out there and try something new! Many of the opportunities I have had are because I worked with an amazing DM, Amy Carroll, who was innovative in stretching my goals. We delivered on some truly innovative strategies, which allowed me to truly challenge who I am as a person and leader. While these assignments took a lot of extra work and the obstacles along the way proved challenging, every setback or accomplishment I looked at as an opportunity to grow. 

Congratulations, Julie and Hilary! You both truly represent the best of Banana Republic. 

Interested in joining our Banana Republic store team? Apply today!


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