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2020 Distinguished Achievement Award in Business

Karen Stuckey ’79

During a television interview on the St. Norbert campus in 2016, Karen Stuckey, a senior VP at Walmart, was asked what advice she’d give a young woman just beginning her career. Karen’s response: “Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Be more afraid of missing an opportunity because you didn’t take the risk.”

Karen Stuckey’s journey from our small Midwestern college to the executive offices of the world’s largest company has exemplified her willingness to seize opportunity — and, at times, embrace risk.

After graduation, Karen — who knew she wanted to be involved in the retail industry — joined The Limited as a co-manager of its store in downtown Chicago. She was younger than most of the people who worked for her, but seizing that as an opportunity for growth and learning, she soon was managing the store alone, and not long thereafter she took a job with a department store that was part of the Hart, Schaffner and Marx company. Success there led to her recruitment by Target, and after that to a stint at Montgomery Ward, and then — driven by a desire to learn more about a different aspect of the industry — she moved to the manufacturing side of the business at Sara Lee Corp., where she rose to president of one of its divisions in just seven years. Gaining invaluable insights in that role, she returned to retail in the first of several roles at Walmart, where she is now senior vice president for private brands, general merchandise, Walmart U.S.

Even as she has been pursuing her own career boldly, Karen has devoted herself to supporting other women in that journey. She gives back to the women leaders inside the Walmart organization as chairperson for the Women’s Officer Caucus. She has served on the board and as chairperson for the Network of Executive Women, a nonprofit organization committed to advancing women leaders. Committed to providing opportunity to other underrepresented groups, as well, Karen also is a member of the Walmart President’s Inclusion Council.

In her community, Karen has led her local Boys & Girls Club through a transformation of growth and highquality impact. She and her husband, Andy, have also shepherded others through a “transformation of growth”: their four children, who are now successful adults and thriving as principled leaders of impact in their own right.

For all that she has accomplished, and for the spirited way in which she has accomplished it, Karen Stuckey is a worthy recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in Business.

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