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Carol Lavin Bernick

The Lavin Family Foundation; Former Executive Chairwoman, Alberto Culver Company

CAROL LAVIN BERNICK is CEO of Polished Nickel Capital Management, a privately held company managing diversified investments and owned operating companies ranging from retail sales and consumer products to professional sports.

During Carol’s 37-year career with Alberto Culver Company, a global manufacturer of beauty and personal care products – including TRESemmé, Alberto VO5, Nexxus, St. Ives, Motions and more –  and owner of 3,300 Sally Beauty stores, she directed the company’s new product development, including her own invention of iconic brands such as Static Guard and Mrs. Dash, among others. She went on to lead its consumer products business for ten years and was elected Executive Chairman in 2004. While dramatically growing the company, Carol instituted a nationally-recognized cultural overhaul profiled in the June 2001 Harvard Business Review and in numerous other publications.

In 2011 she initiated and oversaw the company’s sale to Unilever.

Among her community commitments, Carol is immediate past chair and a current board member of Tulane University, her alma mater. She is also chair of the Northwestern Health Network board, comprised of nine hospitals and 3,300 physicians in association with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, which is ranked in the top ten nationally.

Carol’s charitable work includes her founding of The Friends of Prentice, a support group for Prentice Women’s Hospital, which has raised tens of millions of dollars to benefit women’s health. In 2017, she founded Enchanted Backpack, a nonprofit dedicated to the support of under-resourced schools reaching over 20,000 students annually. Carol also created CC’s Wish List, maximizing community impact through incredible gifts in-kind to 150 nonprofits each year.

Carol authored Gather As You Go, a book featuring over three hundred stories that share lessons from her professional and personal life experiences. Net profits from the book benefit Enchanted Backpack.

Carol has three kind, compassionate adult children married to incredible spouses and eight grandchildren ranging from five to eleven years old who bring laughter and playfulness into her life every day.