Alumni Spotlight- Celeste Gudas ’76

Celeste Gudas, Bishop Grimes graduate of the class of 1976, is the founder and CEO of 24 Seven, Inc., a strategic talent management partner to the most prominent companies in the Fashion, Retail, Beauty, Marketing, and Advertising sectors globally.

While at Bishop Grimes Celeste participated in the music and arts, band, tennis and was a cheerleader. She recognizes and appreciates her Bishop Grimes education, which she describes as “formative” to her understanding the roles of girls and women in society. Celeste shares, “Grimes laid a great educational foundation, from which I was able to build upon in college and in life.”

After graduating from Grimes Celeste attended Smith College to study economics and went to the London School of Economics. Here she was able to expand on her familiarity, exposure, and ideas about women and leadership from an international perspective. Celeste shares, “my first job was supposed to be at the Federal Reserve but I took a left turn. I had an affinity for creativity which leads me to my first position recruiting for various companies.” In this role, Celeste was able to see firsthand what it takes to be a woman, specifically in business leadership positions, and how few women there were in lifestyle industries.

In 2000, after working for fifteen years in the Fashion & Retail industry, Celeste decided it was time to “take the leap” and launched 24 Seven Inc. as a creative talent provider for fashion companies. The company has grown to now include twelve locations in the US and two locations internationally, working with recognizable and diverse companies including, Juicy Couture, Motorola, Levi’s, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, J.Crew, Sony and more.

The success of 24 Seven Inc. is attributed to Celeste’s dedication and management of 24 Seven’s team, many of whom are women. As a working mother of three, Celeste is personally committed to furthering the prominence of executive level women, not only within the company but within the industries the company serves. When asked what accomplishments she is most proud of, Celeste answered, “The growth and scalability of 24 Seven. Internally we have over 350 women who have built and grown their careers.” Celeste understands the importance of having talented, motivated women in the workforce. She shares, “Women are needed in successful business leadership positions now, more than ever before. Women need to know that many traditional barriers are being eliminated and boundless options are open to them in both their professional and personal lives.”

Most recently Celeste has been recognized by Glassdoor for International Women’s Day a Spotlight on Women CEOs and named the 8th Largest Women-Owned Company by Crain’s NY Business 2016.  She is actively engaged with her community spearheading diversity initiatives, such as YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, Enterprising Women, The Committee of 200, Cosmetic Executive Women, Inc. (CEW), The Fashion Group International, and many more. Celeste says, “It’s challenging to do it all, but also very rewarding.”

When asked about her secret to success, she shares, “The secret of success at any point in your career is to find something you really care about doing and pursue it relentlessly. If it is already being done in the marketplace, do it better, faster, and smarter.” Bishop Grimes is proud of the success that Celeste has accomplished.

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