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Wednesday, 18 May 2022 09:04

Safelite’s 1st Female CEO Presents Her Story to WIN Conference Attendees

Written by Abby Andrews
Renee Cacchillo was named the first female CEO in Safelite's history in 2021. Renee Cacchillo was named the first female CEO in Safelite's history in 2021.

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The 2022 Women’s Industry Network (WIN) Education Conference wrapped up May 4 with a keynote speech by Renee Cacchillo, president and CEO of Safelite.

Cacchillo presented “What’s Behind the Glass---Reflections on My Leadership Journey,” in which she talked about how her education and career path led to becoming Safelite’s first female CEO in 2021, and the challenges and opportunities both along the way and going forward.

 

Cacchillo was announced as the CEO of Safelite, a national company that will celebrate its 75th anniversary in June and the leading provider of auto glass for repair, replacement and recalibration, in September 2021. She officially assumed the role in December.

 

Cacchillo said she was born in Japan while her father was stationed there with the U.S. Air Force. She and her family then moved to Texas, Oregon, Seattle and finally Norman, OK, as she began her senior year of high school.

 

“Moving that much taught me how to be adaptive,” Cacchillo said.

 

Both of her parents were the first from their families to attend college, Cacchillo said, and education was very important to them.

 

Cacchillo attended the University of Kansas, initially with the goal of becoming a pediatrician. But after a friend took organic chemistry, Cacchillo said, she decided she didn’t like science and switched her major to business.

 

After graduating with her bachelor's degree in business, Cacchillo got a job with Dillard’s, Inc., a department store company. Her first job was managing a store with 250 employees.

 

“I learned all the different personality styles,” she said.

 

Over the next several years, Cacchillo worked for Hallmark, while taking night classes to earn her MBA, and then Accenture, Lbrands and Bob Evans. She and her husband, Dave, also had twin daughters along the way, now finishing up their junior year in college.

 

In 2011, Cacchillo started with Safelite. Over the next 11 years, she worked in a range of areas within the company, including service delivery, customer experience, marketing and technology, before being named the company’s CEO.

 

“People kept telling me, ‘Renee, you’ve broken the glass ceiling,’” Cacchillo said. “Other people paved the way for me, but I’m paving the way for others.”

 

Cacchillo encouraged women to get comfortable possibly being alone in a male-dominated area, but to not be surprised when other women see their success and are inspired to emulate it.

 

“Be fearless; don’t be afraid to be the first ‘pink peg,’” Cacchillo said. “Think about the shadow you’re casting for others. You’re creating a...


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