...Independent Director for private and public companies
...President of TPD Group LLC, a multi-generational planning and consulting company
...President of the Sy Syms Foundation
Marcy Syms found her guiding principles and life philosophy in Golda Meir, who when dealing with Israeli peace negotiations in the Middle East said, “Nothing in life just happens, you have to have the stamina to meet the obstacles and overcome them.” In forging her life path, Marcy
has been an agent of change, a pioneer, and a provocateur who is always “changing the conversation.”
She is the President of both the TPD Group LLC, a multi-generational succession planning and consulting company and the Sy Syms Foundation. The former chair and CEO of Syms, Marcy Syms was a trail blazer in off-price retailing, presiding over one of the first stores to offer designer and brand-name clothing at substantially lower prices than conventional retail stores for several decades. Before its reorganization, Syms operated 50 stores with 3,500 employees in 16 states under the Syms and Filene’s Basement brands.
Marcy Syms also served as President of A. Sulka & Co from 1981 to 1989 until it was sold to Richemont.
Marcy Syms earned an M.A. in Science from the Boston University, College of Communication and worked at Strauss Communications’ WMCA and Channel 13 before joining Syms Corporation.
In 1983, Syms launched its IPO. Marcy Syms was voted President of the company and successfully completed the “road show” for the offering. In accomplishing this, Marcy became one of the youngest female presidents of a New York Stock Exchange Company. By 1997, Syms had grown from 11 to 27 stores with actual sales per square footage increasing by more than 150%. After the successful completion of the secondary offering that same year, the board voted Marcy Syms CEO.
Marcy has also served on the board of Midlantic Bank, American Materials and the non profits, New Jersey Regional Planning Association, Manhattan Theatre Club and Women’s Economic Round Table.
She is also a former chair of the Small Business and Agricultural Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, serving under Timothy Geithner, and a former director of the New Jersey Governor’s Economic Growth Council.
Marcy is presently serving on the board of RiteAid as Chair of the Compensation Committee and also serves on the board of Benco Dental.
The author of the business-strategy book, Mind Your Own Business And keep it in the Family (MasterMedia Ltd.), Marcy was a longtime columnist for Family Business Magazine.
Marcy received the Boston University College of Communication’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the Profession in 2002. She continues to sit on the Board of Overseers at Boston University.
A graduate of Finch College, Marcy was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Princeton University. Through lecturing and meeting with faculty, trustees and students, she visited state colleges in NJ and advocated for the pursuit of a liberal arts education. She also attended the Owner/President Management Program at Harvard University and holds honorary degrees from Yeshiva University and Bryant University.
A frequent guest on radio and television, Marcy is a Huffington Post blogger and a sought after speaker on the subjects of family business, succession planning, public and not-for-profit boards, women in business and board governance diversity. She is also a spokesperson for the American Heart Association, Women’s Heart Health, New York Chapter Go Red.
As a keynote speaker, Ms. Syms speaks to corporations, trade associations and colleges and has appeared before such organizations as the Committee of 200, Cornell University, The Family Business Institute, NAFE, the Newspaper Association of America, Directors & Boards/Family Business Magazine and many others.
Tenacious, passionate, and creative, Marcy brings a unique perspective to her audiences and is changing the conversation. Drawing lessons from her own extensive career experience, Marcy Syms has much to say about boards; from how to set the right tone for management, to helping mitigate crisis risk, and creating resiliency among successful directors and corporations.
Colleagues and clients have always come to Marcy for direction and insight. Marcy Syms brings a different dimension to the table when engaging in conversation about educating the next generation of business leaders.
From business and family governance to philanthropy, there are a host of issues that need to be addressed to help a family business of any size thrive. Having spent most of her professional career in a family business building it from the ground floor up, Marcy offers counsel to family businesses to help address the challenges from defining the individual roles of family members to incorporating best practice.
Rife with emotional discomfort, succession planning in family and private business is often left to the last minute. Succession planning is a delicate issue than needs to be addressed in a timely manner to insure a smooth transition from one generation to the next, or from one CEO’s leadership to his or her successor.
Succession planning for the C-Suite or senior executives requires preparation, communication and a framework to break the process down into manageable stages for the board, top managers, stakeholders and shareholders.
Marcy enjoys working with not-for-profit organizations especially in their infancy, when they are identifying where they want to focus their philanthropic efforts and how they will measure their success. As the not-for-profit sector expands, they need to learn how to partner with government and for-profit enterprises to insure the best possible outcome for the constituencies.
* Staying Relevant When the Conversation Has Changed
* Entrepreneurial Thinking
* Hiring and Firing
* Conflict Resolution
* Board Meetings
* Family Business: Checklists and Guideposts
* Keys to Successful Management
* Retail in the Present and Beyond
* Mitigating Crisis Risk
* Women in Business in the 21st Century
* Women and Politics
* Educating the Next Generation of Business Leaders
* Supporting Public Radio & Television
* Dealing with Different Corporate Cultures
* Strategies for Success
* Giving Back--Philanthropy--Advisory Boards, Academia, Mentoring
* Thriving and Surviving in the C-Suite
Marcy Syms is available for keynotes and workshops through the MasterMedia Speakers Bureau. For booking information, please contact
MasterMedia Speakers Bureau
14 Laurel Drive
Easthampton, MA 01027-2577
800-453-2887 Phone (USA)
413-529-1769 Phone (Outside USA)
888-359-1647 Fax (USA)
413-529-7120 Fax (Outside USA)