Corporate Vice President, Global Communications & Talent Relations, Reebok International Ltd. • Canton, Mass.
Denise Kaigler is the highest-ranking African-American at Reebok International Ltd., a $3.2 billion global corporation for which she is the primary spokesperson. She is also the only African-American and one of two female members of the Reebok President’s Council, a group comprising the most senior executives of the entire corporation. It takes a lot to reach that high in corporate America. “I put myself through [Emerson College in Boston] by working several jobs and going to school full-time. The experience was the most difficult in my life, but it made me strong, resilient, self-reliant, confident and a true believer that if you work hard and truly believe, you can achieve anything,” she states.
Kaigler left Emerson with a B.A. in journalism and worked as a reporter for NBC affiliates in Columbus, Ohio, and Boston, a brief career that prepared her for Reebok. Her circle of support includes her mother, Diane Moore, a single parent with three daughters. Kaigler’s mother taught her values, integrity and the importance of dedication, commitment and hard work. Jack Agnew, former partner at the Boston public relations firm Agnew, Carter & McCarthy, has guided her through career-challenging times since 1990. Reebok chairman Paul Fireman “took me under his wing,” Kaigler says. And there’s Joseph Kaigler, her husband, who “second only to me, [he] deserves all the credit for my career achievements and success,” she says.
As corporate vice president, Global Communications and Talent Relations, Kaigler is responsible for public and media relations, employee communications, corporate and financial communications and issues management for Reebok’s operating units worldwide. In November 2002 she assumed the additional responsibility of overseeing the company’s relationships with music celebrities, managing press tours, events and media interviews with some of the world’s most successful entertainers.
Her best moments in life happen when she is at home with her husband and two children. Her dream is to be more involved in the inner-city community, “with my children at my side.”