Linda Zango-Haley

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Vice President of Marketing, Cosmetics International, Del Laboratories Inc., Uniondale, N.Y.

Success was a mandate passed down to Linda Zango-Haley from her parents. “They taught their eight children that education is an essential credential in life,” says Zango-Haley, vice president of marketing for Cosmetics International at Del Laboratories Inc. With more than 25 years’ experience in the cosmetics industry, success at Cosmetics International, a $48 million export business operating in 41 markets for which she provides support, is yet another link in Zango-Haley’s chain of successes.

Zango-Haley was a cosmetics entrepreneur long before she arrived at Cosmetics. She founded two companies: Matchstix Cosmetics, which marketed disposable makeup and a tamper-resistant sanitary device, and Elliot International, which represented top cosmetics chains, such as Revlon and Vidal Sasson, in Africa. In one of her proudest career moments, she launched a Revlon facility in Cameroon, west Africa, developing a full-scale facility to support distribution.

There were other big moments. “I was fascinated when I saw the Charlie perfume bottle labeled in the Cyrillic alphabet, never realizing then that Communism at the time couldn’t discourage women from wanting beauty products,” says Zango-Haley. “[I realized] that this industry delivers dreams.”

Zango-Haley is president of the Greater New York Chapter of The Links Inc. Her greatest achievement in that role, she says, has been the organization’s Women at Heart campaign aimed at reducing heart disease among African-Americans. A lover of fine arts, she is a member of the board of directors of the Manhattan Theatre Club and a member of the President’s Advisory Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Try to strive to do something you’re passionate about, to make a difference in your field, and never lose sight of your integrity,” she tells herself and everyone else.

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