Healthymouth Founder/CEO Karen Albert
Karen L. Albert
Founder/CEO - HealthyMouth LLC
Karen has over 28 years of international experience in research, new formulation and product development, disruptive innovations, marketing, sales, business development, supply chain and logistics. She has held senior level executive positions and sat on executive boards of Fortune 500 companies. However, whenever asked how she views herself, Karen responds, “I’m an inventor that focuses on solving very real, compelling problems with science backed, safe, simple solutions that I, myself, as the ultimate consumer would need and want to use. I’ve never forgotten a quote that my beloved pop-pop (who also happened to be an engineer and holder of several patents said to me when I was about 10 years old, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”—Albert Einstein
As Head of New Product Innovation and Marketing for the $750M pharma, personal care and beauty division of Rexam PLC, a leading global consumer packaging company, based in Paris, Karen created the New Ventures organization to accelerate innovation and spearheaded design, development and execution of more than 80 breakthrough, patented, consumer products. Reporting directly to the president, Karen sat on the Executive Committee and was part of the “Rexam 100,” which signified you as one of the 100 top executives in a company of more than 25,000. Karen is quick to point out that, “I was one of 3 female executives in the Rexam 100. I would hope that today, if such a group existed in any institution, that 3 would be more like 50.” Karen is also a multiple patent holder, conference and keynote speaker and published author on bringing innovation and creativity to multinational companies.
Before moving to Paris, Karen was hired by The Estee Lauder Companies to be a one-person company to undertake a “secret” project to create brand from the ground up on what would come to be the most expensive face cream in the world. With no sales team, no budget, no advertising permitted, no packaging except what she could haggle out of people and unable to use the Lauder name, Mr. Lauder’s first words to her were, “Karen, you have the cream, your smarts, your passion and your big mouth –now get to work.” Karen started by working with the scientists and chemists of the New Ventures Team in Melville, NY, the innovation arm of Lauder’s renowned R&D. Karen worked day and night to launch the brand, guided by a core ideology and sense of purpose beyond purely profit. It had to be experience driven to ensure it become the foundation of all skin care, not just another “cream of the month.” Karen met with all the top beauty editors who get hundreds of new products a day. By the end of each meeting, Karen had made her passion, their passion and many months later a full-page editorial appeared in every major beauty and life-style magazine. Karen’s launch plan was much longer than her boss liked, but she begged him to be patient and even put her own job on the line. The product did finally launch with what Karen’s vision of success looked like. It wasn’t a success. It was a game changer, taking in $10M in the first 6 months. Year 2 sales of $100M and by year 3 it had tripled in sales to $300M. The brand was La Mer and the product, Crème de La Mer.
Now, 23 years later, La Mer is a thriving, global billion-dollar plus institution. It is still the #1 selling, most profitable, recognized skin care brand in the world and remains the most successful launch in Estee Lauder History. Adds Karen, “If I said that it all came to be because of my brilliant and complex strategic planning, I’d be lying. My best moves came from experimentation, trial and error, listening to my instinct and sometimes pure luck. I had no rulebook, so I literally had to make up a new set of rules as I went along.”
Prior to that, in her role as Vice-President, International Marketing & Strategy for THEHOTELGUIDE.com, based in Lucerne Switzerland, she developed the business model for pioneering one of the first internet-based travel/hospitality companies throughout Europe and in her position lived and worked throughout Italy, France, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Karen adds, “These years were by far the best education of my life. I had to adapt to cultures and ways of thinking very different than what I had learned in school and as an American. It gave me a new understanding, appreciation and global perspective that has become part of who I am personally and professionally. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to work, live and love and laugh with people outwardly appearing different than myself, but in reality, all sharing the same values, dreams and even fears that transcend languages, cultures and borders.”
Karen practiced law for six years and started her career as an attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and then as in-house IP counsel for Revlon. In addition, she clerked for The Honorable Dickinson Debevoise, Senior U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey.
Karen graduated on Dean's List from Phillips Academy. She received her BA with Honors from Northwestern University, attended Columbia and Cornell Law School, where she earned her J.D. and a Certificate in International Marketing from the American University in Paris.
Karen is fluent in French, lived for twelve years in Europe and has worked throughout Europe, Asia and South America. She played tournament tennis and continues to dance the ballet she has loved since age five. In addition, she is a writer and the author of Demi-Baguette. Karen is committed to humanitarian causes and volunteered with the AHOPE orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for HIV children for 6 months.
In keeping with the company's commitment that, "every pet deserves a healthy mouth," Karen initiated a give back program: healthymouth-to-the-rescueTM whereby healthymouthTM concentrate is donated to dog, cat and horse and exotic animal rescue organizations throughout the United States.
As a result of Karen’s own personal experience caring for a wounded warrior suffering from severe brain trauma and PTSD for 7 years, the late, Corporeal Casey Owens, recipient of the Purple Heart, helping returning veterans is part of Karen’s life purpose. Please learn about Casey, an incredible hero, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casey_Owens.
Unable to get the service do Casey so merited for the 7 years when Karen met him, she sought out two amazing, committed individuals, Mary Walsh, Senior Producer at 60 minutes and CBS World News and David Martin, National Security Correspondent for CBS News who had followed Casey’s story for many years. With Karen’s persistence at the service dog organization and Mary and David intervening on Casey’s behalf, Casey finally got his best friend Harold, Sadly, like so many other wounded warrior heroes, Casey took his own life on October 15, 2014. Karen urges you to celebrate Casey’s life by viewing one of David and Mary’s many, caring interviews with Casey which aired on CBS. Here is a clip from their first interview in 2004, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA9CpV_W9Lg and his last interview with David in 2012,
Karen adds, “This was a life changing experience for me. I am honored to have known Casey and honored to know Mary and David. I am now and forever deeply committed to our all our veterans, but especially to those who have suffered from brain injuries as we are just beginning to understand how when they return home, they literally do lose their minds and why so many end up taking their own, as did Casey. I know I cannot change that, but what I can do is to ensure that every veteran who desires the healing, helping and healthy love of a service dog has the ability to obtain his or her best friend immediately, easily and happily.”
Karen works and resides in California and New York with her puppy loves.
Karen’s heart, soul and reason that HealthyMouth came to be, Ping-Pong, passed away at age 17.5 on April 13, 2015. Ping-Pong is forever by Karen’s side and the forever future and purpose of HealthyMouth -- to give all dogs, cats and horses from pampered to rescues around the globe better quality, happier, healthier and longer lives. This is what Karen now calls,