Irene Quarshie is Senior Vice President of Global Supply Chain and Logistics for Target Corporation. She leads the indirect, reverse and third-party supply chain functions, which includes inventory management, transportation, and warehouse operations. Irene also oversees e-commerce returns logistics and end-of-life product disposition strategies. She has general management accountability for Target’s multi-billion-dollar recommerce business.
Previously, Irene was vice president of Product Safety and Quality Assurance where she led a global team responsible for private label manufacturing quality management. Throughout her 16 years at Target, she held numerous leadership positions including roles in Enterprise Risk Management, Government Affairs, Corporate Responsibility and Assets Protection. Prior to Target, Irene spent five years in strategy and management consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton.
Irene serves on the board and audit committee of Fastenal, a publicly traded distributor of industrial solutions and services. She is also on the board of the Executive Leadership Council and Artspace.
Irene graduated from Adelphi University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also earned a master’s degree in public policy from American University.
As a young girl or teenager, what profession interested you and why?
Growing up in the Washington, DC area, I also wanted to be a lobbyist. On Sundays my father would have us watch Meet the Press and I was so enamored by the ability to influence the policy making process.
If you had applied for an ABF grant in your youth, what type of activity or experience would you have pursued?
Likely something in the culinary arts.
Describe an experience that shaped or changed your dreams for the future.
I had several friends whose parents had more “white collar” professions and one who took me to open a “young savers” investment account when I was in high school. Prior to that point I was never exposed to the idea of investments or having a corporate career. I saw what was possible. I discovered a whole new world and wanted in so that I could have multi-generational impact.
What is one of the most rewarding aspects of your profession?
I love developing talent. I love coaching and watching others realize their full potential
Describe an accomplishment that you are very proud of and why.
Completing a women’s triathlon because I’m afraid of open water swimming and it forced me to face my fears.
What should girls know about your story of success?
That it is riddled with failure and low points, which served as great learnings that propelled me farther than I could ever imagine.
Why do you support the Ann Bancroft Foundation? In your experience, what value does ABF offer girls across Minnesota?
Because ABF understands the power of dreaming and then enables the dreams of girls to come to fruition. To visualize it and then have the support to turn ideas into action is powerful!
ABF encourages girls to courageously pursue their dreams. Throughout your life and career, do you remember moments where you lacked courage? If so, who or what helped you overcome those feelings, push forward and believe in your own abilities?
Even with my professional success, I sometimes find myself low on confidence and courage. It’s been important for me to have a great support system—friends, family, colleagues—to lean on, vent with, and problem solve. Who you surround yourself with is so important! Do you have net promoters in your circle or doubt fuelers? Make sure it’s the former.
What advice, personal and/or professional, would you give to past, present, and future ABF grantees?
Dream wilder, don’t pursue perfection, and embrace failure.
Lastly, why should others join the ABF PowHER Partners this October and support this campaign?
It’s a small and low-barrier way to have an outsized impact on the lives of dreamers.