Q&A with Monica Rigali, Director of Marketing, Eagle Creek
Throughout her career, Monica Rigali has used setbacks as fuel and goal-setting as motivation to move herself and her teams toward success. Prior to joining Eagle Creek® in March 2017, Monica gained experience in brand communications, sports marketing and journalism. A lifelong athlete and runner, she was ecstatic to join the Eagle Creek team not only for its products, but also because of the values it and VF embody.
Monica is now Director of Marketing at Eagle Creek, and leads with two principles in mind. The first is inspiring a team mentality with an undercurrent of mutual respect and determination. The second is to learn constantly — from colleagues, direct reports, mentors and competitors.
Below, she shares insight into her career journey and life at VF.
Q. How did you get your start in marketing?
I was working as a news producer for KGW-TV in Portland, Oregon, when I got the opportunity to join a global footwear company, first as a brand communications manager, then as a sports marketing manager. It gave me a chance to develop advanced marketing expertise and I lean on that experience every day.
Q. What is your professional philosophy on perseverance?
Perseverance doesn’t mean sticking to one thing forever. To me, it’s setting longer term goals and putting the building blocks in place to get there. It might mean taking a few detours to gain the education or experience needed to take that next step. That’s life! It’s not linear. By persevering and being awesome in your current role, you’ll become better at it, build capital and trust with your team and managers – and the rest will come.
Q. What keeps you excited about Eagle Creek?
I’m excited about the brand’s commitment to sustainability and responsible sourcing, and the launch of some upcoming products that demonstrate that commitment. Our new line of Migrate duffel bags use recycled materials from landfills—it’s actually the plastic film from shattered automobile windshields. The film is melted down into a coating that make our bags more water-resistant and durable. It’s pretty cool. I’m also excited to watch my team evolve as we shift our brand voice toward a younger audience. The majority of my colleagues are millennials and they know how to talk to this consumer. It is amazing to watch them create and engage our audience. I learn from them every day!
Q. How do you put your values to work at VF?
I recently became involved with the VF Accelerated Leadership Program, in which Nicholas Street, Vice President of Global Integrated Marketing for Vans®, will serve as my mentor in building and managing my team. Also, I am an executive sponsor and mentor for the Women’s Employee Resource Group, which was launched to address issues women face in the workplace. As someone who appreciates continuous growth and helping others do the same, these opportunities help me practice perseverance and continuous learning outside my daily duties.
Q. What is your typical day like?
It’s busy and starts early. I’m a runner, so I’m up at 4:45 a.m. to meet my friends for a training run. After that, I commute about 35 miles from my home in Temecula to the office in Carlsbad, California, while eating an energy bar in the car. When I get to the office, I catch up on essential emails, meet with my direct reports and help them keep projects moving forward. Then, I monitor the Eagle Creek social channels, sales and e-commerce reports. There are always meetings, strategic planning sessions, issues that need trouble-shooting, and presentations I need to work on for upcoming meetings. The last thing I do before I leave is wrap up emails for the evening.
Q. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
It came from my running coach, but it applies so well to business, too. It’s a reminder to stretch beyond your comfort zone, because that’s where the real growth happens.