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Women in Aesthetics

By: Wendy Lewis

Get to know Alisa Lask, Vice President & General Manager, Aesthetic Business at Galderma, a Nestlé Skin Health company based in Dallas.

Alisa Lask stands out in the field of global aesthetics as a multi-faceted dynamo with a management style all her own. A low-maintenance Midwestern girl who rarely wears makeup, she is thriving at the helm of one of the most influential global medical aesthetics companies.

In her current role as General Manager, she oversees the Galderma Aesthetic business in the US, including injectable brands and ASPIRE, the Galderma rewards program. While the past six years of her career have been focused in medical aesthetics at Galderma and Allergan, Alisa is extremely well-rounded. Her previous roles in orthopedics, women’s health, neuroscience, and retail grocery have all advanced her business acumen and helped shape her unique approach to leadership.

She is also a nationally accomplished equestrian and an avid animal lover. Thankfully, Nestlé Skin Health has the kind of work environment that encourages flexibility and balance, so she can tweak her schedule to have time for her horses, which are her passion. In fact, she told Modern Aesthetics® magazine that in the summer she often rides her horses in the morning before going to the office when the Texas heat is still bearable. She firmly believes in a good work-life balance, not just for herself but also for those on her team. Although Alisa puts her heart and soul into working hard and growing her team, experience has taught her that everyone needs some downtime to regenerate and perform their best.

She currently travels about 40 percent of the time, but tries to take time out to walk around a city and do something for herself to enjoy it. Her favorite travel destinations are a safari to Africa and exploring Thailand, and among the aesthetics congresses she most enjoys, the Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress in Monte Carlo tops her list.

I chatted with Alisa to learn more about her path to success.

WL: Who were some of your mentors throughout your career?

Alisa: Early in my career, a mentor gave me the book Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (Ferrazi, Keith, Raz, Tahl, Crown Business 2005), which instilled in me the importance of maintaining a strong network and the value of connecting with people outside of my direct circle. Building and maintaining a network does take a lot of time, but I consider it to be an investment! I work hard to find mentors inside and outside of the pharma industry. My favorite mentor was from a very different industry—he managed 60,000 people at Ford Motor Co. The same skills apply whether you’re running an aesthetic business or selling cars, and his advice has been invaluable to me.

WL: How did you get your start in the aesthetics field?

Alisa: I was the VP of Global Strategic Marketing for Zimmer Biomet, the leader in hip and knee replacement devices, but wanted to get back to an industry where marketing was more at the core of the business. I was recruited into aesthetics from Zimmer. On paper, the job was a step back. I had been managing a team of 90 and all of PR/marketing for a $4 billion publicly held company. This job however gave me key skills on product development, which I needed for my longer term career goals.

WL: What advice do you have for women in this industry?

Alisa: Don’t be afraid to take a lateral move or even step back for short- or long-term gain. Remember opportunities come when you least expect them. Spend time out in the field.

Never eat alone and read the book, too! Working with so many amazing women allowed me to see that everyone’s ladder of success is different. Once you figure out what really interests you and what you need to work at your best, you can unleash tremendous energy. Chances are you’ll discover you’re on your own unique ladder of success.

WL: How would your colleagues describe your management style?

Alisa: I think they would say that I am high energy and results oriented. My management style flexes based on the situation. Sometimes the team needs support and empathy. Other times they need to know it’s OK to take a risk and fail. No matter what, they have to know I will always have their back.

WL: Share a quote that best describes your philosophy

Alisa: I have a few!

“Mistakes are the best way to learn. Test. Learn. Improve.”

“If we aren’t keeping score, we are just practicing.”

“Work/life balance—do what’s right for you.”