Photography Brian Kelly/Written by Anthonia Akitunde
For as long as she can remember, Candace Matthews has always given 100 percent in all that she does. The youngest of 18 equally-driven children, â€œI always just wanted to achieve,â€ she says now. â€œMy parents always said, â€˜Whatever you do, be the best at it.â€™â€
After getting her bachelors of science from Carnegie Mellon, Matthews received her MBA at Stanford University in 1985, beginning what would become a long and storied path as one of the business worldâ€™s most prolific executives, including years spent as president of the SoftSheen-Carson division of L’Oreal USA.
But there were two roles that took her a little longer to achieve: becoming a wife and mother. Matthews didn’t find the man of her dreams, her husband Bruce, until she was 40, and a uterine fibroids diagnosis made getting pregnant difficult. After three failed intrauterine insemination attempts, the Matthews chose to adopt, becoming parents to twins Sydney and Simone and Seth, now 15 and 8 respectively.
While becoming a mother hasn’t slowed down her career, it definitely shifted its direction. Matthews left her coveted president position at L’Oreal to become the chief marketing officer of Amway, when the job demands were keeping her from her family when they needed her most:
â€œPeople were saying, â€˜Oh my gosh, you were the president of SoftSheen-Carson. How in the world would you give up that job?â€™â€ Matthews says now. â€œWhen things that are important to you are being compromised, you canâ€™t do it. I have a wonderful job [now] that sends me around the world doing things that I never envisioned doing.â€
For Matthews’ full story, visit matermea.com