Hall of Fame Alumni
- Chief Executive Officer
About Me - My Biography
Marcia Griffin was the first Victorian Telstra Business Woman in 1995. At that time she was CEO of Pola Cosmetics which she had grown from a start up to a multi-million dollar business with nearly 5000 sales agents. Prior to that she had been a secondary teacher and Research Economist with the Australian Wool Corporation. She sold her share of the Pola business in 1997 and since then has been on numerous company boards, written a book, and started a natural skincare brand. Marcia is currently on the boards of the Peninsula Hot Springs, Carpet Court, and Care Connect.
Marcia Griffin is believed to be one of the few Caucasian women in the world to have ever headed up a Japanese company. Between 1982 and 1997, Marcia was CEO of POLA Cosmetics Australia and New Zealand.
POLA Cosmetics, unheard of in Australia before 1982, is a $3bn corporation based in Tokyo. Marcia joined the Australian franchisee that started marketing POLA in 1982, as the solitary sales person. By December 1997, she had built the company to become a multi-million dollar business, with approximately 4,700 POLA sales consultants across Australia and New Zealand. In 1997, Marcia sold back her share of the POLA business to the parent company to take on other challenges.
Marcia’s educational qualifications include a BA (Melbourne University), Dip. Ed (Monash University), B. Commerce (Melbourne University), and MBA Preliminary Year (Melbourne University). Before working with POLA Cosmetics, Marcia worked as an economist at the Australian Wool Corporation, during which time she travelled the world extensively.
In May 1995, Marcia won the first Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year. Then, in July 1998, she published a book about her life and business, High Heeled Success, now in its third edition. In the same year, she also chaired the panel for the 1998 Arthur Anderson Business Practice Awards.
Marcia was on the Advisory Board of Werribee Park Tourist Centre (1996-1998), the Board of Tourism Victoria (1997-2000), and The Queen Victoria Market and Wholesale Fish Market and the Board of Melbourne Storm (1998-2000). That position made her the second woman only (after Dawn Fraser) in Australia to hold a Rugby League board position.
Marcia Griffin was also on the Board of the World Masters Games, the world’s largest participatory sporting event held in Melbourne in October 2002 with 25,000 competing athletes. From 1998 to 2008, she was a non-executive director of Australia’s largest printing company, PMP Ltd.
Marcia is on a number of Advisory Boards and Boards, including Carpet Court, Peninsula Hot Springs, and Care Connect, a not-or-profit company that cares for elderly and disabled people at home.
She is also a director and co-founder of griffin+row, natural anti-aging skin care products for younger looking and healthier skin. Griffin+row has recently launched a range of natural skincare products throughout Australia.
In addition to her directorships and mentoring, Marcia is continuing her role as a speaker and is a weekly contributor to the online business magazine, startupsmart.
Since 2004, Marcia has been a judge for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year award.
Marcia Griffin’s belief is that the same principles apply across all businesses and organisations: quality product, quality service, total customer focus, motivated people, and great systems.
Marcia’s personal message is about resilience, focus, and discipline in all qualities she has required during her personal and business life.
Strategies for Success
- “Clarity is power.” Be very clear about your goals in all areas: lifestyle; income; physical, emotional and spiritual
- “Never lose sight of the bigger picture.” Focus on what you want with total commitment
- “Separate needs and wants clearly.” Be prepared to work hard and if necessary, sacrifice the less necessary for the essentials
- Keep fit and work your body every day. Eat well. Think positively “Every living cell in your body is eavesdropping in your mind.”
- Maintain a good sense of humour and sense of the ridiculous – Everything is serious and yet on another scale it’s not serious at all.