Great Clips CEO Rhoda Olsen was named the 2015 Executive of the Year by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal—a top honor from the Minnesota business community. Olsen appeared on the cover of the January edition of the Business Journal, and was the subject of an in-depth profile story (Read the full article).
Olsen joined the executive team at Great Clips, Inc. in 1987 when Great Clips was a regional chain of 180 salons owned by three partners. In 1998, she was promoted to president/COO, and was named CEO in February 2011. During that time, Great Clips grew from 1,000 salons in 1998 to more than 3,700 in 2015.
Great Clips is the world’s largest salon brand with locations in more than 170 markets across North America and sales that topped $1 billion for the second consecutive year in 2014. Today, Olsen’s focus is on building a legacy brand through continued collaboration and strong relationships with Great Clips franchisees.
The culture of the Great Clips brand is important to Olsen. She and others say it’s one of the reason for the brand’s success. In a video interview with Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Olsen explains: “One of our six corporate values is ‘We Are Kind’. In success, we want to make sure people know we are kind first. Kind is different than respect. ‘Kind’ is different than caring. It’s how you treat everyone, even before you know them.” (Watch the video).
Olsen earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Minnesota State University—Mankato. Prior to joining Great Clips, Inc., she held human resources and training-related positions at the Human Effectiveness Institute, North Central Companies and Land O’ Lakes. She also served as a guest professor for Minnesota State University—Mankato, the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas. Olsen has held a variety of board of director positions, including Sobriety High School, St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minn., Kabara Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies and the International Institute for Franchise Education (IIFE).