Choose & Become Interview Series - Episode 2

Mary Dillon

Mary DillonSummary:

Twenty years ago, or so, finding my seat on a plane home from a business trip, I made eye contact with a woman who I should have known all my life—but had just met months before this trip.

Mary Dillon.

We beamed, she gave up her aisle seat to sit next to me, and our plane conversation turned into nurturing an enduring relationship.

Thank you, Mary, for sharing your insights and wisdom with us.


Mary Dillon is a Chicago-native and business executive with more than 35 years of experience leading consumer-driven businesses in a diverse range of industries, from consumer packaged goods to restaurants to telecom to beauty and retail.

Mary currently serves as Executive Chair of the Ulta Beauty Board of Directors, following her successful eight-year run as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. During her tenure as CEO, Mary and her team tripled Ulta Beauty’s market cap, doubled revenues and transformed the company to become a leading Fortune 500 retailer. Perhaps even more importantly, Ulta Beauty has become the #1 beauty destination for teens. She also evolved the company’s Board of Directors to become one of the most diverse of any large public company in the nation, and championed the establishment of the Ulta Beauty Charitable Foundation to support women and families.

Mary also serves on the Board of Directors for Starbucks Corporation, KKR, Inc., and Daily Harvest, and is the current Chair of the Economic Club of Chicago.

Mary is a proud first-generation college graduate, and resides in the Chicago area with her husband Terry. They share four adult children and as a family they love adventure travel, tennis, and newly discovered post-pandemic activities of pickle ball and Monopoly Deal.


Enduring Success: 3:54

Two-Way Agreements: 5:43

Trust: 10:38

Community and Belonging:  18:03

Boundless Love:  34:23