Although you might not know of Simon Property Group, you are sure to recognize two of their Atlanta-based shopping centers: Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza. As shopping destinations for Atlantans and out-of-towners alike, Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza have a lot going on behind the scenes. Here to share what it takes to keep things moving is Carol Cox, Area Director of Marketing and Business Development at Simon. She has been with the company since 2006 and worn a handful of hats over the years. She’s been recognized for her outstanding work on many occasions and most recently was awarded the Simon Recognition of National Excellence, Best of the Best for Director of Marketing & Business Development in 2014. Welcome her as today’s FACE of the South, and read on to learn about her, her work with Simon and her collection of postcards.
Describe your professional journey.
I began working for Simon in the fall of 2006 as the Guest Services Manager of Lenox Square. After over a year of overseeing Guest Services, I transitioned to the Assistant Director of Marketing role. In 2009, I was promoted to the Director of Marketing and Business Development of Virginia Center Commons just outside of Richmond, VA. After approximately a year in Virginia, I was promoted to oversee a much larger center, Mall of Georgia, which is also home. I spent five years as the Director of Marketing at Mall of Georgia cultivating signature events such as Star Spangled Fourth, Movies Under the Stars and Santabration, in addition to assisting with the transformation of The Village at Mall of Georgia, welcoming several new restaurants and enhancing the ambiance of the The Village Stage and Amphitheatre. In the summer of 2015, I transitioned to our home office as the Director of Loyalty Marketing and Operations, spearheading Simon Rewards and Simon Insider. In January of 2016, I was asked to return to the field as the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Lenox Square, and a short year later became the Area Director of Marketing and Business Development of Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.
As Area Director of Marketing and Business Development at Simon, what are your main responsibilities?
My main responsibilities include creating and implementing the strategic marketing plan for Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, which incorporates advertising, event planning, retailer communication, social media, PR and guest services.
Tell us a bit about what folks can expect at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.
Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza are iconic shopping centers in the heart of Buckhead, featuring over 100 stores exclusive to the state of Georgia. Our guests can expect to find a one-of-a-kind shopping experience at both centers, browsing exclusive retailers such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Versace, or mainstream merchants such as Gap, J.Crew, Kate Spade, Pottery Barn and Tory Burch. Both centers feature exceptional dining options including Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, True Food Kitchen and Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar. At Phipps, we have five additional restaurants in the works, two that have recently been announced, ECCO and The Public Kitchen and Bar. The best part of both centers is that you never know who you will run into walking the property — a celebrity, James Beard chef, musical artist, athletes or friend you have not seen in years. Shopping at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza are the places to be seen, and they have some of the best people watching in town.
What would people be surprised to know about these shopping destinations?
Cumulatively, the centers have 107 years as the premier luxury shopping destinations in the Southeast (Lenox Square opened in 1959 and Phipps Plaza in 1969). Both properties have received tremendous attention by Simon throughout the years, with renovations enhancing both the exterior façade and interior design.
Many people may be unaware Lenox Square was once an open-air center and was enclosed in 1972.
Marketing is a fast-paced world. What qualities do you possess that allow you to thrive in this industry?
I hold a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Brenau University and stay up-to-date on key trends happening in retail, property management and marketing. I also surround myself with a fabulous group of people who strive to make Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza the best place to shop, dine and visit.
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in the life of Carol Cox. (If there is one.)
One of the best things about my job is that I rarely have a “typical day.” Sure, we have weekly, monthly and annual tasks requiring completion, but I am consistently meeting and interacting with a new retailer, customer or business colleague daily.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I enjoy visiting quaint towns that are within driving distance of Atlanta and collect postcards from each place I visit.
Where can we find you hanging out around Atlanta?
You will likely see me walking my fur baby Belle around town, catching a play at The Fox, listening to live music anywhere, and sitting on a patio with friends on the weekends.
What is the best piece of advice you have received, and from whom?
My parents always instilled in my brother and me that hard work pays off, and if you want something, fight hard for it because anything is achievable in this life.
Can you recommend any good books?
Sadly, I really only get a chance to read a good book on beach vacations. The last one I read was The Girl on the Train, which is a fantastic read that I know many people are already aware of!
What are three things, excluding faith, family and friends, that you cannot live without?
My sweet fur baby Belle, wine and chocolate.
Thank you to the uber-talented CatMax Photography for today’s fantastic photos!
To read about more inspiring women, check out our FACES archives.