Amy Carovillano (center) with Distribution Center employees on We Love Our Employees Day.
In this next phase of our “Careers with Heart” series, we’re introducing you to key members of our company leadership team. We’ll highlight their amazing contributions to The Container Store, discuss why they enjoy working here, and share some of their best bits of leadership wisdom.
- Name: Amy Carovillano
- Title: Vice President of Supply Chain
- Birthplace: St. Paul, MN
- Current Tenure at The Container Store: 32 years
- Favorite Leadership Quote: “A leader must be inspired by the people before a leader can inspire the people.” – Simon Sinek
- Loves: All things Disney. Her favorite Disney film is Mary Poppins, and she is currently planning a series of trips with her husband and four grown children to visit all six Disney resorts around the world.
- Favorite Snack: Dark chocolate
- Favorite TCS Product: “Since I love to travel, I’d have to say our Eagle Creek Pack-It System!”
- Personal Hero: “My husband, who had a successful entrepreneurial business career before deciding to be a stay-at-home-dad for our kids. He’s the reason our kids are so amazing!”
For over 30 years, Amy Carovillano has been one of the most important keys to The Container Store’s success. From the store salesfloor to the company’s leadership team, her contributions have been a crucial part of our growth and our culture, and along the way she’s blazed a trail for other women in the field of logistics and distribution. “I’m so fortunate to be a part of Amy’s team,” says Christy Parra, Senior Director of Supply Chain. “She is an incredible leader who inspires, motivates, and makes everyone around her better.”
Hailing from a family of doctors and pharmacists, Amy had initially planned on a career in medicine, but after college she became less enthusiastic about it. “I’m very much a people person, and most of my colleagues definitely were not,” she says with a smile. After a stint working at her father’s pharmacy in Minnesota, she discovered that she really enjoyed the retail aspect of it. A while later she moved to Texas—for the weather, she says—and the job she got her changed her life.
By the late 1980s, The Container Store only had a handful of locations in Texas. Amy took a job at one of the Dallas-area stores and she immediately felt right at home. More than anything else, she says, “it was the culture and the people that made it a great place to work.” As she got to know TCS co-founders Garrett Boone and Kip Tindell, it wasn’t long before she was tapped to manage a brand-new store location near the Houston Galleria. That store soon became a massive success, and much of it had to do with Amy’s leadership know-how.
A few years later, Kip offered her another life-changing position: head of The Container Store’s Distribution Center. Amy says she was hesitant because she “knew next to nothing” about this aspect of the business, but Kip’s resolute faith in her smarts and leadership ability inspired her to jump into it with both feet. With the support of Bill Baron (now our Distribution Director), she quickly learned the ropes and established herself as a forward-thinking authority in the distribution and supply chain industry.
“Above all, I was hired to bring our culture to the Distribution Center,” Amy explains. “My favorite part of working here is the people, and I believe the key to being a good leader is valuing and respecting the people around you.” She’s also worked hard to ensure the efficiency and productivity of our Distribution Center—for example, we diligently conduct a logistics network study every five years to learn ways to improve—and she has been the guiding force behind the upcoming launch of our second Distribution Center location in Maryland.
But despite Amy’s determination, her career path hasn’t always been easy. Although she’s received nothing but support and confidence from her colleagues at TCS, she points out that the relatively low number of females in the logistics industry is often the result of very dated attitudes towards women. Still, she says, she’s incredibly happy to be a part of this industry and she uses position to call out gender bias and champion other female leaders. “I see part of my job as helping to make the industry better for those who follow after me,” she says. “Our Distribution Center is a big, warm, and all-inclusive family.”
Amy’s trailblazing work hasn’t gone unnoticed. She’s been featured in several industry magazines, is often a keynote speaker at logistics conferences around the world and has even served on the executive board of the Warehouse Education Research Council (WERC). Last year, she was named one of her industry’s “Rainmakers” by DC Velocity and received the inaugural Great Place to Work For All Leadership Award from the Great Place to Work Institute™.
“She is passionate, funny, generous, brilliantly smart, and expects only the best because she inspires us to do our best!” adds Christy Parra. “It comes through every day in how she mentors, teaches, and wholeheartedly cares about each and every one of us—and there are LOTS of us!”