“If you’ve ever met Sarah, you know she is an absolute force of nature,” said Vic Drabicky, Founder and CEO. “Her intelligence, passion, business impact and impeccable personal values set such an incredible example not only for everyone in our company, but in the broader industry too. Simply put: She is a great person through and through, and when you find someone like Sarah it’s important to put as bright a spotlight as possible on them. I am thrilled to further do that by making her President of January Digital.”
As the company evolves and grows, it allows January Digital's expert leaders to focus on areas of strength. As president, Engel will be challenged to continue January Digital’s rapid growth (+60% in 2021) while continuing to oversee January’s People and Marketing departments, which she led prior to her promotion. JB Brokaw will continue in the role of Chief Operating Officer, where he oversees company infrastructure, finance and operations.
Since joining January Digital in October 2020, Engel has been instrumental in strengthening the company’s marketing and people efforts including launching January Digital’s award-winning guide for brands navigating the post-Covid consumer, almost doubling the employee count, playing a critical role in the company’s DEI Advisory Team, and helping magnify the company’s Good Works program which donated more than $100,000 to communities in need in 2021. In addition, she has also represented January Digital on the national stage at events like Shoptalk, Groceryshop and Women in Retail Leadership Summit, and is a trusted resource for media outlets with recent insights featured in Women’s Wear Daily, CNBC, Vogue Business, AdWeek, Glossy, Total Retail and many others.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to work alongside some of the most ethical and most determined people in this industry as January Digital has grown and risen to every challenge over the past few years," said Engel. "We have a team of passionate, committed marketers, strategists and consultants who believe that we can make an outsized impact on one another, our clients and the world around us. I am thrilled to be beside this team, ushering in the next era of innovation and growth, with shared purpose as our core driver.”
In addition to her professional trajectory, Engel cares deeply about mentoring the next generation of world-changers, both within the company and in the community. This includes providing support and opportunity to children in underserved communities, consulting with founders and leaders in retail and tech who are women and/or POC, and serving as an advisory committee member and communications trainer for survivors of domestic violence with Lutheran Settlement House in Philadelphia.
“Sarah is one of the most inspiring people I've ever had the pleasure to meet and collaborate with. She brings a drive for innovation, a keen sense of customer understanding, and a humanity to the industry that is desperately needed as we navigate the complex realities that surround our daily decision making,” said Krystina Gustafson, SVP of content for Shoptalk and Groceryshop. “As a member of the Shoptalk Advisory Board, Sarah not only brings her own decades of expertise to the table, she makes sure to slide a chair up to the table through her advocacy, her sponsorship, and her direct coaching of women and underrepresented members of our professional community. She has a way of making everyone around her feel important. Her positivity, attitude, and leadership help motivate everyone around her to be their best, true selves.”
Prior to January Digital, Engel guided the heritage fashion brand Lilly Pulitzer as the vice president of marketing and creative communications - focusing on brand building and strategic communications to drive the brand’s voice and visual expression forward across all customer touch points. Earlier in her career, Engel founded and led a high-growth strategic marketing and PR consulting firm as well as served as the chief marketing officer and head of HR for retail analytics company DynamicAction, which was subsequently acquired by EDITED. She was also the vice president of marketing for Range Online Media, as well as its acquiring company, iProspect.
She currently serves on the advisory board of Shoptalk and Groceryshop, as a content advisor for the National Retail Federation (NRF NXT), and is a former board member of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle and NRF Marketing Council. She was named by Footwear News as one of Six Women in Power in the Technology Sector Creating Corporate Change in 2021, as well as Women's Wear Daily’s Top 20 Women Leaders in Business.