Laysha Ward, Target’s executive vice president and chief external engagement officer, is the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Women in Business Career Achievement honoree for 2020, the publication reports.
Target ranks No. 13 on DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity list and has also been recognized on DiversityInc’s specialty lists. The company has earned the No. 10 spot on the Board of Directors list and the No. 10 spot on the Philanthropy list.
Ward’s career at Target began in 1991. She started as a member of the store sales and management team of Marshall Field’s in Chicago and advanced to chief corporate social responsibility officer and then to her current position in 2017.
She has a long history in philanthropy and community engagement. In 2008, President George W. Bush nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed her appointment to serve on the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service. It is the nation’s largest grant-maker for volunteering and service, according to her bio.
Ward also serves on other boards including the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Advisory Board, the Stanford Center for Longevity Advisory Council, Greater MSP, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Northside Achievement Zone, and Denny’s.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
The Women in Business awards recognizes one Career Achievement honoree, and 51 other women are recognized in the publication for other successes and community work.
“As my grandma would say, ‘There are few things in life you do well by yourself.’ This recognition is shared with the extraordinary people I’ve worked alongside and learned from over the years. I’m hashtag blessed & hashtag grateful,” Ward wrote on LinkedIn.